Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reunification Plan?

I finally heard back from Gary's agency worker. "Finally" is probably not the right word as it took all of 2 hours for her to reply to my email -- but it felt longer.

Anyway, she hasn't talked to the state worker about this, except to give her a heads up. No one, of course has talked to the judge who at the last hearing wrote "permanent foster care" as Gary's goal. But the agency worker's opinion is that the "by the end of summer" plan is completely unrealistic. The judge may agree to change Gary's goal to reunification, but such a plan would probably take at least a year to complete.

She's concerned that Gary's hopes have been excited and that his disappointment will be tough for him. She said no one wanted to confront his dad yesterday with reality because they wanted to do what we did do, which is have everyone agree on a transition plan to our house.

This is a strange and difficult place for me psychologically. I believe that of course foster care should only exist to care for children whose parents cannot care for them, that if Gary's dad can give Gary a home then that is where Gary should be. No question at all.

I am also very relieved to hear that it will probably take a year. I am telling myself that that is because I want for his Dad to be sure that this is what he wants, that he isn't going to change his mind or make up with his wife and try to give Gary back to the state.

I know that that is a lie though. It is not that those aren't good reasons for supporting a slower and more orderly process, it is that the reason I am relieved is that I get to keep Gary longer.


  1. Every child should be so wanted.

  2. I would be surprised if Gary's father is actually able to divorce his wife, abandon his second set of kids, move to a new city, find a job, and get custody of Gary by the end of summer. That's a lot of life-altering changes, and those things tend to take time.

    But, after reading what you have to say about Gary's father, I have my doubts as to whether or not he'd be able to do all those things, ever.

    I wonder if he's just expressing a lot of wishful thinking, because he doesn't want his kid in foster care.

  3. Wow I can't imagine that many changes in a year let a lone a few months. Has anyone thought of how the judge will view his leaving a spouse and children, now at this point to keep his son out of foster care? I know the reason is probably his own experience with care, but to a judge might it seem odd that he didn't make these decisions before? Just a thought not a judgement.

  4. I'm just not sure that a judge is going to see any of this as good and positive. There's also the tiny little matter of child support for the children of wife he just left, along with a world of other tiny little matters. I'm afraid he has set Gary up for a major disappointment and you lot up for a big clean up come fall!

  5. Could the Dad stay where he is, find an apartment and have Gary move there? There isn't anything wrong with a kid being fostered in one state and moving back with family in another state after all. Would it be far easier on the Dad (and the rest of his family) if he stayed near them?

    Or would that cause issues with Gary living with him being so close to the rest of the family?

    Either way, I"m glad Gary has a stable place to live for the near future.

    My inlaws at one point kept their foster license up only because they hoped a particular little girl would return to care and "come back home." We all loved her..and it's the oddest thing to tell about because the only reason she'd return to care was if she wasn't being taken care of properly by her bioparents and isn't that an awful thing to wish for? (Thankfully, she did return, but because he biofather didn't pick her up at school and couldn't be found back. [IE, she didn't return due to gross neglect or abuse.] She's now my SIL.

  6. You have real feelings- it is hard- it is going to be hard- hopefully this will get ironed out soon as Gary needs to deal with the realistic truth of this and not what his dad thinks he can do. I suspect as others- that this will be like many of your other boys- and you won't really have to deal with his dad's dreams but you never know. Guard your heart but love him well- just hold him loosly.


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