Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gary's Sibs

Some of my posts are carefully written. A few are just fact recording, and others are just jumbles. I think this is in the latter category.

The state social worker called last night. Gary's sister, the one who is a year younger than he born when their parents were still married and looks so much like their father (previously blogged-named "Will"), is now in care.

All I know is that she revealed something to a social worker. Will found out, and beat her "pretty badly." She is sixteen. It is too early for there to be a permanency plan, but if she is likely to stay in care she will be top priority for getting into the private agency Gary is in. They do that with siblings. They often don't place them together, in this case they certainly wouldn't, but communication/visits is facilitated when they have social workers who have offices next to each other. It would be a comfort for Gary too knowing that his sister is in the best possible place.

She will have the same problems with kinship placement that Gary did, namely, there is no one fit and willing. Gary is worried for the younger children. There are two younger step-sisters and three half siblings. He was figuring out what relatives they have and hoping they were with them.

It makes me nauseous. Gary is trying to process it. The social worker called because sister-in-care wants to see him. According to the worker she was very excited about it. Gary is wary. The very limited contact he has had has not gone well. He was worried about her being hurtful to him, angry, blaming him somehow for everything. That of course has been his experience in the family -- the only one who has been held accountable for anything, the one everyone blames. That this sister said she could not confirm any of the reports G made against his abusers doesn't help either.

I suggested that maybe she needs to see him because now she is without family too and could really use a big brother who has been in the system and can help her understand and cope. That was a role he seemed more willing to play, but was not confident that was what she wanted.

So he called the agency worker. All the kids have the workers cell phones. We parents are encouraged to call the office phone off-hours and get the message service to get us the on-call worker. My kids' workers have always been happy to take my kids calls 24/7. Of course, they rarely call. The agency worker said that she would get all the information she could for him, hopefully today. She would even see if she could meet with the sister. She confirmed that siblings in care are usually brought into the agency quickly if that is appropriate.

My first thought, as was probably yours, was whether we should take her too. Given the tensions and the total lack of contact for six years, no one is going to support that right now. They will want to help the two of them have as much contact as they want. She's sixteen. I can see scenarios in which she ends up with us, but I would not expect anyone to ask us to do, or agree if we asked, any time soon.

Of course for Gary this comes at a rough emotional time. We anticipate the TPR being granted next week. The chance that his mother, whom no one has been able to find for the past year, was going to show up seemed far from likely. No one expected his father, though it was possible. Now though, it is hard to imagine the judge not granting it given what has happened. Gary had been thinking about the TPR as cutting off his relationship to the entire family. That his sister is in care and wants to see him, is threatening that understanding of what is happening.

That his father is being charged and held accountable by the state seems right and good to him. That all the children might get out of that house also seems right and good.

He looked pretty exhausted this morning. I expect he was up most of the night, texting his friends.


  1. Wow. I do hope that Gary and his sister can have some positive relationship with each other. But it is an incredibly difficult time for him - trying to seperate from his parents - while connecting with another member- will certainly not be easy. I'm hopeful though - I know that you will do whatever you can to help him figure out how to mangage it!

  2. That's horrible. I hope she surprises him with some love and understanding. I can't imagine how hard it must be for both of them right now. I'm glad Will is being held accountable.


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