Visit Day

February 12th, 2013 posted by Jennine Knight

“Is it Visit Day mommy?” says Damon as we were getting ready for preschool. I looked at his wondering expression and bright eyes and again wondered how I would explain the facts of his placement with me when it came time. When the vague answers were no longer sufficient to placate his very bright little mind. When I could no longer get by with shrugging it off and saying to myself, “whew, is that going to be a heartbreaking affair”. “Yes”, I say to him, “it is, and we are going to meet at Godfathers Pizza! Won’t that be fun?” “Ooh, yeah, that’s fun, I like pizza”, he says. “And then, you get to go to the pet store where your mother wants to show you some pets. Doesn’t that sound like fun also?” I say. He grins like a Cheshire cat at the implication of impending fun and scampers off to find his shoes. We were to meet after I got off work that day and could pick him up from his Preschool. I really didn’t know how long I would have the pleasure of caring for little Damon when I received him at seven months of age. Now that he is soon to be four, and I am in the middle of adopting him, I would have to say that it never crossed my mind that he would never go home. Little did I know then that after three and a half years of heartbreaking testimonials and denials he would still be with me. During that time he had had continual visits with both parents once a week, but since his father moved out of the home and then later the state and is no longer available for visits he continues to have visits with his biological mother which usually include his maternal grandparents.

Connect The Generations

These days, it’s not always easy for grandparents to stay connected with grandchildren. Many times, distance or even busy schedules get in the way. Remember, communication is the key to any good relationship. If Grandma or Grandpa can’t be there in person, use the phone, write letters or even exchange e-mails. The more interaction, the better the memories. Make the most out of each communication. Both the child and grandparent should share something about what their lives are like. Does Grandma live in a city and the child in the suburbs? She could tell the child what it’s like to hear street noises in the night. The child could tell her about the noises the crickets or lawn mowers make.

Courtesy of CyberTip4theDay

At first the visits were monitored by Child Protective Services (CPS). These visits were with both parents and started out with four hours once a week. They were later shortened to two-hour visits with each parent. The visits would be at the CPS office with one of the CPS workers monitoring the visits. This went on throughout the whole of the three and a half years it’s been since he was taken from his parents. During this time, the parents would not come forth with any confessions, just denials or evasions, which eventually led to his adoption by me, his paternal grandparent. Damon looked forward to these visits but I’m not sure if it was the lady that monitored the visits that he looked forward to seeing or his parents. He really loved this lady who took quite a shine to him also. He seems to have this endearing quality to him, a charm that everyone takes to. He was very good at guessing which day was “Visit Day”. We would pack for the visit together and he would choose what snack he would eat with them while they visited, which toys were to go, what he would wear. He would tell me the highlights of his last visit and we would talk about the visit to come. So in his little mind, “Visit Day” means he is going to get to visit his biological mother and grandparents. His mother and I choose a place to meet where she can spend a couple of hours with her son once a month until either she abuses the situation or he reaches the age of 18. And of course there is the possibility that he just may no longer want to visit her. This visit day was included in the adoption plan and was agreed upon at the last minute before the State of Washington was to go to trial to determine the fate of little Damon in March. If it wasn’t agreed upon before trial, the parents would lose all rights as every right as a parent is taken away at trial. So to ensure that the parents could continue to see Damon, it was agreed to allow visits once a month for two hours. As we have only had two visits since the agreement began and everything is so far so good, I am wondering how it will be when he gets a little older. Will he forgive her? Will he demand to be with her? Will he no longer want anything to do with her? Will she fill his head with doubts? Only time will tell. But for now, time is on my side.

about the author Jennine Knight is a single mother of three teenagers with one grandson at home to raise as her own. She works full time as an Administrative Assistant/Webmaster and has a Virtual Assistance Secretary business on the internet on the side.

She loves gardening, fishing, boating, camping, (all outdoor stuff) sweepstaking, cooking, sewing, writing, and computers.

Jennine Knight (3 Posts)

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