Friday, May 27, 2011

Forever and Ever

I got the "official" phone call today from Tank's CPS Case Manager that they will in fact be going for severance at the next court hearing. She opened the phone call with "I've got some great news!" -- words every foster parent wants to hear. She had told me before that this is what would happen but they had a meeting with their lawyers today and it was decided that adoption is the best thing for Tank.

I am so happy to see the system work! Don't get me wrong... if Tank's mom were doing anything to get him back I would definately encourage that. She isn't. Not one thing at all. I am so grateful that our state has a fast track for permanency. That these kiddos don't have to linger in care developing attachments but not knowing where forever is.

I cannot explain the joy that I feel knowing that I will not have to say goodbye to him. I think I have been fairly open that bonding hasn't come easy with him. He's a dirty, smelly toddler who is full of energy and attitude... not an innocent newborn (which I fall fast for!). But in the past five months my heart has grown to love him. To love the friend that he is to my little boy. To look forward to and expect his little face every day. I love the way that he interacts with my husband. He is a Daddy's boy for sure. And that's okay with me -- because guess what folks... This little boy will grow up with a Mommy and a Daddy who love him very much.

Forever and ever.

I only wish that it could happen quicker than it will -- I am sure it will take a minimum of 6 months if not much longer. It doesn't much matter though -- all that legal and paperwork stuff -- because he's ours. We know it. He knows it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Waiting & Tank


I really hate it. Patience? What is that?

Every time we are on the "call list" for another foster babe my heart races every time my phone rings... an inevitably falls when it isn't the Agency. We've only been on the list less than 2 weeks. I really shouldn't be antsy already. But I am. I want another babe in the house. At this time we are only accepting a 0 - 6 month old. I already am busy with two almost two year olds (why do they grow up!?) and I couldn't imagine having a third toddler running around the house.

Everyone wants babies. So it could be a long wait. And by long I mean less than 6 months... unfortunately in my state substance abuse seems to be on the rise... and momma's can't seem to kick the habit. So so sad. I am hoping we'll have a new addition this summer. We're also looking into increasing our license to three foster kiddos (its only by our choice that we weren't licensed for more... we have lots of bedrooms and space open.) and if approved opening up for a 3 to 4 year old girl. Yep, I want a girl. These boys are wearing me out!

Oh and Tank. I have hinted, mentioned and some of you may know that we are working on adopting our foster son Tank. Love. him. to. pieces. I'll admit at first I wasn't positive I wanted to adopt. I had concerns about 'artificially twinning' my kiddos. Our son is only a few months older. In the end it doesn't matter. We love him. And what better place can he be than a home filled with LOVE?! We don't have court for another month. Case plan will officially be changed to Adoption at that time. His birth mom is hit and miss with her visits. Today was the first time she saw him in two weeks. She isn't working on any of her other services. Like at all. We are hoping to have a semi-open adoption with his birth family. We'll see how it goes! I have no idea how long it will take us to get finalized... this is the first forever foster placement for us.

We are excited!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Court this past week

So Court went as expected and the Judge agreed with CPS that Little Dude should return home. I was not surprised with the result. Honestly, it was a relief. I was afraid that the case would be continued yet again. More bonding time for me only to lose this babe who really need to be with his permanent family.

Even though the outcome was expected it was still upsetting. It was so final. This really was it. Goodbye. So I quickly walked out of the Court room and didn't say much to anyone. Got in the elevator and walked out of the building. I was almost in the parking lot as I heard my name being yelled. It was Little Dude's Mom. She was running out of the building trying to catch up with me. I had told myself I wouldn't cry until I got in my car but in that moment I couldn't hold it in any longer. She came to me and gave me a huge hug. She thanked me for all that I had done for her son. She said she was sorry and hoped that we could keep in touch. She had tears falling down her cheeks too.

