Sorry about the long absence!
I turned on my "email comment" feature so now I'll actually know when you all show your sweetness and comment. Thanks for the concern!
Kiana even called me! Thanks for the great chat!
So how are AV and I? All in all pretty good. Lots of "moments". I will say I think I'm starting to calm down as a mother so that's very good for both of us! =-)
AV is doing just great in her sports activities. At her soccer game this Saturday, her coach said she played better than he's ever seen her play. Yeah! She recently tested for her gold belt in Tae Kwon Do and passed. Double yeah! (That's her in the center).
She's also turned into quite a little reader. From the struggle earlier this fall to get her to do her 20 minutes a day of reading, she is now falling asleep with 4th grade chapter books in her hands! (she's in 3rd) I'm so happy for her! Now if we could get some progress on the math front...
The guardianship hearing has finally been scheduled for May. So we are making progess. AV is excited since I told her as her legal guardian she could actually stay home alone when she is older. And I can let her learn to drive. And sign permission forms. So she's starting to add up the benefits.
My latest heartache for her is that the courts have issued another no contact order on her father. This means he is not allowed to see her or communicate with her or otherwise ask others to give messages to her. The really heartrending part of this is that the order is in effect until 2058.
Just think for a moment how far away 2058 is... AV will be a middle-aged woman and her father will most likely be dead. This order, in effect, means she will never see her father again.
AV idolizes her father and loves him very much. She feels safe with him and though she can't go and live with him, she is still very much a daddy's little girl. Can you imagine how you would feel if you were told you could never see your father again?
This is going to be devastating for AV. We haven't told her yet. The social worker is trying to get more information on the order (why issued, why only dad and not mom too, etc.). And we're trying to strategize who tells her and when. We're doing state mandated testing this week so I wanted that to be out of the way before dropping this emotional bombshell on her.
And who tells her? Me? I don't want her misdirecting her anger onto me. The counselor? I want AV to feel safe in counseling and not angry. The social worker? It seems unfair for her to have to bear the brunt of the anger but we will likely get a new social worker when the guardianship is finalized so maybe...
I really like AV's social worker and I hate for this to happen. How do you deliver bad news in a good way? And how much do I protect her? Is it better to say "Honey, I'm so sorry. But this means you will not be able to see your dad again." or soften it with the "Honey, I'm so sorry. You just can't see him for a long time." and keep redefining "long time"?