Moving so fast!

As is sometimes typical with foster care, it seemed we were waiting...waiting...waiting...and waiting. And nothing was happening.

Then suddenly things are happening fast, and we're trying to figure out what the heck is going on!

Last week the state called to set up a time for us to do a homestudy. We are in a different state from Peanut, but within a 30 minute drive. However, those state lines are a huge pain in the butt!

We had our homestudy (part 1, anyway) scheduled for today.  Yesterday, we got a text from hubby's mom (Peanut's current foster placement) that the caseworker told her the next court date will be a TPR hearing. Bio mom didn't show up to her court date last week, which isn't surprising since the Department has no way to get ahold of her.  He also said she has had this happen with other children as well, which I was not aware of. I knew she had other kids, but wasn't sure what their story was.

The Adoptions and Safe Families Act requires that the state files for TPR if a child has been in state custody for 15 of the past 22 months. Peanut has been in foster care for 12 of the past 18 months, I believe (if I have done my math right!).  Also, even though he was returned to his bio family last year, I am not sure if he remained in state custody or not.  So, that time frame is coming up very quickly.

His bio mom is not doing anything towards her case plan.  She hasn't seen him in nearly a month. I reached out to her last night via Facebook. We aren't real life friends, but FB friends (you know what I'm talking about!). She kept going on and on about how she misses hubby's brother and her son, and she can't lose him.  I tried to tell her she needs to contact her caseworker and get the help she needs, she wouldn't hear of it. I gave her another number to call too, for a friend's mom who works with women who are addicted to substances, but I am not sure if she will. I think she may have been...not sober.  I am just heartbroken for her. She has had a really hard time, I know, but at the same time, you can't just check out when you have a young child to care for and something bad happens. Even if it's really, really bad.

I really want to help her, without enabling her.  But I am not sure how. I know that I literally can do nothing besides care for her child, until she decides for herself that she wants and needs help.  She said "If you get Peanut I'll never see him again" and I assured her that that was definitely not true. And she said "I know you guys want to adopt him but I'm going to fight for him" and I said - Good! Please do start fighting for him. That would be great.  Only I said it nicer. :)

Anyway. Part 1 of the homestudy is done, we passed just fine. Y was upset that the caseworker wanted to talk to the kids alone. He said "Why can't Mommy and Daddy just stay in here? They aren't going to interrupt or be rude or anything!" Ha ha ha that boy! Of course they want to talk to the kids alone to make sure nothing crazy is happening in our house, but he's so innocent (relatively) he has no idea.

Speaking of Y...he asked if his bio mom could be invited to his birthday party. Totally out of the blue.  So I said no, and of course he asked why. I told him that me and daddy are still trying to figure out what our visits with her are going to look like, and that our agreement says we will see her twice a year.  He didn't ask anything else after that.  I feel badly that I can't explain more, but at the same time I'm not sure how helpful it would really be for him.

At any rate. The questions are getting harder and I think we are starting to see we might need some outside help, so I contacted a therapist who works with adopted kids and hopefully we will be getting in to see her (or someone!) soon.  It's been a lot to go through, these past few years (especially the last year, with bio mom kind of popping up from out of nowhere).  He also told me a few weeks ago that he hopes Peanut doesn't live with us for very long. Alarm bells went off in my head and I asked why, and he said..."Because I hope his mom starts making better choices so she can get him back."  Oh, so grown up at the young age of 7.

Peanut's caseworker approved him for overnight visits, so we will maybe be starting those soon.  It sounds like they want to get him moved ASAP. I am honestly not sure if anything his bio mom does at this point will be enough, considering her history and her lack of effort and communication thus far.  But I am still encouraging her to try.  Everyone that I see on her FB is just telling her "keep your head up, you'll get him back, blah blah blah" and I want to be that voice that's saying NO, you don't just keep your head up. You have to get up, and get after it, and make changes and do a LOT of hard work. THEN you get your son back.  I'm not going to feed her that positive b/s because yes, it is going to be really, really hard.  She needs some tough love here, I think. And support. But most of all she's got to decide for herself that she is going to do it. Is she going to change? I have no idea.  I'm a little jaded because of our history with the other bio mom, but at the same time I do tend to be eternally optimistic about people.  We will see.

So much more to say but this is getting long! I'll save it for another day. :)

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