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Guest Greg2016

Best Friend's Parents Want To Adopt Me

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Guest Greg2016

I also posted this same topic on Sikhnet forum as well

waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh

Hi guys

I am 15 years old and a half and for the past year and a half I have been living with my best friend’s family since my mother (who has severe Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder lives on a disability pension) kicked me out. My friend’s family are Sikh and I live with them and my friend’s extended family in a large house in Central Surrey, B.C. in a Sikh neighborhood. They have been very generous with me, they paid for my food, clothes among other things, plus they are teaching me how to drive. Everyone in the house, my friend, his two sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all strict Amritdhari Sikhs and I do my best to try and respect their culture. They never have asked much of me other than to do well in school (I usually get a mixture of A’s and B’s), like my friend, I rarely ever do chores around the house as his sisters and female cousins (and other female relatives) who also live in the house do the dishes and various chores. However, last week during a family discussion, I was asked if I would like to officially be adopted by my friend’s parents as they and the rest of the extended family saw me as a son. They told me to think about it for a while since if I choose to let them adopt me, I would have to become a Sikh not to mention learn how to speak Punjabi. My friend is baptised and wears a patiala shahi turban but I always wondered what it is like to be a turbaned Sikh. They told me if I allow them to adopt me and agree to become a Sikh, I can stay with them as long as I want. They even told me I would be getting an arranged marriage to a Punjabi Sikh girl after I finish university and start a career. They gave me a month to think it over and if I agree to become a Sikh, they would be willing to get a lawyer to have my estranged mother’s parental rights terminated. I am at a crossroads here, I have fallen in love with them and I am very grateful for what they have done for me but I am not sure if I really want to become a Sikh, any advice?

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I also posted this same topic on Sikhnet forum as well

waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh

Hi guys

I am 15 years old and a half and for the past year and a half I have been living with my best friends family since my mother (who has severe Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder lives on a disability pension) kicked me out. My friends family are Sikh and I live with them and my friends extended family in a large house in Central Surrey, B.C. in a Sikh neighborhood. They have been very generous with me, they paid for my food, clothes among other things, plus they are teaching me how to drive. Everyone in the house, my friend, his two sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all strict Amritdhari Sikhs and I do my best to try and respect their culture. They never have asked much of me other than to do well in school (I usually get a mixture of As and Bs), like my friend, I rarely ever do chores around the house as his sisters and female cousins (and other female relatives) who also live in the house do the dishes and various chores. However, last week during a family discussion, I was asked if I would like to officially be adopted by my friends parents as they and the rest of the extended family saw me as a son. They told me to think about it for a while since if I choose to let them adopt me, I would have to become a Sikh not to mention learn how to speak Punjabi. My friend is baptised and wears a patiala shahi turban but I always wondered what it is like to be a turbaned Sikh.They told me if I allow them to adopt me and agree to become a Sikh, I can stay with them as long as I want. They even told me I would be getting an arranged marriage to a Punjabi Sikh girl after I finish university and start a career. They gave me a month to think it over and if I agree to become a Sikh, they would be willing to get a lawyer to have my estranged mothers parental rights terminated. I am at a crossroads here, I have fallen in love with them and I am very grateful for what they have done for me but I am not sure if I really want to become a Sikh, any advice?

Firstly, it's nice what they have done for you, but the last bit something that is of concern.

"They told me if I allow them to adopt me and agree to become a Sikh,".

Sounds like a deal, and Sikhs should not do this. So why can't you stay as you have been for the past year and a half until you decide yourself what you want in regards to becoming a Sikh.

Telling someone to make a decision on changing their faith, is not right either . But they could also be thinking about your future for your benefit and feel that Sikhi will benefit you. It's difficult to say as we are not in your environment, only you know what the situation is.

You also sound as if you are enjoying too, so it's a mixed message you are giving. The thing is nobody in this forum can advise you what to do, as it is your life and you know best what you are going through and what you want and the rest is in God's will.

I'd like to ask a bit about your mother, if that's ok? If not, then don't respond.

Does she have good days too? Or is her health condition affecting you only in a negative way?

Have you had any support from any organisation or group that deals with her condition? She may not be in the right state of mind for her to tell you to leave. You need the professionals to advice and support you both through this.

Do you have any contact with her at all?

