Skip to main content

Phone Calls

Sometime early afternoon I got a call from Caseworker #3 calling to follow up on some adoption paperwork and my email about Stella's concerns over her sister, Solana. I tried to get information about the progress that was being made in that case to help us decide if introducing her would be beneficial or long term but he was like "it's too early" "can't really say". Boo. 

A few hours later he called back. "I have some news. It looks like the foster mom is giving her 14 day notice. It's not official yet but it's very likely to happen. So you are my 1st call. Will you take the baby?"

We've gone over and over this scenario and decision. All the reasons we said no before are still true. She could go home. She will have visits my kids won't. This is a foster care case and could be years before it goes to permanency. She's 4 months old and we have 4 kids.

But...

We don't have TPR looming. The adoption is under way. And the likelihood that she will actually return home seems pretty small. The kids are worried about their sister and at least we know she is safe with us. We can prevent any further trauma in the event that she does need a permanent home, which we have already agreed to do. 

It boils down to two things- does the fear of the loss trump the fear of trying to heal the trauma?

We decided that it did not and we said we would take Solana. At least the kids will know we tried to help their sister if she does go home. And they have lost siblings before and we have reunified children also and we all survived. It will hurt and there will be fallout but that seems easier to handle than the alternative of missing Solana's 1st 2 years until the courts decide that they've given Mom enough chances for the 7th kid and she comes to us after multiple
moves. 

Now this is foster care, so it is possible that this will not happen so it's not official. But I did say that it was likely this placement would disrupt. This was a "friend" of Sheila's that only knew her a year. She has grown kids and didn't sign up for foster care. I totally understand how you could agree to "help" not realizing that this is way more than watching someone else's child. 

I was told she's fed up with bio Mom, and the state. It also sounds like the visits  used to be in the foster mom's home with her supervising and have changed to a supervising agency at Bio Mom's house. I predicted that the relationship would sour pretty quickly when she was setting boundaries. I'm sure we will get a text from Sheila about how glad she is that the siblings are together but I have a feeling she will  be pissed and pretty quickly start giving us more attitude than we already are getting. Maybe she'll remember to call her kids? 

So we are strapping in and heading back into foster care land. With a baby, which is also a little scary since we've never had one. We expect the kids to have mixed emotions. I also expect some backslide in behaviors from Smiley and Sarah. And some parentified behavior from Stella. Simon, my sweet Simon, will be great because in my sea of girls he is the anchor. 

I should mention we got calls about 6 other children today. Say a prayer for those we said no to.

Stay tuned! 

Comments

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?"
"No."
"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…

FAQs

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 …