Thursday, September 20, 2007

Deciding to Act

I have been periodically ruminating over whether to talk to Frankie about the TPR hearing in December.

I don't know if he has been told, but if he has, I don't think it stuck. I tried to get a sense about a few days ago. He asked me if I was sure that his mother had his phone number. I said yes, but only for a few days. I asked him how much contact he would like to have with her. He said, "Just regular, you know, like the natural amount."

I did not tell him that I had no idea how much that was, but I let it go.

I asked him if he would like to live with her again sometime. He said maybe, "I think when I am seventeen. I want to give her enough time to get straightened out."

I reminded him that the program he was in took kids on the assumption that they would stay until they were at least 18 and ready to take care of themselves. He said, "That's okay."

From the beginning we could tell that he missed his dad. He did not talk about his dad a lot, but when he did there was no doubt that there was sadness. He is much more matter-of-fact about his mother, although he does wonder why she hasn't called yet. I don't think that he is matter-of-fact about his mother. Whatever feelings he does have are not ones he is feeling, or at least expressing, strongly at the moment.

But I keep thinking about the outrage in his voice when he told me that the state had cut off all of his rights to his father. He nodded when I said that technically they cut off his father's rights to HIM, but the distinction did not matter. The state had cut the cord between him and his dad. He was angry.

And so I wonder how he will react to the idea of the state doing the same thing to him and his mother. What will he feel about being made a legal orphan? Will he be as upset?

I emailed the agency social worker saying that I had not tried to really talk with him about it because I thought he would ask questions I really could not answer. She said that she felt basically the same way. So I emailed the state worker (and copied her). I asked the state worker to tell me everything he could, including who Frankie could call to ask questions of and who he can talk to to make certain his feelings are taken into consideration.

When he moved in the agency worker gave him a little booklet explaining his rights. One of them was, "To know why you came into care and why you continue to be in care." I'm pretty sure another one of the was to be fully informed regarding any decisions regarding the status in their status -- I forget how that was worded.

Of course having the right to information does not mean being forced to deal with it if you don't want to. Frankie is at that developmental age when he could easily just not notice information he doesn't want to hear. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that his mother still had parental rights although that could change. He did not seem to absorb that.

Still, I don't know if anyone tried to tell him, and I decided that unless they forbid me to, I will. I am going to try to get a little more information for him first though.

1 comment:

  1. Was it the state worker or the agency worker who said she gave Mom the numbers? Perhaps Mom doesn't have the numbers.

    And just because the fancy brochure says they will tell the kid what is going doesn't mean they will. My kids have NO IDEA what is happening. NO, that isn't true. What they BELIEVE is happening is exactly the opposite of what IS happening. It's sickening.

    I hope he gets some age appropriate information soon.

    Did you ever find out why they have him in the permanency program if they are still going for the TPR? What is the point?


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.