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Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Lots of foster parents take breaks between placements. We have one wonderful family who just returned after taking 5 years off so their two kids could finish high school with their full attention. Even if you don't foster again, you're doing a good job and a positive thing for the family

I personally already measured my kids bedroom for where my desk is going to go Teenagers go through a phase where they act like total jerks while they get ready to "leave the nest" and I'm pretty sure we're both excited for college. I'm probably going to take a year off fostering at minimum, though she will be coming home for breaks so "take off" is subjective.

She did get me Mother's Day card though

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VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


We are getting WIC here in California for our foster daughter (she's almost 5 months old), and up until now it's all been formula. Apparently, when kids turn 6 months they start phasing out formula and introduce solids.

Having raised 3 babies previously, one who I exclusively nursed until 13 months, it kind of boggles my mind that the state would be pushing solids so early! She can't even sit up, has no teeth, but they gave us a coupon for bananas and tons of processed baby food. I really question the push for solids so early, and I wonder if there is anywhere I can research why this is the policy. Am I nuts? I don't consider myself a helicopter parent or health nut or anything, but the phrase "under one just for fun" doesn't seem to exist here. They really cut back the formula, even at 6-months old, from 10 cans per month to 7.

Has anyone else experienced this in other states?

N. Senada
May 17, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


Does anyone have any experience with adopting while living abroad?

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


VorpalBunny posted:

We are getting WIC here in California for our foster daughter (she's almost 5 months old), and up until now it's all been formula. Apparently, when kids turn 6 months they start phasing out formula and introduce solids.

Having raised 3 babies previously, one who I exclusively nursed until 13 months, it kind of boggles my mind that the state would be pushing solids so early! She can't even sit up, has no teeth, but they gave us a coupon for bananas and tons of processed baby food. I really question the push for solids so early, and I wonder if there is anywhere I can research why this is the policy. Am I nuts? I don't consider myself a helicopter parent or health nut or anything, but the phrase "under one just for fun" doesn't seem to exist here. They really cut back the formula, even at 6-months old, from 10 cans per month to 7.

Has anyone else experienced this in other states?

Can you talk to your WIC counselor? Sometimes they'll work with you on timing and what they give you coupons for.

A lot of daycares don't really want to deal with bottles, which sometimes encourages parents to wean very early. It's also easier to contaminate a bottle than a sealed single serving baby food package

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Well, our concerns have been somewhat confirmed.

I spoke to the case worker for bio and they're not doing poo poo with their required plan. They stopped doing UA's, they're not doing any of the required classes, they've cancelled the last 2 visits and no-showed their kids recital (I gave them a months heads up, 3 weeks, 2 weeks, 1 week, day before, day of, and still no showed) and other than getting an apartment she's making absolutely no effort. It's crushing moreso because I have to deal with some pretty ugly meltdowns when visitation expectations are set and then cancelled twice. This part of fostering sucks. If bio doesn't get their poo poo together by August 23rd, and at this point let's be honest there's no chance in hell as the classes themselves last 4-6 months, then they'll set a date for a termination hearing. The judge already warned her of this back in May and set some pretty high expectations. It's just a shame. No one wins in the end and the kids lose in the end.

We've moved back and forth on adoption as cost is a sad but relevant issue. We're both on the fence because we don't want them going anywhere else, but daycare costs will eat our lunch. Hopefully if it comes down to that, we can negotiate a stipend into the adoption contract for continuity of care.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 20:11 on Jun 12, 2017

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Kodilynn posted:

Well, our concerns have been somewhat confirmed.

I spoke to the case worker for bio and they're not doing poo poo with their required plan. They stopped doing UA's, they're not doing any of the required classes, they've cancelled the last 2 visits and no-showed their kids recital (I gave them a months heads up, 3 weeks, 2 weeks, 1 week, day before, day of, and still no showed) and other than getting an apartment she's making absolutely no effort. It's crushing moreso because I have to deal with some pretty ugly meltdowns when visitation expectations are set and then cancelled twice. This part of fostering sucks. If bio doesn't get their poo poo together by August 23rd, and at this point let's be honest there's no chance in hell as the classes themselves last 4-6 months, then they'll set a date for a termination hearing. The judge already warned her of this back in May and set some pretty high expectations. It's just a shame. No one wins in the end and the kids lose in the end.

