Thursday, June 05, 2008

The downer of the day

When we were in the agency social worker's office she told Gary that the state worker is insisting upon only supervised visits at the department for now. Gary was disappointed, really. He handled it well. I mean that he didn't try to pretend that he wasn't really sad, but he also understood that it wasn't our fault. We sat quietly for a minute or two and let him deal.

On the way home he told me that he really didn't think it was right for the state worker to do that. She and his father just didn't get along, "like fighting and yelling not getting along." He said that people were too hard on his dad. His dad was just doing the best that he could to take care of all his kids. Gary was sad because if the only sort of visits he could have were supervised ones then his dad wouldn't visit him at all.

Now, I don't know that that is true. His dad has been having supervised visits at the group home for a year. His dad said that he wouldn't accept supervised visits and may have reinforced that with Gary, but I think his dad says a lot of things that he thinks he means at the time.

Anyway, Gary said his dad would be really disappointed because he wanted to get to know us. I told Gary that maybe we could all meet his dad at a pizza place for dinner with the agency worker. The state worker might agree to that as a one-time thing and his father wouldn't feel like it was "supervised" because he would be getting to know all the new people in Gary's life. Gary thought that might work and we agreed he would be responsible for setting it up.

Gary also volunteered that his dad was trying to get custody of his younger children, and that he had asked his dad how he was going to support all those kids on his own. His dad confessed that he just didn't know.

Then Gary said, half sad, half cheerful, "You might be stuck with me a while."

6 comments:

  1. ok that broke my heart. Seriously.

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  2. So many things to deal with at such a young age.

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  3. Gary impresses me so much. He seems to be one of those rare and special people who can roll with the punches of life in a healthy way, neither denying their impact nor being knocked out of the ring. Through it all his positive attitude and gracious heart shines on. He seems like such an amazing person.

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  4. Regardless of why the child is with you or if his Dad is at fault or not, I am really angry that he is letting him believe certain things will or won't happen and then fails to follow through. Any parent should at least follow through, be careful what you promise b/c the kids hold on with all their might. I am so sad for Gary and hope his father does come for the visits. I have always enjoyed supervising family visits for my kids now and teens before.

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  5. You really are the best, ya know?

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  6. Tudo, Gary on some level knows that his dad doesn't follow through; that's probably why he said they'll be stuck with him for a while.

    It's nice that you let Gary "deal" and are there for him to process with. It sounds like you are very good for him and that he trusts you. I'll keep Gary and his family in my prayers...

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