This post has been a long time coming. A lot has happened since I last posted.
First off, about Boo. We continue to receive updates about him, as well as many many pictures. His bmom’s parental rights have been terminated, and he will be adopted by his step-grandmother this summer. We saw him in March for his first birthday, and he’s still a sweetie! The skinny, undernurished little guy we met a year ago is now a chubby, happy, healthy soon-to-be-toddler. We are incredibly happy for him, and for his family.
In September, T & I got married. Legally. It was a beautiful weekend, and we were surrounded by many family and friends. We continue to educate others on marriage equality in our state, and do our best to insure that our newfound rights are not stripped from us.
Lastly, we are no longer foster parents. After Boo moved to his new home last summer, we had 2 calls in 6 months. With one of the calls, the caseworker tried to blackmail us into taking 2 children for a less than a month (“If you don’t take both of them, they will be seperated”) This was after we told them we only had room for one child. *rolls eyes* So in December, we informed the agency that we were not renewing. Wouldn’t you know it, we got 3 calls in 2 weeks! Even after the notice from DHS came that our license was now rescinded. I have mixed feelings regarding leaving foster care. I know that in many cases, foster care is a wonderful thing. However, I don’t believe that we have the “right stuff” to put up with the crap.
This means we are no longer “Fostering Pride”. I’m hoping to leave this blog up for a while longer, just because it does chronicle a significant portion of our lives.
Where does that leave us? Well, follow me to find out what’s next…
This article caught my attention today. Since you may not have time to read it, I’ll give you the first two paragraphs:
When the 15-year-old girl accused her father of abusing her, she was placed in a foster home while the allegations were investigated. That home was just two doors down.
A week later, the girl’s father fatally shot her and her foster father before killing himself in the northwestern Tennessee community of Dyersburg. Now people are questioning the actions of the state agency responsible for protecting children from abuse and neglect.
A tragedy. And I do agree that there are many questions that need to be answered by the state’s DCS. Unfortunately, I can see a few of the failings in this case. The biggest is that the community where this occurred is rather small (about 17,000). My uneducated belief is that there aren’t many foster homes in this community that will take teenagers.
So why didn’t they move her to another community? Foster children deal with a lot of changes when they move into a new home. In our state, the agency in charge of placing children tries to keep a foster child in their current school district. Changing this child’s school, especially during high school, would put an uneccesary burden on her.
But two doors away? A couple from our foster class wanted to be able to care for their 4 year old granddaughter when she was placed into care. However, because of the abuse in her current household, it was decided that the grandparents were too close to the issue to effectively care for her. I would believe that going to a very near neighbor would likely fall into the category of “too close for comfort”.
An awful tragedy. No real answers. And sadly, not too much will be done.
So, hi…My name is Blondie, and I DO have a blog. A neglected blog, much like any indoor plant that may live inside our home might be. Did you know I have a black thumb? Apparently, I also have black, um, fingers?
So yes, we’re still here. And a little busy.
Some highlights, in a nutshell:
- Boo is thriving in his new home. J, his step-gma and soon-to-be adoptive mom, has sent us pics and updates of him, and we know he’s well taken care of. He’s filling out, and the last pic we got showed him grinning from ear to ear. His brother is just beside himself, he’s so excited to have Boo with him.
- We’re pursuing options with adoption and/or foster care. We got our payment together and started our application, but that’s been placed on hold because…
- J has given our contact info to a few caseworkers in her community. One caseworker currently has 3 infants (different cases) that are at or nearing TPR, and will need an adoptive home in a few months.
- Oh yeah, we’re getting married in a few weeks. And people are expecting a party. You know, with things like cake, and food, and music. These things must be planned, you know!
So yeah…that’s our life right now.
After today’s court hearing, we’re feeling LOTS better.
1. Based on the evidence presented in today’s hearing, we do not believe that BM will get Boo back. She showed up for the hearing in shackles, wearing a standard-issue orange jumpsuit. Her family has a long history with DHS and law enforcement. BM is not mature enough to be able to care for a child, can’t get past her substance abuse issues, and is indifferent to a child’s needs. This is good news for Boo.
2. However, we won’t be getting back either. We met J, his mother’s step-mother, and we like her. Those of you who’ve seen me know that I’m tall. She’s taller than me, and about our age. She’s got a good head on her shoulders, is employed, and is a foster mom herself. And as a bonus, she adopted Boo’s 3 year old brother. We gave her our email address, and we will do our best to keep in touch with her about Boo. This is a good thing, and it’s a very good place for him to be. She’s able to give him the one thing we cannot: a biological connection. Anyone who’s adopted a child, or has been adopted themselves, knows how much that connection means. I can only speak by proxy on this, but Trish can tell you first-hand how important and rewarding knowing her sisters has been. J will be a fierce protector of Boo.
It is not the resolution we wanted for ourselves, but it’s not about us. This is about him, and about what is best for him. We will always miss him, he will always be our Boo, but we cannot be selfish. We were so lucky to have him, even for a short time. We’ll always hold onto that.
