The days when I watch T doing something goofy, endearing, or utterly irrational are even more enjoyable when my inner-voice fails to surface and remind me that in 10 months or even 2 years, he may go back to his biological parents. As time goes on, those days of forgetting are much more frequent than the days of remembering.
Wednesdays are a different matter.
Wednesdays are the day that the case worker and family have agreed are the best, most convenient days (for them) for visits with T and his siblings. The agreement is that on Wednesdays, the case worker will pick T up from day care, transport him to the visit at a DSS location, supervise the visit, and then transport him back to day care when the hour-long visit is over.
Since the beginning of T’s life with us, the visits have been fairly irregular. The parents have been late or not shown at all. Other times, social services has been unable to hold the visits. On one ocassion, there was a power outage in the DSS building and the visit was cancelled.
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t feel a sense of relief when visits don’t go as planned. It’s definitely an understatement to say that I am not a fan of them.
I feel very protective of T, and to no small degree, I feel possessive. Sometimes that little voice in my head wants to grab hold of my vocal chords and twist out a “He’s mine and you can’t have him back!” I’m fairly sure no one, except maybe for Juan, would appreciate that outburst, so I keep that thought quiet. I am threatened by the visits. My sense of security and control are undoubtedly challenged by the spector of an approaching Wednesday. Visits – successful ones at least – suggest the parents are at least somewhat motivated to get their child back.
And…well…I don’t want that to happen. (There, I said it)
Visits are a reminder that T is not ours – not in the biological or legal sense of the word, and he may never be ours.
Visits are a reminder that we are now part of a system and process with no easy way out.
Visits are a reminder that parents’ rights do matter.
Visits are a reminder that people are motivated (or not) by things which I may never fully come to know or understand.
Visits are a reminder that I can not control outcomes.
Visits are a reminder that I can be selfish, possessive, and just as fallible as the next guy.
Visits are a reminder that one person’s wishes can be another person’s nightmare.
Visits are a reminder that I want T’s life to be full of love and laughter and utterly irrational, goofy, happy things and for now, that’s really what matters.
Ultimately, visits are reminder that the days come and go and we continue to strive to do the best we can in caring for T, regardless of the possible outcome. There isn’t much else to do. Wringing hands, wailing, and gnashing teeth don’t seem to accomplish much anyways.
At least, that’s what I tell myself until next Wednesday.