Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Were They Thinking


I've been telling the staff at my sister's group home about my adoption plans since they began. Last month when I knew I'd be going to Uralsk, I told the staff that I would be away from Canada for roughly 3 months. They responded that my sister would miss me.

Something seemed to be missing. I would have liked to have discussed some plan to help my sister who is profoundly developmentally understand that I am away and I will return. We've lost both our parents, Dad 9 years ago and Mom almost 6 years ago. I want my sister to know that I am coming back. Leaving Kathryn and not having a means of communicating with her is a huge worry for me. Kathryn can't use the telephone, and I don't think she'd understand seeing me on a computer via Skype, she might think I'm really some where close, it would be more upsetting than helpful I fear.

On Tuesday Kathryn had a dental appointment, she sedated so it is a LONG appointment for us, we arrive at 8:30 and got out of the office around 2:30. While we sit and watch her sleep, her main care giver and I have a long time to chat. So I revisited the issue of me being away for so long.

Hello, the staff at the home didn't put it together: Me away = Kathryn doesn't go home on the weekend. What were they thinking??????

As I type this Kathryn is lying on the couch watching her favourite tv show Lawrence Welk. It has always been MY decision to bring my sister home on weekends. There is a lot of work involved with caring for my sister, something I love to do. But think of this, my sister's abilities are equal to a 2 year old. She cannot take care of herself or any of her personal needs. She can feed herself, but again, think 2 years old- how does spaghetti sauce get all over your hair, an unexpected 3rd shower to wash hair at bed time isn't totally unusual. And the laundry, well it isn't unusual for me to find myself doing 5 to 7 loads of her laundry on the weekend, and this is only the stuff she uses when she is with me. This to me is normal. I've dealt with it my whole life. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact.

I live with my brother, and it is with his support that I am able to care for Kathryn. BUT the group home staff thought that my brother would continue to bring her home like usual while I'm out of the country. I don't bring my sister home if my brother is away for the weekend. You cannot care for a profoundly developmentally handicapped adult alone and work at a full time job. Oh, never mind that we, my brother and I, might actually like to have a life. The staff member actually got mad and said my brother had to step up.

Taking my sister home on weekends is a choice, it is not a requirement. Of her 7 housemates, only 3 of the other girls go home, and that is to with their parents. We are Kathryn's siblings. We adore her, but we do not have to take care of her. My brother is ever so patient with my sister, and I know he will be wonderful with his niece/nephew. But that's the point, he will be an uncle, not a parent. Truly, what are our obligations as siblings?

I now have to make an appointment with the supervisor to discuss how we are going to deal with the fact I'm going to be away for such a long time. You'd think 4 years would have been enough prep time.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I just came across your blog and saw you are adopting from Uralsk. My husband and I adopted our son, George, from uralsk in August 2008 and he's doing really well, he's from baby house 1, group 2. Let me know if you have any questions.
I can be reached via email or our blog which is and my email is