Since last week’s treatment team meeting (or maybe even since the day the kid’s moved in), we have lived day to day wondering what would happen next. As foster parents, we have no power and no real say what will happen with the permanency of the kids in our care. The fact that we were chosen as PRE-ADOPTIVE parents and the kids were told from the get-go that we were their forever family means nothing as far as the state is concerned. They have their agenda and “best interest” is just a disguise they label to whatever they choose to do.
On Friday, we got a call from our social worker. She was calling to update me that she had spoken to Jessie (the former foster family before group home placement). She asked Jessie what her goals were within this case and Jessie told her that their unrealistic goal was to adopt Daffy. She said she knows that Daffy is doing well here and they support us adopting her but if things were not to work out for some reason, they would fight to get her back.
Our sw also ran into upper level management in her office and decided to catch her up to speed on the case. We had recently met this woman at a foster parent event in May. While she seemed very supportive of our family, she also insinuated that we had more work to do to prepare for Donald’s return to our family. This made me know right away that she did not truly understand this case. Our sw let her know how things had gone at the recent meeting and the woman in management indicated she had a meeting Tuesday (tomorrow!) already scheduled with upper level management in the state offices (the very woman who stated the kids will NEVER be separated)! She indicated she is going to advocate for our agency to do the the TF-CBT work for Donald (for FREE!). Our agency is well respected in this state, but I feel that is a HUGE risk for the state to accept the offer, knowing that some within our agency have already advocated for the kids to be separated. Could they really be unbiased while they do the work? On the flip side, I believe our agency has far more insight into this case than the RTC (and the clinician I hate) and far more experience understanding attachment issues. It will be interesting to see how thing ones plays out.
The sw and upper management also discussed the fact that no work is being done on the concurrent plan for either child. They discussed listing Woody and Jessie as the concurrent plan for Daffy. I feel quite conflicted about this. If things truly weren’t to work out for us, I can’t imagine a more appropriate plan for Daffy than to live with them. That said, I feel like we would be giving false hope to them. They have been stuck in a time warp for 3 years fighting to get Daffy back, have just begun to process and accept the fact that won’t happen and now this? Can they truly advocate for us if they stand to gain a daughter if we fail?
This morning we heard from the state adoption specialist. They scheduled the trauma consult for Wednesday, but our social worker is unable to meet that day, so it may need to be rescheduled. Grrr. Its not really possible to schedule a consult for a team of 10+ people on short notice. I am wishing she would consider just submitting questions. The call will be recorded and she can listen to it later. While she is a HUGE asset to this team, I dont like seeing things as important as this conference put off because the upper levels of the state could pull the plug on this consult before it even happens.
This morning the kid’s birth Mom is meeting with the clinician and the state adoption specialist at the RTC. Its ironic that this meeting is happening so quickly considering the fact that when the team met with her a few weeks ago, they were careful to not tell her where Donald was placed. Here we are just a month later and she now not only knows where her birth son is living but is also on the fast track to being included in his therapy!
On Friday, Donald was finally given the letter his birth mom wrote last month. After speaking with him about that this weekend, I am VERY nervous for things to be moving as quickly as they are. Here is the note I sent to our CW and SW regarding the first call:
I talked to Donald last night and left the call feeling quite distressed about the situation. When I first called, the staff member said he thought the child was showering, then brought a cordless phone into Donald’s room (which has never happened before). Donald told me he was in there so he would avoid getting in trouble because he had too much “in him” because of his birth mom’s letter. I asked about the letter and he said he would show me next weekend, but did comment on the fact that his birth mom got married on Halloween. He said that vampires and werewolves could get into her because of that. I tried to reassure him that wasn’t the case. I asked if he wanted to see her (birth mom) and he adamantly stated several times “The judge said I cant see her until I am 18!!” I suggested that the clinician might be able to work around that and that seemed to cause him stress. He called me Mom several times during the conversation (which he doesn’t often do) which was even more weird in light of his birth mom being on his mind.
I know the intention of the letters ( & future therapy visits) are supposed to be to give him closure, but I hope the RTC is taking a very close look at how he is reacting. I feel like this is moving VERY quickly for him. Donald did not have notice that letters were coming (like his sister did) and he didn’t ask to see her. I feel like he should have some say… Maybe he will want to see her after all, but from the sounds of things last night, the idea terrifies him!
Overall, things feel chaotic and disorganized right now. I will not give up the fight to determine what is best for both of these children. I continue to pray daily for some insight or epiphany as to what that really means.