Custody (or, Dear Anonymous)

Someone keeps commenting on my posts under the guise of “anonymous” about how I’m a hypocrite for putting my son in residential, after this post about the story of the Gertz’s. I don’t post them because they are jabs at me and won’t help anyone and, let’s face it, this is my blog, and I post the comments I want (I post more than 99% of them, good and bad).

I’ve never said Mrs. Gertz was / is a bad mom. I understand how hard it is, how her other kids – and probably she – are suffering from PTSD. I know the situation is complex. And I know that sometimes adoptions are disrupted because of issues as severe as this.   It’s a tragedy, for the child and the adoptive family.  Trust me – I’m the last person to judge anyone in this situation.  I was merely drawing a parallel between the choice they made, and the choices we made.

I’ve posted here before, if you, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, want to look at the posts where I detail how we were advised to give up custody. Advised to disrupt the adoption, 11 or 12 years later.  When Tim was violent and delusional.

We refused.

We kept fighting, kept looking, hell, we MOVED more than halfway across the country, to get services that we felt – still feel – Tim needs.  Residential means yes, he’s not here in our home every day.  And it’s given him the intense treatment he needs to learn coping skills, get his meds stable, and – his goal –  learn some independence.  It’s given us time to get our daughter through a year of therapy to deal with HER PTSD.  It’s temporary – he is already on the list for the next group home opening and, after a successful time there, he will come home, for good.  Being in residential is akin to being in the hospital or at boarding school (or a combo).  He may not physically be here every day, but he’s still my son.  Tom and I have custody.  The school, the state – no one has legal custody of him, temporary or otherwise.

I get about a dozen emails and phone calls a month from parents asking for help, and I offer all the help I possibly can.. I’ve attended IEP meetings with others for their kids. I’ve taken parents to SASS offices to apply for ICG grants.  I’ve introduced parents to our psychiatrist.   I firmly believe that help can be found that is appropriate for the child in question, and can keep that child as a part of the family, rather than relinquish custody.   That was the point of my post on the story of the Gertz’s.

I’ll never stop believing that, and I’ll never stop feeling sorry for the Gertz’s and the daughter they could only help by giving away,  no matter how many snarky comments you make.


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