Sunny’s Grandpa

I have to confess something…I’m tired of sharing Sunny.

Sunny’s biological grandfather is dying and her brothers’ foster parents are taking them to visit him.  They think I should take Sunny too.  Unfortunately her teenaged brother told her all about it on the phone and now she’s “excited” to go and see him.  She says she remembers all about Grandpa and can rattle off a bunch of stuff about him but I don’t see how she has many memories of him since she was taken into care at the age of 4 even though she spent one year at the ages of 7/8 with kinship placements where she would have been able to see him.

It doesn’t feel right to me.

This is on her father’s side and although he is currently in prison, he comes from a family with a lot of siblings and a lot of drama.  I’m pretty sure if I take Sunny to see this dying man, there will be aunts, uncles and who knows who else there crying and telling her they miss her and wish she could come back. I’m sure all of that is true…..

I just don’t think it’s in her best interest to be back in the middle of that right now.  The older brothers have been at their placement longer and can more easily understand the difference between their old life and the new.

Am I being cowardly and not wanting to deal with this awkward situation myself or just not wanting to deal with the emotional blow back this will surely cause for Sunny.  If the other foster parents think it’s a good idea for the boys and Sunny, shouldn’t I consider it for her?   If I don’t take her, will I be depriving her of saying good bye to Grandpa?

I’m tired of making these hard decisions and respecting the birth family.  At the same time, we talk about her life before she knew me all the time and I’m working hard on a life book for Sunny which honors her original family and all her memories of them.

I am selfish.  I wish she was just mine.


4 comments on “Sunny’s Grandpa

  1. Have you spoken with her social worker and counselor? Is there any way that the social worker could take her if they feel it is important? I am not trying to be insensitive, but to me it seems like the social worker would be better able to handle the complicated dynamics and know how to do an end run around the possibly confusing relatives. Then you could be home base when she comes back emotionally exhausted and not have to be the “heavy” to pulled her away from the family. Ir’s just my thoughts. I know it has to be such a tightrope to walk.

  2. I can understand why this is stressful and difficult – sorry you are going through it. 😦 I do think it’s important she say goodbye to her Grandpa; for her feelings now and later. I like Nell’s idea or at least consulting with therapist how to handle it and maybe even prepping Sunny beforehand that this is what might happen and what the purpose of the visit is. Sending lots of care and good luck.

  3. Can you arrange for her to be the only one present when she visits? I wonder if the social workers could help? If not, I agree that you could let someone else take her. The family will behave differently around a social worker than you, and it might spare her from some drama.

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