Here we go on a roller coaster again. I know I've said before that a theme in our life right now (and somewhat long-term) has to do with our plans changing. I say it now with a giggle anytime we get word of something changing. I start to say how our plans were...and then shake my head at myself as if I didn't already know that "our plans" are severely subject to change.
Today we got an email from our FAD worker. We are licensed directly through the state so we have a foster and adoptive development home worker that is assigned to our home to help us as we foster and to make sure we are following the rules. In the first sentence he indicated I "see Amanda's email below", which automatically made me consider one case but as I read through that was clearly incongruent with the message. I read further.
We are being asked (well, our FAD worker was) if we'd be interested in and available for adopting our first kiddos - #1 and #2. I can't tell you how much this came as an utter surprise. They left us for a kinship placement - a placement they had been with previously. We knew they were loved there and they loved that relationship too but yes we had concerns. Not concerns enough to really frighten us or worry us, but still we knew there would be challenges. I followed their case because I could. As the 12 month mark approached I saw that their case was going toward termination. I took the chance to reach out to their caseworker to let her know if they needed an adoptive home we'd like to be considered. I quickly received a simple reply - they'd be adopted by the kinship placement. I figured but I thought I'd reach out anyway.
Now apparently the concerns we had have come true enough to prevent the kinship adoption to complete. They've tried additional arrangements (so I'm told) and those haven't worked out either. Now they would like us to consider it.
YES!!!! We'd love to bring them back into our home. We loved those kiddos and would love to adopt them (pending of course visits, etc. - it's been a year and who knows how things have changed with them, but our instinct would be YES without hesitation). Unfortunately though now we're in an impossible situation. We have two kids who used to live with us, who did well, who have been moved around a ton over the last year+. They can't afford to be without permanency much longer. But we also have two kids who live with us now (#7and #8) whose plan is currently for reunification but we've had strong indications that plan will change toward adoption, and though it hasn't specifically been said, we're at least on the short list. More importantly though they've also been moved around a lot in the last year and are just now starting to bond and really start to flourish. They too need permanency and fast, but the case is not yet at the point to eagerly pursue that.
So what do we do? Do we accept the adoption and send our current two to their (more than first) foster home? Do we turn down the two we used to have sending them to a total stranger for adoption only later to learn that the two we currently have will have permanency very soon? Something else?
This is all so new for us. We believe that as we speak with the various caseworkers over the next couple weeks we'll get some source of clarity. Just not sure what that looks like yet! It is hard as a foster parent to be in this type of situation. I can honestly say at this point we're totally concerned about the kids involved - what will happen to each sibling group either way. It feels as if either way we're turning our back on some of our kids. And yet it also seems as though the most likely scenario, the least preferred it seems, is that we'd end up with neither sibling group! That would break our heart.
In case you're keeping records - this means that so far all of the kiddos we've had who've left our home for one reason or another toward permanency have since had the opportunity to return back to our home because that permanency failed. A week ago I would have told you that of the 8 kids we've had, we've only really had the opportunity to adopt 1 (yet to finalize). Now, including the situation with #3, we've actually had the opportunity to turn 4 placements into permanency - which equates to 50% and it appears as if #7 and #8 may also lead that way. I don't know...we'll see.
Not our plan. Our plans would never have been this wild!