Skip to main content


We had court last week. It was just a status hearing but the psych eval on Sheila and trauma assessments on the children were being admitted to the record. Sheila almost no showed again. If we had started on time she would have missed the hearing entirely. As it was, we started 45 minutes late and she was 5 minutes later than that, so she walked in before too much information was shared. 

The take away was that Bio Mom's prognosis is poor. According to the report, it is unlikely that she will be able to protect her children or stop being a victim of domestic violence and the recommendation was termination of parental rights. The judge once again said that there was no progress being made. 

Thankfully, the judge took the most important piece of the kids' trauma assessments and commented that they need permanency very soon. She said that it was clear from the reports that if a permanent solution is not found soon, the children will suffer further trauma and that isn't in their best interest. She also said that this case has been in her courtroom for 11 years and we are basically in the same spot we were in the 1st time. 

The States Attorney was speaking in "ifs". "The next permanency hearing is critical. If nothing is improved we will probably recommend a goal change of termination." And similar statements. She talked about a bunch of procedural stuff on the Dad's which makes me believe they are at the cross your t's, dot your I's stage.

Sheila ran out of court and briefly said hi passing us in the hall afterwards. The next day she called to set up a schedule for phone calls since she's been missing them. She even stated she wouldn't work that day so that she didn't miss the calls. She talked about focusing on her case and not on work. She talked about becoming an effective parent. It sounded like she was just mimicking the things she's been hearing at parenting class. (And I'm sorry but if you can't remember a 15 minute call with your kids once a week we have some bigger issues. Set an alarm on your phone if you have to.)

She asked for our house rules and wrote them down at the suggestion of Stella. (And this is where I hope the person observing them at the parenting class was paying attention. The 9 year old suggested Mom adopt rules because no one was taking turns. Said rules were offered to Mom months ago.)

All great things. But sadly, too late. The time for this full court press was last year. And even so, like the judge pointed out, this family has a long history with the system.

I listened. I tried to support without being condescending. I very clearly restated how serious the kids' mental health issues are. She would agree and then contradict the statements she was making, confirming for me that she doesn't really understand. I was glad she made statements like "my kids deserve my best". It will make it easier when they ask me later on in life if their Mom tried to get better. Our intentions are to keep her a part of their life with us, so I also tried to keep that in mind as I listened to the excuses she was giving me. 

I'm still not ready to say we are for sure heading for adoption. I've heard too many stories of the goal not changing despite what everyone seemed to say. I'm just taking it one day at a time praying that the next three months don't contain a lot of drama. We have a lot of hard work to begin in therapy and my hope is that we get far enough along so that if the goal changes in the fall, the kids are better prepared. It is clear the Sheila has some major issues to work on and I don't see them getting resolved in three months. 


  1. I can't believe how long these kids have been in limbo. And even worse, that they aren't fixing it NOW. How much more has to be done before they pull her plug?

    1. My only explanation is that if they had been expeditious the first time the kids would be split up for life. At least this way they are all together.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

She Never Cried

Sheila called to wish Sarah Happy Birthday and she shared a story with her that as a baby she never cried. Not when she was hungry, not when she was tired, never. She never cried.
A little later Sarah said to me:
"Mom, my Mom said I never cried. I don't really believe that. That can't be true can it? Don't all babies cry sometimes?"
Oh my sweet girl. The red flag went up for her too. As I listened to Sheila share this story fondly, I felt sad. That was a sign of her RAD. That was because she couldn't count on adults. That was because she cried and no one came so she learned not to cry.
"It doesn't sound right to you, does it?"
"I know your Mom shared that story because she thinks it's cute you never cried. It made me sad. You are right babies cry so adults take care of them. You know how you had a lot of different adults that were supposed to take care of you as a baby?"
"Yeah, like 10 foster parents."
"Well …

Minimum Parenting Standards - Monday's Post

I can't figure out Blogger's time zone and I may not have time to write Monday evening so here is Monday's post.

This week we are having another "team" meeting. This time to discuss the "minimum parenting standards" that the kid's Mom has to meet in order to be "good enough" to parent them.

Now I have all kids of issues with this entire exercise. The first being that these kids deserve better than the minimum. The second, that good enough isn't going to cut it with their issues. The hardest part though is being asked to write down a guide to being their parent FOR their parent. Putting my commitment to first reunify a family to the test. It is one thing to suggest ways in which she can be a better parent and to support the goal by not bad mouthing her and encouraging the kids to share their true feelings. It is an entirely different thing to sit down and write a guide for a woman who has yet to grasp the basics after two years.

It wa…

Reader Question: Did You change their names?

Yes we did. We actually started using their new names shortly after their good bye visit with Sheila last August. So the only name that really changed this week was their last name (kind of, one of them actually had our last name). We had started using them so we wouldn't have to try to do a name change mid-school year. Plus the kids had only been in the school the last 1/2 of the year so they didn't know everyone yet. The school was great about going with the new first names.
At some point Simon spontaneously asked his teacher if he could change his name tag on his desk to our last name. He was tired of waiting on the legal stuff. He started to write Simon Almost Last Name on his papers. So we asked all the kids and they asked for the same update. Their report cards and benchmarks still had their legal names. 
The name change was a bit cumbersome at first. We sounded like owls because someone would ask for a person by their birth name and we would all answer "Who?". W…


I had some questions asked of me recently that I thought I would answer here:

1) How do you keep doing this after so much crap?
I actually had two different foster moms ask me this. One dealing with a false allegation and one in a kinship case with a pregnant, unstable bio mom.

I'm not sure I have an eloquent answer to this question. I think I've reached a point where I see the bigger picture - the kids.  That's not to say this stuff doesn't drive me nuts or make me emotional. I would be spitting fire if we had to deal with a false allegation. I'm really upset about the potential of having to make a decision about another baby. But if not me, who? We are good at this. There are kids that need me. And I probably need them. I am a caretaker by nature.  What would I be doing with myself if I didn't have 15 different obligations all at once? I have no idea because I've always been this way. And right now all of the current drama is related to my children. I s…

It is a process

It's a physical ache. A pain in the middle of my chest.  And it causes hot tears, the kind that sting my eyes.  It settled over me today and I couldn't shake it.

It started with news that more people in our lives are expecting and today, I just couldn't muster the happiness.  I heard complaints of not feeling well and my ability to plaster the smile on my face just vanished from my body. I left the house to "run an errand" but really I just needed an escape.

All week I've been able to communicate and tell people about Solana leaving without any trouble.  I probably sounded like a PSA for "How to be the role model foster parent".

People were asking:

So will you get to adopt the little one? Is she staying?

Well no, actually.  She is going home in a few weeks. That's the goal of foster care. We are really happy for her dad. He really gets it. We've built a relationship. I'm so glad she doesn't have to go through the pain of adoption or …