“People usually drop their child off and never come back,” I listened to a social worker say to me. He continued to speak, explaining that exhaustion from years of caring for their child, sibling, or relative with special needs had caused many family members not to stay involved. He explained that they simply walked away, no longer having contact.
As I listened I didn’t want to pass judgement on those parents or family members. I didn’t know them or their circumstance, however as the social worker shared, my heart sank as I thought about those residents. It plunged even more, when I thought about my son, and me walking away….never to see him again. It was something I just couldn’t do.
When I made the decision for Nate to live in a residential facility, one requirement was that his parents were directly involved. I loved and cared about him too much, for me not to see him on a regular basis. I needed to be free to visit the facility at any time, to make sure that my son was being cared for properly.
In addition to seeing Nate during the week, he needed to able to come home occasionally. I wanted to continue our Saturday morning swim time, which we both loved. It was also important that we continue our annual tradition of taking Nate out to dinner for his birthday. And lastly, Nate had to be home during the holidays to spend time with his family.
Dropping Nate off and never seeing him again, was not an option for me. I have to be a continual presence in my son’s life, no matter where he lives.