I keep having to make myself stop thinking about M's case and about her future.
There is so much I don't know that every avenue of thought leads me down a maze of "if that's true, then....but if she's lying about that, then..." So, I'm continually cutting myself off and repeating that mantra I mentioned: "it's too early in the case to tell."
BioMom tells the woman supervising the visits things that she then reports to me. These things don't mesh with what the caseworker tells me. I'm inclined to believe the caseworker, but then remember that I haven't actually talked to her in several weeks, so it's possible that something has changed.
This is the first case in a long time in which I have seriously distrusted the biological parents. There was so much deliberately misleading information given by them at court that I just struggle to believe anything positive that they say any more.
That's a terrible way to feel about someone -- that you can't believe most of what they say. I suppose I should be grateful that M is not old enough for me to have to discuss what is being said with her. I am also grateful that the visit supervisor has taken to picking M up from my house and bringing her back after the visit. That means I don't have to make small talk with the biological parents, who have lately been hinting pretty hard that they want my phone number. (I never give it out this early in a case. In some cases, I don't give it out at all. I'm not sure yet if this is one where they will ever have it. "It's too early in the case to tell.")
I've always had pretty good relationships with the parents of foster children in my home. I don't know if that's going to be possible this time. "It's too early in the case to tell."
I meet with the caseworker again next week, so hopefully will get more of an update then on where DFCS truly thinks this case is going. (Because no matter what may or may not have changed since the meeting we had early this month, there is no way M is going back to her mother "in a matter of days" as her mother claimed at the last visit.) Last month, the caseworker thought the outcome ranged from "file for TPR in late May, available for adoption by end of summer" to "6 months to work the case plan, with paperwork for TPR ready to be filed at the end of the 6 months when (not if) case plan is not being worked, available for adoption by end of calendar year." I've mentally added a third (miracle?) option of "6 months to work the case plan, which gets worked enough to continue the case beyond 6 months or reunify," but the caseworker really didn't seem to think that would happen -- she worked this mother's two previous cases as well and she doesn't think this is going to be different.
I don't know. I don't know what will happen. I don't know what to hope for. "It's too early in the case to tell." So, for now, my prayers focus on clarity and wisdom for the judge and all others with decisions to make in this case. I suppose that's a good thing -- that I'm trying to focus my desires for M on the outcome being whatever God wants it to be for her -- but it's a very uncomfortable place to sit.
Extended family asks about summer vacation plans -- will she still be with us? I don't know. Do I hope she is? I don't know.
Peter goes to high school in the fall and plans to compete in a fall sport. Will she still be with us as I try to navigate his sports schedule during a very busy time at work for Mr. D? I don't know. Do I want her to be? I don't know.
I just can't think too far ahead. That's always true in foster care, but at least with S and N, I knew pretty early where I thought the case should end up; it was just a question of how long it would take. With M, I don't even know which path we are taking, one step at a time.