This will be the last update you'll receive regarding Julian's status. As many of you know, our legal guardianship was terminated as of June 7th, 2011. Seth and I agreed to this despite Sarah having failed to meet all of the stipulations of our prior consent order as we felt that a prolonged battle with Sarah was not in Julian's best interests and it was certainly not in the best interests of our other children. At that time, Sarah was still bringing Julian to see his therapist, Dr. G, and his developmental pediatrician, Dr. S., and had plans to establish an IEP with Frederick County schools where she plans to send him in the Fall. So although it wasn't the best case scenario we had hoped for, it was a workable solution for Julian. Sarah had agreed to a continued relationship between Julian and us - she agreed to us continuing to having Julian every other weekend, Thursday through Monday for the foreseeable future.
Within a week or two of the termination of our guardianship, it came to light that Sarah was no longer making any effort to take him to see his therapist, Dr. G.
She has also ceased pursuing getting an IEP set up in advance of his start date at school and will not seek the assistance of an educational consultant. She has full faith and confidence in the Frederick Schools and knows he will do well there without having the IEP.
Finally, earlier this week, we were told that she is no longer taking him to see Dr. S. She has found another "developmental" pediatrician in Frederick. I put "developmental" in quotation marks because Dr. S. has never heard of him and believes that he is a general pediatrician who is willing to supervise Julian's medications. However, Julian is on a complicated regimen of five different medications which took three years to figure out including a series of consults with a specialist at NIH. He should be followed either by a developmental pediatrician or a child psychiatrist. Sarah has no desire to transfer records or notes from Dr. S. to the new doctor, so it is my belief that she does not intend to continue his medication therapy over the long term.
Yesterday Seth and I were told that we will no longer be permitted to have Julian overnight. Although we were supposed to have him this weekend, starting last night, we may not have him. We may instead, if we wish, see him this Sunday during the day.
Truthfully, Seth and I had already decided as a family that we could not continue a long-term relationship with Sarah and Julian as it has become detrimental to the health and well being of our other children and to our family as a whole. Julian's behaviour has deteriorated rapidly since the transition to Sarah's home, his coping mechanisms are minimal, her interference is maximal, her unwillingness to communicate is astounding. We have two other special needs children, including an autistic son who needs to be priority 1 right now, per his therapists and Dan S. So we were already planning to ease off on frequency of visits over the course of the summer, but we had not expected an abrupt end to them without any notice.
I expect that there will be another abrupt end to even our Sundays with him, and I anticipate the possibility that this Sunday may be the final time that we see him.
I tell each of you this end to this long journey not because there's anything to be done about it, but because each of you played a role in Julian's life, or in ours, through this journey, and we feel you deserve to hear the closing act. Time heals many things, and although in my heart Julian will always be my son, I have four other children to focus on now who need me more than ever as they adjust to the new paradigm of our family life. I want to thank each of you for the help that you offered at the times that we needed it. I'm sorry that we weren't able to maintain a level of civility and collaboration with Sarah over the years with Julian as we had envisioned, but I believe that requires a level of maturity, self-awareness, and selflessness that she does not yet possess. Perhaps she'll grow into that someday. I hope so, for the sake of her children. (yes, I said childREN....she's pregnant, expecting another baby in September).
We don't regret bringing Julian into our lives - he opened our hearts and our minds to so much and will forever be our first son. It will take time to adjust to this loss and our family will never be the same without him. But it is time to move forward and focus on the rest of our children.
With much love, and some hope,
Seth, Karen, Sam, Abby, Ellie, & Tobie