Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First Hearing Over

Ug...


So "Will," Gary's father, showed up. Gary, the agency social worker and I were all sitting on the pew (really, it had holders for hymnals in the back) in the hallway when Will appeared. He stood in front of Gary and asked him if he was prepared to deal with his stepmother. "She didn't expect to see you here and she's upset. Is there anything you want to say to her? No? What do you mean no? This is your chance, and you don't want to say anything?"

The agency worker, thank God, said that this was probably a conversation best had in a different setting, perhaps with a mediator. Will agreed, but said that he was disappointed in Gary's attitude. Then he sat down on the other end of the pew and asked a few questions about whether Gary was involved in anything extra-curricular, doing well in school, etc. I fielded those questions, telling Will how wonderful Gary was doing. We finally managed to separate into separate conversational groups.

We sat there for one hour.

Yes, one entire hour, on a wooden pew, in a hallway, 5 feet from the man who blames Gary for everything.

Finally we got to go into the courtroom. We learned that Will had already signed a form giving unconditional consent to the termination. After some discussion, the judge asked the Will if he wanted the courtroom cleared while they talked about it to make sure Will understood everything. Will did, so we all left the judge, Will, state social worker, GAL, and lawyers in the room.

After about 10 minutes Will came out and asked Gary to walk with him to the exit. We told Gary it was up to him. Gary went and came back trying not to cry.

The social worker and Gary both report that Will told them that he (Will) did not want to do this but knew that Gary could never come home and so agreed that this was in Gary's best interests.

Will is most certainly not taking responsibility for anything, but he is not fighting the TPR.

I told Gary he could have anything he wanted tonight. If he were older I would buy him beer. If he liked chocolate I would buy a gallons. If he wants to go to the Y and punch something, that can be arranged.

Right now he is out with the agency social worker, with whom he has a really good relationship, getting something to eat and talking.

My head hurts.

Something died today. An hour ago Gary stopped having a father.

****

The worker just brought him back. Gary's been crying. I'm about ready for a good cry myself.

14 comments:

  1. Wow. What an ass.

    I am so sad Gary had to go through this. I'll be thinking of him--and you--tonight.

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  2. I want to cry and I don't know any of you. Unbelievably sad. Gary in my prayers.

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  3. Man...it doesn't matter if they are 8 or 18...watching them go through something...heck, going through something that bad is awful...hang in there.

    I can't believe (ok..I can) that he would start out the conversation that way...yes, he f-up but to continue making him pay is unpardonable...poor kid...hugs to all of you.

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  4. I'm so sorry. It's just hard, sometimes. I don't recall if Danielle expressed much emotion when her parental rights were terminated, but I know it felt like a momentous event for me.

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  5. I hurt for you all.

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  6. I literally have no words. If Will felt so strongly about supporting/allowing TPR, then why come to court? Why not just agree and relinquish out of court?

    I find it reprehensible that Will would demand an apology for his wife while he stood there planning to TPR.

    Some people are just not cut out to be parents. I understand him terminating the relationship if its in Gary's best interests. Sometimes it is just best. But there's no need to give Gary any reason to feel as though he (Gary) failed and to give him a guilt trip in the 11th hour.

    Grrrrr.

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  7. ugh. crying for you all. peace and love to gary.

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  8. It makes me so angry that Will was so concerned with his wife's feelings when he was there to do something so terribly hurtful to his son. I feel so much for Gary and I'm so glad he has people around him to support him. I really hope that Will gets his shit together and is able to apologise to Gary and take responsibility for what's happened. Gary deserves so much better than what Will's given him.

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  9. What an awful situation. At least, Gary has you all and this is huge.

    Marta

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  10. I, too, am heartbroken that Will could yet again so completely privilege his wife's feelings over his son's. I'm sure Gary must be hurting, but I hope this is a chance for him to grieve and eventually claim his new life. It's just so sad.

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  11. Oh {{{Gary}}} and {{{Yondalla}}}.

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  12. Ugh! That really seemed like a good summation.

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