Case plan changes

Blue’s case plan was changed a few weeks back to Severance and Adoption, it is no longer a reunification case plan. I don’t know what I expected to happen after the case plan change…but I was waiting. Blue recently had another court date, which I missed due to a miscommunication with her DCYS worker. Apparently during the court hearing they arranged a pre trial. Wait. Reverse. Trial for what? I still wasn’t clear on the whole thing; I reached out to my DCYS worker–she was unavailable until later this week, luckily I was able to speak to her supervisor. Apparently a TPR is happening.

A TPR (termination of parental rights) is one of the last legs of being ‘legally free.” Once a child is legally free they can be adopted. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first we have a pre trial. My understanding is that during the pre trial the teams get all their information squared away and prepare for the trial THEN you go to trial on a separate court date. I now have 2 court dates set and maybe by Christmas the trial and appeal will be completed. Yes, bio parents will have the right to appeal whatever is decided during the trial and I’m sure they will as they’ve made the case very difficult by taking every opportunity to drag the case out. In addition; they’ve not been complying with a majority of their requirements to reunify their family.

During the trial the judge typically powers through a number of things, first it’s pretty much facts about the case. What’s been done vs. what’s not been done in regards to the bio parents. Then lawyers will chatter on about what’s in the best interest of the child or children. Sometimes the judge will deem adoptive families during the trial, if you are deemed an adoptive home then the child or children will not, cannot, be removed from your home as your intent to adopt has been discussed during the trial. This can also happen at a later date.

Do I know if the TPR will be successful? Nope. I’ve learned to never get my hopes up for anything or anyone in regards to foster care. I know what Blue wants, I’ve encouraged her to speak to her attorney about it and he can help her get everything she desires. I want her to be happy even if it hurts me. I will support any choice she makes, to stay here with us, to move to another adoptive home, to live with relatives, or even to go home. I love her, I’ll fight for her.

The wait continues

We have recieved news of the judges ruling, it is bittersweet. Isn’t always bittersweet in the world of foster care? The good news…severance was granted. The bad news…there will be more waiting; we have another court date in the middle of summer. There is also appeals that could be made by the bio parents. Waiting, it’s the foster care way.

We had Bells birthday party last week, she picked her decorations, cake, and 4 fish! She asked for fish for her birthday gift, sweet girl. We had a fun pool party and invited some of her bio family to come celebrate. It was a nice day, everyone had a great time. Bells enjoys her gymnastics class and reading.

Shy is still working on his party plans, he mentioned having a party at the lake and eating cake. He hasn’t even given me any birthday gift ideas! He has expressed interest in football, however he is’nt keen on commitments. I really want to get him into an activity or sport but only time will tell what be will choose.

We. Are. Moving. It is NOT fun. The kids help a lot, the boys are working hard and effective. I am proud of them. I wish the girls would help out more; what can you do? The kids will all stay in their current school district, that is a relief and after we move into our new home we will have a pool party and invite all our friends over.

We are currently fundraising to help pay for cheer travel costs, we are going to Florida in April. Heeeey, the Summit! Biscuit is excited about this trip, I am too, she is psyched. Biscuit is working on her full, she gets frustrated and cries. She keeps going through this cycle; new skill, crying and ‘I can’t do it!,’ success. Let’s hope she successfully conquers it soon!

Boychild has turned a new leaf, he is being responsible! I am very happy to see this change, our whole family is. He completes his chores independently, he tidies up his room independently, and he gets himself ready in the morning without any prompting. It may seem small to you but to us this is a huge milestone! I am proud of him. At our new home we live close to the open desert so he will be out riding his dirtbike more, he is happy about that.

Bunny has been naughty, she is pushing the limits and learning the hard way. It sucks BUT she is a fast learner and has been working at making good choices. She really enjoys drawing/writing, playdoh, and coloring. She is my artsy kid! Bunny has been perfecting her back-handspring and loves cheer!

Lemon is learning new things and being a typical toddler. Recently she has taken an interest in reading! We will begin sight words after our move, things are hectic right now. She attends preschool and goes to tumbling classes, she wants to be a cheerleader like her sisters.

Tonight is date night! Wednesdays are my favorite days, no dinner to make! I get time to hang out with the husband and often other friends too! Adults only time is wonderful and anyone who says anything different is crazy. Oh, one last thing. I recieved some Younique liquid foundation and I will be doing a review on it soon!

Well, that was unexpected.

On our car ride to court today, 60 miles away, I discussed with my foster kids what we were doing in court today. I reminded them to speak their minds, tell their attorney what they wanted to do, and where they wanted live if they weren’t allowed to live with bio parents.

Bells had ideas of family members who she hadn’t seen in several years, and if they couldn’t be located or take care of her she expressed that she would like to stay with Husband and I. Shy had told me in the car that he maybe wanted to stay with bio dad, but once we started to talk to the attorney he changed his tune. He told his attorney that he’d like to stay with us! I didn’t see that one coming.

Unfortunately, there were several instances where the biofamily interrupted the judge, spoke out of turn, and made a fuss about things that weren’t relevant to the current hearing. It was crazy, I’ve never experienced anything like that. I was sweating uncontrollably, I was anxious, and things were out of order. I felt out of control as legal terms were thrown around, the judge raised his voice, I felt like a child in the principles office. I can’t imagine what was going through my foster kids minds…I could barely wrap my mind around it and I’m a grown adult.

In the end the judge didn’t make a ruling, he said he needed to review the entire case before making a decision. The attorney broke all the legal terms down and explained to the kids what happened on the courtroom. I spoke with the attorney alone, without the kids, and the attorney was candid and filled in a lot of what really was going on. Oh, boy.

Here we are, in limbo. We are awaiting a phone call from the attorney letting us know what the judged ruled. I’m guessing sometime next week we will get the call. Until then…we wait.

Ch-ch-changes.

Today marks a day of change, I’m unsure of what the future holds. Bells and Shy have court this morning, it’s a permanency hearing. What does that mean? Well, it means that the courts are trying to figure out what is best in the long haul for these kids. Is reunification still an option? Will parental rights be severed? Will they find family members willing to adopt them? Will we adopt them? It’s a big day.

Obviously they will take into account what the kids want, and it’s probably not staying here. Why? They haven’t fully comprehended that all foster homes aren’t like ours, in fact they think every foster home is like ours.  They think they’ll have their own rooms, a pool, a trampoline, pets…in short they told me all foster families are rich. (We sure aren’t rich but based on the living conditions that the kids were in before,  I get it. We’re only rich in love!) Bells and Shy have issues with trusting people and they’re ready for the next step in their adventure. They will undoubtedly bounce from home to home until they age out of foster care or move into a group home.

I wish I could persuade them into staying…that is unethical. I’ve told them that we are going to court today to figure out a long term plan for them and where they will live. They’ve come to ask me a series of questions:

‘Can I have my birthday party before we leave?’

‘Will we still get to keep our stuff?’

‘If I keep picking at this blackhead on my nose do I still have to go to court?’

‘Do we have to stay together or can we be seperated?’

I’ve tried answering them to the best of my ability, but I don’t have the answers to some of the questions.

Husband and I had talked about the possibility of adopting the both of them, if they decided they wanted to stay, Husband just said ‘Looks like I’ll have to buy Shy his own dirtbike.’ The truth is; this is new for all of us. We have no idea what we are doing. We are like that little bunny hopping through the forest, except we are hopping through foster care system.

Wish us luck this morning, pray for us, anything would be great. I have no idea what’s going to happen, all I know is Bells and Shy have been with us for 10 months and during those months they’ve become our family. Whether the stay or go…nothing will change that.