Thursday, June 22, 2006

David's Story Part 5: Still Visiting



So Hubby brought home Carl and David. I had been working on a list of house rules and I asked Carl to look it over to see if it was accurate and complete. He said it was and since David was there I went ahead and let him read it. He did not seem to think that anything was excessive. When Ruby showed up for lunch we went through the rules again quickly with Andrew there so he could comment. Ruby asked Carl and Andrew to comment on the extent to which rules were negotiable, and I think our family looked pretty impressive in the end. The younger boys left, and Hubby had a meeting so it was just Ruby and David and I. Ruby and I went over the agency driving policy and explained to him that as a ward of the state it was very unlikely that he would be able to drive before he was 18. In order to even get a permit before you are 18 your legal guardian must sign. But if the state is your legal guardian it is difficult. A couple of state kids have gotten permission but apparently it requires being exceptionally responsible and having a real need. Since we live a couple blocks from a bus stop and within walking distance of many employment possibilities (i.e. fast food) the need will be very difficult to show.

Anyway, David had been telling everyone how much he wanted to drive and I was watching to see how he took crushing disappointment. He took it well. He did not argue but he did say that this was important for him and he was going to keep pushing for it. So we pointed him in the direction of his state worker. I suggested that David and Carl take a walk so that David could ask questions about us if he wanted. I have not talked with Carl yet about whether there is anything there he wants to share. Ruby said that she wanted to talk about how everyone was feeling about the possibilities and I told her that I thought we were all pretty positive on our side but that David and Brian had almost no time together so one part of the puzzle had not even been addressed.

So dinner was supposed to be with all 5 kids (Andrew, Brian, Carl, David, and Ann) but Polly (a friend of mine) and Josh (her son and one of Andrew’s best friends) showed up and we asked them to stay too. So we were a crowd.

David was calm and friendly. Everyone seems to like him. Tonight we are taking him to a PFLAG meeting and Sunday to church. So everything is looking fine, but we are all trying not to get excited or too invested. When I got in the car to take him and David home Carl asked if we could go to his place first. I asked David if that was okay and he said, “Sure. I have no intention of going back there…I mean. I meant to say that I don’t need to get right back.” I think he is in the same place we are. Everything looks good, but holding back.

It was interesting that we were doing a respite with Ann at the same time that David was spending time with us. It certainly added weight to Carl's claim that once you get into our family you don't get out. Even after everything we went through with her, she was still there, still part of the family.

It gave me a lot of perspective. It helped me take things with David more slowly. It also made me feel stronger and more capable. We had gone through a lot of pain with this young woman, but we had also healed. She was still part of our lives.

By the way, when she left I asked Andrew how it was with her. He said it was the same as it had been, but easier to take since he new she was leaving soon. When I asked Brian he said, "She was okay, except that she kept giving me the finger and saying, 'suck on this!'"

David's Story Part 1: The Beginning
David's Story Part 6: The last pre-placement visit

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