One Step Closer

“We would have been done in May if we had judge P,” the caseworker said after we walked out of court. Hurry up and wait is the catch phrase for foster care. The judge DID find bio-mom permanently neglectful! I’d love to jump up and down and do a little dance, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We still have to go to disposition in August to decide what’s in the best interest of Buddy.

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The judge said, “it doesn’t necessarily mean that adoption is what is in the best interest of Buddy.” That was like a slap in the face. She continued to say how she knows bio-mom did a bunch of wonderful things while in jail (what else was she going to do while she was in there?) and she should continue to do them while she is out. The caseworker listed the whole slew of things for her to do that she didn’t do previously: psychological evaluation, anger management classes, rehab, parenting classes, etc.

The lawyer for DSS said that at the disposition, the judge can make one of three decisions: Buddy can go back to bio-mom, bio-mom gets more time and Buddy stays in foster care, or he can be adopted. Obviously, we want to adopt him. Since we have had Buddy for over a year, we are able to testify and our lawyer and the DSS lawyer will ask me questions about what we’ve been doing since he’s been in our care. Bio-mom can also get on the stand again and the caseworker will as well. The only part that I’m semi-nervous about is bio-mom’s lawyer cross-examining me. I’ve never testified in court before, and while I think the lawyer has no idea what he’s doing based on how he handled court the last time, it still makes me nervous. And of course there is the judge’s decision.

Then today, the day after finding her permanently neglectful, Buddy had a visit with bio-mom. It was truly reminiscent of a horrible doctor’s appointment Buddy had months ago. I walked into the waiting room and she snatched him away from me and he looked at me in horror as she swung him around, hugging and kissing him. When she put him down and he reached out for me, she wouldn’t let him come to me. Then, a girl who was waiting next to me in the waiting room asked how old he is. I said that he’s three and bio-mom answered at the same time, then sighed and remarked out loud, to no one in particular that the caseworker needed to get here because it was getting really awkward. I was glad I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. I think next time I will wait until just before visit time before coming into the building to avoid these difficult interactions in the future. Once the caseworker came and the three of them played in one of the rooms, I could hear Buddy’s infectious giggle and silly laugh. I was glad that they were able to have fun and interact well with each other. When the hour was up, I scheduled future visits with the caseworker and bio-mom remarked about how hot it was in the room. It was comfortable and air conditioned to me, but it made me wonder if she was hot from playing hard with Buddy or if she is using drugs again already. Time will tell I guess.

The lawyers all seem to think that it will go in our favor. I sure hope so. I don’t know how life could exist without our little man. Hurry up and get here August so that we can complete our little family!

My Brain is in There Somewhere… I Think

I know my heart is bigger than my brain, especially when it comes to kids. When that call comes from children’s services, it doesn’t matter what they say on the other end of the phone, I just want to say yes and bring them home. “You say you have a family of 10 complete with a pack of rabid dogs and a herd of llamas? Okay, send them over, we’ll make room!” Luckily I have enough brain to get their number to call them back, before making a decision… Oh and run it by Hubby.

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The call was for two medically fragile brothers, ages 3 and 1. The oldest had a seizure disorder and the youngest had fluid behind his ears and they had been neglected. I asked a bunch of questions, but information is always limited (and often wrong). I called back after talking to hubby (the voice of reason). I said I had more questions for her, but if we were to take them we would need until Monday. The homefinder stopped me right there; she needed them placed that day. The family support center was full and they needed to be placed immediately.

I had no time to get another bed, get a mattress for the crib (Buddy is using it in the toddler bed), get car seats, etc. Not to mention, our reservations are already paid for to go camping this weekend for the first time with Buddy. I sat and cried.

I know… If it was meant to be it would have happened. Not to mention all the pain and anguish we all go through in foster care and dealing with the very flawed system. Do I really want to go through that again? I just thought how perfect it would be for Buddy to have another boy his age, plus a baby. It seemed perfect, but was bad timing.

Children’s services called again today. They were looking to place a 6 year old girl. That, I knew we couldn’t do. We’re outgrowing our house and don’t have a room for her (our third bedroom is more nursery size and serves as an office currently). It would have been a tight squeeze for three boys in one room, and if one woke up, I ‘m sure all three would be up. Plus… camping.

The thing I know though, is that it means that we’ll be getting another call soon. More importantly, next week brings a big day for us. The judge said she would have a decision on the TPR! Plus we’re going camping… with a three-year-old? What was I thinking?? Lol, I’m sure it will be awesome!