Well this was certainly emotionally one of the hardest days for me to go through... it is indescribable, a rush of different emotions laced together by one thread... propensity to cause suffering. Now many may find it strange because.... well let me start from the beginning.
I awoke this morning from the first dream ever of Ayn being returned.... it was late at night, perhaps 10, and Wyatt began yelling "She's here!" or "She's home!" I said "What?!" and ran down the stairs unlocked the front door and sure enough there was Ayn accompanied by two people... I burst into tears and hugged her tighly as she did me.
"I missed you." I said. "I missed you" she replied.
We went in and upstairs and very shortly after I awoke, it was so vivid it took a few disapponting seconds to realize it was not the truth.
After getting Lyric off to school (and Wyatt having gone to Amie's yesterday), I had a few moments to try to collect my thoughts and prep mentally for the upcoming meeting with the SW.
Now it began with essentially me clearing the last hurdle to Ayn's return, visitation, an elation to be sure. After yesterday hearing that my suggested alternatives to visitation were rejected, today my offer of a "fixed return date" was accepted and I believed an agreement could be reached. For about an hour and a half ideas were tossed around and details discussed. When we reached the: ok so what date could be done, pen was put to paper... and the response was 16 weeks.... I dropped silent... closed my eyes and began to cry.
Consolement was offered as was the assurance that they were trying to help and understood that I was a "stand up guy". This essentially ended the meeting as I was unable to continue.
We meet again Friday. Now the 16weeks was the longest end of the timeframe, and the one they would commit to, it was asserted that likely it would be sooner. As early as 10 weeks.... 2 and a half more months. still putting it into January, missing her birthday, missing christmas... though she could visit on those days. So what to do, what to do? I collected my thoughts and tried to step outside this bubble I'm in and see what way was best to proceed.
Received tons of advice and perspectives; still not sure "what to do"... but getting closer.
I have been reading much of my written work on here, and acknowledge the political nature of much of it. I also recognize that many may not view this as a political action as I do. In fact many may retreat from the very notion of politics; I am a political animal, we all are. I do think in those terms and I do see the coercive nature of these actions levied upon my daughter and myself (amongst others). I cannot separate the two as they are inseparable, this could not have happened in a different political environment.
The pervasive belief has become one in which everything is up for a vote... I believe in inalienable rights. I believe this action simply is not one which is up to them, I care not what note they wrote themselves to say they are allowed.. some things are simply not up to them. The governments rightful function is to defend our rights, not to take care of us, but to keep us free from coercion so that we may take care of ourselves. This stance has of course become marginalized as more and more we witness the government's role in our lives expanding.
Ayn is a victim of a political decision, a view that we are servants of the government rather than it a servant of us.
Did my daughter need help? Yes, of course, all children need help.... was she getting the help she needed?
They do not care, her life was ignored, all that mattered was the uninformed opinion of one social worker, a woman who had never met my daughter and never cared how Ayn was doing in the home. She read some school reports thought oh boy this is concerning and then attempted to force their "help" upon us in the form of a "voluntary care agreement". This is the reality we face, this is how "voluntary" is viewed by the system, akin to a mugger asking you to voluntarily hand over your wallet.
But don't worry cause if we all give him our wallets it will be fine.... right? Wrong.
I surround myself with things of Ayn's, her sheets are on my bed, her photo placed directly in my field of view by the computer, her mickey mouse toy beside me, her songs often playing, I read her words written on my walls which I have refused to wash off, wish I hadn't spend the hours washing the rest of her words off either, I would be surrounded by them now if I hadn't.
It is not that I am worried I'll forget her, or that I need inspiration... it is simply for comfort.... a physical manifestation of her presence in my mind. It really takes alot of rationalization to calmly proceed whilst this is being done to her, a parents urge is to rush to their child, danger be damned. This is of course impossible because now I am facing kidnapping by the State, and they are unmatched in their ability to use force, those institutions conceived to defend our rights, have become aggressive violators of them.
So I sit, I plan, I prepare, but I cannot go get my daughter.
I hear many many people say just do what they tell you and it will be fine.... really... where is the logic in this statement?? Has that worked in the past? Do people not see the fallacy in that statement? How has subservience to the State worked to benefit mankind in the past? If I were to adopt that tenet Ayn would not be any safer from this... we cannot succumb to apathy, and I sure hope we haven't been so beaten that we will allow strangers to come and take and drug our children. If no-one stands up and says "no this is wrong!"... how is it we expect it to change?
Obedience does not inherently culminate in safety or everything being "fine". We often defer to others on decisions where we understand our limited expertise, but when that deference is forced upon an entire populous, we are in alot of trouble.
