I just got out of court with Pumpkin. Pumpkin is going to be moving across the state and in with her aunt and uncle.
Bio mom didn't show. But due to an increase in her own personal medical needs, Mom is no longer fighting the idea of Pumpkin moving to her aunt and uncle's home. She finally recognizes that she is unable to care for Pumpkin. Mom's lawyer was there in agreement with this proposal from the State.
This decision is very much in the best interests of Pumpkin. I met the aunt and (maternal) uncle. They are very good people who I believe truly understand what it will take to raise Pumpkin and care for her for the rest of her life. (Pumpkin is so developmentally delayed that she will never live independently.)
We have a new judge in our county. It was nice to sit through court proceedings without listening to any yelling. The judge didn't call anyone names. He paid attention to the actual case at hand, asked questions and referred back to prior documents. It was sooooooo radically different from the prior judge you can't even imagine it!!
The State would prefer that I be a part of the actual transfer because no one is comfortable in their ability to meet Pumpkin's special needs (especially if she should happen to have a seizure). However, I had to laugh when they asked if I thought my licensing agency would pay to fly me with Pumpkin!! If the State is able to secure the funds, I have agreed to go with her caseworker to make the actual transfer. I did tell them that they will have to work within my schedule. I still have five other children to tend to and school starts on Monday.
I'm glad I got to finally see a case all the way through. Technically though, Pumpkin isn't out of foster care. She will have a worker that will check in on her from time to time. The next court hearing is in January 2013. Visitation was set up so that Pumpkin's mom will have the ability to still see Pumpkin if she wants to. I'm thinking that Mom is ready to drop out of the picture though. She's missed four out of the last five visits and she didn't come to court today.
But Pumpkin will be in her forever home. As time passes they may even be able to adopt her. This is a good thing. Pumpkin deserves finality. Languishing in foster care doesn't do any child any good. (I nearly had to smack a lawyer today that grinned at me and said that she just worked with a child who's been in foster care for nine years. Like that makes Pumpkin's 20 months hardly a big deal at all. Any time that is spent in foster care with no progress being made in the case is too much time in foster care!)
I have quite a bit to do before Pumpkin leaves. I have to get her new leg braces picked up. I need to get a copy of her IEP (the school never sent me one last April). And I'd like for her to stay through the first week in September when she has her next neurological appointment. We'll see what happens.
I am happy for Pumpkin!