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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Team Meeting Status Report

I'm pleased to report the meeting this morning went as well as could be expected. All of the workers - from the investigator, to our R&C worker, to the team supervisor - want this baby to stay and eventually be adopted by us. It's great to know that everyone involved is in our corner - and with good reason: J. (birthmom) is in jail and not eligible for parole until May '08, birthdad (not Cookie's birthdad - so she says) is only in jail for a couple days for "unpaid fines" (so he says) and did call to ask about "his daughter". He just got out of drug rehab - he's older as well - with 2 grown kids and a 15 year old daughter he's prohibited from having contact with (insert whatever guesses you have here - they are as good as ours right now). At any rate, he's vastly inappropriate as a placement. When asked if he had any family members that wanted the baby, he said he'd "have to think about it and call back". He asked about J's sister, but she was already ruled out when Cookie was born, and they are not about to go back there again.

If only this guy would have denied he was the father, J's husband (Cookie's supposed birthdad) would be legally assumed to be the father and that would be the end to that - no blood tests and just another TPR. But now wait. There has already been a court order put in for this new birthdad to have a DNA test. Even if he hightails it in to get it done, the results will take at least 4-8 weeks (according to the investigative worker). After that, we'll wait to see if he wants to work a case plan, or if his background check even comes back appropriate. If he's a sex offender, they will likely not recommend going further to return the baby. I asked if they plan to counsel him to voluntarily terminate his rights, and the answer was "absolutely". They will talk to him about the child support he will be required to pay if he is indeed the father. They said that changes a lot of minds right there.

So, good news: the case gets to stay with the same judge that did Cookie's case, and she ROCKS. I mean, this woman does not suffer fools and has a reputation for being the best and granting the rulings the social workers recommend. So, we are very relieved along those lines. She will also not be giving chance after chance to an addict to get clean.

More good news: No visits with birth parents. No jailhouse visits for J, and no visits for birthdad until the DNA test comes back showing he's the sperm donor. Even after that, he'd have to work a case plan to get visits, and they would likely be the minimum twice a month for an hour visits.

Until more is discovered, the goal on paper is still "return to parent". It makes me so sad, but that is the law. All we know about birthdad is he shacked up with a married, 24 yr. old cocaine addict who already had 3 kids adopted out. And we know he has 3 kids and is also a user. We don't know his drug of choice, but I can guess that's where J. went to get her cocaine. She apparently moved in with him when she went on the run from rehab - so there ya go.

Even more good news: J. was in jail for at least 6 months of her pregnancy, so the likelihood she used drugs during her 2nd and 3rd trimesters is very low (but still possible as we all know). The baby is doing just great and is a real cuddle bug. We both love her. We both want her to stay. We both know this will likely be a long journey even if it too is a successful one. But there are many good signs that she will stay. And the Lord works in all kinds of ways, and I won't even pretend to know His will for us. All I know is we are optimistic.

We are praying this man will admit that he would not be a fit parent to any child, and will choose to voluntarily terminate his parental rights so this baby can be adopted. They will tell him that if he does that she will be adopted by the family that adopted her sister - so maybe...just maybe - that will have some weight for his decision.

To all of you out there reading and praying and sending good vibes: we FELT IT this morning! I had so much peace in my heart and it was such a smooth process. We also got assigned a worker for the baby who has 11 years of experience, and used to be in special needs adoption, so we are very blessed to have her as the baby's worker. The supervisor hand-picked this woman to take the lead on the case because of her experience.

My parents are once again on the grandparent roller-coaster. They've seen pictures too and desperately want this baby as we do.

Again, all of your support means the world to me. I read your messages and words of encouragement and it is so uplifting. Please don't think that ONE more person praying won't make a difference - it does. And if WE can pray for you and your kids - let me know and we'll put you on our prayer list as well - even if you aren't one of my regulars on the blogroll. We're a living, breathing, thriving family example of the power of prayer - and that God answers in BIG, BIG ways - often when you have stopped begging and started praising, and often when you LEAST expect it.

13 comments:

FosterAbba said...

Hang in there, we'll be praying that the right thing happens...

Me said...

You are and have been in my prayers! Good luck, the roller coaster of this kind is never much fun.

cindy said...

I am just soooooo excited for you guys!

Rebecca said...

Hi
I have been reading your blog for a little while now and I love it! We are foster parents to a 3 1/2 year old little girl and we just received her new born sister (born July 26th and came home to us July 28th). It looks like we will also be able to adopt our girls. I will keep you in our prayers and pray that the baby will be in your arms forever!!!

MJ said...

Praying for y'all. Praising God though that the meeting went so well and that you were able to take cookies sibling.

MJ

s said...

Oh GOOD NEWS!!! I hope she will be yours! Bio Dad sounds really really "iffy" We already got Bio Mom's story. If I was a birth parents needing to make a decision like that--knowing sisters could remain together....It would sure influence my decision I can tell you that! I'll bet little Cookie just loves her sister! You and yours are always in our prayers! Your family inspires us!

Julie said...

I just love the way God works things out- I remember when M was not so sure about another but God knows what M needs. :) So happy for you all! Sounds like ya'll are in for another fun ride! But it is worth it. :) Praying!!

CA Momma said...

Right behind you. We keep sending your family good thoughts.

JUST A MOM said...

you go girl she is beautiful,, havign a sibling is such a big pull in YOUR direction and in speed too. IF it goes anything like our 3 did.

Jane said...

I hope things continue to go your way and you have an easy path to keeping your Honey Bun. (BTW, isn't that the title of a song from "South Pacific"? Something about "That's my little Honey Bun"?)

Praying for you. Please send some prayers our way as well.

Amanda said...

Yay! I'm glad the meeting went well and no surprises = a good thing. Here's hoping biodad will realize what's best for "his" daughter.

GLouise said...

I'm here, excited for you guys and praying hard!
Would appreciate your prayers as well, as we wait for the due date of our potential birth mom :-)
Hugs!

Overwhelmed! said...

You've got me offering up prayers for you and your family as well!