It's not a good thing when the judge's first words are something along the lines of we have slow progress and I'm not sure if we are going to get there at all... The state asked for a ruling on progress. GAL told the judge the kids are manifesting anxiety physically. Judge ruled there was progress and therefore no grounds for termination. She did encourage the group to consider other alternatives such as guardianship.
Normally when I leave court I feel defeated. Hopeless. And even though this means that we are likely in for another 1-2 years of foster parenting that at least DCFS, the state, and the GAL all see that Mom won't be able to parent her kids (she's too busy trying to blame everyone else to put the energy into dealing with her own issues and learning how to be the Mom her kids need to be). I feel validated. And I feel that the court is not going to send the kids home until they feel safe.
The new strategy is to give Mom the time with her kids that she's asking for to prove that she can parent them. We know what happened before and at this point I'm pretty sure the kids are going to test and test and test her until she breaks.
And while we had said at one point if there wasn't an end in sight at this juncture we would disrupt - we have changed our minds and decided these are our kids. (And while we do not get enough stipend to cover all their expenses it would be nice to have day care paid for until they are all in school full time.)
Guardianship would allow her visitation and the right to consent to adoption and that's not the permanency that the kids or us seek. And the case worker didn't think Mom would go for that.
The kids were granted a meeting with the judge in a month. Then we have the 2nd part of the permanency hearing. In September. Perhaps with more time and more bond between all of us we'll be at a better place.
We spent yesterday at a psychiatrist appointment for Jelly Bean and the park with Mom and all 6 of us. She asked some basic questions about Jelly bean medications but it seems she think JB will "outgrow" her mental health issues. This alarms me because I'm fairly certain her issues will be life long.
At the park she had a very hard time keeping an eye on all 4 kids and giving them the attention they sought. JB fell and played the martyr and Mom was all concerned poor baby. I said Gee JB if you are that hurt maybe we need to go home. With that she popped up. Mom look startled. She had no clue she wasn't really hurt. JB also hung all over Mom the entire time. Smothered her as if to say I love you more I'm affectionate. It actually made me really uncomfortable and I'm not sure why. It managed to really tick off her sisters. And I suspect this is going to create an issue shortly.
But we had to stand back and let her try to handle it. In the end the kids were very worn out. So it was really fun getting the up at 5:30 this morning for a graduation.
But as I'm sitting here at the graduation here is the dream in my heart: The year is 2022. And we are anticipating Little Mama's name being called to watch her receive her college Degree. Gabby is 2 years away from hers and JB just graduated High School and Mr. Mohawk graduated from Junior High. I'll be beside myself with pride while I sit with my Mother on one side and their Mom on the other.
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