Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ann's Story Part 47: Life Goes On

4/10/03 (about 2 weeks after Ann moved out)
To my friend:

I had lunch yesterday with Ruby and with Ann's new social worker, “Sally.” Sally is a very experienced social worker who has just joined the agency. She has worked with Mandy and John quite a bit and knows the situation. She has never worked directly with Ann, but has known her at least a little for as long as she has been in care. She knows what she is getting herself into. It was very therapeutic for me to talk with her. I was able to give Ann away, so to speak.
The social workers keep asking me how long of a break I need before I will be ready to take on another kid. I keep telling them that we have decided that it is about the right match, not the right time.

It turns out that there is a kid coming into the agency that they would like us to take. He name is Xavier. He is almost 15 and, of course, gay. He is already in the local school system. He visits with his mother who lives in 10 miles away. She is safe, but unable to provide a secure home (I have no details). His family, being Hispanic, is deep in the culture of "machismo." I don't recall if the social worker said that he was "out" with them, but in any case his lack of conformity to expectations is still an issue. (When I warned her that most of our friends would just assume that he was gay, she said that he was used to that.) He should be a available by June. He has always been a cooperative kid and gets along with younger kids. So it could be the right kid. It sounds like the problems that he has had with his other homes has to do with their being uneasy about his sexuality.
I told the family developer that I would prefer to meet him under a no-pressure situation. Having a first visit that is essentially a blind date is just too stressful. There is an event coming up: a Friday evening and Saturday workshop on diversity. We had gone before and had not really thought about going again. But Xavier will be there and it will give us an opportunity to meet him casually.

So I am having the obvious inner debate. Am I ready? Are the kids ready? Given the current stress level at work, can I deal with this now? I think that all the answers are potentially yes, depending upon how well Xavier can fit into the family.

When I told Roland about Xavier, he was torn. On one hand he was still tired, but he hated to turn away any gay kid who needed us. It did not happen though. Xavier did not come into the agency, or even stay in foster care. Before we had a chance to meet him the court sent him back to his mother's home.

4/23/03 (Almost 4 weeks after Ann moved)
to the social worker:

I got a phone call from Ann last night. She sounded really good. She told me about their fun Easter celebration and that Mandy has committed to only have 3 girls (including her!) in the house at a time. It was really nice to talk to her and to hear her so happy. She said that she was busy working on her new room, painting and decorating, so she would not have time to come to church with us for a while (which I said was fine). She said that she thought that her room was probably the biggest, but that it would be childish to measure it just to make certain of that.

I thought you would like to know.

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