We're home! Baby 4 is loving his new sister. We are loving that she sleeps through the night. Getting settled into a new routine has been harder than I imagined. Baby girl has some medical needs that take up a lot of time during the day, but we're getting there. I keep catching myself with her thinking, "Don't go falling in love with her when you know she's gonna leave". Then I have to catch myself- SHE'S NOT EVER LEAVING!! It's amazing. I never realized the stuff I missed doing with my babies because of the uncertainty of foster care. Things like ordering personalized stuff with their names on it- because (a) I didn't know if they'd still be here when it came in the mail (b) I was planning to change the spelling of their name after adoption (c) It was unclear what their name was or how to spell it.
Surprisingly, that last one has happened more than once to me. Baby 1's parents didn't decide on the exact spelling or pronunciation of his name until he was 6 weeks old. Every time I saw them, they had changed it a little. We just called him by a nickname that they didn't like in the end. Baby 4's name is spelled differently on his birth certificate than how his parents spell it now, which is different than how you pronounce it. Craziness.
Back on topic though, I'm getting to commit to long term projects like those cute monthly pictures with the sticker on the onesie- because I know she'll be her for all 12 pictures. How depressing would it be to start those for a baby and only end up with a couple of months? I also get to keep my wallet in the diaper bag- No worrying about accidentally leaving it in there for a visit, because there are no visits. So I'm officially purse free! AND if I feel like it, I can take her out of the county (or state, or country!) with out checking in with DHS. It feels good.
Baby 4's Relative Resource is getting married at the end of the week. We are all so happy for her! She tried her darnedest to keep the impending nuptials from the caseworker- suspicious... Hubby is going to have to pass a background check for the custody petition to hold up, and that hasn't been started yet. So this wedding seems to be a fabulous event for all of us!
The official permanency plan for Baby 4 is still "Return to Parent", so the caseworker has been doing overtime trying to help his parents. As a result, a halfway house has become involved and the caseworker is talking about moving 4's visits from the nice, safe, appropriate county facility to this halfway house so the parent doesn't miss curfew. That seems like a flawless plan, right? The trauma therapist is against the idea and thinks that with some prompting, the halfway house will extend curfew on visit nights. I want to know who thought putting a 5yr old boy in a house of ex-cons and addicts would be positive visiting experience.
Foster Care is heating up again... this feels more normal.