Foster care, To love a child knowing that they will leave, may leave, may not leave; it is hard. It is agonizingly slow. It takes forever for cases to be resolved.
I understand, parents need to be given all opportunities to get their children back. But when the parent walks away and the case still drags on, frustrating. Little Man's mom hasn't been heard from since July. July. He wasn't sitting up, crawling, clapping, investigating his world yet. I seriously doubt he would remember her. He has bonded with me, I am mom in his heart.
We are foster parents, we fully expected to support the parents and help to reunify Little Man with his mom or a relative. We had open communication. Gave out cell phone number. Sent pictures. Encouraged mom to come to visits. Pestered mom to come to visits. Finally, we stopped because mom stopped..... and DSS told us to stop. They wanted mom to come to them not me.
The case has now been changed to TPR. Mom didn't come to court that day, her lawyer asked to be relieved from the case that day. There is a waiting period before the TPR court date. That day has passed and no court date is set. We learned with Emma and Michelle that it might be a long wait.
Adoptions has been over to visit. He has come under their radar since it appears he will get TPR. This child has only known our home and our love. This is his home. However, adoptions tells me that there is no guarantee that we will be able to adopt him. There will be five other homestudies when he goes to the selection committee.
When we had two foster children who were minorities with mental health and educational issues we were told that the selection board was a formality, adoption was guaranteed.
When we wanted to adopt our teenager we were told that the selection board was a formality, adoption was guaranteed.
When we wanted to adopt two girls who had been in 6 other placements we were told that the selection board was a formality, adoption was guaranteed.
When we say that we want to adopt Little Man who has never known another mom, we are told that there are no guarantees.
Another story from our county. Two months ago, foster parents go to a TPR trial for their foster child who is 15 months old, they received him at birth. They are all he knows. At the TPR trial there sits another family with their lawyer requesting adoption of the child. The foster parents protest, they have had him all his life. The judge tells them that they can get a lawyer and be a party to the action. They couldn't afford it. They let the child go to this family that stepped in and wanted the child. I am curious to know how they knew to be there with their lawyer. I have been warned by someone who is no longer at DSS to be prepared.
So we are preparing. We have cancelled our planned cruise for this summer. We may need the money. We are changing our financials on our adoption homestudy paperwork, my husband is back at work and is making considerably more money than when we originally filled out our financials. We have prayed, asked friends to pray. We have told everyone that we will not simply let it go, we will fight. Little Man does not need to have the trauma of losing his second momma. He has already lost one. He has attached to me, to us, to his family. We are all he knows.
They say that there are no guarantees. However, I guarantee you that we will do all that we can to keep our Little Man in our home.