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Another honest, real life, older child adoption guest blog from John. He is a retired commercial airline pilot who has adopted five boys, over three decades, from domestic foster care as a single parent. John and his family live in southern California.
Tyler’s behavior was deteriorating by the day. Physical, out of control emotionally, disconnected. I told Tyler about the plan for him to go to a therapeutic board and care, wow, not OK. In the Psychiatrist’s office, I told him that we would be going to the school on the following Thursday. Eruption, “I will not go and you can’t make me”. Very loud, I realized that my plan to take him to the school (850 miles away) was not going to work. The director of the school suggested having him escorted. These firms do just that, take kids from home to the facility that they need to get to, safely. I talked to the head of the firm, he was very professional, very knowledgeable, very understanding, and with extensive experience working at RTCs. Not cheap, $4,000, out of my pocket. No choice really, and we set it up for the following Monday.
Two days later on Wednesday, Tyler had other large eruption, very physical, things broken, totally out of control. Once again the PD was there, and very unhappy to be responding to yet another Tyler call. I knew they were about to act, and told them about the plan. They shrugged and said OK. About an hour later the head of the escort firm called to find out how Tyler was doing. His response was “ We are out of time, the wheels have fallen off, the transport will be tomorrow morning at 3:45 AM”. After I hung up, I sat down and cried. Tyler is my son, it was not OK to have to live apart from him for six to 12 months. There also was no choice, sometimes life sucks.
Tyler developed a bad migraine that evening. He didn’t get to sleep until 2AM, I held the barf bucket (his aim leaves something to be desired). At 3:30 the lead escort called to say he was 15 minuets away. Exactly on time, he called to say he was outside. They followed me into Tyler’s room and I said the line I had been given, “Tyler, there are two agents here and they need to talk to you.” I handed him clothes and left the room. He was upset, but I stayed out of sight per their instructions. 10 minutes later he was being led out the door, one escort in front holding his arm, and one behind holding his shoulder. I wish I hadn’t looked, it was a feeling of pure defeat.
About 5 minutes later the lead told me I could go to the car and say goodbye. I asked if he knew where he was going, the answer was no. I told Tyler that he was going to the school. He was very upset. After quite a bit of its not fair, he played his trump card, “You said we wouldn’t leave until Thursday!” Both escorts smiled, I said “Tyler, it is Thursday.” Indeed it was 4AM Thursday morning. His response was “I don’t ever want to see you again.” I waved as they drove off.
They called from the airport, on the airplane, on the ground at the destination, half way through the three hour drive to the school, and after Tyler was at the school. No problems, but the lead was about 6 foot 6, and very built, the little guy was about 5 foot 9 and shoulders like an NFL player. No, Tyler is not dumb, he would not get physical with them. I made the right decision to have him escorted.
Next, the school works, but with a surprising ending.
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