Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not our baby.

Well, that's that.
We had the case review meeting this morning and, unless lightening strikes or her dad totally messes up somehow, he's getting her back.
Probably in September.

He's doing everything he's supposed to be doing. He's on track to get an apartment in the next few weeks. They've increased his visits to unsupervised, with a long one (6 hours) one day a week. More of his adult children are coming out of the woodwork to say they'll support him and help him out once he has her back.

Her mom has popped back in a little bit. She's headed for jail and treatment in the near future, and said outright (to one of the case workers) that she knows she's not up for taking the baby at this point, but she knows the dad is working on it and she's happy about that. So she's probably going to be TPRed and have some sort of restraining order regarding the dad and baby. Whatever.

I know this is the plan. I know I have had no reason, lately, to think that she would stay with us. That doesn't help, though. I want her. I love her. She's becoming such a little person lately, and her personality is coming out so much more. I *like* her.

We have to work with her dad so the transition is as smooth as possible. That's what we can give her. We've given her so much so far and it will help her for the rest of her life, yadda yadda...I just don't care. I want her to be my baby forever and nothing will ever make it okay that she's not.

I don't know what to do now.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I'm such a liar.

Did I really say "it will be okay" if she leaves?
No. It will not be okay. It will be horrible and worse than I can even imagine. And the only way we will get through it is with a good therapist, our friends and family, and each other. We *have to* get through it, or else it will ruin our lives and our future family.

I spoke with our social worker a few days ago about all the communication problems we're having with Niblet's caseworker, and she asked about how the case was progressing. When I told her that the dad has 2 visits a week and just has to find an apartment and continue his counseling and that I'm pretty sure he has nothing legal against him (and they have no legal reason to drug test him, so they just assume he's clean)...she said "I don't like the way that's all sounding." Meaning that she knows that that means he's going to get the baby back. Unless he messes up royally.

And I recently attended our foster parent support group and heard stories of other FPs and how their foster kids went back to really horrible situations, with parents who said to anyone who would listen that they didn't actually love or want their kid, but case workers poo-poo these things and just hand them back the kids anyway. If these people got their kids back, then there's no way that Niblet's dad isn't getting her back.

Our only hope is for him to mess up or for the judge to rule in our favor for whatever reason.

I still think that she'll be safe with him, which is more than other foster parents can say when their kids go home, but of course I want to keep her.

I feel like I'm wasting my time. What I want is my forever family. I do love fostering, and we'll most likely continue doing it, but now I'm antsy for a baby who will definitely stay.
And now we have to wait until her next court date (most likely) to be able to move on with our plans. That's not for another 5 months or so.

The plan now is to forget about trying to adopt through foster care. In this county, at this time, hoping for such a thing is a joke. Kids are going home and that's that. I'm not spending another year of my life babysitting a child who I will love like my own only to have her be ripped from me and handed back to the parent(s) who abused her in the first place - especially since the county has very little ability to make sure these babies are safe after they're returned.

Unlike most couples, fostercare was our first choice, so our "plan b" is to try to conceive. Plan C is private domestic adoption through this non-profit in the midwest that only does AA and biracial infant adoptions. Of course, we keep going back and forth about whether we want to try adoption first or conception first. We keep coming back to conceiving, so that's probably where we'll go.

The plan is that I'd try first. Fostermama has never really felt like being pregnant, and I kinda do, so there we go. It just makes me feel weird and sad to think that, a year from now, I could be pregnant and not have Niblet at home with me.
And now I'm back where I started. It's very important that we properly grieve and workthrough everything after the baby leaves us, or else we won't be able to properly celebrate whatever comes our way next. The fact that we know this is heartening, but, from this distance, it's so hard to believe we will ever get through it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


So I met with her.
Turns out, she hadn't been aware that I was the FP for her client's child.
She just became aware of this last week and, since she's been invited to the next case review meeting, she wanted to make sure I was aware that she was working with him and that she was going to be at the meeting.

Makes sense. If I had thought that she might be invited to these meetings, I would have given her a heads-up as well.

She was very compassionate, saying how, if she put herself in my shoes, that this can't be anything but a hard situation. Either way it turns out, she said, someone is going to have some strong feelings.
I don't know if she was trying to tell me something or not, but what that says to me is that the bio-dad feels very strongly about not losing this baby. Which is obvious, given his desire to "try to parent her". It also points strongly to him, if the time comes, choosing surrender over TPR. Which is heartening.
I just hope someone tells him when that time is, because I'm not sure he's able to read the writing on the wall.

And, by way of a happier update, the baby is doing very well. She's working on her crawling, doing well with her OT exercises, and just becoming more babbly, interactive and loving every day.

Long shot, overactive imagination

I work at a non-profit that does a lot of different things, including providing counseling services of all types.
I'm not a counselor, though.
I got to work this morning and had an email from one of the counselors in a different department from mine asking me to see her when I have a moment.

We never interact in a professional way, so this is probably not work-related.

I happen to know, however, that this counselor is working with Niblet's bio-dad. This information has come out in bits and pieces over time, mostly during the case review meetings.
And I know that he knows I work here, because I've seen him more than once.

The only thing I can think of that she'd want to talk to me about is him and our foster daughter. My mind is racing with the possibilities. Maybe he likes her more than he likes his case worker and he wants her to organize a meeting between him and us, to talk about surrender?

Sure, it could be work-related, or totally about something different. Or it could be a negative thing regarding the bio-dad, like that he's uncomfortable working with her knowing that I work here, too. Or something else.

But I can't help hoping for something wonderful and I hope she gets into work soon so we can talk and get it over with!

I don't realize how much I hope her parents will just up and surrender until the *teeny* possibility of it pops into my head.