The backstory... my boyfriend has a 17-year-old step-brother who is past what some would refer to as "troubled". He's depressed. He cuts himself. He lives with his mother a couple hours away from us. He dropped out of high school 2-3 years ago, drinks, is involved in drugs, and who knows what else. He lives a very improversihed lifestyle with his mother.
We got to see him for a couple hours this past weekend and it seemed to bring out a lot of emotion in both my boyfriend and myself. It saddened me to hear him talk to his older brother (my boyfriend), who you can tell he admires so such. But his conversation surrounded topics such as drug abuse and clubbing. He seems to have no self-worth whatsoever.
My boyfriend had much of the same lifestyle until he was about 15, when he pulled himself out of it and moved several states away to live with his grandparents. He went from a kid into drugs/drinking and stealing, to a now college graduate
pursuing his law degree
. We both feel terrible that his brother cannot reap the same benefits he did, as the grandmother that once raised my boyfriend has passed away and the grandfather is nearly 80. The extended family seems unable to assist as well or unwilling to burden themselves.
After seeing how upset my boyfriend is over his brother, I haven't stopped thinking about what we can do. I feel like we have to do something. However, our situation isn't the best. We are moving to a large metro area soon, about 8-10 hours from home. I have two children already from my previous marriage. BF will be in law school and I will be finishing my BS in psychology
. I don't know anyone else that has ever been in any situation like this to talk to but I have concerns. I would love to be able to look at my boyfriend and say "Hey.. let's take your brother with us and give him a real chance at life." but I'm not that confident yet.
Things were going to be tough financially already but we could make it work. My biggest concerns are:
The safety and welfare of my children when bringing such an unstable person into our home
The welfare of my realtionship with my boyfriend
What if he doesn't respond to us? He would get more attention from us, but it comes with him finishing school, working, having rules, etc. I wouldn't expect him to like this even though it's clear he's craving guidance and direction.
How long do we allow him to stay with us? It can't be a permanent situation. At some point he must support himself. It's hard tot hink of commiting myself to this situation not knowing how long it will take. We have plans in place for our own family too. To marry and have children when we are both finished school. I wouldn't want to hinder those plans as they already feel so far away.
His brother will be 18 this summer. I am concerned as well what effect that will have as to how much control we would really have over him.
Oh my I hope someone has some advice!