The liberty my daughter has lost is not isolated... this is not just one little retarded girl... this is an encompassing decision that must be recognized and resisted. I love her, I will not give up on her just as I love that which is good in humanity and will not give up on it. I love life, apathy is my enemy, I will obey no-one.
I do what I'm told out of reason not coercion.
Was Wyatt's birthday today, we spent alot of time together, talked about Ayn and what we would do once she was back home. Tried to get him to focus on what was in his power to change or improve upon, that Ayn will be coming home and we will do everything we can to ensure that something like this never happens again. He has such a beautiful and pure sense of right and wrong, but does not understand the sociological nuances of empowering that which is right without allowing coercion to simply persist.
A lot of people understand right and wrong but do not understand that to force someone to be "right" is in itself wrong.
I hope to continue this fight long after Ayn is returned so that she nor any other has to face this sort of treatment in the future. It is not what is being done to Ayn that is wrong, so much as why and how. There are children who may benefit from this, but that decision should be left up to the family not forced upon an entire populous... though not every one of us will ever be subjected to it, we are living with a system which believes it has the right to do this to its people against their will.... The system is wrong, we built it, we support it, and we can abolish it.
To replace a tyranny of the minority with a tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.
My daughter is being held against her will and mine, all with the intent on making her more manageable, to force "help" upon her... all the while acknowledging they do not know her and do not even care to hear about her... yet they know best and I can sit down shut up and wait my turn. grr
Arg I missed two days again, bad too because I have been up late and could have made the time, but it slips my mind when prioritizing on the fly. Well here now. Was a good day for me made progress on several levels, and thought over a lot of things.
Tomorrow I will try to assemble a list of each thing I would like to accomplish prior to the 18th, won't likely be able to get it all done, but will juggle through what I can. Have to simultaneously begin to set up ABA programs, in two locations... now one being in the home that is no prob, however exactly how I go about implementing a program for Ayn in a household I haven't met will be rather hard.
Regardless of my stance on Ayn I am going to have to meet the FP soon I think, not sure how else to do it. These programs are a significant priority and I would like to get as much done on them as possible by myself before the consultant arrives. Have met some great people on the group to help with this... I hope they're ready for me to pester them.
I am very excited about these programs as for so many years I have wanted this sort of thing, but never have been financially able. I remember back when we were running the under six programs for Ayn and Lyric in the home 30 hrs per week... we used Michelle Auton who had been battling the government over providing necessary therapy for her autistic son. Was quite the primer for what was to come, have been fearful of what services would be available to them as they entered into school.
Our funding is cut under the guise that the school is too make up the slack, the reality is that schools do not match up to intensive ABA, not their fault per se, they are simply not provided the resources to accomplish the task. They too struggle tooth and nail for many kids to get more services or to get help with situations they lack the expertise to address.
Ayn's school was filled with dedicated caring people, but they could scarcely get access to any expert services for her... this has to be fixed. A condition which is clearly a medical one yet gets treated as a problem for the schools... almost every year I am in to see a doctor to have them sign another form saying my kids are autistic, yet their therapy is not covered under our medical system. Yet they will quickly involve the medical community to drug them, clearly by force if necessary when the school proves to be unable to cope with certain autistic behaviours like violence or self injury... scary... frustrated...things must change.
Not a lot to report for this day as the previous days events have still not fully sunk in or been analyzed in totality... I am very grateful to everyone on the Group who have really poured a lot of their hearts and minds into this. It helps so much to be able to think things through with so many contributing perspectives.
Still not sure how to proceed so the day was spent trying to continue the thought process started yesterday.
I did somehow sleep for 10 1/2 hrs last night more than I have gotten in 20yrs... mind you this isn't a complaint really... as I choose not to sleep, I so much prefer consciousness and it seems that there is so much to learn and experience who has time for sleep :) . So rested and driven I proceed.
Well it was quite the rollercoaster today, feeling a bit uplifted because the programs and resources being offered to Ayn and Lyric are generous, temporal but generous. My role in setting up these programs is being respected and I believe if properly implemented will be of great benefit to them both. I was accepted today as well into the at home program for Lyric which is additional resources also being allocated towards proper treatment.
The IEP meeting though seemingly important is actually fairly inconsequential as I have done so many now and never have a big problem getting the school to focus on what I feel is important for the kids, not that they are always successful but they do generally word the IEP such that I agree with the stated goals. I presume tomorrow will be no different. May be awkward as I also presume the foster mother could be there as will the staff whom I know well and who have been up until tomorrow not allowed to discuss her with me.
