June 3rd, 2021
I hate Zoom meetings. Actually, I hate most meetings, but I find Zoom sessions particularly frustrating. There is something about Zoom that makes problem resolution more difficult. That’s how it feels to me.
Karin and I attended a “team meeting” yesterday. The “team” consisted of the people who are going to collectively decide a young woman’s fate. The young woman is currently participating in a drug treatment program, and doing quite well in it. She only has three weeks left before she graduates. The question is what happens to her after that.
Somehow, the young woman got the idea from somebody that she would be able to return to our home to be with her son. She seemed absolutely convinced of this. When the woman called on the phone, she would tell her baby boy,
“Pretty soon Mama will be home with you, and we’ll be together all the time.”
Apparently, “pretty soon” is not quite as soon as she expected it to be.
As the meeting unfolded, it became obvious that there is no plan for the woman’s immediate future. I would like to say that surprised me, but it doesn’t. There are still too many variables involved, and too many players. The team includes people from the rehab facility (therapists, counselors, etc.), the case manager from Child Protective Service (CPS), and the young woman’s probation officer, who was unable to attend the meeting. All these folks have work together to find housing for the woman, provide continuing treatment, organize visits with her son, and God only knows what else. To a certain extent, each participant is waiting for the others to make the first move. Each person’s action is somehow based on the action of somebody else.
One person who is deeply involved in this process, but who is not part of the team, is the judge from Children’s Court. The judge will decide if and when the young woman lives with her little boy again. Everything that the team members do has to eventually convince the judge that she should reunite the mother with her son. The young woman’s completion of the rehab program is necessary for the reunification, but it is apparently not sufficient for it to occur.
What role do Karin and I play? Well, first and foremost, we care for the six month old boy in our home. Second, we provide logistical and emotional support for the mom. Whenever the team comes up with a plan for the young woman, we will help to put that plan into effect. That’s what we said to the other people at the Zoom meeting: “Just tell us what to do, and we’ll do it.”
There are many possibilities for the young woman’s future. The only option that is not on the table is for her to be immediately reunited with her son in our house. That was only scenario that she wanted.
In the meantime, Karin and I are providing more visits with the mom and her little guy. We will be going to the rehab facility three times a week from now on. In a sense, nothing much changes for Karin and me. We keep caring for the baby, and we keep helping his mom. Our lives revolve around a rather chubby little man.
Asher is lying in his swing near me. He’s smiling in his sleep. Sweet dreams.
He is loved.