We met the kids last night! What cuties they are…wild and crazy cuties that I’m sure will be a handful if we bring them home!
I say “if” because I’ve never seen social services move so slowly! Maybe my expectations are off because we got our first two boys within hours of being certified as foster parents. And we got Midge right away from an ESH home when they called us, too. But these kids’ Auntie told social services in February that she wanted them to move into a foster home, and it’s now mid-April! There was a change of social workers in there, which always drags things out, but still.
I also say “if” because there are two big things for us to consider when accepting placement of these kids.
First of all, it would very much be a foster placement rather than an adoptive placement (at least initially), as the father has worked his case plan and reunified with them once before, and his sister, their Aunt whom we met last night, is hopeful that he can do it again. I don’t know whether the county places any weight to the fact that he tried once and lost custody again or not. I think it all depends on the social worker because the time frame should be winding down with the 18 month hearing coming in a few weeks, but we know from experience that the social worker is really the one who decides whether to keep delaying things until reunification can happen (in this case, for the second try). We would be a concurrent planning family just like we were with Midge…willing to adopt if things work out with them in our home and if reunification doesn’t happen. Again, it all depends on the social worker and if she sees the goal as reunification or as permanency for the kids. (For perspective, Midge’s first social worker viewed the goal as permanency for the child once parental services are terminated, which they already have been in this case. Midge’s second social worker sees the goal as reunification with both parents at all costs, and worked to extend things and still is working towards that goal.)
We had hoped to get a sibling pair who had no visitations and whose parents were out of the picture. We’re realizing that wish is pretty unrealistic. Still, we would have liked to have a little more certainty about the kids’ future than we do in this case.
Secondly, the little girl has a major medical condition related to her heart that is not in her file or was not communicated to our agency. We know the diagnosis but not the complete medical details, and she has no restrictions other than taking several medications three times daily. But it is definitely something that took us by surprise because it should have been in her file. Her brother also has been diagnosed with a heart murmur, which would be something to keep an eye on, especially with the family history of this particular heart disease.
You remember those “check boxes” on the agency’s placement forms? We would never have checked the box for this medical condition! But isn’t that how God works? Sneaking a kid under our radar just because He wants to?
As I was standing with Tia, talking to her about all these things, I thought for sure that Greg would halt the whole process when I told him either one of these huge curveballs, never mind both of them! But I am amazed at how we are both on the same page and ready to move forward with placement despite both of these things that we had hoped to avoid. That is yet another sign that God is working in us to move us toward His plan for our family’s next step of faith in this journey.
So there you go…we need to decide in the next few days if we’re willing to go ahead with the placement. Greg and I both still feel right now that this is the match God wants for us, so unless we suddenly feel otherwise in the next few days, we will go ahead with it. We don’t know the timeframe but will keep you posted.
Please pray for us. Specifically that if this is not the plan God has for our family, that He will make it clear to us in the coming days. And we are thanking Him that at the very least, He is allowing us complete unity in this decision so far. What a blessing, and it’s not one I take for granted!