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.