Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This F-ing Broken System (and world at large)

So her dad had his first long (6 hour) visit with her today, unsupervised.
He was super proud of himself when fostermommy went to pick her up, because "she ate well and she slept well." Well, when pressed for details, fostermommy learned that she had slept for one hour in the middle of the day (she usually takes 2 hour-long naps during this time period). And when looking through the remaining food, she discovered that she'd been fed one jar of carrots and a small amount of green beans, and nothing else. None of her formula.

She just made a very hard small poop, indicating possibly being dehydrated. How could she not be? It was in the mid-high 80s today. He mentioned that she liked the a/c wherever it was that he took her, but a/c is drying, too. And we specifically mentioned in our note to him that she needed to drink the bottle, how much she should drink, how often. And that she needed water offered every half hour or so if it was hot. He was so pleased that she'd drunk some juice (that he brought).


Unfortunately, that's not what I'm most upset about right now.

I think I've figured out why he's doing this.
For a while when he first started fighting to get her back, it seemed to me like he was an old man trying to win one fight against the system after a long life of losing them.
Then I became convinced that he was doing it out of love for her, because he said something about "more time with my daughter" at the last meeting and on "my daughter" he got a bit choked up.

Today I came up with a new theory I feel is stronger than the other two: He's doing it for the approval of his ex-girlfriend. She's the mother of at least two of his adult children, and I believe he was somewhat estranged from her before this, but one of her daughters got involved in helping him, and she has now inserted herself forcefully into the middle of it. We know from comments by his counselor at the last meeting that he has issues that indicate that this is a likely motivation for him.

He seems so totally uninterested in learning anything about her daily life or her care from us. He seems annoyed when I try to tell him when she will need her next nap, or give him fostermommy's work phone number to call if he had any trouble during the day today. I feel like he has *no* respect for the role we have played and continue to play in "his" daughter's life.

I suspect he's going to ditch everything he's heard from us, from the case-workers, from the occupational therapist, and everyone else involved, so that he can follow to the letter whatever she tells him to do. And she is so not a good influence.


It hurts.

And there's nothing we can do about it.

And it's just one more piece of a really broken system, a piece of a really broken world. :P