Our foster daughter has been with us since she was 2 days old and now she is over 2 1/2 years. Her father has been diagnosed with something in the Pervasive Development Disorder spectrum. Some feel he has Asperger’s and some feel he has PDD – no other symptoms. He has also been diagnosed as having narcissistic qualities. Regardless, the focus has been his inability to bond, show emotion towards his daughter, his poor social skills, etc. He has his daughter every weekend from Saturday morning until Sunday night. He never misses a visit and does what he is told to do. He is in his mid-thirties and can not keep a job and still lives at home with his mom. I believe that he loves his daughter in his own way. However, he seems to think of his own needs rather than hers. For her first year, he would call me to set up visitation but would never ask how she was. He was told that this is something that he needs to do so now he does. Up until about a month ago, he would never greet her or say, “good-bye” to her when he would see her. He was told to do that so now he does. However, it isn’t how a parent typically would greet their child after not seeing them all week. There isn’t any great emotion, just a “good morning.” He does what he is told to do but doesn’t seem to feel what he’s doing.
Currently, the foster care agency is trying to terminate his parental rights. The basis is his inability to bond. One issue that is going to come up is his poor social skills. It is very difficult to understand what he is trying to communicate. Also, his inability to understand how various things could affect his daughter worry me. For example, he asked the court to move our foster daughter into another home because he changed his religion and wanted her to go to a foster family who had the same religion (no one specific, just any family who had the same religion so she would be going to complete strangers). He and his family are happy with how our foster daughter is being raised by us and feels that she is in a good environment. When he was asked how being moved from the family who has loved and raised her for the last 2 1/2 years would affect her, he had nothing to say. He felt that she would adjust and that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
I’m afraid that the judge may hear the testimony regarding his inability to communicate, his inability to show that he cares and his poor social skills and say, “so what.” Our next court date is in Feb. Do you or any of your members have anything to say in response to “so what?” We love her so much and she deserves to be raised by someone who celebrates the wonderful little girl that she is.