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