Hello all. As Mr. Boo moves towards his 18th birthday some changes are coming. Normally, this would mean a kid is about the ascend into adulthood (sort of) graduate from high school, go off and start to make their way in the world. But, Mr. Boo has never been one to follow a script. He will graduate from high school, on May 29th. From there, he will spend 3 years at the transition school next door, Focus Beyond. He will still continue to participate in Special Olympics. The only thing that changes is that on March 24, Robert and I will go to court to ask a judge to continue to have guardianship of Boo as he transitions into his adult years. The paperwork is already done. We have met with a lawyer, signed all the correct documents, now it is just a matter of finalizing things. As Ravi becomes an adult he has certain rights with the state of MN. Interestingly, he has the right to marry and have a child. However, I must go to the judge and petition for him to have the right to vote in elections. As our lawyer put it, the law is sometimes odd. So, my nonverbal teen can marry and have a child, but a judge can take away his right to vote on a whim? Pardon me, but I am a bit perplexed. The other rights all seem normal. Boo has the right to food, shelter, clothes, and safety. He has the right to an education until he turns 22. He has the right to make friends and have a social life. All these things are right and good.
I have strong feelings about Boo having the right to vote. Our neighbors across the street have an adult daughter with Down’s Syndrome. When I last voted in an election, I saw her casting her ballot as well. At that moment, the seed was planted. I want Boo to have the opportunity to vote. We talk about politics a lot at home. Boo has a clear sense of right and wrong and knows who he likes and who he does not like. He will be 18 in the next electoral cycle. I think he has the right to vote and I am going to clearly express this to the Ramsey County Judge on March 24.
For some reason, and I am not certain why, I am nervous about this upcoming hearing. Robert and I will sign papers that say we will take care of Boo as long as we live. After our passing, the guardianship goes on, and Boo will continue to be taken care of. It does not seem long ago, to me, that Boo was an preemie in the NICU, struggling to breathe, to retain his temperature, to nurse. Now, I am signing papers that say he is an adult. This nearly takes my breath away.
Thank you to the village with whom I share Boo. You are his support system, his cheerleaders, and for this I am infinitely grateful.