Go ahead, tell me a sad story.
My surrogate son …
I am a Special Education Advocate. Not sure why that is all capitalized, but it makes me look better. I have been doing this for a while. I enjoy it, and if I may say so myself, I am pretty good at it. Just look at the real testimonials on my web site (but alas, I am anonymous here, so trust me). If you need help with your school district, let me know. I have dealt with cases in many parts of the country, and won some big issues here.
I am also a “Special Education Surrogate Parent” and this is something needed in every state. Basically I act as a parent in all the ways necessary concerning a student’s education since that student’s parents have lost parental rights. The student is usually in a residential facility or a lock-up or a ward, not in a foster home because foster homes have foster parents. This is one step “below” (?) that. (More surrogate parents are needed in every state, look into it!)
So I get an assignment and, with minimal information, I say “yes.” Then I get a call from the home school district’s out-of-district coordinator.
“Of course,” I say, “I absolutely do want to hear his story. Even if it is the saddest story you have heard in your fifteen years of doing this.”
Steven was seven when his mom found out that her husband was not Steven’s biological father. She ended up killing herself. “Stepdad” then spent two years abusing the boy who was not his son. When somehow “biodad” came into the picture, he took custody of Steven and helped to put stepdad in jail where he is to this day. Biodad was able to get parental rights, but stepdad was on the birth certificate causing problems to this day. Biodad’s family included a couple of young girls, and, well, things did not go well. Steven was also showing many sexualized behaviors; he went into a residential facility and after a while biodad lost parental rights. Public school did not work well because of said behaviors so now Steven is in the residence full-time, getting his education there as well.
I do not know more, so don’t ask. I have not seen incident reports, etc. It has been hinted at that the behaviors are not aggressive towards others. It is up to me if I want to meet him; I feel strongly I should. After all, I am advocating for his education, school therapies, etc. I am the one to sign off, as a parent. I need to meet with him. In my advocacy I always do when possible. I am told that I will be meeting a “very flamboyant, with all the stereotypical presentation, young man.”
I don’t think this is the saddest story I have heard. My own story (with Pearlsky and David of course) is not all that uplifting. But this one is tough. This kid has no one.
There are a ton of sad stories out there. Too many. They eat at me sometimes if I think about them too much.
One thing about that story stands out for me. Makes me think there might be a chance at, if not a happy outcome, at least something better than what he’s had to date.
Yeah that is very very crappy.
Hopefully as a surrogate dad you can make an important difference for him, and I think you will.
I was thinking of becoming a foster parent so I started reading foster parent blogs, and realized I better just be a CASA or Education Surrogate, because in many states, no, nope, foster parents do not have any standing with the Board of Ed, and those boards are very happy to deny basically all present and interested parties the ability to get foster kids 504s IEPS, or even just to erase false information from their files (mentally retarded or bipolar for instance).
Glad to hear that is not the case in your state, but it is the case in my alte heim, and to some extent in my new land.
That is indeed a sad story. I commend you for stepping in and stepping up
for Steven. Nothing will ever erase the abuse he suffered, but having you to advocate for him will no doubt have a positive effect on him.
This is heartbreaking. I feel so deeply for this boy. And so angry with his parents (all 3). Everyone hears a story with their own stories in mind. We had a prenatal diagnosis of a fatal disease in my first pregnancy, a health son after a fertility struggle and then another, longer, harder and yet unresolved fertility struggle. I would love the chance to parent another child and here are three people who just gave it away- and harmed a life in the process. I hope you can give him some hope.