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Things Went Bad and Things Went Well.


Richard Norway

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Hello everyone. Not going to explain why I've not posted in a few months except to say that it's been a whurl wind around here.

David and I have now a second foster boy placement. Actually, he's been here since mid-November. He's 18 years old, male and gay. He's had drug and alcohol abuse in his past as well as violence and flight from authority. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? David and I were sceptical at first...until we interviewed him at his rehab cewnter to see if we wanted to take him.

He had been kicked out of his home when he was 14 years old and has been on his own ever seince...at least until he entered the juvinal justice system last Summer. He hasn't been in school for the past four years, but on his own, he went to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and got his GED. To me, that spoke highly of him.

Then there was the 'violance' accusation. I found out later that his father would not and still does not accept his homosexuality. They got into an arguement on night and his dad pulled a knife on him. Erek (That's the wau he spells his name.) defended himself and hit his dad. Well, it's now on his reco9rd that he's violent. To be honest with you, this kid copes better than I do with his anger, and that I've discovered over the last three months.

We have our ups and downs but nothing out of the ordinary when dealing with a teenager and a parent. He has the normal urges to be independent. But given that he hasn't had parental guidance for the past four year, I've been fighting tooth and nail (Don't slam me for using cliches, I will if I want too.)to get him to look at new ways of dealing with and looking at the world.

Dustin isn't with us anymore. They reduced his medication (Abilify) by one half in December and then took him off it completely in January. Dustin started halucinating and hearing voices. The troublesome part was that the voices told him that the voice was the Devil and that he wanted Dustin to murder his mother. We've talked to Dustin about his visions for a while and when this came out, we called his trerapist. An emmergency therapy session was called and afterwards it was recommended that a higher level of treatment was called for. That meant that that night Dustin was admitted to a local mental hospital. He's been there for a week and a half now.He's due to be released in the next day or so, but he won't be coming back here. He needs constant attention and they're recommending that he be placed in a home where there are no other siblings. With Erek here, it won't work for them.

I really feel sorry for this kid. There is a lot more to the story about his mother, father and grandmother that I won't go into, but just know that Dustin has his own problems but his past world just made it terrible. I'm going to go see him when he's placed again after the hospital.

On a brighter note...you remember my passion to open gay and lesbian community centers here in New Mexico, well...we now have the first ever GLBTQ center opening. We have a building here in Las Cruces that we moved into last week. The City is behind us in this and we're applying for a grant from them. It won't cover everything, but it will cover our first project which is a teen centerwith programs for them.

Our biggest fear is sustainability. We've planned to open all of the additional programs only when the funds are securred.I really want this to go. Damn, I've still got a lot of work to do.

So...you've now heard why I've been absent here.

Richard

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You're doing marvelous things, Richard. For individuals and a community. You're seeing some of the depths humans can sink to and not turning your back. You and David are special people.C

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What is most impressive here is that you not only are willing to take in, you are also able to let go, and keep in view the greater good.I applaud you and your partner DavidJames Merkin

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Somehow I think Erek has a better chance with you than anywhere else he's likely to be. What wonderful role models you and David are for him - a stable same sex couple, committed to doing good in the world and with love to spare for him. What more could you ask? If ever you're looking for a second foster-child, I'm applying for the post!

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