We've moved back and forth on adoption as cost is a sad but relevant issue. We're both on the fence because we don't want them going anywhere else, but daycare costs will eat our lunch. Hopefully if it comes down to that, we can negotiate a stipend into the adoption contract for continuity of care.

I'm so sorry to hear that.

If money is the only issue between you and adoption, PLEASE tell the social worker (and subsequent permanency/adoption team). You have no idea how hard I would work to throw money at an adoptive family that is as loving as you if that was the only barrier.

Have you talked to the social worker about not setting expected days for visits for the kiddo? Some of my cases I make sure the foster parent has some available time but otherwise we keep the kids in the dark until the parent is physically in the office.

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


Kodilynn posted:

We've moved back and forth on adoption as cost is a sad but relevant issue. We're both on the fence because we don't want them going anywhere else, but daycare costs will eat our lunch. Hopefully if it comes down to that, we can negotiate a stipend into the adoption contract for continuity of care.

There are tons of resources for foster/adopted kids and daycare. Here in CA we have a few options, it's absolutely worth spending a night googling the crap out of this issue and firing off a ton of emails to various agencies and resources. Our monthly stipend after adopting our son is still rather sizable, and it pays for his preschool.

And your visitation issues sound all too familiar. Once my son's bio family realized they weren't going to get custody, they simply stopped showing up even though visits took place literally right around the corner from their home in a neighborhood park. We've only fostered newborns, so both were too little to understand what was going on. Bio mom for our current placement told us she might be headed to jail a few weeks ago, and she hasn't asked for visitation since.

It's kind of what your job is, to help shield them from the chaos they were pulled from. It's a shame these visits are affecting everyone so poorly, but your stability otherwise is a good balancing force in their lives.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


We've had long standing open discussions with both the case worker and the therapist and have been completely honest from the get-go that the only thing holding us back really unfortunately is the cost of daycare. The good news is that we really only need the assistance for 2 years at most, at that point my biological daughter qualifies to walk home from school since it's so close where she can take foster kiddo home with her which would solve a lot of it. The therapist said we just need to word the adoption contract as "for continuity of care, we'll need the following" and kind of go from there with the details for daycare and such and the estimated time frame and the state will review it. So if we can get through that barrier, we'll be solid. Our state has had MASSIVE cuts to funding to the point that the foster care programs could lose funding for things like stipends which would cripple most of the families in this state in the program. We don't so much depend on those, only the daycare portion thankfully. I think I'm just frustrated with the whole thing right now.

I really do think bio mom has figured out that she's not going to get them back and is starting to give up. I had such high hopes for her and thought we had her really motivated. Everyone involved were encouraging her, keeping up with her calendar, helping her with class enrollment, etc. all she had to do is show up, and she failed to do that. I know it's all too familiar but it still sucks. This was our first go round and we really thought we struck gold with the child we got since she is incredibly well behaved, very polite, and has no behavioral issues. Month after month in the support groups we hear these horror stories and think "Man, I'm glad that's not our situation". How do you even begin to explain to a 5 year old any of this? Her meltdowns are getting more intense every time she cancels and not getting to see her but once a month is going to be a nightmare for her mentally. We keep her as occupied as possible to keep her distracted, but we're getting to where at this point I'm not setting any visitation expectations until we know we're in route. Other than the case worker visits which she's technically required to keep for the sake of documentation, it feels like it's just a losing battle. The visits I was doing once a week was just being nice because they needed that time together to have that connection.

I hate the mentality to expect the worst come August, and it's definitely weighing heavy on us realizing that this kid is going to have a major trauma if her mother all but disappears from her life at the end of this. We have her in therapy weekly and that will continue probably for the rest of her life because of this. All we can do is sit and wait and try to keep her safe and happy.

Edit: Something of note, this is also a tribal case. It was pointed out that we'll be asked dead last about adopting her as tribes prefer to keep children within that circle regardless of relationship to the biological parents. It's a horrible reality when it comes to tribal placements.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 13:41 on Jun 13, 2017

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


You seem like such a wonderful foster parent, I want to acknowledge what a good job you're doing.

Your kiddo will recover from her mom withdrawing. It's a trauma, but not one that never ends.

