Friday, August 12, 2011

Why not termination?

I had a question from someone yesterday wondering why we had switched from termination to limited visitation and questioning if that was really what was best for Zack.

I suppose, as is likely to happen, such things go on outside of this place and I don't really explain them fully here so it looks like maybe this was a rash or quick decision on our part. Trust me when I tell you, the decision to allow visits has not been an easy one. I have lost many hours of daytime and sleep time to worry over this. To concern that I was not doing the right thing. That we were making the wrong choices or that perhaps there was another option. But there is not.

In reality and in a perfect world, we think that termination is what is best for Zack. He still has a lot of anxiety around FoTB. Anxiety which doesn't really seem to be lessening. He saw him for two hours on Wednesday. I was there the whole time. Last night it was 9:45 and he was still lying in his bed, staring at his ceiling.

However, in the great state of Iowa, none of this makes one ounce of difference. In Iowa if a biological parent is sober and wants to visit their child, they are allowed to. Regardless of how negatively that visit affects said child. In this case, said child happens to be my son.

Our lawyer puts our chances of termination right around 1%. Maybe 2%. There is a clause for habitual drug offenders but since he only failed one drug test and has passed several since then the judge is likely to say, look he turned his life around..... Termination is hard and we are not millionaires. We have already spent over a grand on a lawyer and we are not even to court yet. This has all just been for preliminary stuff.

So, we have to work towards what we know we can get. We have to fight for the things that we can make happen and right now that is to limit visits as much as we can. FoTB goes back and forth on whether he wants to be part of Zack's life. He didn't call for two months and then called for a week and then when I called him out on just trying to impress his lawyer and his girlfriend he stopped calling again.

Zack doesn't miss him. On Tuesday night he played baseball with Jim for 45 minutes. He would have played longer but we had to get him dinner and get him to bed. On Wednesday the first thing he told me when I picked him up was that he had a good day and one more good day and he could play baseball with Daddy (Jim) again. Last night they were out playing again.

Zack has a dad in his life. He doesn't need long stretches with FoTB for father/son bonding time. He doesn't need weekend visits to have a good male role model. So, since our state refuses to take away all visits, we are going to try to limit them as much as possible. It is not a perfect solution but it is the hand we have been dealt and we are trying to make the best of it.


Kelly said...

Thank God for Jim. What a great Daddy!

Termination is just nearly impossible here. Does FotB pay child support? I have a friend who's ex was severely behind on child support, went to jail on a different offense, but when they found out about his unpaid child support they added time to his jail time. When given the choice he gave up his rights to get out of jail for non-payment.

Her ex had similar issues to FotB. Similar problems with drugs, etc.

Anonymous said...

what about mental abuse??