Friday, August 12, 2011

Surgery, Court, and Fear

One more surgery down for Baby 4- His 4th since he's been with us and we are slowly but surely making progress towards getting that trach out. The Dr initially said they would not even consider taking it out for 2yrs because of having to replace it last time. On Monday, the Dr said his goal is to get it out by early next year!! We go back at the end of September for the next one- sticking to our 6 week schedule. No family involvement at the hospital again which made it simpler for me.

After surgery on Monday was court on Thursday. I waited with Dad for 2.5hrs in the lobby before the case was called. I got to talk to 4's attorney as well as Dad's. They were both really satisfied with 4's placement with us and the visit schedule. When Dad's attorney approached us Dad said, "The foster mom took me to the zoo" even though I was right there, he knows my name, and I didn't take him, he met us there unexpectedly- it was cute he was so excited about bio day . The attorney then told the judge that the foster family has been making it a point to extend visits beyond the scheduled times, so no extra time is being formally requested.

Court was about 20min long. All of the attorneys agreed not to talk about anything importnt that day. We then adjourned until the end of September. There was no talk of how Baby 4 is doing, which kind of gets to me because this judge will be making decisions about where he lives forever and she doesn't even know what his medical care or behavior is like and how much time and attention he requires.  So nothing got done, but I got face time with the attorneys and Dad so they can see that I'm on Baby 4's side and hear from me that he's being taken care of properly. The county's attorney walked out of court afterward and stopped to tell me, "I was wondering who you were when you walked into court!" Good, good, way to know your cases.

As I walked out of the court house with the case manager (Foster Care Intake Worker), she told me that Baby 4's case is being moved to foster care management in under 2 weeks and that she will no longer be the case manager. WOO HOO!! I think she meant well, but she made a lot of mistakes and doesn't play well with foster parents (or bios, really). The only thing she said that gave me pause was that there was no guarantee the next caseworker will have the same opinions about relative resource as everyone else in the case. Right now no one wants Baby 4 to move out of state.

No matter what anybody thinks, the judge can send him to her anyway. Our judge is not known for her wisdom and tends to favor maternal biofigures over other options. Having a case manager who supports the relative resource placement will likely result in the placement going through. The law guardian has said she'll be vocal about keeping him here. I don't know how much that really matters though because he will likely never be able to live with his parents, she's family, and we're nothing.

I'm trying to have faith that is stronger than me in this situation, but it's a struggle. Parenting in general gives you so much to fear about: Can they choke on this? Will they fall from that?  Are they growing up too fast? Are they playing with too many electronic toys? Are they developing properly? Are they eating enough vegetables? Are they drinking enough milk? Are they allergic to peanuts? Then you add foster care and it's phobia-worthy: Will they stay? Are they attached enough? Am I attached too much? What do they need before they go? Did I tell them none of this is their fault? Did they believe me? Will they still go to college if their parents never finished highschool? Will they know how to love if they've only witnessed violence? Will they remember that Jesus loves them even after they leave? Will their family still take them to therapy? Will they get to talk about their feelings or be taught to hide them? Will they watch endless hours of TV when they are not in daycare? Will anyone notice if they are struggling in school? Will anybody see what the acting out means?

I have to leave all of that with God, but I'm finding it difficult not to keep wandering back to fear and away from the faith that foster care calls for. Faith that God knows what He's doing and that He's had plans to prosper my children all along. Faith that a child can be kept safe in an unsafe environment by the Blood of Jesus. Faith that the children who come into my home are there for a reason, and God has given me the wisdom to see their needs and skill to meet them. Faith to know that God will hold me close even if this doesn't turn out my way.


  1. Hi there! I just found your blog about a week ago. My husband and I have just started foster parenting classes. I am pretty nervous. I like how you have showed the rooms b/c we have not had a lot of guidance as to prepare for a little one to arrive into our home. We have a little boy who is about to be 3 and we would like to adopt a sibling(s). I also like the grace that is extended to bio dad. I definitely being a foster parent will include a relationship with the bio parents. I think a lot of foster parents look at the bio parents as a nuisance, but the kids are still connected to them regardless of the abuse they have encountered. For my husband and I, extending grace, guidance, love,and acceptance to the bio families is going to be part of our journey. I have kinda looked at is as being on a mission from God.

  2. I'm so glad you found us! You are at such an exciting part of the journey! I definitely consider foster care my full time ministry- bringing Jesus to families in crisis.

    Every couple of months or so I find myself getting the urge to nest. I generally ask myself, "If I found out I was pregnant today (and the kid(s) could be born 0-4yrs old), what would need to be done?" and that's how I set up our rooms. Of course it depends on the ages of the children you are willing to take, but I assume you are already sufficiently set up for kids since you have a son.