Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Being a parent means feeling guilty

Nobody related to Niblet's case is doing their job properly (if at all). fostermama and I have been going above and beyond, because we love Niblet, and it's just not enough. We need the case worker and the legal guardian and the judge and the father's lawyer and the father's social worker to all do their jobs. Or at least ONE of them. And they're not. And, yet, I feel guilty. Yes, I know I shouldn't, but I do. So there's no point in trying to convince me out of it.

See, we've decided not to fight for Niblet to be placed with us for foster care. There was court today and nothing happened. The judge "decided" that she should remain in foster care, but didn't place her with the family members who want her, nor with us, nor make any decisions about her long-term plan. He basically just continued the case until next week. Lovely. So Niblet is still with the new foster parents. I'm sure she's happy there, because she's a happy, loving, friendly girl, but it's not like being with family or people you think of as family (like us). Eventually she's going to wonder what happened to everyone else.

What we're hoping for is that she get placed with her family members next week. We met them and they seem like sincere, good people. They want the best for Niblet and cried at the end of court when they realized they couldn't take her home today. We were going to call the caseworker's supervisor and whatnot and try and convince them to place her with us until she can go with her family, but then decided against it.

The thing is, this is driving us crazy. What happened to her, what's continuing to happen to her, the fact that the county will probably work for "reunification"...again...and that Niblet will probably languish in foster care for a long time again and then probably go back to her father. We just can't deal with that. Not with Squeak and ourselves to take care of. The stress of it the first time around was not-quite-bearable.

We're not totally giving up. We're going to call Niblet's father and talk to him. Ask him what he wants and, if it seems like he might be willing to surrender Niblet to us (he has some sort of beef with the other family members and has said he doesn't want them to have her), then we'll say whatever we have to (including some little white lies, if necessary) to make that easy for him. But he'll have to do it FAST, because we're just NOT doing temporary foster care anymore. If he wants to hurt Niblet by making her get attached to people over a long period of time and then ripping her away from them, again, I'm not going to be party to it. And we don't have any power to make sure it doesn't happen that way, no matter how much we wish we did.

Then, if her father doesn't want to surrender her, we're also going to talk to the legal guardian and make sure he understands why placing her with her family members is the right decision. We don't want her to stay with these unknown foster parents, really. The legal guardian is relatively useless, but apparently if we feed him information to help him look good, he might actually use it.

On the plus side, if her family members do get her (temporarily or permanently), they've already said we're very welcome to visit with her. So she won't lose us and we won't lose her. It really would be the best possible outcome for this little girl.


Maerlowe said...

I know how hard it can be when you're hoping and hoping that one person will do his job.

I'm glad you updated, though I don't really know what to say, other than to tell you to keep on keeping on. I'm thinking of you.

qUeEn oF tHe cAstLe said...

System su*cks but YOU already knew that! I have been holding my breath when I read your blog. I can't believe that it's not clear where she belongs. She (and YOU) are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless...

Julie said...

I have been worried about Niblet- I hope your conversation with her dad goes well- this just breaks my heart- hang in there- your doing the right thing for everyone!!

Robin said...

I really hope that her dad does what is the best for her and lets her live with you guys, lets her go....Keep us posted and let me know if I can help in anyway.

Kikilia said...

I hope it all works out for what is best for Niblet.

I can't believe the judge didn't move faster in this case and give her to the relatives- if they are a good placement- or at least back to folks she knows.

The system is f*cked up.
Good luck!