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.
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
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.