I have never had an experience like this with a birth parent ever. Most birth families are pretty nice. Some are upset and given the situation blame you. She was grateful. Loving. Concerned. I think I might even visit her in her in patient rehab program. She needs positive people in her life and I can do that. Plus she can fill me in on how our boy is doing. She told me she would tell him someday how much I loved him.

My heart warmed.

As for the birth father. I am still working on that one. He didn't talk to me much at Court. He only said "Thanks" when I handed the babe over on Thursday. Yep. One word. My tears and silent crying probably made him nervous. So I don't completely blame him. When I mentioned that I would like to go to Little Dude's birthday party (which should be coming up in a few months) he just said a non-commital 'oh yeah alright' I won't hold my breath. In time I hope that he can see me as a support. Someone in the baby's life that will always be there for him....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Guest Post over at Foster2Forever

Today I am guest posting over at Foster2Forever on "Letting Go"

Check the post out HERE.

It's actually ironic when Penny and I were setting up my guest post spot last week she suggested today. Today is the day Little Dude went home. So, of course, I drafted it up days ago and edited a bit last night. If I were to write it today you would probably just get blubbering and sadness. I can't say I feel too much hope in this moment. My heart is sad. But that is okay. It tells me I am a good foster mom. That I leave that foster part out -- that I love them as my own.

I have things to share but for now I am going to hold the little kiddos left in our home... lots.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Still Here

Little Dude is still in our home. CPS decided to postpone moving him until after the hearing next week.

If all goes as they plan, the judge will approve and baby will be going home the next day.

I'll admit I am a little upset that it isn't happening this week. Why? Because I had prepared myself to let go. I had prepared my mind that this was it. That this was the time to be sad and that next week I would seek healing and hope for the future. Now I am living another week with every day as my last this or last that. Last time to snuggle him to sleep. Last time to call and make such and such appointment and be able to say its for my son ____________.

I am grateful for these extra nights because it affords me more time with this little one. More time to rock him to sleep and love on him.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our First Placement

Have you been reading the Mama Mania posts over at The Lark's Nest? If not, you should check it out. Here is a link to today's post.

Did you know May is National Foster Care Month?

Yeah... I didn't until a week ago and I've been a foster mom for over a year. I am glad these little ones are getting a spotlight. I just hope that it causes a little more than lip service... If you have thought of doing foster care ever you should make this month the month to finally call and sign up for classes. There is no commitment or cost. Just check it out, learn some and you never know :)

I decided I wanted to get in on the conversation over on the Mama Mania posts. While I have not been invited to be a part of the panel I thought I could share what my response would be over here.

This week it was about the First Placement Call.

And just like those ladies... I remember it like it was yesterday. We had been licensed for about two weeks. Every time my phone had rang I had been anxious that it may be a placement. I could hardly believe it when it happened. I was home with my son. It was the afternoon and I was making Strawberry Jam. Yep, so domestic. It was an Agency worker calling to see if I would like to accept placement of a newborn girl. YES!! I started crying and the worker told me to breathe and that it would be okay. It was so overwhelming and happy all at once. Within an hour I was in touch with the CPS case manager and she asked me to meet her at the hospital. The baby was born the day before and needed to be discharged. Birth mom and her family were at the hospital at the same time but we didn't meet. I had a friend watch my little boy as I went to pick up this little baby girl. She wasn't so little. In fact, the newborn/premie clothes I brought wouldn't fit! She was over 9 pounds!! She ended up wearing the little pants with her hospital shirt and a blanket home. I remember signing paperwork in a small office and feeling like I couldn't breathe. A nurse and the CPS worker walked me to my car and I drove off with the little one safely tucked in her carseat.

Just like that. Within two hours of placement she was in my home and we were basking in how gorgeous she was. A head FULL of hair! She was with our family for 5 1/2 months before a local tribe stepped in and enforced ICWA. 'Little Miss' our nickname for her would not be returning to her birth family but was placed with a pre-adoptive foster family on the reservation. It broke my heart and still does -- but I am happy that she will have a safe forever family. That is what is most important.