Team meeting (sort of!)

My loving husband was able to get the house in order while I was gone picking up kids, so that worked out wonderfully. He vacuumed and put the furniture back where it goes, and made it look nice. I am thankful for him! Especially since D's practice ran late, and the CW actually was at our house before we were! GAL never showed up to the meeting and never called or emailed or anything. I wonder if she put it on her calendar for the wrong day or something.

At any rate. It sounds like the CW has no doubts whatsoever that parental rights will end. She said that at court when the permanency plan gets changed, then visits will start to be reduced. Can I just say that I am THRILLED with the prospect of not having visits on the weekends? Sometimes it's nice so that we can have a date or whatever, but honestly it is a huge pain because let's be honest, pretty much everything fun happens on the weekends. Or, more specifically, on Saturdays.

Apparently one of bio mom's sisters had her parental rights terminated, and she has absolutely no contact with her children. CW thinks bio mom will see that and will maybe agree to relinquish her rights, if we can agree to a contact arrangement.

My husband and I have been talking a lot about contact. D is almost 13 years old. In three years (Lord willing, and of course assuming he is responsible, passes the driving test, etc.) he will be driving, and, if he saves his pennies, he will have a vehicle of his own, and a job to pay for gas and insurance. Meanwhile, he is friends with his mom and his entire family (or so it seems) on Facebook. His mom has 16 brothers and sisters. And of course various aunts, uncles, grandmas, cousins, the whole thing.

If these were our biological children, these family members are not people we would want them to have contact with. Some of them I don't know personally, but I do know that they as a group are often involved in illegal things. We have struggled, and still struggle, with D about how just because someone is your family doesn't mean that the things they do are OK. He has had it ingrained in him that family is more important than anything. He is willing to sweep anything that "family" does under the rug, and to not even think about what they are doing or whether it's right or wrong.

I am OK with sending bio mom letters maybe once or twice a year, letting her know how the kids (gonna have to get used to saying "kids" and not just "boys"!) are doing. I'd be willing to send some pictures too. But I don't know that I want them seeing her in person. There is no way to know if she has been taking her medicine, if she is off of drugs, who will be there with her, etc. If we did anything like that it would have to be totally contingent upon her passing a drug test, etc., and plus we would have to be there to supervise. I would also want to maintain the right to end a visit early at our discretion. We've also talked about making all this contingent on her not contacting any of the children without our knowledge and permission (ie, via Facebook) - so if she does contact them in any way outside of our knowledge, the whole contract would become void. The whole thing just does not sound fun to me at all.

We've talked a little bit about moving to an outlying community (even more outlying than we are right now), maybe one that is at least 10 or so miles away from the city we live in now. We've talked about school, and about how D has this cloud hanging over his head because the teachers at his school used to teach his aunts and uncles so they know the family. We would like to get him away from that. It's just so hard to know what the right thing to do is. We are praying for wisdom and looking for more information from those who have been there and done that.

And of course we don't want D to hate us. He is going to be starting therapy next month again, and hopefully his therapist will be able to smooth this thing over. But it is going to be so, so hard for him. CW confirmed that based on bio mom's issues and her all of a sudden doing very poorly, that there is no way that they would reunify D only. Basically it sounds like they are afraid that he would just be taking care of his mom, which is pretty darn sad.

So tell me, all you adoptive parents out there (if indeed there are any!) - What sort of contact arrangements have you had? What do you wish you would have done differently? What are you glad you did? I want to know everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Especially if you have adopted an older child, and happen to live in the same town as about 100 people from the bio family.

I'm hoping that maybe we will get an attorney to assist us with the adoption and they can offer us some guidance. I hope that they don't expect the boys' GAL to be our attorney because she is, as the CW put it, "An enabler of bio parents" and not to mention abrasive. She makes me feel like I'm about 5 years old again. Ugh.

Comments

  1. Hi LtP...nice to meet you. I understand your fears. When talking about an older child, open adoption takes on a new meaning. I would look online to find resources (foster parent training) on the topic. I think the fact you would consider moving is huge...and might be a good thing.

    I was told (for our 2 year old) that an open relationship with his parents (specifically an annual visit) will help him to avoid fantasizing that life his life would be so much better with them. His birth parents, so far, are easy to maintain contact with. We have direct communication. My only complaint is mom emails me frequently. I only respond when occasion dictates. We agreed to twice a year updates and once a year visits.

    With my 1 year old, I will probably begin communication through the agency. Probably once a year and no stated visits, though I would consider in the future. Her circumstances are different...neither parent sought contact. She (foster daughter) does have a monthly visit with bio aunt. These visits will be contingent upon a conversation with them to ensure they will be respectful of us as parents...which is my biggest concern.

    I guess my best advice is to seek training on this topic. Every situation is SO different. Parents are different. Circumstances as different. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is in their best interest.

    Good Luck.

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  2. Sounds very exciting and very scary at the same time. I'd love to have the boys (and girl) in our family permanently. The possibility of going from 2 grandkids to 6 in such a short time--I'll have to take an extra job to pay for Christmas!

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  3. We have been talking about the same thing too! I just don't know either. I feel like I would do letters and pictures but I also feel like I would want to limit contact at first just to get X used to the idea that he is now in our family permanently. I think it would be so confusing for him if he still had visits...I don't know I could be wrong. I feel like he should have some kind of limited contact with them as he gets a little older but I'm just not sure at this point what would be good. Also, we were told that the county would provide us with an adoption attorney when the time comes. Did you have that impression also?

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    Replies
    1. I definitely think limited contact at first is important. I think especially with the little ones, they could get confused. :/ They didn't mention the adoption attorney, but that would make sense that we would get one and I hope we will!

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