Make sure the tribe knows your plan for keeping her connected to her culture - make one if you don't have one! Make a friend in the tribe or through the bio family who will be your child's "ambassador" and make sure your child has access to cultural and religious events and traditions. I've seen families who make those plans be very successful, especially when there were no tribal foster placements in the first place.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

You seem like such a wonderful foster parent, I want to acknowledge what a good job you're doing.

Your kiddo will recover from her mom withdrawing. It's a trauma, but not one that never ends.

Make sure the tribe knows your plan for keeping her connected to her culture - make one if you don't have one! Make a friend in the tribe or through the bio family who will be your child's "ambassador" and make sure your child has access to cultural and religious events and traditions. I've seen families who make those plans be very successful, especially when there were no tribal foster placements in the first place.

Well thanks! We try to do the best we can, I absolutely adore being a foster parent and I spent a lot of my free time volunteering long before I got into fostering. I've brought my daughter into a lot of it and she's helped out with food drives and stuff. I love that she's getting into it and I hope it puts her on the right path. That being said, this will probably be it for fostering for us for a while if we do manage to get to adopt as it's been an extremely exhausting process and people really don't understand or realize how hard it is. It's been hard on our marriage at times, it's been hard on our daughter, but we've really pulled together and gotten through it really well. I almost wish they'd stress more of how hard this really is as it's really understated in training but you have to be an extremely strong person in body and mind and have the patience of a saint to deal with it all. If we didn't have such a strong support system between the therapist, the wonderful case worker, and our parents this would have never succeeded.

We have talked about down the line (WAY down the line) about fostering gay teens because that's an insanely large problem in our area. I wish I had more room, I'd save all the children much to my wife's protesting haha. She keeps me realistic and grounded.

My wife is actually tribal (different tribe than the child, otherwise this would be far easier) and we do quite a bit of that stuff. I've been welcomed into that with the family when we got married and the history and culture is absolutely beautiful and incredible. We've been up where her tribe originated and usually go once or twice a year because it's amazing out there and it's important for our biological daughter to know where she came from. Plus I'm a huge history and culture nut so I love that stuff anyway. If you've never read a tribal paper, even if you aren't tribal you should pick one up just to see how different that world can be politically and developmentally. It's pretty dang cool.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


My daughter leaves for college in August and that's in for me fostering for a few years as well. Two years with a teen with significant trauma and mental health issues was completely draining, and unfortunately my support system didn't turn out to be as sturdy as I hoped. The fact that she's succeeded this much is its own reward, but it's been at the expense of my sanity and security deposit.

My partner and I want to spend some time as a childless couple with some freedom before we consider adoption, though obviously my daughter will be coming back for school breaks.

I think you did mention the tribal part before, sorry for forgetting! Many times it can still be considered a tribal adoption even with another tribe because they have more faith in you preserving the culture.

And yeah, it's hard to get across how hard this is to do well. Even when I'm training foster parents they don't really believe me. And sometimes I gets easier and sometimes it doesn't over the weekend I brought a 17 year old boy into foster care who'd been adopted at age 6 due to his behavioral issues.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

My daughter leaves for college in August and that's in for me fostering for a few years as well. Two years with a teen with significant trauma and mental health issues was completely draining, and unfortunately my support system didn't turn out to be as sturdy as I hoped. The fact that she's succeeded this much is its own reward, but it's been at the expense of my sanity and security deposit.

My partner and I want to spend some time as a childless couple with some freedom before we consider adoption, though obviously my daughter will be coming back for school breaks.

I think you did mention the tribal part before, sorry for forgetting! Many times it can still be considered a tribal adoption even with another tribe because they have more faith in you preserving the culture.

And yeah, it's hard to get across how hard this is to do well. Even when I'm training foster parents they don't really believe me. And sometimes I gets easier and sometimes it doesn't over the weekend I brought a 17 year old boy into foster care who'd been adopted at age 6 due to his behavioral issues.

Congratulations on your daughter going to college! That's awesome!

I know couples that have done this for YEARS nonstop, but they only take infants and are foster only, never adoption. I think that's how they maintain sanity and that's the trick haha. People fight over babies in this system for sure. Our FC's sister is about 150 miles away from us so visitation is only once a month unless we're out that way for something else (which does happen) but I feel really bad for her. Her age and behavioral issues will make her getting adopted a very tough fight. She was inpatient for awhile because of the type of abuse she experienced really destroyed her psychologically. She's in therapeutic care now with a family, but she'll end up stuck in the system until she ages out. I hope we can keep in touch but we simply can't have her history in our house as a threat to her sister or my child. It's just not worth the risk.

