Thursday, July 01, 2010

Saying "No" to Helen

We were officially asked if we want to be considered as a placement for Gary's sister, Helen. I talked with everyone in the family. They boys are willing to share a room if Helen really needs us. Roland however is emphatic that the house is full. When I tell him that Brian and Gary say they will share he responds by saying, "We are out of room."

He says that very slowly and emphatically. You know, like he thinks I didn't pay attention the last dozen times he said it. I've tried reasoning with him, explaining that we can make more room. He detailed argument in response is:

"We. Are. Out. Of. Room."

Those of you who have been around a while know that Roland is rather single-minded but not inflexible. He is an emotional/relationship based thinker, and while I will spend all my time in the grey area contemplating options, Roland is where he is until he is somewhere else. So though right now he won't even discuss the possibility of Helen coming here, when he perceives her as having lots of options, he would flip to the other side if he ever thought she really needed us.

What we are telling everyone is that we want to make Helen part of our extended family. We would like for her to be here for extended visits. One reason is of course so that she and Gary have some normal sibling time (you know, living in the same house and not necessarily doing the same thing). The more important reason, for me, is that she get comfortable with us as a family.

We are adopting her brother. I don't know how to categorize or label that relationship, but I do feel like she will be part of the family too. Permanently. I want her to know that.

And I know that some of you are wondering if we might adopt her too. The answer is that I am very open to that possibility, if it turns out to be what is best for her. I can easily imagine a future in which we do an adult adoption. Whether that is the future remains to be seen.

Oh, and though I don't know how I would react to needs from the other boys' siblings, I don't intend to try to foster the same sort of relationship with them. Most of them have permanent families of their own, in many cases that family is their first (biological) one.


  1. Wait. I thought the other family where she was living wanted to adopt her if that became a possibility. So I assume something happened. Either way, I kinda hope Roland changes his mind. I wonder if he is feeling overwhelmed? Because before he was the first to make room for Helen. Why not know?

    Glad your mom's surgery went well. Hope she has a quick recovery.

  2. Part of Roland's situation is that he hasn't been feeling well (nothing serious) and I am about to leave for 3 1/2 weeks. He is feeling overwhelmed.

    Helen's foster parents are newbies with at least three teenager foster kids, one female and two male. That's all the explanation I am going to give for the situation there. The social worker is going to work hard to preserve the current placement, although he may be forced to move one of the kids.


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