Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We will both read the file today

Last night I was trying to talk to Roland about G. I wanted to speculate, wonder, imagine, worry. He listened for as long as he could and then said with some emotion that he just didn't have anything to say. He wasn't going to think to much about it until he was sure that they weren't pulling a fast one on us like they did with Frankie.

And that startled me, because I think I was fully informed of the risks. They are not risks I will take again, but I do not feel that I was deceived.

I'm not sure why he does. It is possible that it was because he got the information filtered through my enthusiasm, but I don't think so. Sometimes he was the one reassuring me about questionable information.

Certainly one problem was that we were not given enough time to digest the information. We met him before we read the file. We made a decision before we had all the information. We did not know enough about his problematic behaviors, about what warning signs there might be for them and what techniques he responded to the best. But I remember going into the placement taking deep breaths and thinking, "Well, we'll see how this goes." I told people I worked with that I thought Frankie deserved a chance to try living outside an institution and that I wasn't sure if he was ready.

I think that Roland was much more confident. I think it was really an example of that phenomenon where we just don't hear what we don't want to hear, and what we do hear we minimize. Roland is determined not to do that again.

We do know that G exhibited some behaviors when he was with his father and step-mother that give us some serious concerns. We are both agreed that if it is true that those behaviors went away, in part because he put effort into it, then we are comfortable having him. He is fifteen now, and he deserves not to have the actions of his eleven-year-old self define him. But Roland isn't going to fall for someone smiling and just saying, "but he is much better now." Roland wants evidence. He wants to talk to people who know him and are not trying to convince us to take him.

I agree of course. I think the difference is that I don't think they lied to us before and so I am not very worried about them lying to us now. Before they said that Frankie had improved greatly in the last year and that he was ready to attempt to live in a less restrictive environment. Now they are saying that G has lived for years (3 or 4) with his aunt, going to local schools, and showing no signs of his previously troubling behavior. I see those as very different stories. Roland hears, "He's much better now" and reports that that is what they told us about Frankie.

Roland is a good balance for me, of course. Intellectually I agree that we need to do all the things he wants to do. Asking the right questions of the right people is something that I would tell anyone else to do. Emotionally it is difficult for me not to get ahead of myself.

I want to believe.

We read the file tonight. I will try to update.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.