I have to tell myself many times it's not my responsibility for the sister or mom beyond what we're supposed to do, but if I couldn't have frequent contact with my sister I don't know if I could handle that. It's weird enough she's in another country but at least I got to grow up with her.

I think the reality of "this poo poo is hard and will really be a test of your life" doesn't click until you live it, training aside. You REALLY have to have a super strong support network (and thank god we do!) otherwise it'd be a mess. Having family cleared for respite has been a freaking blessing when we need a night out to ourselves.

On another note, our agency had their 4 year re certification process from the state today and they had me come in for the interview and I guess my positive attitude made the poor old lady doing the interviews cry a bit. Tears of joy as she's very thankful for all the foster parents, but I apparently light up like a child at Christmas with excitement when I talk about the girls and the agency, or so I'm told. I'm sooooo insanely glad we went with an agency, they've been a great go-between for us and the state. It's like having a personal action lawyer.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 16:28 on Jun 13, 2017

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Aww now you're gonna make me cry, I love good foster parents more than I love good pizza (so a lot)

Next time I'm definitely going agency since I am focused on harm reduction for higher needs older children like your child's sister and any kind of support helps, since I am emotionally incapable of asking the agency to move a child.

My daughter was in a group home before she came with me and has been on involuntary psych hold for self harm a couple of times since. That's when your support network really gets to flex its muscles or not. I found out during that time that my family would have preferred I send her back to the group home, which led me to cancel some holiday plans since I'm not taking her somewhere where people are suspicious and wary of her.

I had a very sober grown up moment when I went out and bought Christmas presents for her and forged my parents and grandparents names on them so she would feel included.

That said, my brother and his wife and my step sister embraced her 100% and that was wonderful.

Plus I did this as a single parent, whereas next time there will be two sets of hands on deck with my partner

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

Aww now you're gonna make me cry, I love good foster parents more than I love good pizza (so a lot)

Next time I'm definitely going agency since I am focused on harm reduction for higher needs older children like your child's sister and any kind of support helps, since I am emotionally incapable of asking the agency to move a child.

My daughter was in a group home before she came with me and has been on involuntary psych hold for self harm a couple of times since. That's when your support network really gets to flex its muscles or not. I found out during that time that my family would have preferred I send her back to the group home, which led me to cancel some holiday plans since I'm not taking her somewhere where people are suspicious and wary of her.

I had a very sober grown up moment when I went out and bought Christmas presents for her and forged my parents and grandparents names on them so she would feel included.

That said, my brother and his wife and my step sister embraced her 100% and that was wonderful.

Plus I did this as a single parent, whereas next time there will be two sets of hands on deck with my partner

Holy crap how did you do that as a single parent? My wife and I require two sets of hands so we can get a break in once and awhile. I can't even fathom doing it that way so props to you for pulling that off.

When we did the paperwork for placement which seems like forever ago now, starting fires and sexual abuse were the only things we said no to for our placement. Self harm and disabilities be it developmental or other we can deal with and have tons of resources for from what's offered. We're not a therapeutic home and have no desire to be, but god bless the people like yourself who can take kids like that and make their lives so much better.

Both sets of uncles and grandparents instantly took to our FC and welcomed her to the family and include her on everything. She's going to get inundated with gifts for her birthday and Christmas if she's still with us that she won't know what to do with it all. They spoil the kids rotten but that's what they do. We're getting to take her to Disney World with us this fall I'm so excited :

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


So we're a mere 3 weeks or so away from court to see if a termination hearing is going to be scheduled. I have no idea what exactly to expect but my expectations are low. Bio has failed to do any drug screens or alcohol screens in 3 months, even told the caseworker they wouldn't pass if they did it at the moment, and failed to do any of the required classes. They won't return the other kids phone calls when they want to talk to her, and has more or less cut off communication with us other than to confirm if required visitations that the state set up are still on. I'm really disappointed in them but I guess I should have seen it coming.

