what's wrong and right?

8:25 PM Tuesday, January 29, 2008

or should I have entitled this, THE TALE OF THREE GIRLS?

Girl A is my cousin's child out of wedlock, one who i've sort of doted on. Mainly because she was a close cousin's illegitimate child and I felt sorry for her.

My cousin used to tell me to just adopt her. See, he's unable to support her because he's basically supported by his wife, and they have three kids. And A's Mom ended up marrying another unemployed guy. So A ended up having four siblings and no proper family. She lives with her Mom but sleeps with her grandma. And of course, she's living poorly.

I didn't adopt her because, first, I knew her Mom wouldn't allow it. Plus, I didn't think it right to just get someone else's child when her parents are actually able to fend for her. It's not like they were teenagers when they had her. It's not like they're physically unable too. But her parents were stupid, instead of finishing their studies, they opted for quick fixes and then, marriages because of a pregnancy.

Like what I said, I doted on her. But I am now a SAHM without a steady salary. Plus, I shamefully admit that I always wonder if A gets to enjoy the money I give her sometimes. Like I said, they're poor and she has a younger sister. I know i'm sort of negating my generosity but still, if I save money for A's tuition and allowance, I really won't appreciate it being used for other things. So I give A things instead that she alone will use, and when I have more disposable cash, I send her home with milk and juice and chocolates which she can share with her siblings and cousins (btw, they live with her mom's other siblings and their kids too).

At age 11, it actually breaks my heart that she doesn't even have computer classes because she goes to a public school.

Girl B is another cousin's child. She has another sibling but her parents are at least together. They're also poor. B sometimes even gets me feeling guilty (unintentionally) because she's my godchild while A is not, yet I dote on A more. Anyway... I only just found out that a cousin of mine once proposed to B's parents that they'd support B, if B lives with their siblings. B's Mom wouldn't have it, saying that even if they only had salt and rice to eat, then that's what they'll have so long as they stay together.

The problem is... well, they're poor and sometimes even have to eat just that. My cousins found another child to raise and they're officially adopting this child now and having her live with them in Australia.

And at age 9, B has been diagnosed to be diabetic.

I cried over this matter with hubs. On one hand, I feel so bad for having stopped work and thus not that able to help. On the other hand, I really shouldn't feel guilty about the choices i've made and the life i've planned for myself. The life I am enjoying now. And it isn't my obligation to provide for my cousins' kids.

Still, I wonder...

Should I have just pushed for it and raised A? Would she be a happier, more confident child? Should I not have worried about how she'd feel being raised by someone else while her parents raised her siblings? Should my cousin have given up his daughter instead to be raised by our more financially-able cousins? It's not like the girls wouldn't have grown up not knowing their real parents anyway, since we're all in each other's lives... and since we're related by blood, the parents are somehow assured their child would be in good hands.

But then I look at B and see how brimming with confidence and sense of self she is, and wonder if she'd still be like that if she were raised by other people.

And then there's Girl C... my cousin's cousin's fifth child, I think, who my cousin adopted as her own. C lives with her, is fed and clothed by her, is sent to school by her. For all intents and purposes, she is now my cousin's child. Meanwhile, C's biological parents continued having kids, the youngest of whom is 3 years old (that's probably their ninth). They all live in the same compound and C does babysitting duties for her siblings.

Of course I don't ask her, but I wonder if she's thankful that my cousin got her from her poor, perpetually expectant, parents. Or does she feel resentful that she was given away while her parents had more kids?

What's wrong and right? Should children stay with their parents even if they can't, or won't, properly support them?


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