The day then took a big 180 when Amie arrived after her visit and informed me she was told and provided paperwork indicating that they would not return Ayn to me without me first visiting. To be honest it still has not been fully processed by my brain. When I first found out I immediately began thinking about its significance, and was quite saddened, I then received a phone call from a group member and though upset we spoke and she helped to calm and redirect me. Since then I have been rather busy and though I know the wheels are turning inside my head about it all I have not had the opportunity to sit and ponder it at length.
The rest of the documents are positive steps towards return and future support, and I no longer see a reference to a psychiatric assessment, not sure why that is. There is mention of the medication and that they will be seeking a 90 TCO in order to implement their goal: a return to me.
And so now I ponder... what to do... what will be said to me tomorrow?
A day full of meetings, I will be meeting three separate people with the SW who will then also be bringing me to the IEP meeting and home....
and all this will begin presumably with them telling me that if I do not see her they won't return her.
Continued the sorting of all my photos, keepsakes, and old paperwork. Found some interesting POPARD reports and many of Ayn's precious writings. Will scan a bunch in this weekend and get them posted for everyone. It is very hard to look through those items, yet at the same time it is incredibly inspirational. I am quite literally falling asleep sitting here writing this (2:38 am) I will finish it up in the morning.
Never enough hours in the day, with so much to do and consciousness so rewarding, sleep seems to be a daily foe. Am getting up at 5:30-5:45 these days, have to get Lou up no later than 6:30 and be out the door to walk him to the bus by 7:15. Wyatt has taken a strong turn for the sciences this year, focusing on cell biology, energy technology, and chemistry.
As of late I have been working out the details of running a program, for Lyric and Ayn. One which I am to set up both in the home for lyric and in the fosterhome for Ayn. Significant resources have been made available to me by MCFD for this endeavour, and I'd like to set up the best program I can for the money.
Judicially things as always are creeping along, next hearing on the 18th and I believe it is the commencement of the protection hearing/process. Not really sure what exactly happens at it to be honest, which in itself is frustrating... they have your child, your told to sit and wait your turn throughout this long and tedious process... and one which really I do not even understand. I think a case conference will be scheduled at that time and I believe the MCFD either returns or asks for a TCO (temporary custody order), but again I really couldn't say for sure.
Mediation has also been put forth and our informal meetings have been based on her return... the biggest impediment to a prompt return at this point seems to be this psychiatric assessment they want completed. When removed, their plan was to place her into P1 residential psychiatric for a minimum 6wk assessment, though they knew I disapproved and that I maintain Ayn is autistic and autistic only. Around 6 weeks after removal the MCFD autism specialist got to view her file and advised against placing her in P1 (thank you). They however have not relented and have instead opted to do the assessment on an outpatient basis, I am not at all aware of how that process is proceeding.
Closing in on 2am, and still a ton of reading to do, will fall asleep doing so.
Been far too long since I wrote an update just been swamped with so much preparation, I will endeavour to write an update each night at 11:30 even if brief. All the different facets of having a child removed keep you ever switching gears... and emotions.
Today I was pouring through boxes in my garage, searching for a book, and gathering any pertinent old paperwork, have so many photos and pieces of artwork, baby teeth, first hair cuts, homemade birthday cards and ornaments. Was absolutely heartwrenching. Still have to sort through it too... it almost feels like she's dead.
That my little girl who didn't come home from school that day, never will come home the same again. I am not sure if one can imagine the sadness and fury which something like that would invoke... the lengths and hours I have spent protecting and nuturing her... the innocence of a wild animal. And this being done in the name of "helping" us, my daughter is too wild for them to handle, they don't want to put in the time to get to know her or... get her to know them, to develop a sense of shared empathy.
I know it will be Ayn who returns, but there will be something more, a view of the world which no child should have to perceive. I will have to spend countless hours just trying to make her feel safe evermore, I could not imagine walking around throughout my day, believing that at any moment people could grab me and lock me up in a huge, sterile, unknown building and inject me... drug me... not tell me what is happening, what I did, why I am here, where is my family, when can I go home?
I really cannot stress enough how close Ayn and me are... these people have no idea what they have done... what it is they are trying to destroy. And to try to do it under the guise of good intentions and the rule of law. Reminds me of the Orwell line from Animal farm "All animals are equal... but some animals are more equal than others", by what conceivable right do these people think they are operating?
Amie messaged me today, and told me that Ayn asked for the "Finding Ayn" photo I made, Ayn knows I am coming to get her, she knows I won't stop. The government has told me from near the beginning (July 4th) they are working to return her to me, it is almost October 4th.... for what? Because you can? Because you're tough? Because you want to see what we'll do? What we will stand for? I am sick of hearing that paramount is my child's best interest... most of these people do not know the first thing about autism and some have the dignity to admit it, and they certainly do not know my daughter. I do.