On Thursday afternoon Dan helped Puff take his belongings out to the car, then drove him an hour away to a special residential program set up just for teenagers (I’m not sure if it’s just special-needs teenagers, or if “normal” teenagers are also accepted into the program) that need assistance with developing independent living skills and moving on to secondary education, jobs, and independent living. This was a goal that everyone had in mind for Puff in the coming years, so it’s great that his caseworker was able to get him enrolled now, because as much as Puff did need to leave (for all of our sakes), I didn’t want him sent to just any available bed in a shelter or foster home – and I made sure to emphasize this to both the caseworker and my brother’s guardian ad-litem.
Of course, as I only half-jokingly predicted, all of this came to fruition on Tuesday; in fact, it was sometime Tuesday afternoon that Puff’s caseworker sent me an email. I was in the hospital at the time, drugged nearly into unconsciousness in order to escape the pain (but only nearly, sadly, so I was still awake enough to experience the agony of it all), but I made sure to check my email when I was alert enough to, because I just had a feeling that there’d be something concerning Puff. And there was. So when Dan took the kids home Tuesday night, he was able to give Puff the “advance” notice then, so he had a little more time to acclimate to the upcoming change and get his stuff packed.
Not surprisingly, Puff did leave some things behind, and there are some things he’d like to have for his room, so as soon as I’m up to it – probably later next week – Dan and I are going to take a bunch of stuff out to him, and of course visit with him. As I’ve told Puff all along, even though I have had it, I can’t do this anymore, this isn’t what’s best for him or us, I still love him, he’s still my brother, I want what’s best for him, and I will keep in touch with him, and when he is approved for visits (us going there, him coming here, “off campus” visits, etc.), of course we’ll participate in them.
Puff called me on Thursday evening and again yesterday afternoon, and he called Dan today, and so far everything sounds great. He’s settled in, adjusting to the routine, and is looking forward to possibly going to a high school he went to before, during the last few months of his foster care placement. Hopefully things continue to work out well for him, and this really will be what’s best for him. :)