Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bad Week For "Josie", and Home Improvement

"Josie" had a tough week. Tuesday she found out she's not going home...and I have a feeling she thought it was a slam-dunk. Thank the county social worker for that. She went into a sort of fit of despondency and acted out at school, earning herself some in-school suspension and a revocation of permission to have an overnight visit home this weekend. Oh goody. Now we get to bear the brunt of it.

She's REALLY pushing our limits. Lots of sulking and moaning, CONSTANT requests to visit home or a sibling every day. The miles are starting to add up. We need to consider requesting a kid who comes from more than 7 miles away next time.

Anyway, she spit on a kid's food tray in school this week, then lied to us about it and was immediately caught out by the fact that we know we can trust her counsellor on the details far more than we can trust her at this point. Other things. This is NOT the "Josie" I know. Or is it? I also found out that at some point in the relatively recent past, she had taken a list one of her friends had made of all the boys that friend had slept with and made copies and passed them around school. The item we turned in to the police was, in fact stolen.

Is this the girl I thought I knew? The more I find out about her, the more adjusting I have to do to my image of her.

But I still love her. I can't help it. I KNOW there's so much good stuff in there, and we've just got to find a way through all the crap she's throwing up to confuse us. Mom did this time and time again. Sometimes she succeeded. Other times she failed spectacularly. She's even still working on a couple, though she's been out of foster care for years now. I can do no less.

Speaking of her successes, one of them is arriving shortly with Dad to help me replace the decking on our back deck. Whoever built the thing thought it would be great craftsmanship to use 2x4s as decking and space them about a half-inch or more apart. Just the right size for chair legs to slip in and get caught. So last weekend I bought a bunch of ACTUAL decking and am going to put at least some of it in this weekend.

The 2x4s from the deck will be used for something that, you know, 2x4s should ACTUALLY be used for. Since these are treated, they'll be used as the bases for the studding of the walls we're going to put up in the basement, and whatever's left I figure would work well for the studs around the bathroom. It's a little overkill, but since my folks' basement was flooded out in [drum roll] The Great Flood Of '97 [trumpet call] I have a small case of moisturephobia. Sure, with our lot topography North America would have to flood out in order for our house to meet the same fate, but you STILL can't be too careful.

Anyway, my former foster brother, former college roommate, former post-college roommate and best man at my wedding called last night. He's having a tough time right because of some personal issues and needs to be around "comforting people". Of course, when people need this and they know Mom, she's who they call.

And as a bonus, since Mom was going out of town today and Dad was coming to help me, he's coming with. I love when other people's pain leads to help with my deck. Heh. Anyway, it'll be good to catch up with him again (he's one of the few friends I hated to leave when I left the Big City).

It's probably going to be a good day. The coffee's on, and now I must go and prepare the tools and the work site.


At 12:11 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Let's see...Josie's been there about three months and you are wondering if you really know her at all...yep. Right on schedule.

I'm being silly, there is no schedule. There is a pattern though, as you are well aware.

Are you in:
-will you like me if I'm bad?
-I need to know, do you get dangerous when you are really, really pissed off?
-I'm mad as hell, don't want to be here anymore and I am going make life miserable for everyone until I get moved.
-I finally feel safe being the real me. It is not always pretty, but it's real.

Or somewhere else?

At 9:02 PM , Blogger Dan said...

Hmm...the first one would be a possibility, but a lot of what we're finding out now is things that have happened before she got here, or have happened at various points since then. Not just recently. The second one could be, but my spidey-sense tells me it's not the case. Of course, my spidey-sense should be understood in the context that I'm not Spider Man. The third one is probably true, subject to the same caveat as the first one.

The main problem here as I see it is that we have been tasked with taking care of this girl and giving her what she needs, but she doesn't WANT what she needs. She wants to run free with her old friends and do what she wants. The county refuses to support us by allowing us to cut her old friends and, to a more limited extent, even her family out of her life for awhile so she's forced to focus on what she needs to do.

She has huge distractions just a little ways down the road, on the phone every night and on the multitudinous home visits that we have been given no power to limit.

She feels she can get by with ignoring us until she's allowed to go home, and she's probably right. She's canny enough to know how the county works here.

So she's taking her meals here (sometimes) and sleeping here (usually).

I think we need more of a captive audience if we're going to have a good chance of being effective. But we'll keep on trying.

At 9:05 PM , Blogger Dan said...

Whoops. By the third one, I was talking about the fourth one (missed the third one, I guess). The third one doesn't work because she's not really focused on us, she's focused on getting home. She has to make nice to a point to do that, and she's smart enough to know that. But as I said, I'm not Spider Man.


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