Thursday, September 27, 2012

Little of This, Little of That

Things are quiet on the legal front.  

The next hearing on K3's case is on Wednesday; we will not be attending.  We haven't attended a single hearing for her yet, because they've all been for minor things.  And with the way things are going, I'm really glad we haven't wasted our time there.  On Wednesday, it is expected that the DA will drop the TPR petition.  Everything will start over from here as far as the TPR timeline.  In six months, they can file again; they can still use the material and evidence from the past two years, which I was grateful to hear.  There is no telling what BD will do; this case has turned from an almost guaranteed adoption into a waiting game.  And yes, we know as foster parents that everything is a waiting game and nothing is final until it's final.  But you certainly have a different mindset when you get a child who is on the way to TPR than when you get a child that is yet an unknown.  Not that we would love her any less; but you just have it in your head that you can't get your hopes up.  She was supposed to be our "easy" case, the one we didn't have to worry about.  Oh well.  God knows.  He certainly hears our prayers. 

The next hearing on Liam's case isn't until a week from Tuesday.  I really don't know what to expect.  BM just continues to spiral downward more and more out of control.  

Things on the home front are a different story.

Homeschooling more than one child at a time is certainly and interesting and challenging - but of course fun - adventure.  Hunter is in seventh, and Kaleigh is in first.  I am doing some pre-K work with K3, but not on a daily basis.  We are doing Social Studies, Science, and Literature together each morning; then we have a special (different each day), then lunch.  In the afternoon, K3 and Liam (hopefully) nap while I do math, spelling/writing, language, and reading comp with Kaleigh and Hunter.  They each do grade-appropriate work.  I really enjoy the freedom to choose what my children will learn and stay, as well as the ability to schedule their days/weeks and prevent them from coming home from 6 hours of school just to do 2 more hours of homework.  

Liam is becoming such a little man!!  He walks along furniture, but refuses to stand or try to walk with help - he crawls everywhere, and very quickly!  He discovered this week that he loves to climb stairs.  He made it all the way to the top the other, with no help (except a spotter, of course!), and yesterday while I was grading papers, I had to pull him off the stairs no less than four times.  He is eating mostly solids now, and his eczema has cleared up quite a bit, so I am seriously thinking it is a milk allergy.  We already know he can't have soy (*someone* kept force-feeding him soy formula and he would ALWAYS throw it up) so we are starting to try a little almond milk to see how he does.

Aside from Randy working some late nights lately, I guess that's about it :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Halfway There

I'm almost too emotionally drained to write this.  I'm a little bit concerned I'll leave out something important.  But here goes my attempt anyway...

When I got into the building, I headed straight for the bathroom, where I ran into BM.  I said, "hi," quietly, and kept moving.  Then when I was sitting outside of court, waiting to go in, she came and sat down across from me; she was crying a little bit.  She said a few things, the same things she keeps saying every time I see her at court ("I'm a terrible mom," "I wish I'd done better," etc.  I'm sure it's all very sincere in the moment, but her continued actions never show that she really means what she says).  I didn't have much to say, although she did ask me if there was anyway we could do a "temporary guardianship" until she is ready to get him back, and I replied that the court would not do that.  She nodded, and a minute or two later got up and disappeared again.  I went back to reading my book.

A few minutes later she came over again, sobbing almost hysterically.  She said she'd just gotten off the phone with her mom, and that they both thought it would be a good idea for her to terminate her rights voluntarily.  She was very upset, but kept saying she wanted to do what was best for her son.  I moved across to sit next to her, gave her a hug, and talked with her a few minutes.  She begged me to always take care of him, and to tell him that she loves him, and I told her what I tell all our birth parents that I get the chance to:  "We would never tell him that you gave him up or didn't want him; we will tell him that you loved him enough to do what was best for him."  She also wanted to know if she could have a "goodbye visit," to which I said of course we'd do that.

She never did calm down.  And she still didn't have an attorney.  The public defender's office got a hold of the PD who was assigned to her, and he was out of the building, but was in the area and was on his way over.  To his credit, he showed up about 2 minutes after we got into court.  I was pretty impressed.

When we got into court, the judge tried to talk her into calming down.  She told him she wanted to terminate voluntarily, and he advised her to wait until she had an attorney before she started talking - we were on the record at that point.  Her attorney showed up about that point, the judge asked them to step out of the court, find a room, and talk while they went through everything with BD.  

BD terminated voluntarily.  The judge had to go through a ton of questions to make sure he knew what he was doing and everything, and a couple of questions made me worry!  But BD got through it, and I was pretty impressed with how calm and composed he remained throughout.  I had written him a letter and put together a little photo book with photos from each month Liam has been with us, so when the judge dismissed him from court, I handed that to him.  I had been kind of hoping I would get to talk with him, but since they were calling BM and her attorney back in, we all had to stay put.  His mom was there though, so I was glad he had her for support.

