Monday, 16 June 2014

Story Ninety - Breaking The News

I got home from the High Court about 20 minutes before Steven was due home for his Tuesday night "fake transition plan" visit. Only this time - it wasn't fake - I'd be telling them him that he was coming home for good. I knew the order Justice Mostyn had made that morning was just an interim order but I was also sure that once home, there was no way that Hillingdon would ever get him again. Something would have to go drastically wrong for the two court experts to decide that living at home was not in Steven's best interests.

Because the court order was never published, we fell under the COP's privacy rules and therefore, I had to fend off all the press interest that was generated. I left that to Chris to do and he set up several interviews for February, when the final hearing would take place.

Steven arrived home at 4.15. Francis, his main support worker was with him. And the guy from the Unit, who had been to most home visits and spent them making copious notes in his little black book. I didn't want to tell Steven in front of him. I could see that the guy had already heard the news and he was looking desperately uncomfortable. So, I took Steven and Francis up to his bedroom. I hadn't worked out what to say but blurted out: "Steve - do you want a really big surprise on Friday?" Bear in mind, that Hillingdon had told Steven about their plan to move him to Wales and hadn't reassured him that he could open his Christmas presents in the Uxbridge house. 

"Open Christmas presents in the Uxbridge house on Friday?"

"Yes. Open Christmas presents in the Uxbridge house on Friday and stay in the Uxbridge house with Dad forever and ever".

Steven thought about it for a bit:

"M House is all finished on Friday?"

"Yes. M House is all finished on Friday. Coming back to the Uxbridge house on Friday forever and ever".

It took several repeats before it started to sink in. Me and Francis were crying - Steven was singing "Back For Good".

And then, the normal Tuesday night routine kicked in. I went off for the KFC and we settled down to a mammoth Christmas music DVD session (Cliff, Boney M, Wham etc etc). 

After Steven went back to the Unit, for the first time that year, I didn't get upset or feel empty. I didn't sleep that night. I spent the whole night on the Get Steven Home group, reading people's wonderful messages and thanking everyone for their support.

I must have slept a bit because I woke up at 5am the next day with a stark thought. Because I'd been so scared that Steven would be spending Christmas in Wales, I had put Christmas preparations on hold. I'd better get cracking - I had a proper family Christmas to arrange.

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