A flurry of emails have been sent and received this week from Wolf's own therapy team, the new group home to which we hope he will be admitted, and between Yukon and myself. With every new greeting at the top, every innocent misstep that by now I should know occurs in any placement of any individual into any group-lodging situation, our family is one checkpoint closer to the arrival of oldest kid.
Are we sure this is the place? Are we sure these are the people? Are we sure Wolf is ready? No, but we never will be. This big leap will be the first in a series; the pilot project, if you will. If not now, when? Wolf would age out of CHYC within a year, anyway, and given the future of his care needs, I'd rather have him come back to Alaska as a child rather than an adult and have to wade through the legal, ethical, and physical dilemmas he (and we) will face. No, better to do it now.
Why Fairbanks? Many Alaskans screw up their faces when they say "Fairbanks". It's freezing in the winter, hot and smoky in the winter (lots of forest fires), and rather isolated as far as largish cities go. But, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is there, a number of vocational programs, too, and Yukon and I feel good about it. We have met some great folks, have connections, and in many ways, Fairbanks reminds us of our home city of Port Angeles, Washington.
After I return from SLC next weekend, AK Fam will turn around and head up to Fairbanks and check out Wolf's potential new digs. Then the real countdown begins....