Got a call last week from the agency caseworker for L & O. She reminded me that I offered to do respite for the foster home in which they were placed after we said we couldn't take them. Although L & O themselves have moved to a family placement, Baby Brother has not. (The family member with whom L & O are placed is on their father's side and Baby Brother has a different daddy.)
Baby Brother might need to spend a few days in respite -- could I do it? It wasn't the best timing, but it was manageable, so I said yes. They told me there as a 50/50 chance they would need me. The foster home wanted to take him with them on an out of town family trip and BioMom was saying No. The caseworker was hoping to either change her mind or get a judge to overrule her, but wanted to have something in place if that didn't work out.
He was here for 3 nights. And he was the most precious, sweetest, happiest, easiest not-quite-1-year-old I have ever seen. And I exhausted myself waking up to see if he was crying when he was not. :)
I didn't know his foster mom previously. And now that I've interacted with her, I think I understand why BioMom wouldn't let them take him along. (When I agreed to do it, I wondered why she would--she never refused to let us take L & O anywhere.) Foster Mom is totally and completely head over heels for that baby (can't blame her!) and she talks about him as though he's already hers. She called me 3 or 4 times each day, "just to check on him, is he OK?" When they picked him up from us they were taking him to see Santa, and -- let's face it -- an under 1 year old seeing Santa? That's for the parents, not the child. And a bit of the experienced parent in me was shocked to see Foster Dad wake up sleeping Baby Brother to say hello when they picked him up. (We met them partway between our houses and Baby Brother was sound asleep in his carseat--one of the infant ones that you take out of the car with the baby still in it.)
If Foster Mom talks about that baby around his BioMom with even half the possessive attitude* she showed me, I am sure that BioMom said No to the travel just to remind her that she is still that boy's mother.
I don't know anything about the case, so I don't know what Foster Mom was promised in terms of availablity to adopt.
I do know that Foster Mom has no other children in her home and is looking to grow her family.
And I do know that Baby Brother is having regular visits with BioMom.
*Foster Mom wasn't rude or ugly. On the contrary, she was apologetic for calling so often and thankful to us for taking him while they were gone; it wasn't a trip she could choose not to take and she would rather have had him go with her. It was just very clear to me that she's not only attached to Baby Brother, and sees him as a member of her family, but that she is uncomfortable being separated from him....which I don't think would play well to a bioparent who is being kept separated from him!