Monday, December 15, 2008

Reasonable Avoidance

Tomorrow, unless something happens, is the day when the agency and state social workers are coming over to discuss permanency plans. I've only really been able to talk about this to Gary once. I told him that it was routine, but important, and that he should have a say in what happens. The one time I talked to him I got the bravado answer.

Since them I have brought up the topic gently, but he deflects. Yesterday he was talking about everything he needed to get done this week. I reminded him that he needed to be here Tuesday afternoon for sure. He said, "Oh yeah! I have to remember that. I have need to remember to get those permission slips from [guy at dojo] for the competition!"

At one point I told him that if he wanted me to get the phone number of he guardian at litem I would. He shrugged and changed the subject. He doesn't do this when I mention guardianship. I have wanted him to know that the delay doesn't mean that we are not still working on it. He was talking about this competition he wants to go to this summer and how expensive it will be. (It really is hugely expensive.) He was wondering if I thought he could get permission and if the agency would help him pay for it. At the end of the conversation I said that if we were able to get guardianship rights by then I could certainly give him permission but that was far more money than I would be able to come up with. He brightened and said, "Oh, I can figure out a way to raise the money!"

Guardianship is something that is familiar to him. His aunt was his legal guardian during the year he lived with her. He knows that it means getting out of foster care, doing without the resources the agency has, that it isn't necessarily permanent, and that it doesn't change anything with respect to his dad. He is comfortable with that.

He doesn't want to talk about the other stuff though. I told Roland that I wasn't sure if his anxiety was more about not being sure that we would adopt him or not being sure how to tell us that he likes us and all, but he isn't ready for that. Of course, it is more likely that whatever is going on, or whatever he is trying NOT to think about, has more to do with his dad. I suspect he is angry at his dad, but not THAT angry. Not disown him, make-him-not-even-be-my-dad angry.

Before I brought it up, I don't think it even occurred to him that his father's rights could be terminated and that he could be adopted by anyone. If he had been in the system because his father had been accused of anything it would have been in the back of his mind. He would have known that if his dad did not complete his case plan, it could happen.

I don't know though. I hope that there is some one that he does feel comfortable talking to. I am not the ideal person because even though I am committed to doing whatever is best for him, he may worry about hurting my feelings. He needs to talk to someone who is not part of the equation. I plan on stepping out of the room for a good portion of the meeting tomorrow.

It is a delicate balance. Whatever decisions are made should be ones that he is comfortable with, but he also should not feel responsible for those decisions.

Of course, a lot of things have happened to him that never should have happened.


  1. What a tough situation for you guys, especially here at Christmas.

  2. It's more suspenseful than tough for me. I'm not sure how it is for Gary.

    I think after the meeting with the social workers tomorrow it will be better for me at least. I will have a clearer idea of what is likley.


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