Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Anticipating Tomorrow's Visits

Thursday afternoon will be our first home visit with Ginger Snap's social worker. We're not too excited about the visit because this worker will only be on her case for 6 weeks before she leaves her job (because of the stress, according to her), at which point Ginger Snap will get a new social worker - this one will be a newbie. Newbie social worker cannot yet take Ginger Snap because you have to have so much time and training in before you get your first cases. I guess Ginger Snap will be one of her very first cases. I'm not sure how I feel about that. While she'll be fresh and not yet burned out on the job, she won't have the prowess that Cookie's worker had. Still, I'm already praying for her - that she have wisdom, insight, and knowledge far beyond her years.

After the social worker leaves our house tomorrow, she will be taking Ginger Snap across town to a women's center for a supervised visit with her birth mom. I suppose in my mind it's a toss up as to whether she'll even show up. As you recall, she didn't show up for last week's Family Team Meeting (which hasn't been rescheduled). I don't even know what her case plan will involve. I suspect that will not be known until after the preliminary hearing on July 3rd. And even after that, we still have the dispositionary hearing because Ginger's birth mom will not admit to the validity of the positive drug tests - thus dragging the process out even further and costing the good folks of the commonwealth even more money. God Bless our justice system.

We have offered to pick up Ginger Snap from her visits as long as the social worker or transportation worker picks her up for them. We have asked that they be scheduled on Thursday afternoons so we can pick her up and then easily run by daycare to pick up Cookie. With my new teaching schedule for fall, I should be able to make those pick-ups, or trade off with Michael as time allows.

I wish I could meet Ginger Snap's birth mom. I suppose my desire is to meet a young girl who desperate wants to turn her life around and get her child back. I want to have a better sense of direction with her case. The goal is reunification, and will likely be that until one of three things happens: 1) Ginger could be with us for at least a year and if her mom hasn't made any changes, they may seek a goal change to adoption. 2) Mom could stay away and not see her child for 90 days, at which they would seek a goal change as well. 3) Mom could voluntarily terminate her parental rights (which is highly unlikely). The case appeared simple at first, then while waiting with the workers at the team meeting that never was, we learned the complexities of the case.

First, Ginger's mom has no job, no higher education (do not know if she graduated HS), and no transportation. She lives with her boyfriend who has both drug and alcohol charges. She would either have to leave him and move out, or he will have to work the case plan too (yeah, right). But HE is not the baby-daddy. Ginger's mom claims the baby-daddy is this other guy who also has drug and alcohol and various other things that make him an unsuitable placement (in addition to the fact that he never wanted the child and asked birth mom to abort). The court will order a drug test at one of the hearings coming up in the next few months. They suspect if proven to be the biological father, he may voluntarily terminate his rights to avoid child support, drug testing, and working with the state.

Ginger's birth mom's own mother (Ginger's gramma) has her own legal past - with drug charges for guess guessed it - marijuana. Guess it runs in the family. What's worse is THAT woman has a younger child in the home, - Ginger's mamma's sibling - and she refuses to take a drug test to get Ginger - but the state may intervene anyway and demand she be tested anyway (not sure how - just heard the social workers discussing it).

Cindy reminded me the other day to not dismiss the possibility that this child could be God's will to become our daughter. While I don't want to take someone's child IF they are trying to get their life together, I want to emphatically state - I WISH! I wish we knew. I wish it didn't take so long to find out, or to assess the likelihood she will return home. It seemed definite before the story really started to unfold (and before they were a no-show). Tomorrow may very well bring more details. We also have a visit with our R&C worker this month, and we may very well as her if she has heard anything more as well.

The state is still investigating a possible relative placement for Ginger - a great aunt in another county who is in her 60's and has no transportation. Now, we can't be ageist, or poverty-ist, but you must know where my thoughts are on that anyway. We're 36, we have 2 cars, and enough resources and then some - and yet this week we are wiped out! Perhaps she is a good woman and it will work out. I hope we get a firm yes or no on that one soon as well. If Ginger is going to leave us for a relative, it needs to be sooner than later for all of us.

It feels weird to be back in the swing of fostering again, and back in the place we have been so many times before with not knowing. I feel strongly that this is God's way of placing things in my life that will teach me to surrender, to tolerate ambiguity, to trust, and to acknowledge that I cannot control all the various goings on in the universe. I'm getting it.

Please say a little prayer around 2:30 for our home visit, and 3:30 or so for birth mom's visit.
Thanks, everybody. I'll update tomorrow evening with what more we have learned.


JUST A MOM said...

your time or mine?? KIDDING I am always thinkig of your home. I think that little girls would be a great addition for a forever family. I never liked NOT KNOWING what was going on with the kids. Hang in there and all will be as they should be.

S. said...

Yes we will be praying for you! I wrote down the times too. I am frustrated as well. The caseworker just called me and said the birth mom said "No" that we can not take our little guy on vacation with us and now he must go to a respite home for a week. She feels why should she say yes that someone can take him on Vacation and she is only allowed to see him for 4 hrs a week. Ugh--but she expects us not to have a problem when she wants to see him at all his healthy baby check-ups! Meanwhile, he is in care for the past 7 months!for fighting and using him as a tool to get at the baby's father! We did not want to say yes...but we did. ...This fostering thing is tough. all we want to do is adopt...I hope we get through it! But you all are definatly in our prayers!!!

Dream Mommy said...

New workers stink really bad!! They don't know what they are doing and nothing about raising children. Smiley and Bubbles worker is new, but now the most experience one in our parish.

The uncertainty stinks too. Bubbles is already so bonded to me, it's gonna break her heart if/when she returns home.

Praying for you new lil' one.

Julie said...

Praying for you and your family- It is just not fun on this side of things- we know what we can provide and what the kids will be giving up to go back to scary places- but I just have to REST IN GOD'S ARMS! He has it all fixed- we just have to wait- and wait and wait- patience is a virtue so they say.... i hate "they" :(

Overwhelmed! said...

Offering up a prayer now.

It's so comforting to read your foster parenting details because it gives me a glimpse of what we may be in store for. I think that's why I'm sharing the details of our licensing that others that are thinking of going through it have a reference point.

Anyway, thanks for sharing. I'll check back again.