Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thoughts on Giving Up

Kari has been having a really tough time with her youngest daughter.  As a result of an explosion that happened this morning, she expects to be investigated again by the child welfare authorities.  In her post, she wrote:

I went downstairs and told StarBUCK that I did not want to be in a room with her without a witness or a camera because of the way she was acting. If she goes to school and tells her teachers that I threw her off her bed this morning, they will understandably call CPS.

Now Kari did not throw her daughter off the bed this morning. Her daughter threw herself to the floor, but it won't matter if she tells a different story at school this morning.

After this incident, Kari thought about giving up.

I know how she feels.

Prior to our adoption, we spent a year fighting with, and being investigated by, child welfare professionals.  We had slew of social workers, therapists, and supervisors traipsing through our lives, trying to prove that we were unfit to adopt Danielle.  The motivation for this was anti-GLBT bias, and at the very end, the judge made it clear that he felt it was the Department's motivation.  After the adoption, we were investigated for child abuse four more times.

Although we were cleared of any wrongdoing each and every time, the experiences left a bad taste in my mouth.  All of the investigations were triggered by Danielle complaining (and sometimes flat-out lying) about her life with us, and the resulting anxiety, lost productivity at work, and overall bad feelings triggered by the investigations really sucked.

Like Kari, we have been to the point of being absolutely tired of living this way.  After being investigated, multiple times, for absolute bullpucky, I have had the same thought cross my mind more than once:

Maybe I should just let them take her.

It's not that I don't care about my kid.  I do care.  It's just that there's no defense against repeated false allegations.  If my kid makes 1, 5, 10 or even 1,000 false reports, each and every one of them has to be investigated.

There comes a point, after working with therapist after therapist, social worker after social worker, and professional after professional, where one just gets tired.

The last time we were investigated, we basically told the worker that if she wanted to invite every one of the investigators to our house for a BBQ, so they could satisfy themselves that there really isn't a problem, she was welcome to do so.  We also casually mentioned that if she really wanted Danielle back, we were tired enough of repeated investigations that we'd accommodate her request.  Surprisingly, the worker seemed a lot less interested in her investigation after that.  After wasting three hours in her office, she sent us home.

I often feel as if I have very little fight left in me.  It's clear that even Danielle's new therapist, who seems like the most insightful of the bunch that we've seen, still doesn't fully "get it."  Just like the professionals in Kari's life, she fails to understand the complexities of my child, and she doesn't recognize that my child's chronological age is far greater than her emotional maturity.

Although I can certainly say that medication has made a big difference in Danielle's mood, it hasn't fixed her maturity or her decision-making skills.  It won't magically fix her educational delays, or motivate her to work hard to achieve educational, material and financial goals.

So there are days when I feel like all we have done is futile.  We can't fix any of this, and there are days when I think maybe it's time to give up, and to surrender to what feels like the inevitable bad end to this story.

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