What a day! I have to admit, I am a “glass half empty” kind of girl (as much as I try not to be), but I really didnt expect things to go as poorly as they did this morning! I was totally caught off guard. I truly felt attacked to hear that the state didn’t believe that we are fully committed to Donald. We have constantly been commended for going above and beyond the call of duty to stay connected to him. We have advocated for the very best care for him at every opportunity. I simply can’t wrap my mind around how they came to that determination.
Anyway, our sw said that today was the day for honesty. I was terrified going into the team meeting. I knew that we would leave there finding out where everyone stands and that they might not see things the way that Mickey & I see them. Our sw started the meeting and announced we had no specific agenda. She said that there was obviously an elephant in the room that needed to be addressed and address it, we did. I felt very nervous to speak, fearing that one wrong word could pull the plug, but somehow I was able to find words to share how we are feeling. I told them that I am VERY MUCH willing to continue to do whatever they ask, but with that said, I did not feel that would guarantee any true change for Donald and that sadly no one can predict the future. I further shared that if we needed to make an absolute choice TODAY that we were unable to take Donald back. I reminded them that I told them from the very first day Donald left we said we would support a relationship between him an his sister and that I think our actions have proven that.
From there our social worker shared that Daffy’s therapist is officially ready to go on the record recommending that Donald and Daffy NOT be placed together. (FYI: This is not the first therapist to make this recommendation, including Donald’s own therapists in the past.) The therapist compares their situation to one of domestic violence. She believes that Daffy should be allowed permanence, independent from her brother.
The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids worker then asked the state worker what the state’s position is. The cw had a difficult time giving an answer. She indicated that there are varying opinions within their department. Her view is that Daffy should NOT have to wait for her brother to be ready to be adopted and that she believes Donald has many YEARS of work ahead of him. She reminded the team that these kids have been legally free for adoption for 4 years without any permanence.
The cw asked the GAL to share his opinion. While I dont think he was ready to make an official decision, this meeting sort of forced his hand. He said that he believes we should adopt Daffy and that this time with Donald in the RTC is great for Daffy allowing her to discover who SHE is, outside of being “Donald’s brother”.
All at the meeting agreed that many great injustices have been done in this case and that its time to start the process of correcting them. As I read this, it sounds like a “dream meeting” but the bottom line is there are 1 or 2 people at a much higher level within the system who have said from day one that these kids will NOT be separated and that Daffy will NOT be adopted without Donald. This position has cost Daffy MULTIPLE opportunities to be adopted while Donald has made zero progress. It’s time for change and the team realizes that, it’s just going to be an uphill battle.
One of the most interesting people in attendance was an adoption specialist who works at the state offices. She (and a team of 2-3 others) at the state level took the initiative to run this case by a specialist within our state. She got some very valuable information, including a strong stance that Daffy should be adopted as soon as she is ready. This specialist also gave some suggestions for Donald’s therapy. I need to do some research on this woman because she is clearly well respected by the state offices and this could be someone who may finally be able to effect the change we need to adopt Daffy. The full consultation with her should occur within the next 2 weeks. At that time, the cw is planning to take all the information from the varying sources back up the chain of command in hopes of a different answer. If history repeats itself, the answer will still be no and Daffy will be moved.
Hopefully we will have a new plan of attack if we get to that point. We do have an amazing team of smart people advocating for both kids so if anyone can help us get to our happily ever after, they can.
So, for now, my glass is half full!