Sunday, June 5, 2011
Fiona's off site visit
We had a wonderful trip and it was possible becuase of the train which meant I wasn't driving but a couple miles to the train station. Fi looks fantastic. She has lost 12 pounds and has been really working on a healthy eating plan. I think the med change is helping also as she is naturally more energetic these days. We went to a suburb of the big city and walked near a reservoir. We never got to the waterworks museum because there were trails to explore and eating our picnic lunch took longer than we had all budgeted time wise. But it was still great. In fact it was great because Fiona could handle those changes without apparent anger and stress.
At lunch she said that she was going to ask her social worker if she could be placed out near us when she graduates from the Great School in the Big City. I said I would totally love that and help in any way I could. When the kids ran ahead on the trail I asked Jane about this. We had a conversation earlier this past year that made it sound less than likely that my daughter would go anywhere except the "sending" city where she lived at age 8 when she first entered care.
Jane smiled and said that she and the social worker had been talking and that there is a new movement afoot that focuses more on trying to make sure that there are supports in place for kids who are aging out and not just a focus on sending them back "where they came from." Even heard through the haze of a migraine this was the best possible news to me.
Jane also said that she has become very frustrated with Cousin N. She understands that the cousin has a lot on her plate but the old habits of not doing what she said when she said she would do it have resurfaced. Jane now no longer tells Fiona when Cousin N. is coming. She tells the cousin to call on her cell when she is on her way because lack of follow through is so detrimental to Fiona's state of mind. Jane is also annoyed as staff will not supervise the visits if Jane is not there and apparently on several occasions Cousin N. has offered inappropriate behavioral rewards. So at this point in time, Jane feels that a strong case could be made that it is in Fiona's best interest to be near the people that she can really count on. I realize also that should Cousin N. get her act together that first family will trump the disrupted adoptive family--and rightly so. I am not competing. I just want what is best for my daughter.
And I want her to have a home to go to on Christmas morning. A place where she knows she can stop in when she just feels like chilling for a while, or when she has a question. A place where there is a hug waiting for her. A place where there are siblings who love her for who she is and in a non-judgmental manner.
I wrote of this to my mom when I got home and she was a lot less excited than I am. She reminded me that I was "not getting any younger," (gee thanks mom!) and that although I wanted to "call this girl my own" that she would need help always. That is likely true. So will Chet. Kids don't take an IQ test to become part of the family. While I wish DSS had been more upfront about her issues and needs, I can not cast aside my daughter because she has these problems. Needless to say, I haven't answered that email yet. Sometimes migraines are good for something--such as being an excellent excuse for being a poor correspondent!