Only you know the situation you are in now, and I can't judge your mother or the Sikh family on it. But, something to consider is what if your mother improves? Or circumstances are different in the future and you have a change of mind?

You should really be talking to a professional about this, as it's not a simple task and decision to make.

Do you have a social worker? I'm not sure how the social services system works there, or what support is available for children in your position, but rather than asking on a forum, you should be getting help with this from professionals too.

Another thing, is that one must experience Sikhi themselves in order to make the change, as it will affect your whole life.

Sikhi is never forced upon anybody, the Gurus did not do that, so you should have no doubts about taking the steps towards it.

You are already saying you are not sure if you really want to become a Sikh, so don't rush into something that you are unsure about.

It's only been a year and half since your new lifestyle. For some people it's easy to take the step, but others it may take time.

All depends on God's will and your devotion also. So don't worry about having to, just do as your soul feels. You need to experience it yourself, maybe when you are a bit older you may better.

Also,try talking to others like yourself from different backgrounds and faiths, who have become Sikhs to share your concerns with.

Sounds like the family has done a good task with supporting you, but it should not be weighed up for anything in return. I also think, a month is too short to decide on changing to another faith and it has to come from within you. The love for Sikhi should be there, you will feel that yourself, and it's not about putting time limits on for it to create.

All the best, and hope it goes well for you, whatever your decision maybe.

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I also forgot to add, have you talked them about how you feel? That would be the best thing to do as they may not be aware of how you feel.

Is there any youngsters of your age to talk to about it also? It may just be that they think Sikhi will benefit you in your life, and Sikhi can be applied to practical life, such as keep you out of trouble, not get into drink and drugs and bad company. But you really need to let them know exactly how you feel, so there is no confusion.

I will try to look for the Canada Sikh helpline so you can get some advise from them too.

And they say you have a month to decide, does that mean to decide to be an Amritdhari?

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Guest XYZ

Sounds like you live in Whalley. Should you not be consulting Ministry of Children and Family. Instead talking to a lawyer. You should go see your family Doctor. You have about 3 years before you are on your own. This is not India where you are imprisoned for life to who ever you are born to. About becoming a Sikh you should wait until your heart tells you. All you need to do is obey their way of life ie if they are vegetarian nothing else should matter. They can be your foster parents instead of adopting you. Go bang on Christy Clarke's door if need be.

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Guest Esaar

We Punabis have sacrificed our language, and civilization for sake of religion. Why have we become so fanatic. Nobody is suffering only Punjabis. Two bulls are fight and are killed one by one by lion, who does not have power if they stand united.

Around 70 percent punjabis(Muslims) leaving punjabi on religious ground. Why can you understand rightly? But nobody is even concerned. Not that Islam forces them to leave their own language, no. Islam does not force leave own language and culture, like Turk people are not leaving their identity, Malaysian are Malaysian, Iranian and not leaving Farsi, so on, till you see Pashtoon(Pathan) Muslims are not leaving their language, or so about Sindhis. Actually we must think about it, we must be worried for the survival and revival of our centuries old language and culture.

What my point is, Sikhs have chosen a way separately, Baba Farid first poet of Punjabi in Alif Bay script, may Sheikhs fallowed him. Then came hatred of religion. Muslims Punjabis found it necessary to quit friendship of Sikhs and their old language.

I invite people to think before you(Punjabis) are nothing, but just sikh community. Where you will find your bases then.

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Good advice above about getting independent adult support. Consider telling the family you are grateful to them and as you say love them as your own family, but would consider it disrespectful to Sikhi if you adopted it or any faith to secure stable housing and food on the table.

Are they suggesting you leave the house if you don't adopt Sikhi? As suggested in posts above you should respect basic house rules. Are you able to get in touch with young Sikh sangat for support? You know you have the right Sikh support if they say you should not feel pressured to adopt SikhI.

Reading your post, you are a warrior in life at a young age and you are forced to contemplate the human condition. You obviously have accepted Sikhs as family regardless of your own leanings. Please continue to lean on the wider community, the gurdwara and this forum as you need.

You will always be part of the wider Sikh family. In that sense Greg consider yourself loved and adopted by us, and especially us on this forum regardless of your faith as long as you support truth and humanity. You are our child and our little bro with full and equal privileges of family on this forum.

Study hard and know we're here anytime you wish to reach out.

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