I guess my next big question is, how the blue sam hill do you explain to a 5 year old that rights are being terminated? Her therapist is going to court with us and is fully on board and ready to give us all the help we need, but I don't even know where or how to begin this discussion. And what should I expect for anyone that's been through it? I've actually asked the case worker and I get little to no information in response other than that "we'll see" which is a difficult answer to swallow.

Since the kiddo is tribal, adoption is going to be a fight but I was told we will be asked at the hearing if we're interested as this judge has a history of doing so. I didn't expect we'd be in this position or at this point a mere 8 months later, that's for drat sure. I had such high hopes for bio to start, such a shame.

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


I have no advice for an older kid. Our current placement is only 6 months old, and her next court hearing is on 8/31. I have been told repeatedly the social workers are recommending termination of reunification services, which puts the adoption stuff on track for us, but mom has suddenly gotten interested in visitations (both of which she canceled last week) and she confirmed she is pregnant again. It's the kind of chaos I know we should expect, but seeing it on full display is really heartbreaking. Again, our placement is only 6 months old and more interested in teething and crawling than anything else. She's only seen her mom 3 times in her life, after we picked her up from the hospital.

I have also started massaging the idea of taking in the newborn with my husband, if the new baby should be taken in by DCFS. We'd then have 5 CHILDREN in a small 3 bedroom home here in Los Angeles. I can't tell what might drive me more nuts, 5 little kids in our small home or knowing her full-brother is out there in the world and cross my fingers he ends up ok. But then, what if she has yet another? It's making my head spin thinking about it, so I just try to take it one day at a time.

VorpalBunny fucked around with this message at 17:40 on Jul 31, 2017

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


VorpalBunny posted:

I have no advice for an older kid. Our current placement is only 6 months old, and her next court hearing is on 8/31. I have been told repeatedly the social workers are recommending termination of reunification services, which puts the adoption stuff on track for us, but mom has suddenly gotten interested in visitations (both of which she canceled last week) and she confirmed she is pregnant again. It's the kind of chaos I know we should expect, but seeing it on full display is really heartbreaking. Again, our placement is only 6 months old and more interested in teething and crawling than anything else. She's only seen her mom 3 times in her life, after we picked her up from the hospital.

I have also started massaging the idea of taking in the newborn with my husband, if the new baby should be taken in by DCFS. We'd then have 5 CHILDREN in a small 3 bedroom home here in Los Angeles. I can't tell what might drive me more nuts, 5 little kids in our small home or knowing her full-brother is out there in the world and cross my fingers he ends up ok. But then, what if she has yet another? It's making my head spin thinking about it, so I just try to take it one day at a time.

I'm more worried about the other child in the situation who is 150 miles away. We're not her parents so it's not our place but the whole thing just has me rattled since no one really knows what to expect which is fair. I hate going in without a plan other than 'show up and be quiet'. We originally thought about bringing foster to the court hearing, but since school will be in and given the content of it, I'm thinking that'd be a really bad idea.

At least with infants they really won't know any difference. At 5 and 9 respectively, they'll know to an extent. I expect it to get ugly for a bit with behavior for both.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


I've always had conversations with children around that age by asking how many mommy's and daddys they have. Many times they'll tell me they have Mama and Mama Foster. I also ask them about what a mom or dad does, and what do they do that makes them a mom or a dad? They'll tell me moms and dads tell bedtime stories, feed you, take you to school. When I ask, who does that for you? They say mama Foster and I smile and clap and say "wow you have a good mom!" and see how they respond to that. Usually they are very eager to identify with positive things about the household.

I'll ask if they know why mama foster is taking care of them instead of mama, and get mixed responses. Most of the time they have an idea. Then I'll tell them that mama is always their mother, and Mama Foster wants to be their mother too, and for them to live with her and grown up in her family. Being wanted is a huge key part of this conversation. Mama still wants you and loves you, and can't take care of you right now because she is trying to take care of herself, how do you feel about being part of the family with mama Foster? Mama and papa Foster really want you to stay and love you, and for you to be a sister to the other children.

Excuse the gendered examples, but you get the idea.

