Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gary's Sister (update x 2)

So, anyone want to blog-name Gary's sister? She is fifteen or sixteen, interested in a medical career, reportedly does well in school, and reportedly has been "difficult to control." If I stick with my naming patterns she would either get a G-name or an H-name.

I just got a call from the state worker. For those who don't remember, this worker specifically works with teenagers who are expected to age out of the system. That doesn't mean that none of the kids he works with are ever reunited, just that they are not expected to. Will had a lie-detector interview yesterday and a lot apparently rides on the results of that. State worker doesn't know the results, but pending the outcome, Gary's sister will be assigned to him next week.

So here's the deal. I had one conversation with the state worker who asked if it was the case that Gary was interested in meeting with his sister. I said yes. The worker felt that since there had at one time been an order that Gary not have contact with his family that it would be wise for the first visit to be supervised so that he could write something in the file saying it seems safe to him. He can't supervise a visit until early next week. He said though that if the sister should be suddenly going home, he will cancel other appointments to make sure they get one face-to-face before then. Gary will be disappointed.

Half an hour later he called back. He had been talking to the sister's foster dad. "So, Gary and his sister talked last night?"

"Yeah, for a while."

"The foster dad said something about her coming to your house."

"Well, that is what Gary wanted. We were going to pick her up. Gary thought they would play Halo or something, and then she might go to his Judo class because she says she is interested in martial arts."

"I see. The foster dad wasn't talking about a visit. He was talking about placement. Is that something you are thinking about?"

Oh golly.

"Well, I haven't even talked to Roland about that. I can tell you just for me that though I've been saying that I want to be done doing care, I also know that there are some kids I can't say no to, and that probably includes Gary's sister. But there is a lot to work out. All my bedrooms are claimed ... one is claimed by a boy in college, but he still expects to have a place to sleep when he comes home, and well ... I think everyone would have to talk about this and Roland and I haven't talked about it at all."

He understood. I told him that when Gary was talking to me I felt like the question was "hanging in the air" but I didn't vocalize it because, again, I hadn't talked to Roland yet. I also didn't think that any decisions should be made until they spent some time together and everyone had a chance to figure out whether they would be best living together or just seeing each other regularly. I also reminded him that I don't have a state license and that I know she would be fast tracked into the agency, but there was no way she could come live here until she was in.

Apparently foster dad thought she might be moving in today.

Anyway, the state worker understands. He will talk to the foster dad and let him know that living with us is a possibility, but not something that she should plan on. He said that he wouldn't even count this conversation as an official discussion about the possibility of placement.

We can do that next week.

Roland is going to freak.


Gary came home from school. I told him about the supervised visit. He's upset. He doesn't want to have to meet her in a coffee shop or something. They need something to DO. I told him to ask the state worker if they visit could be in our living room so they could play video games here. Whatever they work out will be fine with me.

I also asked him if he wanted us to consider having his sister live here. He said that he thought about it, but he doesn't think so. There was enough hesitancy in his voice that I wasn't sure that was what he wanted or what he thought we would want. So I went on. "If you want to keep thinking about it, that's okay. I figure when Andrew is home we would probably curtain off part of the rec room so it would be his room when he was here. We could do it. I'm not asking if you want to DO it, I just want to know if you want us to keep it open as a possibility."

He pondered for a minute and then said that yes, we should keep it open. He isn't ready though to decide if he wants to live with her until after he at least meets with her.

He's tired. Dark circles, the whole nine yards. He said he was tired of talking about it. Everyone kept wanting him to talk about it. Then he got a text message and muttered "I DON'T want to talk about it" while responding.

***2nd update***

So Roland didn't freak, much. I didn't ask, I told. And I talked fast. I explained that I wanted us to be OPEN to the POSSIBILITY that placement here was the best thing for both of them. He pointed out that whenever we have had new placements we have gone through a process of decision. I assured him that I was committed to the process, and really didn't know if this would be best for everyone. I just wanted to be open to the possibility. He agreed.

Gary walked in while we were talking and said that he thinks that her living her could quite possibly mess up his life in a major way. He had so much to deal with and adding living with her to the mix! Ug. Besides, she should stay in the same school system and have at least that much stability.

So I will tell the state worker that the private agency people are the ones that handle placement decisions, so he doesn't have to worry about it. Then I will tell the agency people that Roland and I are open to the possibility but that right now it doesn't look like it is what Gary wants.

Once again ... this is a problem I am deciding not to worry about for a while.


  1. Georgia? Ginny? Gillian?

    Hannah? Hillary? Hermione? (Yes, HP fan here.)

    LOL - good luck with that conversation with Roland! :)

  2. Do NOT give girl a name that starts with the letter "g." An initialized ASL name-sign made with this letter can be easily turned into an obscene gesture that looks like female anatomy.

    Definitely go for an "h" instead.

    Hildagard? Helen? Holly?

  3. I love the name Ginny. I can't imagine what you all must be feeling right now. So many emotions. This is all so intense.

  4. well, I say skip HIJ and go to K- Kary. Kary and Gary. LOL. I always wanted twins!

  5. How about "Gale" as in "Nightingale" and difficult to control?

  6. I like Hannah or Helen, I think she should be a H. Don't know, why but that feels more right, like she is a person in her own right rather than an accessory to Gary.

  7. For more H names. Haley. Hazel. Heather. Hope (probably a little meaning heavy). Harper or Hayden are good names if she's a tomboy. I like Harper, because, of course, it's the name of the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird"

  8. Except that the alphabetical list that she comes next in is the list of kids who have lived with you. If that never comes to pass, it would feel a bit odd to have her included in the list. Would you move on to I for a hypothetical next kid, or stay with H to keep the list going? And if you were to give a hypothetical next kid another H name, then why not have her share an initial with her brother rather than some other kid? The dilemma of naming schemes, I suppose, especially when she might or might not live with you and the hypothetical next kid might or might not exist. Can you tell I tend to over-think these things? I just like that the scheme helps me remember how many kids you've had and in what order.

    I'm not sure the ASL sign is really an issue, since this is a name that will only be used in the (written English) blog. If you were naming an actual girl, then it would definitely be something to consider.

    Some ideas: Gina, Gemma, Gwen, Gabrielle
    Hannah, Helena, Heidi, Holly

  9. Thanks all for the name ideas. I am going to wait until I meet her before I decide. If it seems unlikely that she will move in I will probably give her a G-name, because that will help future readers remember that she is Gary's sister. If moving in is a serious option, I will go with an H-name.

    Since I am winding down on doing care anyway, I'm not worried about running out of letters (although I have just about run out for the respite kids). And as we know from Frankie, sometimes I name a kid and they don't remain part of the family.

  10. Hmmm, if she's typical of a certain class of teenage girl, I'd recommend Gabrielle or Gabby for a "G" name. :)


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