Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cast Adrift

That's how we feel, a little bit. Mom warned us about this, but it's still a bit of a shock. After being forced to prove to everybody and their brother that we're worthy to give our blood, sweat and tears to the effort of helping kids, we now have the care of a kid and absolutely no information or background on the child, outside of what we've been able to dig out of the kid and her mother, which, while highly entertaining at times, is usually contradictory and not very accurate or useful in any case.

I guess I suspected somebody would at least try to inform us as to things like friends of the child who have been problems in the past, whether the child has a history of violence, theft, or whatever, whether there are people the child is not to see, and so on.

We have zero information in this respect. Nada. I have a great deal of experience, so I know from my own observations so far that this child is actually quite a good girl and I know some of the things we'll be able to help with. I have no prayer, however, of diagnosing all the things that might be wrong with her, and we've received not so much as a single medical or psychological note on her except "she's bipolar". What the hell...? And that came from the child herself. I said, score one for Mom. She warned us we'd have to dig and dig hard. Get in people's faces. Chase the answers. Take her case like it was our own and run with it. She told me that was one of the best things we'll be able to do for this child, is to take her part in and against a system through which she could so easily slip unnoticed.

So there's a meeting tomorrow with all the assorted county & PATH social workers, teachers and whatnot, and it's right in my kitchen. I'm invited, but The Boss has other plans for me and it's doubtful I'll be able to break away for an hour of foster fun, so The Wife will have to fill me in when it's all said and done, I guess.

But I hope none of these people think they've escaped my clutches, because I'm going after each of them individually if I don't make tomorrow's meeting. I will know these people by name and face (something I'm not nearly good enough about, typically). I will know what this child needs to do to succeed in the eyes of the people who consider her a failure right now. I will know what sorts of things have been problems for her in the past, and I will not allow her to fail just because of a lack of attention. I will make these people see the simple fact that when they see me coming, they might as well just meet me at the door, give me what I'm after and get rid of me before I get a head of steam worked up.

Most of all, I will help "Josie", in any way I can. That's why I signed up to play this game, and while I may ultimately lose a game here and there, it will not be due to lack of initiative on The Wife's or my part.

These people have no idea who they're fooling with, if they think they get to win that easy. If they're not careful, I'll pull the Mom card. But I really need to keep that one in reserve, as it could turn out more or less to be the Samson option, and I think we can do this thing without nukes.


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