Having her therapist on board is an important part of the conversation but sometimes it starts slow at home. Telling her that you love her every day, introducing her as "our youngest daughter," acknowledging her mother in conversation in a positive and inclusive way, like "our daughter would love to come to the party after her visit with her mom"

No power struggles with family is the key to a successful adoption, especially tribal. You'll be adopting the tribe alongside the child, so be ready to be open and responsive to their requests.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

I've always had conversations with children around that age by asking how many mommy's and daddys they have. Many times they'll tell me they have Mama and Mama Foster. I also ask them about what a mom or dad does, and what do they do that makes them a mom or a dad? They'll tell me moms and dads tell bedtime stories, feed you, take you to school. When I ask, who does that for you? They say mama Foster and I smile and clap and say "wow you have a good mom!" and see how they respond to that. Usually they are very eager to identify with positive things about the household.

I'll ask if they know why mama foster is taking care of them instead of mama, and get mixed responses. Most of the time they have an idea. Then I'll tell them that mama is always their mother, and Mama Foster wants to be their mother too, and for them to live with her and grown up in her family. Being wanted is a huge key part of this conversation. Mama still wants you and loves you, and can't take care of you right now because she is trying to take care of herself, how do you feel about being part of the family with mama Foster? Mama and papa Foster really want you to stay and love you, and for you to be a sister to the other children.

Excuse the gendered examples, but you get the idea.

Having her therapist on board is an important part of the conversation but sometimes it starts slow at home. Telling her that you love her every day, introducing her as "our youngest daughter," acknowledging her mother in conversation in a positive and inclusive way, like "our daughter would love to come to the party after her visit with her mom"

No power struggles with family is the key to a successful adoption, especially tribal. You'll be adopting the tribe alongside the child, so be ready to be open and responsive to their requests.

Oh my god I absolutely love this and will use it. Thank you so much, seriously. She's already asked if she can call us mommy and daddy and we've said yes. Not foster mom and dad, but just mom and and dad.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Aww

My daughter calls me "parent" and identifies herself as my "child" which works fine for me. Usually in the context of "I'm your child so if you love me you'll buy me xyz"

She's 18 now and leaves for college in two and a half weeks

N. Senada
May 17, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


Congrats to her!

Solaron
Sep 6, 2007

Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're there, and I wish I was with you.


We have a sibling group of 3 - 30 months, 20 months and 2 months old - and the 2.5 year old refers to my wife and I as 'mommy and daddy' and his bio parents as 'other mommy ' or 'other daddy'. When he's with them, we're other mommy and daddy. But it's looking increasingly likely that they are going to have their parental rights terminated - the 1 year mark is in 2 weeks and they have more to do now than they did when the kids were first taken - so we're definitely trying to think about how to frame this to a kid that young. His parents' messaging is unrealistic and makes the day or two after visitation pretty difficult. Thanks for the insight!

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Can't really add anything (wife started residency and pulls 8-14 hour days at the moment, don't know how we could foster at the moment) but I love reading this thread and everyone's stories. It helps for what to expect when we go through the process.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

Aww

My daughter calls me "parent" and identifies herself as my "child" which works fine for me. Usually in the context of "I'm your child so if you love me you'll buy me xyz"

She's 18 now and leaves for college in two and a half weeks

Congratulations to her! I'm hoping with her being 5 that moving forward she'll continue the DADDY DADDY DADDY DADDY chasing me around like she did last night. It was adorable. Bio cancelled the visit yesterday as the aide was en route to pick her up. Case worker and I were furious as she confirmed both the day before and that morning. She has (presumably) another visit next Tuesday. I'll be curious to see how that pans out or if it does. Case worker told her that if she cancels again she'll focus her efforts elsewhere. She only is required 1 visit a month. We've been nice and done 4 a month because I want them to have time together. She's cancelled almost all of them last minute the past month.

I'm actually giving a speech in regards to fostering and our agency tomorrow night. Was asked by the agency to represent them. I'm nervous and excited, but to anyone considering the process there isn't a day that goes by that I love doing it. I love every day even with the challenges that it presents. It will mentally and physically challenge and tax you, it will test your families resolve, and you'll find out who your family really is at the end of the day. It's been one hell of an eye opener and maybe we'll do it again in the future in 10-15 years. It will test your marriage, it will test your patience, it will test your limits beyond what anyone would expect. Hardfast resolve and the patience of a saint is often required. Don't ignore free training, support groups, and all the free services and help available. Our agency and case worker have been amazing at getting back with us with anything we have questions on. At the least, you can go through orientation, watch the tear jerking videos, and figure out if it's right for you.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 15:22 on Aug 1, 2017

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


It's funny (and sad) but we are a month away from court and suddenly bio dad is back in the picture. And bio mom called me a few times last night at 10pm - I did not answer the phone.

