hmmm - maybe I shouldn't title it that way?
We've had our little girl since August. She was 9 months then (15 months now) and if you do the math you'll see we've had her for almost 6 months. In that 6 months there have been 5 identified relative kinship placements that she could potentially go to. In other words, her maternal grandmother, paternal great grandparents, paternal great-aunt, and another one I never knew how they were related. The most recent one was the parents of the paternal great-aunt who were recommended by the great-aunt as a potential home for her. Mind you it has been somewhat decided that this will be a permanent home. Do the math - how old would the parents of your great-aunt be? I'm thinking 70 ish. I don't know how old they are or what resources they have to be able to raise a child - they could have been the best parents in the world with a totally stable family. Nevertheless, when I was told they were being considered I worried for our little girl for one reason, if they were in their 70s, they would be in their 90s before their main parenting responsibilities would be over, assuming they made it that far. Then what would happen to her?
I am completely grateful that these folks were able to come to the decision they did - that she is better off where she is now and that they couldn't provide the long-term family life that our little girl deserves. No one is guaranteed another minute, let alone 20 years to raise their children, but I do feel we can probably provide a better home & life for her than what she would have had. Maybe. I am guessing the decision that they went through (it took 30 days for them to get back to us) was a hard one. Putting myself in their shoes knowing that they had a relative out there in foster care who needed a permanent home, not knowing where she would be placed or what her life would be like - if I were in their shoes my heart would be torn.
We have the opportunity for now to keep up with them (and any other family who wishes to participate) through pictures and our anonymous email system we've setup. That way, if they wish, they can get to know us a little bit. It's one of those things...we think we're pretty cool and if they just knew how she lives on a daily basis maybe it would help...but of course that only helps a little bit...we're not her blood relatives and she would never have that.
Of course, with that family no longer being considered, the state has run out of options for kinship placements - which means that the next step would be to identify an adoptive placement and yours truly would be the preferred home. We have started the process by providing certain pieces of information. That being said, until the judge drops the gavel (which we can be very far from) there is always the opportunity for plans to change and another home to be found for our little girl. In the meantime we will be facing the battle of trying to protect our hearts while moving forward. That my friends is not an easy path to take, but nevertheless we are grateful for the opportunity.