Family

This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge is “Family.”

Cathy's husband, Al.

Cathy’s husband, Al.

After much thought I decided it’s important to express what’s taken place in the past few weeks with my own little family.  The center focus was our Mija.

A little over a year ago I posted Happy Birthday to Our Special Needs Daughter.  My husband, Al expressed his sentiments when Mija turned seventeen.

If you haven’t seen this post, or would like to refresh your memory, please take a look.  This new post will make much more sense if you know the events of last year.

This year Mija turned 18.  We had been working with an attorney with the intent of attending a guardianship hearing on her eighteenth birthday.

Unfortunately, due to well-intentioned but uniformed actions there was a snafu.  We couldn’t have a court hearing on her birthday.  We had to wait a couple of weeks.

Angst.

I’ll explain why this is so unsettling.

In the state where I live, a young person is considered a legal adult at age eighteen, whether or not that individual has the capacity to make decisions for their own well-being.

Al and Cathy's daughter, the day after her eighteenth birthday.

Al and Cathy’s daughter, the day after her eighteenth birthday.

Translation – We’re essentially powerless to act if anything happened to her. This will continue until we get certified papers from the court.

Very. Stressful.  Repeat.  VERY.

Mind you, we’re not looking for anything to happen.

Still, whether or not you’re a parent, consider how you’d feel if something happened to your child (who isn’t capable of making decisions) and you wouldn’t legally be able to make informed decisions for your child’s well-being.  While we’re not wringing our hands this has been at the forefront of our thoughts for the past couple of weeks.

It was a warm winter day so we waited for a time outside the courthouse.

It was a warm winter day so we waited for a time outside the courthouse.

Last week we were in court.  FINALLY.

Mija was in the courtroom with us.

Our attorney invited me to sit next to him in front of the judge.  Mija looked a bit uncertain at first but Al and I told her everything would be okay.  She settled back into her seat as she could see me just a few feet away.

Al and I swore to tell the truth.  The hearing began.

The hearing was brief as there was nothing to contest.  An independent attorney already wrote his observations and recommendations after a home visit.

Our attorney asked me to say yes or no to a laundry list of questions.

Had I ever been convicted of a felony?

Had I ever been convicted of a criminal offense?

Was there any reason I should not be appointed as guardian?

While I primarily said no, no and no to all the questions, Mija perked up and said, “No.” right along with me a couple of times.  Al and I had a good chuckle about that.

Then it was Al’s turn to answer the same questions.

Finally, the judge reviewed the paperwork, looked up and said,

Al and Mija enjoy a light moment in her classroom during a 2013 Thanksgiving celebration.

Al and Mija enjoy a light moment in her classroom during a 2013 Thanksgiving celebration.

“I believe all is in order…it is in her best interest that the same people who have loved her, cared for her and made decisions for her all her life for her will continue to be the ones who should make those decisions in the future.”

I sincerely thank-you, judge.

Mom and Dad are not far away as Mija takes a walk in her neighborhood.

Mom and Dad are not far away as Mija takes a walk in her neighborhood.

I know that to be true.

At the end of the hearing the judge asked if it would be okay for Mija to have a piece of candy from her candy jar.

I smiled and said, “Thank-you so much for offering that but she has food allergies so I think we’ll decline on that for now!”

The judge nodded knowingly.

Yes, Al and I are the best suited to be sure she is safe and well.

We are now getting through the hurdles of some paperwork and are wrapping this up as quickly as possible.

We then have to swear an oath to what we already know in our heads and in our hearts.

The three of us are a family.

No one is going to change this.

Our little family, November 2013

Our little family, November 2013

***********

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See also:

 Monthly Peace Challenge: The Neuroscience of Peace.

Lessons on Being Human from a Three-Year Old.

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About

I've always enjoyed writing and finally decided it was time to blog! As part of my profession I write every day, but I'm now trying to take the time to write creatively. My family and friends have been very encouraging as there is little that is written down in the way of a family chronicle. This is a favorite topic of mine! In addition to family history, I write about life, family, friends and faith. My husband is a full-time parent to our special needs daughter. I’ve explored this topic, too. I also enjoy music, crocheting, reading and relaxing with my family. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer!

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Posted in 2014, Autism, B4Peace, Family, postaday, Special Needs, Thoughts, Uncategorized
21 comments on “Family
  1. Sweet, Cathy. I’m glad you have it all figured out. Mija couldn’t have better parents!

    • Cathy G says:

      You’re very kind, Naomi! I don’t know that we have it “all” figured out but we’re heading in the right direction! Thanks so much for all your support!

  2. sheila Zucman says:

    May God grant you both his choicest blessings and the ability to continue caring for her and loving her the way you do.
    aunt Sheila

  3. fgassette says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! You have written a very inspiring post. Praying all the best for your beautiful fanily.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  4. dorannrule says:

    How wonderful that you have each other.

  5. I’m so glad it all worked out. The anxiety behind, all’s well. Lovely family photo, Cathy. You are certainly a picture of love.

  6. Ms. K says:

    I am so sorry you had to go through this ordeal. You two are the best parents I have ever seen. I wish I could have gone before the judge and made this easier for you. Our court system is broken and because of all the frivolous lawsuits it makes it difficult when justice needs to be served. I am glad you finally received a judge who realized what awesome parents you are. Give all three of yourselves a hug from me. Ms. K

    • Cathy G says:

      Thanks so much for this, Ms K! Unfortunately we have to go through all the steps like everyone else. Thankfully we’re nearly there. We’re a bit anxious but we’ll do what we need to do to get this done!
      Take care – as always we’ll keep you posted!

  7. Patty B says:

    Your story is the most beautiful one I have seen for this challenge. God bless you, your hubby Al and your precious daughter.

  8. Kozo Hattori says:

    Congrats, Cathy. You got that right–you are a family and nothing is going to change that. What a blessing. Happy belated Birthday, Mija. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

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