We didn't have to deal with this when we foster/adopted my youngest son. The bio parents never contacted us, never visited, and when the grandfather and great-grandmother realized they weren't going to be able to adopt him they simply stopped coming to visitation.

I was advised by all social workers involved in our case that this is very common, people try to cram as many visits and as much training as possible right before court to somehow make their case better, but this baby is almost 7-months old and never met her bio dad and only met bio mom 3 times. I know cases go left all the time, and we are prepared for the worst at court, but to think somehow making a lot of noise and drama at the last minute is a good thing is one of the reasons they are in this mess. I just feel sad for everyone involved and try to stay out of the way. I have been told many times that I have to let them do their part on their own, I can't try to fix everyone.

Arkhamina
Mar 30, 2008

Arkham Whore.

Fallen Rib

Just want to chime in: all of you who do work towards giving kids a safe, stable home are awesome. I volunteer regularly at a local Ronald McDonald House, and witnessed my first big CPS intervention last week and it was rough. CPS lady was an island of calm when Mom and boyfriend we're taking turns melting down. I'd suspected mom was withdrawing from something before she showed up but screaming 'THEY found COCAINE in the BABY!' was not what I expected. By the end of the night police were taking both in on warrants and baby was off to emergency foster.

I work in corrections but goddamn I could never work CPS. Hopefully the 2ish month old baby is detoxing and safe now.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


VorpalBunny posted:

It's funny (and sad) but we are a month away from court and suddenly bio dad is back in the picture. And bio mom called me a few times last night at 10pm - I did not answer the phone.

We didn't have to deal with this when we foster/adopted my youngest son. The bio parents never contacted us, never visited, and when the grandfather and great-grandmother realized they weren't going to be able to adopt him they simply stopped coming to visitation.

I was advised by all social workers involved in our case that this is very common, people try to cram as many visits and as much training as possible right before court to somehow make their case better, but this baby is almost 7-months old and never met her bio dad and only met bio mom 3 times. I know cases go left all the time, and we are prepared for the worst at court, but to think somehow making a lot of noise and drama at the last minute is a good thing is one of the reasons they are in this mess. I just feel sad for everyone involved and try to stay out of the way. I have been told many times that I have to let them do their part on their own, I can't try to fix everyone.

This is normal. People don't want to be seen as uncaring or bad parents who are abandoning their child. They want to be able to cling to the narrative that they did everything they could.

I'm telling a mom today that she won't be reunifying with her children. I'm not happy about it, but children deserve safety and a permanent home.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


We had to set maaaaajor limits with bio pretty fast because of the random time phone calls/texts that were happening at the most random hours of the night.

I'm dreading the conversation and court date where they'll be told that they're losing their rights. We've chosen to attend but were advised not to bring the foster to that one.

VorpalBunny
May 1, 2009

Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog


Mocking Bird posted:

This is normal. People don't want to be seen as uncaring or bad parents who are abandoning their child. They want to be able to cling to the narrative that they did everything they could.

I'm telling a mom today that she won't be reunifying with her children. I'm not happy about it, but children deserve safety and a permanent home.

I was advised today by our new social worker they are recommending going for a full termination of parental rights, and to ask for what we call a 26 hearing here in LA. I am a little shocked, it's happening a little faster than we expected, but today bio dad met his daughter for the first time and she's 6 1/2 months old. Court is on the 31st, and I'm also still trying to find out bio mom's due date so we can be prepared to take that one in too, just in case.

And after another round of late-night texts and phone calls last night from bio mom, scrambling this week's visitation schedule, the social workers told me to refer all calls and requests to them and I decided to not respond to her after 5pm. It will save my sanity, and prevent confusion, but I am prepared for some angry messages from bio mom.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


.26 (selection and order for the permanent plan of adoption) is 120 days from termination of services and is when parental rights will be terminated and finalization is usually within 150 days after that.

Things can be delayed if they contest/appeal but LA Is pretty mercenary.

