Not that any of you asked, of course.
Anyway, Hubby and I had to make an immediate decision about whether Frankie could come over on Sunday. We did not have time to discuss it with the various boys. Afterwards though I spoke with each of them. And I thought you might be interested in their response. Prior to these conversations all I told them was that we were told that there was a kid who they were considering for us but about whom I knew almost nothing.
I spoke to him first. Told him that I didn't think it was a good idea for Frankie to sleep in the basement area with him and Evan so Brian would be moving in with him (again) and Frankie would stay in Brian's room. Andrew rolled his eyes, sighed and said, "okay." I told him everything I was willing to tell him about Frankie, which was a lot. Then I said, "If this happens, and I think it will, it will be fast. I imagine everyone will want him to move in before school starts." Andrew said, "That's cool."
I stopped Brian and told him that Frankie was coming over on Sunday to spend two days. He said "Cool." I told him that I knew that it had been hard on him to loose his room for three weeks when we did respite and I wanted him to tell me honestly how much time he felt he could give it over in the next three weeks. He looked seriously at the calendar and then said matter-of-factly, "I can share with Andrew as much as ze needs me to."
I told him. He said, "How long have you known this?!" I told him that I had got the call while he was at work and this was the first chance I had to talk to him about it. He said, "Okay then. You know I'm really excited about going to college. It's like I'm so excited that nothing else seems important. Like there was this thing that happened at work...[story omitted] ... and I just didn't care. That's normal right?"
Me: "Yeah. It's normal. Does it have something to do with Frankie visiting?"
Evan: "No. I just wanted to tell you about it."
Me: "Okay. I needed to talk to you because if this happens they will probably want Frankie to move in before schools starts and you move into the dorms after that. This is your home; there's no question about that, but how do you feel about someone moving in while you are moving out?"
Evan: "If you want I could ask my mom if I could live with her for a while, although I don't know that that would work out."
Me: "No. I don't want you to do that. Frankie will probably stay in Brian's room and Brian will be in the basement with you and Andrew. How do you feel about that?"
Evan: "I'm just worried about you. Can you handle all that stress? I'll be moving out, and you said you would help but there will be a new kid in the house. You know how you get sometimes. Can you cope with it?"
Me: "I can handle it." [This part of the conversation went on for a while. Evan was very concerned about my ability to handle the stress of meeting everyone's needs. I eventually convinced him.]
Evan: "Can you still help me move?"
Me: "Sure. You will be moving in while the kids are in school."
Evan: "That's right. You said he is living in a group home now?"
Me: "Yeah. And he's anxious to get out. He was about to leave months ago but then didn't because they told him he was a good candidate for our program. So he has been waiting for that process. They thought about putting him into a different foster home and then move him again, but"
Evan, interrupting me: "No that would be dumb. You know I did that -- living in a group home waiting to get into the program and move in here. Group homes suck, you know that, don't you? I mean they really do."
Me: "I imagine they do. Of course living here will be strange and different for him too."
Evan: "Yeah. You do know you guys are really geeky, don't you? I mean, this is a very weird family."
Me: "I've been told. So you are okay with him moving in even if you haven't moved out yet? You won't feel like we have some sort of assembly line thing here happening? I mean this is exactly what you asked us not to do last fall."
Evan gives long speech about how much he has matured since then, all of which is true. He then tells me that he will be at work most of the time anyway, so it doesn't matter. If I want he will move in with Andrew so that Frankie can move into his room. Immediately he looks like he wishes he could take that back. I assure him that he can keep the room until he moves.
Me: "There is just one more thing. When Frankie visits I want zir to be able to see the bedroom. I want you to get it picked up enough so that ze can look at it."
Evan gives me the look that says this is going too far, don't I remember that he doesn't want ANYone to ever go into the room? I say, "I won't let zir look through your things, but ze needs to see it."
Evan, sighing heavily: "Okay, but you won't let zir in without me, right?"
Me: "No. I promise."
Evan: "Okay then."
I'm so proud of all of them. Evan legitimately had worries to work out, but every single one of them heard "kid in group home who needs us" and was willing to do do whatever he could to make things work.
They are such wonderful human beings. You know, most of the time.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Not that any of you asked, of course.