We’ve had Midge back for a week now. I’m viewing these extra days as ‘bonus’ days/weeks with her. I haven’t talked to the investigative social worker yet, but it sounds like this most recent failure of family reunification, as they’re calling it, is just another case of ‘social worker strikes again.’
When they reunified Midge with her dad last December, we were very much against it. There is a reason for the 6-12 month recommended timeframe for reunification of infants in foster care. There is just too much crucial bonding going on in those early years and after two years with her seeing us as her family, it was ridiculous to ‘reunify’ her with another person. Not to mention that there had been only a few months when her father really showed interest in having sole custody of Midge. It just didn’t add up and we hadn’t seen enough bonding between them to feel like it was in Midge’s best interests.
Regardless of whether it was right or wrong to move her to her dad’s at Christmas, it was done. And there have been eight months for him to prove that he can be a successful single dad. Eight months for them to build the bond that they lacked for the first two and half years of Midge’s life. He has done a great job. Sure, she is spoiled and doesn’t obey worth a darn anymore, but she is well taken care of and she is loved. As much as we love having her back and as much as we’d love to keep her forever, it just isn’t right what the county is doing…again.
Thursday, they were supposed to close Midge’s case. Midge’s mom and Midge’s social worker saw the writing on the wall and conspired to get more time…some way, some how, just as they have always done. Over the two years we had her, there were multiple changes in county jurisdiction, accusations of various things, social workers calling in sick on court days and openly admitting that it was a lie, and delay after delay being allowed and encouraged. Whatever it takes to drag out this little girl’s case, these two women will do.
So there was probably no danger for Midge when they removed her from her dad a week and a half ago. He is caught up in a technicality and some accusations and probably nothing more. It’s possible I don’t have the full story, but I’m guessing the story I have is pretty close to the truth. And our little girl is confused and emotional.
Poor Midge. Yet again caught up in the crazy foster system. We are so grateful that she had us…her family…to come home to, rather than having to spend this investigative time with strangers. We are so grateful for the good relationship we’ve developed with her dad over the past almost three years. It was hard work and not work that we wanted to do, but we are called to love our neighbor so we did it, and of course, God’s way was the best way.
Who knows how long she’ll be here? We’re just retraining our spoiled little sweetheart and soaking up every moment with her that we can. Every cuddle and kiss and chance to rock her to sleep is a gift. We hold her loosely but with all of our hearts.