You all know by now I'm not around as often as I'd like to be. My daily hits are taking a hit and it makes me sad sometimes. I miss you all and want to be here for you but life is busy and I've always said the thing that helps me get through is putting the right things first (a.k.a. prioritization). The blog hasn't been a huge prioritization.
Things in the case are not going well. This is one of "those cases" that I feel no one is going to every feel completely secure about until adoption is final (long way away if ever). It's one of those cases where all of the classes and rules and regulations associated with a case plan seem to be followed but reunification still doesn't seem right. It's not just a gut feeling. Minimally I'll tell you that it involves kids not wanting to be reunified, kids getting lost on visits, arrests on visits, "mommy they didn't bring me enough food", and lots and lots of missed visits. All of this (and more) and yet there are still no line-in-the-sand reasons to terminate. With that in mind the judge feels compelled to push for reunification even though I'm told she doesn't like it.
That means beginning this week, baby baby will have a 4 hour unsupervised visit with bio parent #1 along with his siblings. Due to the way visits have worked out (many missed visits), bio parent has spent about 28 hours with this child in his whole life -- that's just more than a day's worth of time in nearly 8 months. To him, I am his mom. His face lights up and he does a little dance when I come to pick him up. He has no idea who his bio parents are, which is just a fact added to what I mentioned above about how the visits with the siblings were going. It appears to me that adding baby baby is going to just make it worse.
This, apparently, may be the plan of all involved. The phrase "if we give a longer rope they'll likely hang themselves with it sooner rather than later" was actually used to describe the situation to me. "Hanging themselves" though means that the kids who have been working so hard to heal and have made so much progress will face something so drastic that it causes the "line-in-the-sand" where repetitive drug use, disobeying court orders, recent legal activity including arrests and warrants, inability to hold a job and/or rent, and losing your kids doesn't count as "line-in-the-sand". In other words - someone has to physically get hurt. Everyone agrees this will happen if/when they go home or spend more time with birth parents. Apparently we need to stand back and let it happen.
I am devastated by all of this. Letting "my baby" go to the visit this weekend is nearly going to kill me. It will be all I can do to not burst into tears as I hand him over. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do about it. This on top of the kids being increasingly oppositional to visits so much so that at the last one two kids loudly protested with major tears and one actually held onto the shopping cart I had saying "I'm not going". Really. Those kids have not changed their mind since the last visit. I try to encourage them that they'll have fun but at the same time I feel like I'm breaking their trust forcing them to go with someone they don't want to go with and I can't promise them they'll actually be safe. This is going to be very, very hard.
I don't write about this case much because on one hand I feel the need (for whatever reason) to keep this case as private as possible. On the other hand, I also write pages and pages of notes for the caseworkers and CASA each week. I think I'm just spent writing about it. I'm really hoping this all works out for them to stay but in my heart I've already prepared to lose them. Either way, my hubby and I have talked about this being our last case.
On top of all of that this week I found out that someone close to me is going through a sudden divorce. This person is a foster parent who was in the middle of an adoption. Out of spite, one party in the divorce called CPS to say the other one abandoned the family (didn't happen) and they needed to come pick up the kids right away, including the child they'd INTERVENED to adopt after parenting for nearly 18 months, most of this child's young life. Divorce is hard enough. Ripping a child out of a family forever, not only from the parent but also the siblings who are now going through the divorce AND the loss of the sibling is reprehensible. This child knows no other family and she is loved greatly by (one) parent and all of the siblings.
My heart is overwhelmed with this right now. Both situations appear to be something that cannot be fought and won. Hopeless is the right word in this situation. And yet - we serve a God who is all powerful and good. He is here, in this situation, loving all of his children through this pain. The situation is not hopeless for He who holds the world in His hands. I pray somehow this situation is turned into something that brings great glory to God and in the meantime I can comfort and be comforted. Amen.