Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gary's Sister, SNAFU (edited down)

For some reason last night as I was thinking about writing this post, I thought of Gary's sister as "Helen." I don't know why, but I did. I really wanted to meet her before I gave her a blog name, but as that may not happen at all, it is a good thing that one name just feels right now.

But I am getting ahead of the story.

As you know, Gary had been told that his first visit with his sister had to be supervised. This was not because anyone seriously believed that Gary would hurt her in any way, but just that it seemed sensible for the social worker to put a letter in the file saying that their interactions were appropriate, etc. Gary wasn't thrilled about that because he was afraid the visit would be horribly awkward. He spoke to his agency worker who suggested that she take the two of them out to lunch. Since Gary is so very comfortable with that worker, he agreed. She would save them from any awkwardness.

Last week the agreed on yesterday. Gary had another appointment in the morning that the worker was supposed to take him to, so it made sense to follow that up with a lunch with the sister. She (the worker) was planning on picking up Helen from her high school after the appointment on the way to lunch.

Gary and the worker waited for a full hour before Helen's state worker showed up to say that Helen wouldn't be coming. I don't know all the details, but I do know that Helen MIGHT be going back home and Will opposes them seeing each other.

And that is all, upon further consideration, I am going to say.

And there isn't a damn thing I can do.


  1. That's terrible! It really, really sucks.

    I'm sending good thoughts to you, Gary, Helen, and the workers that are on their side.

  2. I second that ... that's terrible!

    I really hope some good things crop up soon for Gary. He deserves more breaks! He deserves so much better.

    I am just ... shocked ... at the lengths Will is going to in order to keep Gary and Helen apart. What exactly is the threat there to Will? Is this supposed to distract from his own bad behavior? (Sorry if that's a naive question.)

    PT for you all.

  3. It just never ends. I thought what Will did in court to gary was bad enough but this tops even that. I am speechless!

  4. Pale Mother,
    I don't know how much of it is conscious, but Will is clearly trying to convince people that he is not a bad guy. Part of that is making everyone believe that he lost Gary because Gary was bad.

    It is possible that one of the reasons he consented to the TPR was so that there would be no recorded judgement that he abandoned Gary, nothing in the record to indicate that he, Will, was a bad father.

    Will isn't fooling anyone. He may be able to convince the state to give Helen back, but it won't have anything to do with Gary. The only thing Will is accomplishing is denying these two kids the chance to support each other.

  5. That's so awful for Gary. Poor kid!

    I wonder if Will is fighting to stay "good" -- what I mean is, if one of his kids is in foster care, maybe it's a bad kid, but if *another* kid of his winds up in foster care, then all signs point to Will as the one who is bad.

    And if Will doesn't want to believe he's the source of the problem, doesn't want to accept any responsibility for this situation (and something about the way you've written about him before makes me think he might be that way), that's a powerful motive to try and keep Helen at home.

    But again, it leaves Gary hanging. I can't imagine how awful he must have felt waiting and then getting that news in a restaurant.

  6. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers. I know how frustrating it can be working with the 'system'. ugh.

  7. Morehappymeals,
    It appears we were writing our comments at the same time!

  8. It's akward the lengths will and the stepmother will go to punish Gary again and again. Aren't all the professional assessments enough to convince them that he is safe? I am so sorry!


  9. Oh how my heart breaks for this young man. Here he is trying so hard to try and turn his life around and his sperm-donor goes out of his way to make poor Gary's life a living He**. Wow. I can't imagine having parents who have BOTH abandoned me. It's no wonder this kid has some mental health issues; if BOTH of my parents had abandoned me I think I would too. He is SOO LUCKY to have you and Roland as his parents now. Especially since the two of you genuinly care about him, and his well being. He needs that. It's just too bad he couldn't get that kind of emotional support for his egg and sperm donor. I refuse to acknowledge them as his parents because true parents DON'T do that to their OWN kids. Blessings, thoughts and prayers to you all ;) Hoping things turn around for the better, and the truth about Will comes to the front sooner rather than later.

  10. OH! I would be so pissed too! And how can you advocate in this situation? Icky!

  11. Joni, to be fair, egg & sperm donors don't treat their children like this either.

    I can't believe they left Gary sitting there like that. I so wish someone would tell Will to fuck off. I feel so bad for Gary and Helen. I hate that Will still has this power over them. I have no time for people who bully and threaten people.

