Well, court was yesterday. Basically it was no big deal, it was an exception hearing. I guess once kids have been out of home for more than 15 months (these kids are going on 18 months) there has to be a really good reason to not terminate rights. In this case, the really good reason is that bio mom is making excellent progress. The state, the Family Permanency Specialist, the kids' GAL, and bio mom's attorney all testified that they felt that giving the exception to continue out of home placement was a good idea. They all sung mom's praises far and wide.
Then the judge got to dad's attorney, and he was all "Well, MY client has been doing really good too!" It was so funny. No one cares about goober man dad. He doesn't even want custody and even if he did I doubt he would get it.
Anyway. Basically several people during court said the kids would be returning home "soon" (whatever "soon" means). I am a little nervous because right now, bio mom only has all 4 of her kids at once for 6 hours per week. She has 38 hours of visitation a week total (21 hours of that is D's overnight visit), but most of that time only 1, 2, or 3 of the kids are there. I know that personally, after a few hours of having all 4 of the kids at once I am a little stressed out! Dinner times are totally nuts when you are the only adult with 4 kids, especially if anyone is in a less than peachy mood. I sent an email to everyone asking if there was a plan to get her more parenting time with all of them....we'll see what they say.
D's first overnight visit is tonight, and he and I are both pretty darn excited! I asked him if he and his mom had any plans for the night and he said "You mean, besides staying up all night?" I bit my tongue - but that is exactly why I wanted him to stay with bio mom all day the day after an overnight visit. :) Anyway, it will almost be like a night of respite - we won't be able to go anywhere, but we will be able to put the kids to bed and then have several hours to watch a movie or whatever!
I have been watching our friend's baby for the past two weeks. It's not a huge amount of time, just from 6:45 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. three days a week. But I have been getting up by 6:15 or so to start coffee and do my Bible reading and stuff...and I gotta tell you, I am looking forward to not having to get up quite so early next week! Normally I wake up on my own at about 6:30 or 6:45 every day, and even though I am still tired I just get up because I know the rest of the house will be getting up soon and I savor those moments by myself before the day starts. It's funny how just losing 30 minutes or so of sleep a few days in a row makes you feel so exhausted!
Fall has arrived with a vengeance - the high on Monday was over 90 degrees, and now suddenly the highs the past few days have been only in the 50s and 60s. And the last two mornings my car temperature thing said it was 43 degrees! Brrrr! That kind of weather is coffee-twice-a-day weather. :)