Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wispy's story

One of my readers (Hi Karen!) reminded me that I never updated the blog about Wispy.

Oh, my poor Wispy!!

I'm going to tell his whole story here starting from the beginning just so everyone can follow.

1. Wispy came in to Care April 11, 2014. He's from a part of Texas over three hours away from here - several counties over. When he came in to Care there were no beds home in his county. (Take away: that is the key point in this entire story. There aren't enough foster homes.)

2. CPS ended up placing him with a family in our county through our agency. They are good people. The dad is a pastor and the mom is so incredibly sweet. In fact, when they took in another tiny baby and needed to bring her to court, I babysat for Wispy.

3. On May 30 an emergency of some sort arose for the Original Foster Family (O.F.F.). I don't know what it was. They said it wasn't a death but it had something to do with their overall ministry. They had to leave immediately for North Carolina. They needed emergency respite for both of their foster children (Wispy and the other tiny baby).

4. After much to-do, I agreed to take either of the babies for three nights.

5. At the same time, Wispy had court in his home county. I was told the judge ordered that he be moved back to his home county. After a bunch of back and forth my agency decided to place Wispy with us until he could be moved to his home county. I knew that would take longer than the "three days" I agreed to. But I was OK with that. I gave my agency a drop-dead date of June 4. Wispy needed to be gone by then.

6. June 4th came and went. I didn't want to move Wispy to another foster home for more respite. I felt strongly that Wispy needed as few moves as possible. Wispy stayed. I cancelled an appointment with Herman on the 5th. (The reason I wanted Wispy moved on the 4th.) (Thankfully the doctor's office made changes to their policy and I un-cancelled our appointment and just brought Wispy with me.)

7. They found a home for Wispy in his home county on Friday the 6th. By Monday the 9th it was determined that the home wasn't properly licensed. Wispy would need to stay with us longer.

8. One thing led to another. Wispy's bio mom decided that she wanted Wispy to stay with the O.F.F. and not be moved back to his home county. CPS was fine with this.

9. The O.F.F. needed to be gone longer than my drop-dead date. Somewhat reluctantly, I decided to keep Wispy longer.

10. After a bit of back and forth, the O.F.F. said they would be back on the 14th of June. The dad was going to stay in North Carolina to tend to their emergency. But because Wispy's case was likely to move to adoption, and because CPS said it was OK for Wispy to stay with the O.F.F., the mom was going to come back alone to keep the placement. I believe they want to adopt out of foster care.

11. I was going out of town on the 12th of June. Because the O.F.F. was going to be coming back for Wispy, I decided I was OK with putting Wispy in respite care for a few nights....because when he was done being bounced all over the place he would be going back to somewhere familiar.

12. On June 10 my agency told me they had found respite. I breathed a sigh of relief. I really hadn't planned on taking two babies to South Padre Island while my big kids went to a science camp.

13. Later that same day Rainbow called me back to say that things had changed again. The O.F.F. was not coming back and they were going to close their foster home entirely. Wispy now needed a new "permanent" foster home.

14. We prayed about it. I called Wispy's lawyer to see if I could get the full story. She called me right back and explained things. Yes, Wispy's case was likely to move to adoption. Wispy's mother was moving out of state immediately. She, literally, was walking away from her child. Mr. Amazing and I decided that since it was OK for Wispy to stay in our county, we would agree to taking his placement officially.

15. I took two babies and two tweens, by myself, to South Padre Island. It was a blast!!!

16. On June 18 I was told that CPS would be coming the next day to sign all the paperwork to make it official. Wispy was going to stay. Rainbow needed to know my schedule so I told her when I would be available. I was nervous about things but excited about the prospect of having a baby that we might get to adopt. Then the plan changed again. Of course this was after we decided to rearrange the entire house for Wispy - moving our queen bed in the guest bedroom to the playroom upstairs and moving the crib downstairs, along with all the toddler toys, for Wispy. Rainbow told me "they" (CPS) wanted Wispy back in his home county so he could be there for court hearings. I told Rainbow that was ridiculous and I would have no problem driving Wispy over for his hearings. Rainbow agreed with me that it wasn't really necessary to move Wispy and said she'd make some more phone calls and talk to more important people to see if he could stay. I called and left a message with Wispy's lawyer making sure she knew that he could stay and that another move wasn't necessary for him.

17. On June 19 I finished rearranging the house. Boy did it look nice. While still covered in sweat from all the heavy labor of cleaning and organizing, I got a phone call that Wispy had to move anyway. They would be by on the 20th to pick him up at 11:45am.

18. With absolutely no fanfare or anything, Wispy was picked up Friday morning and buckled into his CPS worker's car. The worker barely listened to anything I had to say about Wispy. He nodded and acted like he cared but it was plainly obvious that he did not! Three weeks after he came, Wispy was gone.

The roller coaster of it all completely sucked! First he was here for respite. Then he was here for good - possibly even forever. Then he was gone. And the only reason he had to be gone from us was because of paperwork. He wasn't being moved to his home county to be close to any family or friends. He was being moved so that the caseworker's job would be easier. And his foster care file won't even list the three weeks he spent in our home as a placement. We were "only" respite for him.

Wispy was almost a year behind with his language development. He had just started speech therapy with his O.F.F. and even had a session in our home too. Wispy had suffered a great deal of neglect and I'm confident another move was disastrous to him. He was already displaying a LOT of trauma behaviors in our home. But all I could do was pray that the new foster family CPS picked is prepared for a baby with special needs. Sadly, I'm sure they aren't. Wispy, as adorable as he is, is going to need a lot to overcome what foster care did to him. No baby should have to go through that many mommies.

1 comment:

grkanga said...

depressing. totally depressing. The system to help children has damaged him just like his parents did. I am so sorry.