Baby 4 is staying safely where he is until May.
We waited 3 hrs in the lobby before being called in for court. I sat with everyone who was there for the hearing. We were the most awkward little group, but we made great small talk about stuffed peppers and school pictures. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected.
The actual time spent in court was around 20min. The county proposed keeping our goal of return to parent and the attorney's of 4's parents agreed to that. That basically extended the county's custody of him for another 6 months while his parents work on their case plans.
Foster Care Fun Fact- Parents who are incarcerated or otherwise detained (like mental health institutions) for extended periods of time are still expected to work a case plan and get their kids out of foster care within 15 months before termination. So being in prison for the next 20 years is not a reason for the county to stop working with you to get your child back.
After that was settled, the judge asked if anyone wanted to be heard about the relative resource situation. RR's lawyer said they wanted him placed with her. The county said that would be detrimental to his well being because of all his medical needs. The judge said she agreed with the county and we will come back in May to see if Baby 4's stay in care needs to be extended again.
We had our last Relative Resource visit today and she will be leaving on Monday. She called me "Mommy" to Baby 4, which took me off guard. She also didn't bring him the present she promised, and instead gave me $10 and asked me to take him to the store to pick out a toy. Again, it's not about the item, it's that she broke a promise to him that I'm upset over. She should have just never said anything about a gift if she didn't intend to get him anything. At least it's over though.
Now I get to breathe. This is in no way an end to the drama with relative resource or 4's case in general, but it's a little oasis where we can know Baby 4 will be celebrating Christmas in a safe place with a stable family who loves him.
I'm so thankful for all the prayers and encouragement we've received as we prepared for the worst. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts.