Reunification is harder than I thought it would be.
There are so many people involved and I feel like we’re not considered part of little “Jade’s” life, just her transporters.
I know the department transport her 3 days to and from access, and for that I am thankful.
But we’re being asked to drive her almost 90 mins to visit her paternal grandparents and aunt who haven’t yet met the baby.
I feel for the family. I would want to meet “Jade” too if I were them. But what about the expectation on us?
We’re expected to take bubs to visit people we don’t know, leave her there, and then because they don’t have a suitable baby car seat we either have to go and collect her or take ours out of the car and give it to them so they can bring her back to us.
I gave some dates to the department for these visits, with the first date two weeks away. Plenty of time to sort out any issues and get things organised. No. Not soon enough. It MUST be this weekend.
Feeling dictated to and not hugely happy about it.
Then we add in that we now HAVE to have respite one weekend a month, whether we want it or not.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason behind it. They want “Jade” to have one weekend a month with her brother, not just two mornings a week. They want baby to start to bond with the family friend (the respite carer) who will be there to support mum after reunification. But, again, it’s difficult being told we must have respite.
It was even harder when they told us baby was going to respite for 3 weeks over Christmas. My actual response to that was “Over my dead body”. “Jade” needs to bond with us, her primary carers, so that she can learn to bond so reunification will be easier. 3 weeks away from us isn’t going to help that at all. Plus there’s the totally selfish part of me that desperately wants “Jade” with us for Christmas.
The good news, is that “Jade’s” social worker has agreed that 3 weeks is too long, but, my suggestion of the respite just for the weekend just after Christmas wasn’t accepted. Tummy Mummy will be going to the friends house for a couple of days over Christmas and they want “Jade” and her brother to spend Christmas with Mum and the respite carer. Also it’s “Jade’s” brothers birthday a couple of days after Christmas, so they would like her there for that as well.
There have been plenty of tears from me having my dream of having a baby for Christmas get smooshed to pieces, but the amazing MM stepped in and has promised me an early Christmas celebration with “Jade” so I wont miss out all together, but, I can tell you, it still makes me cry when he’s not around because I know for me, it won’t be the same. I really wanted the ‘family’ experience for Christmas. Oh the Joys of what we do.
The hardest part is that I know that for “Jade” and her family, spending Christmas together is really important, and that my wish isn’t important to “Jade’s” reunification and her future with her family. I understand all the decisions (with the exception of 3 weeks of respite over Christmas) are in the best interest of “Jade” and her family and reunification.
So for now, we are “the transporrters”, taking “Jade” where she needs to go and loving her as much as we can.
How do you cope with the conflicting emotions of knowing what’s best for the children in your care and what your wishes are?