Last week we finally had the long awaited consult with the trauma specialist. The goals for the call were to get recommendations for placement, determine the role the birth mom should play in Donald’s life and to get treatment recommendations. I had hoped to leave the call feeling like we had definitive answers and a clear course of action, but the call ended leaving me no more certain that the team was making the right choices than before we started.
A few thoughts the specialist shared:
- There is “nothing to lose” by Donald “trying out” a relationship with his birth Mom. Donald should have some control about their relationship and he shouldnt feel that he is in the role of protector with her. He should be allowed to be the child in the relationship.
- Donald should be in residential care right now, have “another layer” of trauma work done, but she has no prediction of how long that will take or how effective it will be. She commented that given his age and dilemmas, its very limited what can be done about his attachment issues.
- She doesn’t feel we (as foster parents) should be involved right now, that its confusing for Donald. She said its premature to make any decision about adoption for him.
- There is no reason not to move forward with adoption for Daffy and she should not be “punished.” She deserves the opportunity for a happy life.
- She feels that if sibling work is done, it needs to be after the dust settles from Daffy’s adoption and Donald’s trauma work in conjunction with his birth mom.
- Both kids should be have the “freedom to be their own people”. Contact between the two needs to be safe and she wouldn’t insist on a lot of visits. Their relationship can’t be forced and they should be allowed to have their own feelings about what they want and about each other.