So our young man came for a Christmas visit. It was so exciting because even at age 16, he believed there is a Santa Claus. He functioned on about a 8 year old level emotionally. My husband and I made sure Santa came to visit him and brought some of his favorite things and of course needed things. It was truly an extra special visit. We were all three sorry it ended so quickly, as visits were special because he lived in a facility over 5 hours away. This long drive made it difficult to do quick visits or day trips.
We spoke to the placement specialist afterwards and requested to try again with our special young man. It was at this time we were requested to sign up with another agency that could provide extra services for our boy. At first we were told it wasnt a big deal that we might have to take a class or two and the rest of our home study process would be accepted by the additional agency. Then we were told it was a mistake that we would need to take additional classes and redo the whole home study process. We did not want to go through the whole process again. Especially when our boy had already been in our home for quite some time and we were well aware of his needs and the services that would be required for his best welfare. So we balked at this prospect. Then it was suggested we could go through a different agency that wouldnt require so much, I said we would consider it, please have a representative contact us. The specialist informed me I needed to contact that agency, so I did. The agency seemed a little befuddled that I was contacting them and not the placement specialist and explained to me its not as easy as I was told (once again). I contacted the specialist with this information and she said she would contact them and get back to me.
In the meantime we had requested another home visit with our boy. He called me almost everyday and was doing great in school and with us. He asked me each time I called was the visit approved and I would have to reply “not yet”. He was becoming agitated at this thinking the worse that the visit would not get approved. His agitation always manifested itself in acting out at school toward others. He ended up with an overbearing restriction that prevented us from speaking with each other for a short time. While this was going on, the meetings between the specialist, myself and his team were continuing and we were at a standstill because they wanted us to add this extra agency and didnt want to have to travel the boy back and forth for the 5 hour trips, much less have to case manage him from this distance. The point of the second agency was to relieve them of this hassle during the adoption process which would only involve a couple months time.
While the process was dragging on and I was trying my best to fight for him as I had for over a year now, I allowed another foster child to be placed in our home. A teen girl. I didnt see a problem with this because I was starting the process to make a new extra special room for our boy. Plus he was going to be permanent and she only had less than a year before she would be on her own at age 18. It was during this time I called to have our daily talk and the person who answered the phone informed me I was no longer permitted calls with him and if I had any questions to speak with the office. I had just talked to him the day before!! What is this craziness? I contacted the placement specialist, she informed me he was being placed with another family for adoption and was being moved to their home in a few days and it was best if I didnt speak with him for awhile. Stunned, heartbroken, ummm, I about lost my mind, no one warned me, I didnt know what to do.
I contacted a lead person in the Children Services Adoption office and requested their help with the misleadings, the unfairness, etc. Ultimately I was told this was the best thing for him because the family had another autistic child and was closer to his case managers. I was told I could talk to him soon. I was also told all the work I had invested him was evident and this great opportunity for him was possible because of my believing and fighting for him and teaching him many valuable things. Now I know this should have made me feel better, but it didn’t it only broke my heart more. I cannot tell you the reader in mere words how much I love this young man. He made me laugh, he made my day everyday in so many small ways. I didnt mind the work, he was a joy to me. Yes he struggled to get along with my husband because of male figure abuse he endured early on, but that was going to be something he would have to work through anywhere. He was doing a great job on building the male relationship with my husband. Sitting here and telling this part of the story reminds me how much losing him still hurts my heart. I cant take down his pictures because he will always be a part of my heart.
I have contacted his placement specialist a couple of times to check on him and make sure he is doing well. I have been assured he is doing great with his new family and the adoption is almost done. I asked to send him a Christmas present and was given an address where I could send it. I did not send one because I can not allow myself to interfere with his new life and I have to let go. It hurts too much to revisit his place in our home and heart still. I know there will come a day when it will be ok, but that day has not come yet.
Coming up next…The new Foster Child….