The past month and a half has gone by so quickly. It is hard to wrap my head around all the changes that are happening in our home and lives right now. We have definitely started a new chapter while additional new chapters await in the sidelines.
On January 28th Daniel moved out of our home. It was the day I flew to Seattle for 3 days of meetings and a visit to the Capitol. We only found out the day before that he was going to finally be moved out. As I was frantically packing for my trip and putting together my presentation for my legislators, I couldn’t stop crying. We told the social worker back in September that Daniel needed to leave our home. We were very patient while she looked for a home for him. As the months wore on and nothing happened I started to feel like he was never going to leave us. His behavior was increasingly worse and so was my ability to deal with his behaviors. After our trip to Florida I let the social worker know that he had to leave by the end of January. As January moved forward there was still no home for him. I resigned myself to the fact that he wasn’t leaving. Then the call came and there was a spot in a group home so the social worker took it. It was quick. Despite the fact that we knew it was going to come, and we had been hoping it would come, it was still difficult. So much time, love and energy was put into Daniel and trying to help him. It was hard to admit that it was all coming to an end. Since he moved into a group home all he could take was a suitcase of clothes. As we packed him up that night, Sylvia and Daniel picked out what clothes he would take while I put them in his suitcase, I cried the whole time. The next morning I flew to Seattle and drove to Olympia for my meetings. While at home, Daniel was spending his last morning in our home. One of my legislators is a strong advocate for foster children. When I met with him that afternoon he asked how my foster kids were. The tears started. He had no idea what that day meant for me. I explained to him what was happening and he was very understanding. I was able to pull myself together and in retrospect I think it was best I was so busy that day and wasn’t at home. After school the social worker came and picked up Daniel and he officially left our home. 2 days later I came home to a new home. A home that is so much more peaceful, quiet, relaxing and happy for me. I no longer worry where Jackson is in comparison to where Daniel is. I know the animals are safe. I see Sylvia as a happier child. I feel like a weight is off my shoulders. While it was probably the most difficult decision I ever had to make, having Daniel leave our home was no doubt the right one. Sylvia still sees Daniel every day at school and I see him when I drop her off. He calls us to talk on the phone about once a week. He came over last weekend for dinner. He is still a part of our lives. He always will be. The task at hand now is figuring out exactly how he fits in to our lives and how that is going to look. In the meantime our house has been reconfigured. Sylvia didn’t want to be in her room in the basement all by herself so she moved upstairs with the rest of us. Her pink room is now our guest room. Daniel’s blue room is now Kevin’s office. Two weeks of moving rooms all around and adjusting to the new dynamics has been tiring but I think our family is getting settled in. It’s a new chapter in the Klim family book and so far it is one of my favorites.
Some upcoming chapters in our life include Sylvia’s impending adoption. Sylvia’s birth mom filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals and lost. Her attorneys turned around and filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. We should hear from the Supreme Court in the next couple of months if they will hear her case. If they do not, we will be free to adopt. If they do it will be another 2 years or so before we get a decision. Keep those fingers crossed for us that they don’t want to hear it! Kevin recently applied for a new job so that is another chapter waiting to be written. My sister moved to Portland this week. We have lived in the same area for 19 years, at one point living just a few blocks from each other. She, and my nephews, are the reason I left Colorado and came to the Pacific Northwest. A new chapter in her book, the end of one in mine. This past week I had a wonderful meeting with Jackson’s school team, including the principal, to talk about his upcoming educational goals. I also asked that Jackson have some inclusion next year. Currently he is segregated in his special education classroom all day. He has a wonderful teacher and amazing aides who are awesome and I feel so thankful for. But the fact remains that he is segregated and I don’t like it nor do I think it will benefit him in the long run. The team was very receptive and in the next couple of months we will start exploring where Jackson fits in best during the day with his general education peers. Another big chapter in Jackson’s story. We’ve decided to sell the home and property where Kevin and I began our married life and where we brought Jackson home from the hospital. We currently rent out the two houses on the property but feel it is time to sell and let it go. We will probably have to sell the house we live in soon too. I can’t get Jackson up and down the stairs without a great deal of effort. And we still need that wheelchair minivan. Lots of chapters that I think will be written in the next year or so.
The chapters of our life are numerous. Some are memorable, some aren’t. Some of them shape us into the people we become. Others break a part of who we are. Regardless, all chapters are important because they are our story. This last month has reminded me that our stories are constantly changing and our lives are a work in progress. As Albert Einstein said “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”