June 15, 2011 the babies arrived. I fell madly in love quite quickly. (We ALL fell in love quite quickly!)
August: I had to leave them in respite care for 3 weeks because a judge wouldn't let them go on vacation with us. Already it was apparent that Mom wasn't too interested in working a case plan. She hadn't pursued having a visit with the cherubs yet and all visits scheduled by CPS were missed.
September: The home study for a grandma half-way across the state came in approved. I started preparing my heart for them to leave. Mom still wasn't working any kind of a case plan. In fact, she tested positive for drug use. (And not just weed either – she's moved on to the harder stuff.)
A CPS worker also dropped the "termination" word during a home visit. My heart did tons of little leaps. I promptly looked at said worker and told her, "I fully support reunification with family. However, if this placement with grandma is not going to be long term, or if it doesn't work out, I want everyone involved with this case to know that we would LOVE to adopt these two kids." The worker totally took me seriously. I also told my agency worker who said she would advocate on our behalf and make sure any necessary paperwork was taken care of should this become a possibility.
October: I've really, really been working on maintaining boundaries in my heart. I love these little cherubs with everything I've got. But I've got to be ready to let them go. This is how "The System" works. Family first! Then close family friends. Then foster parents. It is not a surprise to me, nor should it be one, that they will leave and go to be with family long term. Mom still doesn't have an address or phone number. She's not working her case plan. The children will not be going back to her any time soon (if ever). They deserve to be in a stable environment long term. And, the first choice for that environment is family – as it should be.
However, I just found out today that no one has even discussed with this grandma half-way across the state that caring for Dude and Dolly is going to be a very long-term, if not permanent, situation. My agency worker discussed things with their CPS worker. I guess CPS kinda went, "duh...I guess I should ask her about that".
I also learned today that CPS finally tracked down the biological dad of the kids. I do not know his story at all. But, his wishes are now going to be factored in to the long-term decisions being made.
This opens up a SLIGHT possibility that the children might stay instead of being moved in just a couple weeks.
I'm trying to not get my hopes up. But the selfish person in me would like for them to stay in our home where they are very comfortable now, with friends and "family" that care for them deeply...instead of being moved somewhere to live with "strangers" again.
I pray that God's will is done here. He knows so much more than I do what is best for these kids. But if there's any way they can stay...for now or forever....that's what I want.