  12. While I am very upset, sad and angry for Gary my head is going to explode for Helen. Like seriosuly I am so angry that I could just scream. I actually did scream at the computer when I read it. Why do people not listen to kids when they say they are being abused by their parent? I mean I know exactly how poor Helen feels right now. UGH!!! I am furious. And I am sorry for the trouble they are making for Gary. He deserves so much better than that.

  13. ARGH! That is completely awful for Gary to have to keep going through attacks like that when he has no control over it whatsoever! Just when he made a break from them, too, he's still not protected because now this is going on for his sister. Even more so for Helen, to be at the whims of others when her safety is at stake. Hoping this struggle makes for a good outcome!

  14. Joni, the worst part is that if I understand the previous info correctly Will is NOT Gary's biological father, but either legally adopted him as an infant or young child when he was with Gary's mother or was presumed the father for legal purposes.

    At this point Will's behaviour is just cruel regardless of how he perceives it.

  15. Jodi,

    If that is the case, I'm even more pissed off than I was before. If that's the case he CHOSE to adopt him, just so he can what turn on him when he starts behaving in a way Will doesn't see fit? UGH. What did poor Gary EVER do to deserve this? Nothing.
    True enough. I just can't imagine ANY parent knowingly treating their child like this. It makes me sick to my stomach.

    If there was something I could do to help this child, I would. I almost feel like I need to punish Will. How can you as a human being inflict that much pain on a 17 year old child, who is clearly crying out for help. I feel soo soo terribly for him. I writher in pain everytime I think about what he's done to him. I can't imagine feeling that sort of rejection from my parents. I just can't. It brings me to TEARS literal tears just thinking about this situation, then to think it ACTUALLY happened to somebody. Tears.....

  16. I've mulled over this one for about a week. In the interest of trying to give Gary an optimistic outlook, here's what I've come up with:

    In all honesty, what we (the giant Internet auntie world) want is for Gary to be the best Gary he can be. To do so, he may need closure and the ability to move forward without the baggage of those who really didn't want him, wasn't committed to him and were willing to make him the fall guy. What better way to give a kid closure than a good clean break? It hurts like heck right now, but at least he'll never have that ambiguous fog that so many kids TPR'd in foster care deal with.

    I don't know if any others here are praying folk, but I am. Part of my prayer for my kids is that they will see the truth about those around them, whether bio, adopted or foster family members or friends or coworkers. I want them to not continue to be victims. I want them to be strong and confident and able to be discerning. I want them to be free from the emotional manipulation and strings others sometimes use.

    And I believe that God sometimes answers those prayers in ways that blow our minds. In some ways this account seems brutal- to kick a kid who's been down for a while, who took a risk to open his heart for contact with a sibling he thought was lost, only to have that person snatched away.

    But maybe (only maybe, I am not nor do I claim to be omniscient) this was God closing a door, so Gary can move on. Maybe it isn't the "right" thing for him to have to take on his sister's baggage right now. I'm a huge advocate for sib reunification WHEN it is healthy for all involved. Maybe Gary needs freedom to just be Gary and not to have to be confronted with memories (which he could not avoid) everytime he spoke to Helen.

    Sometimes I get caught up on the past. I try to preserve relationships with bio family members that really should be left in the past. They aren't healthy, and they can pull our family down. God often gives me the reminder passage (I say that because I often dream it or it pops up in my Bible study time) of Lot's wife- she looked back on what God delivered her from, and turned into a pillar of salt.

    So, in a way, I'm glad this happened for Gary. He now knows, firsthand and is reminded, of why he left to begin with. Maybe this will allow him to not be held back by the past. Maybe not.

    It stinks, right now. Sometimes things that are really good for us hurt like the dickens when they happen- like surgery to set a broken bone, breaking up with a terrible bf/gf. But later, we're glad it happened. The pain gave us a motivation to avoid having to repeat the circumstances again. If you've had a broken bone set and had to wear a cast, you tend to be more careful in the future to not break anything else, etc.

    I'm hoping this makes Gary stronger. And I'm really really sorry for him that it happened the way it did. Sometimes though, if you've been praying, it seems like God works out the answer you need because you can't choose it on your own. Like if I didn't want to meet with someone, but felt like the world said I should and I couldn't figure out a reason not to, but then God arranges for them to be out of town the one day I'll be in town, so I'm spared. Maybe this was Gary being spared.

    We could all speculate about Will, Helen, the stepmom, etc, but it would just be speculation. Yes, its horrible, but anyone who's fostered before knows that bio families have major issues- that's generally part of the reason they have kids in care. It is what it is.

  17. Yuck!
    (So many other things come to mind, and yet nothing else says as much.)


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