Congratulations, in the most emotionally divisive way possible.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


I got sick during court (that was fun) but that aside, it took a couple days to process what the hell happened. Long and skinny was that the judge stated that they no longer supported the current plan and that they could attempt to find guardianship placement so bio wouldn't lose their rights (based on her family this so isn't going to happen) or the state is to find adoptive homes for the kids. We have long stood saying we want to adopt the one we've had all along, but being both tribal and a sibling case, they'll try like hell to place them together long before we're asked. We'll find out the day before Thanksgiving if our foster is going to their grandmothers house, which timing wise c'mon right before a holiday? Really? Or if we'll have them until a tried/failed placement for both children happens. We're really hoping to get to adopt as we can't take both but I'm definitely taxed with this entire court process.

Jxforema
Sep 23, 2005
long live the Space Pope

I know I'm just a random guy on the internet, but your doing a great job, and hopefully everything works out how it should.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Tribal adoptions are so hard My thoughts are with your family, I hope your child and her sibling get the best loving homes possible, together or apart.

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

Tribal adoptions are so hard My thoughts are with your family, I hope your child and her sibling get the best loving homes possible, together or apart.

Thank you. The case worker we have is pushing her hardest and her damnedest to keep them in our house as it stands now as not to disrupt stability and putting up a fight for our cause to adopt. We're appealing to the judge via letter as well with our desired intentions as guardianship is the worst possible option with how they live, where they live, etc. I know that sounds horrible, but it's just reality. Fosters sibling suffers from PTSD, anxiety, ADHD, is a liar, a thief, and our foster is none of those. She got lucky. Both are in therapy but the poor influence one would have on the other when the honeymoon period is over frightens me for her safety and her future.

Thankfully we don't have to wait until November to find out the result of the family conference as that'll happen some time in late September, so we'll have an answer sooner. I'll take that as something.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


Be careful how you talk about her sibling to the judge and other parties - they may see criticism of them as an unwillingness to maintain a relationship. Remember to talk about sibling as a child who lacked the protection you're giving the younger one, it's not her fault she's had more trauma.

Good luck!

Kodilynn
Sep 29, 2006


Mocking Bird posted:

Be careful how you talk about her sibling to the judge and other parties - they may see criticism of them as an unwillingness to maintain a relationship. Remember to talk about sibling as a child who lacked the protection you're giving the younger one, it's not her fault she's had more trauma.

Good luck!

Oh I'd never speak ill out loud in front of them or anyone else. I keep it strictly here to vent. I would keep it very positive in message but just weave our concerns about her opportunities and making sure needs are met, etc. I'm not 100% sure they do welfare visits for guardianship placement so there's nothing to stop bio/family from moving in which is against the rules not to mention they have to have the funds to provide care which they definitely don't have living on disability.

I've always kept the message positive and always will at face value, but this last hearing really got to me as they tried/failed guardianship before and it requires an investigation on why the sudden change of heart as a last ditch effort to avoid termination of rights. This case has been going for two years and the judge was clearly tired of it. She made it clear reunification wasn't going to occur, but wouldn't terminate rights at the kids requests to stay with her. It's a bit of a mess.

Kodilynn fucked around with this message at 21:40 on Aug 29, 2017

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


That sounds so hard, I'm so sorry this stress is so intense right now.

If your caseworker is on your side you've really got the best shot possible. Just continue to be available and take excellent care of your baby and try not to let the wait kill you. Dysfunctional families can't hold it together long enough to establish a guardianship through court strife usually.

RabbitMage
Nov 20, 2008


Well hey there thread. Can anyone tell me about getting legal guardianship of a child? We have...a possible situation I don't that I can elaborate on much, beyond someone in the family is having a baby and for a lot of various reasons, they might not be in a situation to care for said baby.

amethystbliss
Jan 17, 2006



RabbitMage posted:

Well hey there thread. Can anyone tell me about getting legal guardianship of a child? We have...a possible situation I don't that I can elaborate on much, beyond someone in the family is having a baby and for a lot of various reasons, they might not be in a situation to care for said baby.

I can try to answer some questions. We were legal guardians for 4 years after an unexpected family situation. Just adopted the boys this summer .

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Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


amethystbliss posted:

I can try to answer some questions. We were legal guardians for 4 years after an unexpected family situation. Just adopted the boys this summer .

I'm so happy to hear that you made that happen!!

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