We received information on what was discussed at the permanency conference. From what was written on the paper we were under the impression that family adoption has been ruled out. While family reunification (going back to Birthmom) was still the primary goal, we thought that it was still a small step.
Today was our treatment planning meeting. I still don't really understand this meeting and why it can't be combined with the permanency conference. The only thing I can figure out is that our agency is responsible for the treatment planning meetings, and they deal with the development/progress of the child in care. Those in attendance include (well, at least today) my agency caseworker, CPS caseworker, and me. In one of my last posts I said that the CPS supervisor would be coming, but that was only because she and her caseworker didn't know what this meeting was. My agency answered her questions yesterday, and she didn't attend. Yes, the hair issue was brought up again (big eye roll). I even demonstrated to the CPS caseworker how I prepare cereal and baby food to ensure there was not confusion when I send it to be fed during visits. Really? Shouldn't the one that provides parent coaching know this stuff?
Our agency caseworker came about 15 minutes before the meeting was supposed to start. She came to tell me that her supervisor and the CPS supervisor had a phone conversation yesterday where CPS stated in no uncertain terms that adoption is not an option. CPS and the judge are adamant that family reunification will happen even if it takes 18 months. My agency caseworker came early not only to tell me that, but to also give us the option to change Princess O's placement to a foster-only home and take another placement ourselves that has a better chance in ending with adoption. Yes, it was just like someone sucker punching me in the stomach. While I understand the consideration our agency is giving us- not wanting us to feel as though we are "wasting" our time if our end goal is adoption, how can we send this beautiful blessing away out of convenience to us? Then the anger that even though birthmom has made marginal progress in the mothering skill department and experiencing possible regression in other areas yet our goal is still going to be to give this baby back to her set in. It doesn't make sense. Yes, I know this is government. What ever makes sense in government? But still.
God affirmed another reason why He put Aaron and me together. While I was breaking down after the meeting it was his turn to be calm and take the steps needed to find out more information. Things just aren't adding up. So he called the ad Litem. She was not happy (OK, that's an understatement) that reunification is being discussed. She in no way agrees with reunification- even in the long term. Needless to say, CPS received a phone call from her today. I am hoping it gets brought up in court tomorrow as well.
We have always known this was part of the deal. God could give us children to love for a season or for forever. It is one thing to know that in your head but another thing when it hits your heart. No matter how hard it is it doesn't change what we have been called to do. I know that there are those that will not understand how we could put ourselves or our children through the potential hurt that will come if she goes home. But I pose this: What if this experience teaches us, my children, and even those close to us more about what it means to share God's unconditional love? What if it teaches us more about our own condition before God and our adoption into His family? What if through the hurt of loving her and having to give her up means that we were able to give her a better start than she would have ever had elsewhere, her birthmom actually has the time and motivation to make a life change? What if through all of this heartache and stress we get to keep her? We were not promised easy. But we do have a great hope.
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Please keep praying with us!
- Pray for wisdom and discernment on the part of those making decisions for Princess O especially in court tomorrow afternoon. For open minds, eyes, and ears that they would not push for reunification prematurely or at all if Birthmom continues her current pattern.
- That Birthmom would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That she would make choices healthy for her and Princess O.
- I still want a caseworker change. I don't see that happening without God intervening.
- Pray for Mr. A and me to continue to remember that we are asked to walk by faith and not by site. That we would enjoy each moment with all 3 of our children as well as with each other.
- Pray for the physical health of my family- I am tired of taking people to the Dr.!