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.