Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cookie's First Foster-Sibling

I called our SW yesterday to tell her about my job changes (and therefore contact information) and to discuss with her that we were ready to get back on "the list". And in a matter of seconds she stopped me and told me that there was an 8 week old baby girl in front of her that needed a home to go to right then and there. She didn't think it would be long-term, but I called Michael anyway and we agreed to take her.

Her case seems odd, to say the least. She and her birth mom tested positive for marijuana at the hospital when she was born, but there are not removals for that. Instead, she had to work with the state and go to drug testing. In these past two months, she hasn't done anything, and again tested positive (this time more so than in the hospital). When the social worker went to court, she recommended court-ordered evals, and court-ordered drug testing and case plan. Odder still is that the judge in this particular case is Judge Lenient - the newest and most wishy-washy of all of our family court judges. She is known for being extremely hesitant to do anything - from removals to changing goals to adoption, to TPR - the whole gamut.

And in a quite unexpected fashion, yesterday Judge Lenient went against the worker's recommendations, and ordered the baby removed immediately and placed in foster care until Birthmom got clean. Holy Cow! That left the workers scrambling for a family to place her with.

That's where we come in. Now, I'm not sure how I feel about removing a child from a home b/c mom smokes pot - I really don't. I don't know much about marijuana at all, or its implications for babies, or on the parents abilities to parent. From what we see and hear in the media, marijuana is "no big deal", and I had thought it wasn't addictive. I guess I was wrong. The social worker told me that for many people with psychological issues, they self-medicate with marijuana and are addicted to its anti-anxiety and relaxing outcome.

But let's get serious - smoking cigarettes during pregnancy and around a child is horrible, but we don't remove the children into foster care (OK, yes, nicotine is legal...I get it).

So the family team meeting may be Friday. I have no medical card or WIC letter for her b/c she's already on WIC and Birthmom already used the voucher for this month. I have what was in her diaper bag - including a pair of Birthmom's dirty underwear.

But baby is beautiful. She is caramel-skinned (bi-racial) with a thick mass of silky and curly black hair and big brown eyes. She seems to be very healthy (maybe even a tad over-fed) and is a chunky little lump.

Funny thing is that I don't feel much for this baby. I actually want and hope that I can encourage Birthmom to work her case plan and stop smoking pot for cryin' out loud! I just can't imagine this case plan will be very extensive or tough to complete. Yet, before yesterday, Birthmom didn't seem very motivated to make any changes. Let's pray this decision kicked her butt enough to get off it!

What I know about Birthmom: she is 19, this is her only child, she lives with her boyfriend who is NOT the baby-daddy, and baby-daddy is "not an acceptable placement". Grandmother, and two other relatives were deemed also inappropriate placements before we came into the picture. Birthmom does not work. So, apparently the guy she shacks up with supports her and the baby (as well as the government) and her fondness for marijuana as well. Geez people - this is your baby! She's so lovely, you just can't imagine not doing everything to keep her. She truly is perfect.

I hope this week brings a case plan that Birthmom can follow and complete quickly. I'm not into taking anyone's child because of pot-smoking. Puh-lease.


Julie said...

Exciting ! now- here is the problem with pot- it is a gateway drug- it leads to more dangerous drugs- when there isn't enough of it- then she will most likely move on to the next one- if in fact she has psych issues- that makes it worse- I am sure a psych eval will be ordered and they will learn a lot- It is not all together a bad thing but the ramifications are what are troublesome. It does limit your ability to take care of your child as if your stoned- you don't care about anything- nothing makes sense- and you can't drive so if something happened to the child while your stoned out of your mind then who would care for the baby?

Amanda said...

Wow - how exciting! Congratulations.Can't wait to hear more about her.

MJ said...

I was going to say the same thing as Julie, that its known as the gateway drug. I really though dont understand why people start doing drugs or cigerettes in teh first place. Okay off the soap box now.

happyadoptingmom said...

How exciting. Now you need to keep those clothes and use them. Giving away baby things is the quickest way to get a new baby:) What a God thing for you to call as she is looking for a home for this little girl. Enjoy every minute of sleep now that you have two in your home it will be a rare luxury.

Dream Mommy said...

Yay! How exciting! What's Cookie think of her?

GLouise said...

Wow- what a gorgeous little one! I hope that mom can kick the

Overwhelmed! said...

I'll be interested in seeing how this one turns out.