BM's attorney told the judge he wasn't comfortable letting her voluntarily terminate today, because of how distraught she was (I understand that to a certain extent, but also thought it was kind of silly, since anyone making that decision is going to be understandably upset!).  Anyway, it sounds like her attorney did tell her that she needs to do voluntary, so hopefully between him and her mom, she won't change her mind before the next hearing.

It has been an emotionally draining day.  Now I'm looking forward to a quiet evening snuggling with hubby in front of a movie with pizza and a glass of wine :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Update 2 of 2 - Liam

Well, our hearing yesterday was adjourned again.  BM showed up without an attorney, even though she had been appointed a public defender.  The judge had her public defender called down into the courtroom, and then she told the judge she wants to hire her own lawyer.  The judge was not happy that she had not done this yet (she's had a month).  She told him she's been looking at several and thinks she found the one she wanted.  The judge told her she needs to understand the seriousness of the fact that she MUST have a lawyer here with her at the next hearing, which is in a week and a half.

I can practically guarantee "looking at several lawyers" has not involved talking with them.  No one knows how she is going to be able to pay an attorney; I'm guessing she hasn't even thought about the fact that they are ridiculously expensive.  After court, the CW said she thinks BM will end up with the public defender anyway.

Apparently BD's attorney told him he needs to sign over his rights because he doesn't have a chance to win.  My guess is that BM's attorney told her the same thing, and she didn't like that, so she thinks she will get a different answer if she gets her own lawyer.  Keep in mind, this is a person who has created a fantasy world in her head to live in; so she has no real understanding of what "real life" is like.

So, another week and a half.  Should be interesting to see what happens then.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Update 1 of 2 - K3

(In case you're wondering, we've put a hold on calling Little Girl "Kaedyn."  Since we don't know what the future holds now, we don't want to confuse or upset her.  I'll just keep referring to her as K3 here, since I can't use her real name anyway.)

Her worker was here this morning.  The DA and GAL are going to be dropping the TPR petition in October, at the next hearing.  They will file a new CHiPS petition (Child in need of Protective Services), and the timeline starts over.

One of my main questions regarding this "start over" was answered:  ONLY the timeline on the TPR starts over.  The timeline on the whole case does not.  Meaning, all the grounds that they have had since the day K3 was detained can still be used going forward.  THANK GOD.  I was so afraid they would all be wiped away.  

BM is incarcerated, and no one knows for how long, but it sounds like we're talking about years.  BD claims to be getting clean, but he also has something looking over his shoulder every day, so he really hasn't shown whether he can do it on his own.  Also, some of the stories he tells CW aren't immediately verifiable.  We have been doing one visit a month with BD; CW thinks she will have to go to 2 visits a month starting in October. 

I'm just trying not to think too much about the whole thing.  It's so sad for her and frustrating for us.  Kids KNOW when their situation isn't permanent.  That's why she keeps regurgitating her testing behaviors: to see if we will still keep her even if she is "naughty."

Please keep us in your prayers.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Tomorrow we have court for Liam.  BPs still haven't done anything, and the judge told them at the last hearing that he was suspending visits until this hearing, and he would make a further decision based on what they did between then and now.  BM has actually spiraled completely out of control, and BD has done absolutely nothing.  In fact, CW found out some things that have been going on with him that she didn't know before.  We are praying that the judge will continue suspended visits, especially for mom.  (If he gives dad visits back, and dad misses just one, he will be in default for abandonment.)  I am also praying that if God would see fit, BM would just not show up to court.  I believe her current condition is worse than it's ever been, and while I'm not getting my hopes up, I won't be surprised if she doesn't show up.  I am praying that for Liam's sake, if at all possible, this could just be ended quickly.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers during this time!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Plans Change & Time Flies (Alternately Titled, "School Starts Tomorrow")

Last week, we had all kinds of plans for this weekend.  But then life happened.  So instead of the get-togethers we had planned, we watched movies and played board games and video games and watched more movies.  I think we all actually needed a couple of days of doing nothing to relax and get ready for a strong start to the new school year.

Exactly one year ago this weekend, we were up north at my uncle's cabin.  It was just the five of us - we didn't have Liam until two months after we got home.  

On that note, I cannot believe it is already September.  I can't believe tomorrow morning, our house will wake up with a junior in high school (!!!), a seventh grader, and a first grader.  I can't believe that next month we will have a one year old, the next month he will have been with us a year, and then it will be Thanksgiving and Christmas all over again.  When I was in high school, someone told me that the older I got, the faster time would go.  I figured it was true, but I just couldn't fathom HOW fast time could actually fly.  It definitely makes me want to savor and appreciate every moment of every day.  It doesn't always happen, but I do appreciate a lot more moments than I used to.

So, our days of relaxing come to an end with a good night's sleep.  And our new week begins bright and early tomorrow morning with a trip to the Y.

Night all!