Tuesday, October 31, 2006
We're even pretty relieved for everything to be over. No more "what-ifs". No more county f'ing everything up. Even the lawyer called her dad a "rare commodity" because he stepped up and did what he had to do.
We had Niblet for one day this weekend and she seemed really fine. She was happy to see us when we picked her up, but not super-clingy or anything. We get the impression that she still thinks of us as her primary parents, even though we only see her once a week. She doesn't mind being with him, but I suspect that she thinks of him more like daycare - eventually we'll come get her again.
He made a point of making sure we have his number and said we can take her whenever we want, so we're glad for that. We'll see her at least once a week for a while and then maybe regularly, or maybe just occasionally. We could take her for a weekend, or just go to the park one afternoon or something. I'm looking forward to seeing out it all pans out. Really, we could probably take her camping with us next summer, if we wanted to. As fostermama has said, it's kind of like being non-custodial parents. We didn't have a divorce or anything, but as far as Niblet's concerned, we are her parents, too, and she'll be happy to spend time with us!
Now we're on hiatus. No foster babies for a while. We're off the list.
We're signed up with our domestic private adoption agency, but we're not accepting a match where the baby would be due before mid-December or so. We need some time for ourselves.
I wish I could post a picture of Niblet for you guys. She's so freakin' cute. And the difference between when we got her and now is so huge - almost a year! We got a nice picture of us, Niblet and her dad outside the courthouse. He even asked for a copy of it. We have a photo album for him that we've already put a bunch of pictures in, so we'll print that one and some of the recent ones, and then they'll have a nice album full of her baby pictures.
We have hundreds more, too, that we'd be happy to share with Niblet when she's older, if we're all still in touch. And videos. She's just the cutest thing.
Okay, well, this post is all over the place, so I'll stop here. We're doing okay over here in FostermomLand. We're happy that we're not worried about Niblet and we're looking forward to what's coming up next in our lives.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
...this would do it.
This morning, fostermama dropped off Niblet with her dad. We had her for 2 days. Next week we get her for one more day and then that's it, officially.
Niblet's dad mentioned the court date next week, on the day we're supposed to have her.
Um, what court date????!
He says he's known for a week. We haven't heard anything about it.
So fostermama gets on the phone to all and sundry to find out what the heck is going on. Obviously, it being the county, nobody's at their desk.
Finally, she gets a hold of another one of the foster parent case workers, who does the legwork for us and finds out that, yes, there's court scheduled for next week, on the day we're supposed to have her, at 11am. She obviously didn't know why we hadn't been informed.
This has been a problem before. Because of this, we specifically asked the baby's case worker (who would be the one to know about court first) if she would make sure to let us know as soon as possible when a court date is set. We knew it could be any day. It's her fucking job to let us know. She's federally mandated to do so, in fact. But we asked her politely. And she agreed that, of course she'd let us know. There were many witnesses.
And what did she do? Not tell us. Again.
Fortunately, Niblet's dad had no problem with fostermama asking if we could have Niblet the day before so we could have our last day with her be a full day, not cut up by stressful court proceedings. We'll bring her with us to court, put her in the court daycare, and then he'll take her home from there. Very likely, legal custody will actually be transferred to him that day, as well. So it'll be a great day for the 2 of them to have together to celebrate.
So, really, it's all fine. We left another message for the Bad Case Worker saying that we have the info and she needn't call us back, we'll just see her next week. We'll see if she even mentions it. I'm guessing not.
Once Niblet is officially out of foster care, we'll be filing a complaint against Bad Case Worker for neglecting to inform us of the court dates. All she'll get, I'm sure, is a "inform foster parents of court dates" from her foster-parent-hating supervisor, but that's better than nothing
Friday, October 20, 2006
Now she's with him for 5 days. We get her back for 2, then she goes back to him for 6 days and comes back to us for 1 final day.
Fostermama was saying the other night that Niblet doesn't live with us anymore. Some of her stuff is here, and we are here, but she really lives with her dad.
It's such a change from 1 year ago.
1 year ago, her parents had missed 8 visits in a row and had their visits cancelled.
1 year ago, chances were high we'd be able to adopt her.
1 year ago we took her into our house with the intention to raise her/think of her as our own almost from day 1.
Since then, so much has changed. Her mom "disappeared", her dad decided to "try" and get her back himself. We didn't feel positive about this at all. Obviously we wanted to raise her ourselves (really, if you ever met this kid, you'd want to, too), but we also felt scared for her. We felt like it would be a huge mistake for him to raise her himself.
But even that's changed, lately. He's not going to raise her like we would, but he loves her and isn't stupid (which was questionable at times) and does want us to be in her life in some way (at least for a while).
We were at our foster parent support group recently and were talking about how it's not a horrible thing that she's going to live with him. How that's really the *goal* of foster care and how everything really did work out the way the system says it's supposed to. Yes, the dad was given too much time, but not more than is federally allowable.
One of the other parents there commented "wow, you've really changed your tune". And I suppose that's the case. But, really, we've just changed. Period.
We are not the same people, the same parents, we were 1 year ago. Raising Niblet, helping Niblet, fixing Niblet, and letting her go...have all been life-altering.
Now we're looking forward to moving along with a domestic private adoption AND continuing fostering as often as we can. 1 year ago we were committed to adopting through fostercare (and hoping to adopt Niblet).
We're planning on taking a breather once Niblet is fully gone. No placements. Just adult time to relax, sleep, get to know each other and ourselves again, spend time with our friends and our friends' kids more, etc.
But we both know that we're going to miss having a baby around, miss fostering, and if they call us with a placement in that first month or 2, it will be very, very hard to say no. After that, I'm not sure what we'll say....