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My Half-Brother Greg...

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by KeyFin, Feb 9, 2019.

Do I let Greg move in with me?

  1. Yes

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys! I know a lot of you followed my adoption story and I wanted to give a quick update.

    My half-bother Greg was born in Gainesville and adopted at birth like me, to a single woman who was a high school teacher. His birth mom was one of the teacher's students so he had a lot more info than I did; they sorta-kinda stayed in touch over the years. His real mom died when he was a kid though in a car accident.

    Anyway, Greg grew up with a heavy drug dealer in his adoptive family (his uncle) and he never really had a chance in life. He was selling weed at 10 years old and never had to worry about money....just a horrible upbringing. His adoptive mom did what she could and Greg was an all-star basketball player in high school, but he ended up in and out of jail most of his teens and adult life. He never really had a chance.

    He got out after a 15 year sentence about 4 years ago, decided that he was done with the drug dealer uncle and got a job as a cook. He worked his way up the ladder, made it to management after a few years and then got hurt on the job....his hand was crushed from a pallet falling off a truck. So he was out hurt, couldn't get workman's comp since he was a felon, and did everything he could to stay out of trouble. He went to UF games to sell water in the parking lots, etc...he just kept hustling and trying to make it. But it wasn't enough and he ended up on the streets homeless.

    My plan was to go down and grab him last November but he disappeared (hence, became homeless) and got picked up on shoplifting charges....he stole food from WalMart. But because he was a 3-time felon, he was facing up to 5 years for $11 in groceries. That's like a month per freaking potato chip...it's ridiculous....so I stepped in and requested a meeting with the prosecutor and the defense attorney. I told them he was in the process of moving up here to start a new life (in reality, he was going to stay the weekend...maybe a week tops) and that I had a job lined up plus counseling and anything else he'd need (I sort of have these things in place, but they weren't concrete at the time).

    I testified before the judge and they sentenced him to 4 months total, which is about 1/5th of the mandatory minimum for a person with his past....which is UNHEARD OF in Florida. He got super lucky that the stars aligned and everything fell into place.

    While I was down there for the plea hearing, I did some snooping since I really don't know this guy. We met online like 5 months ago after 23&me matched us, and we've barely talked before he disappeared. I talked to his employer, a few young women he used to work with and his old parole officer....they all said he's a stand up guy who just can't escape his past in a tiny town. His story checked out though- he really did choose being homeless over going to his uncle for money/drugs. And everyone said that the relative would have handed him a few grand no questions asked....if he was ready to sell again.

    I have been helping him out with care packs in prison and he's been writing me almost daily- the plan is for me to pick him up from jail in 2 weeks once he's released. Am I an idiot for taking the chance though? My wife and 17 year old daughter are all for having him move in to help him turn his life around, but everyone else says I'm certifiably crazy.

    We don't really know each other, you and I, so you can be 100% honest here. Should I welcome Greg into my home later this month? I'll obviously be extremely cautious and if things go bad, I'll put him on a bus back to Gainesville. I'd just like to hear everyone else's opinion- don't be afraid to hurt my feelings either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  2. ToddPhin

    ToddPhin RIP Phinsational Luxury Box Club Member

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    Might as well. If it’s a success then you helped someone change his life, while gaining a brother in the process. If you say no and something unfortunate happens down the line bc no one helped him, it’ll weigh on you for not taking him in. As long as he knows the rules going in, the only person he can blame and hold accountable for falling short is himself. You’re just providing the tools for change, while the actual change part has to come from him.
     
    Rocky Raccoon and KeyFin like this.
  3. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's how I see it too. He's intrigued about me writing for a living and working in digital marketing, so the plan is for him to get a job at Denny's or something like that then study marketing with me. We've talked about building an affiliate marketing site together and he's really excited for the opportunity....but that can definitely change once he regains his freedom (it's common for inmates). He talks about getting a job in almost every letter though because he wants to pay me back ASAP- he's kept a detailed tab of everything I've spent on him so far.

    So I THINK it will work out...at least I hope so. But at the same time, I'm not getting my hopes up just in case. It is exciting though either way just because of the possibilities.
     
    ToddPhin likes this.
  4. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    A person can be an addict AND a stand up guy AND still be a slave to the needs of the addiction. Go out on that limb, but wear fall protection.

    Set very strict rules including curfews and time-gated benchmarks (get a job by X month, have X amount saved by Y month, etc.)
     
    KeyFin likes this.
  5. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Fin D. I have a long history of drug addiction within my family. It is super tough. There is no one situation the same for the next scenario.

    Best of luck KeyFin, I think you give it a shot and try and help. It sounds like he wants away from that life.
     
    KeyFin likes this.
  6. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys....the feedback definitely helps! I guess I should have mentioned that his drug of choice was marijuana- he doesn't drink and never messed with anything else. Pot is illegal in SC so I'm against it for now, but if he gets high every so often I don't think I'd complain. I just want to try to keep him away from that stuff as long as possible so he's approaching it with the right mindset.
     
  7. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Oh pot? No biggie.

    BUT, he could still be a bit of a loafer, so I'd still install those rules.
     
    KeyFin likes this.
  8. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    I think Todd summed it up well but theres 2 conditions imo...

    1. He gets a job. Any legal job. Imo if you have too much free time and that kind of history, it can only mean finding trouble.

    2. He stays clean.
     
    KeyFin likes this.
  9. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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  10. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree, and he's already said many times his goal is to get a job day one. I haven't pushed that yet because he's been pushing it, but I definitely will if necessary.
     
    Boik14 likes this.
  11. GARDENHEAD

    GARDENHEAD Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Good luck man. I think the decision is tougher than most, only because of the daughter. But for the daughter, I’d be 100% right on.
     
    KeyFin likes this.

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