Yesterday, my youngest and I went to the Hancock county courthouse to attend the last ‘guardianship’ meeting. The first one was for ‘temporary’ after she just turned 18.
Kiddo isn’t capable of being on her own yet, or perhaps ever, at least not without some other responsible person around.
That responsible person for the next while, how ever long, is me– …
We got the first, temporary guardianship in case there was someone around who wanted to influence her wrongly, to benefit from her inability to run her own life. (yes, there are folks around like that who prey on people….I know some.)
Got awarded the temporary; and an ‘advocate’ came to interview my kid, to make sure she wasn’t being held captive, that this was what she agreed to. (kiddo is non verbal, so I guess the visitor went away satisfied)
Yesterday, the same judge was presiding; it was good. He seems to be a guy who is paying attention. I was called to the witness stand, and (almost like Perry Mason!) spoke with the judge who asked me what my plan was. Huh? Plan? How can I plan? I mean, I have an idea or two, and hopes and dreams for kiddo. I truly think she is capable of many things, but am trying to learn how to bring them to fruition. I struggled with what to say to him, and thought about my late husband, and how we’d talked about our special girl and her future.
While in the witness chair, next to the judge, I struggled to explain simply, what her future might be. I knew she wasn’t ready to go out in the world alone. I knew she isn’t ready for a special group home. (no, not that, not yet, maybe never, but who knows? There are some good ones) I knew I couldn’t possibly send her to a special college 3 hours drive away, where she might be unattended at night. I tried to not to think of my husband/and those minutes that I tried to express her essence and skill, and what I would do, were the hardest things I’ve done for a while… Never have I missed my late husband so much, so longingly, to be with me and explain how we as a team were deciding. I tried to be concise, but how can you be concise about 18 years of working on a kid, who really was formless for so many years? I knew there was ‘stuff’ inside of her, but others didn’t know. I struggled to speak, almost came to tears, and reassured him she’d always have a place to live and I would work for the best for her, and not hold her back when the time was right. Only, it wasn’t right yet. I appreciated that he saw my sincerity, and remarked on it. (oh yeah, also told him I didn’t want to do the mommy thing when I was 80)
Inspite of how well it turned out, and he complimented me on my earnestness –I felt exhausted, and lonely for Joe. I wished he was there to counsel, support, encourage me that day. Never have I felt so alone, so tired.
The judge said ‘I am awarding you the same excellent job you’ve been doing for 18 years.’ I am glad he understood the struggle.