Sometimes You Just Have to Do the Right Thing
Jane has worked in permanency and adoption for over 13 years and administered Independent Living for almost ten years before that. Here is her story:
“I’ve always really advocated for the importance of permanency for older children. I never expected to be one of those care takers.
Then on Friday, February 21 my friend called at 12:30 AM and asked if I would come to his home while he took his wife to the hospital. I went and then when he returned at 5:00 AM found out the rest of the story. His 15 year old son had been taken into protective custody earlier in the week with charges of emotional abuse against the mother. His wife, the mother, had just been placed in a mental health placement.
Their son has since turned 16 and is 6’2” and 190 lbs. He was first placed in a group home. I work in the system and know that is no place for teens. So, I offered to keep him untill they got it all sorted out. It took untill March 12 for him to come to my home but he has been with me since and will probably be with me at least for the next 5 months.
It is not a fun place to be caring for a friend’s child and then realize that many of the issues the family is accused of are probably true. Friendships are tested. I have begun to hear from this child and really listen now, doubting many of the things the mother has said over the years. Their son is not easy and does indeed have many issues, but advocacy for a child is not just advocacy for a perfect child. I’ve known this child since he was 17 months old and came to this family through adoption.
I never expected to be in this kind of situation but really I could not do this if I was not supported by my employer who still expects me to do my job but has made additional demands lighter so that I can care for this young man as needed.
This could go on and on with his issues, his family’s issues, my new status as a widow in the middle of moving away. Probably there is never a good time to become the support for a young person and do not expect it to be easy or convenient, but sometimes you just have to do the right thing.”