Thank you, everyone for your love, support, and prayers the last few days. We do feel better now that we have more information. We will get past this.
Our little Boo is leaving us. We don’t know if it’s for a short while, or if it’s forever.
At noon today, I got a call from Boo’s SW. BM’s attorney informed SW that BM has requested that Boo be placed with BM’s step-mother. We had the option of having a 1-week transition period, or immediate removal. After consulting each other and SW, we opted for immediate removal. Tomorrow afternoon, SW is going to come to our home and take Boo from us.
We’re gutted, obviously. We have a lot of questions, and very few answers. One big question is why did it take 7 weeks for his step-grandmother to, well, step up? Is she interested in adopting him?
BM has a hearing on Monday for this case. She’s still in jail, awaiting trial for a collection of misdemeanors. We will be at this hearing, and do hope to make a statement.
Right now, we could use all the prayers, healing energy, white light, etc that you can spare. This is our son. Love makes us his family.
Ok, I’m sorry to do this, but it’s time for another bulleted post. Here is a small snapshot of what’s happening in our lives.
- It’s been 2 weeks and one day since we first held Little Mr Boo. Yes, we even call him “Boo” at home.
- Sleep is getting a little better. Not much, especially when the non-waker decides she needs to help with the 2am feeding/shouting match. We both do it, and it’s a habit we’ve got to break!
- We had to do the “formula shuffle” this week. LMB wasn’t taking too well to his original formula (Formula A), so we swapped it with something else (after getting the dr’s ok). Unfortunately, WIC doesn’t cover that formula (Formula B), so we switched again to a sensitive version of the original (Formula C). It’s actually working better than Formula B.
- We also switched bottles to Dr. Brown’s. A bear to clean, but oh, so nice! (Isn’t parenthood exciting?)
- LMB had a weight check on Wed. Since last week’s appt, he’s gained a WHOLE POUND, and now weighs 8 lbs 9 oz. He’s filling out nicely, and I think he’ll hit a growth spurt soon. He still needs to get longer to fit into some of the 0-3 clothes we’ve got for him.
- My brother referred to LMB as his “possible future nephew” last week.
- My mother is already starting to think about what quilt to make for his first Christmas.
- He turns 2 months next week. I think I’ll start on a monthly letter for him, one safe to publish here, and one to put into his lifebook.
Not as good stuff:
- Da Moms have been sick off and on all week. Today is the first day that both of us have been back at work.
- Mother’s Day involved a 3 hour trip for T to the walk-in clinic, while LMB stayed with my mother. I think Boo and my mother had the better afternoon.
- We’re about to run into a situation with daycare. We love where he’s at, but she won’t be able to keep him over the summer. She’s got a few school-aged kids in her daycare, and when school lets out, she has to change her capacity. We’re working on a solution.
- LMB’s BM did not sign a release to allow us to leave the state with him. So, we can drive 4 hours west and stay inside the state, but can’t drive 4 hours east and go across the state line.
- She also claims that she will be entering rehab (as soon as she’s out of jail, of course) and will be working towards reunification. Our SW doesn’t believe that she’ll be able to pull it off, however.
Will try to post more later…hard to do while holding a little one!
It’s been a week of love, let me tell you. Little Mr Boo is so incredibly yummy, and sweet, and beautiful, and loving, and tiny.
Let’s talk about the tiny: Right now, he weighs in at about the first percentile for his age (7 weeks), and second percentile for height. He’s still in newborn sizes, most 0-3 clothing looks as though Paris Hilton is wearing…well, my clothes.
In the last week of having LMB, we’ve learned:
- When you have an infant, everyone wants to see him, hold him, love on him. This applies to people you know, and people who come up to you at the store.
- When you have an infant of a different race than your own (and you’re with your same-sex partner), people will assume that you’ve adopted already. You get extra credit for telling them you’re foster parents and LMB is “staying with us for a while.”
- Some mothers, no matter how many chances they get, cannot or will not get their act together. Two arrests in three weeks is not a good thing.
- Our dog, Bailey, is quite protective of LMB. She gets nervous if someone other than us holds him in her presence. Last night, we put her outside while a friend visited with us. Before she came back in, we placed him in his crib so that we could get ready for bed ourselves. The dog got frantic, looking for “her baby”. So much so that I had to pick her up and take her to his crib so that she could peer in and sniff at him to make certain he was alright.
- Those who know us, and those who’ve just met us, want us to adopt him. SW says it’ll be a “long term placement”.
- A week ago at this time, we didn’t know LMB even existed. Now, we can’t imagine our lives without him.
Yeah, so I haven’t been here in a while. But honestly, I have a great excuse.
No, really, it’s a doozy.
You don’t believe me, do you?
Sheesh, you’re a tough crowd.
We got a baby.
No, not an adoptive baby, a foster baby boy. N was born 3/19, and has 3 older sibs who’ve been TPR’ed over3 years ago. We don’t know how long we’ll have him, but we’re (mostly) enjoying life with this little guy.