Monday, May 18, 2015


I had a message on the answering machine today from the county that placed L & O with us way back in 2011. A very friendly lady's voice said she was calling about Baby Brother.

I have had no real contact with anyone involved in their cases since he was here as a respite placement about 2.5 years ago. Last I heard, L & O were placed with their father (out of state) and Baby Brother was still in foster care, still with the family for whom we did that weekend of respite; they still wanted to adopt him, but the TPR process on his mother was dragging out. In fact, our agency caseworker missed M's Intent to Adopt paperwork signing because she had to attend a TPR trial on his case. He's got to be several months past 3 by now and has been in foster care since he was about 10 months old.

I called the number back, gave my name and said she'd left me a message about Baby Brother. She said she was the new caseworker and wanted to set up a time to come out and meet us.

I about dropped the phone.

I explained that we weren't his placement. We did a respite weekend once. She apologized, said the case file was disorganized and she hadn't been sure if we were the placement or a respite provider, but she didn't have anything more recent than that.

Nothing more recent than 2.5 years ago.

I don't even remember the name of the family that is caring for him, but they are with my agency, so I gave her that info. Then I texted my agency caseworker to tell her about it.

This is how it happens, folks. This, right here, is how children fall through the cracks in the foster care system. He's just a lucky one because he's in a good home that loves him.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Radio Silence

M's biological mother has not responded to any attempts at contact from the caseworker.

The Facebook page I've been stalking since M's case started has had no new updates for months and it has now apparently had its privacy settings adjusted, so I can't see anything. I can find other older pages, but no newer ones.

Other online searches are turning up nothing.

The person who told me about the pregnancy told me that Kayla is "keeping a low profile." I assume that means that she hasn't been able to find out more either.

I'm sure she's hiding from DFCS, knowing they will be "monitoring" her during her pregnancy.

I'm worried that it will also mean that she's minimizing her prenatal care, possibly putting the baby at risk. With M, she may have tried having the baby in neighboring state to avoid DFCS knowing about it. (That didn't work.) I'm scared that this time she'll try having the baby at home. If she'd done that with M, they most likely would have both died.

I've tried every avenue I can think of to reach out to her without crossing the boundary lines we set as a family.

There's nothing I can do. I pray for her daily: for her safety, for her mental health, that she will find the strength and discernment she needs to make good choices for herself and her child. I'm trying desperately to leave this at the foot of the cross and let God take over from here, but this is a hard thing to let go.

As best I can tell, one of several things could happen now. Option 1: We will never hear anything at all. I will have to assume in that case that she miscarried or the baby was stillborn. That will be the only conclusion that will allow me to sleep at night, because the alternatives are that she had the baby and either successfully hid him/her from DFCS (what kind of medical care can a newborn hidden from the state be getting?) or that DFCS removed the child but didn't even let our agency know to potentially place with us. Option 2: We will get a phone call in a few months telling us the baby was born and asking if we are still interested in being a placement either immediately or "just in case" something shows up during a protective order.

I supposed there's a 3rd option where we get some information about a due date or her health at some point along the way, but I'm thinking those two are the most likely. It's really hard for me to set this aside and tell myself that "someday, if we're needed, I'll get a call...."

Friday, May 8, 2015

Update on our Limbo Land

So, where do things stand here?

Well, we should be able to get the home re-opened. Apparently the "grace period" involves being closed for a couple months while we get caught up on our hours, but then we just have to do the same re-evaluation process we would have done last month anyway. And since we're closing "in good standing", we should be able to offer our home as a placement for the new baby if it's needed, even if that happens before the re-eval is all typed up and submitted. So, we're getting our hours wrapped up, including our CPR training, and then will do the re-evaluation visit with a caseworker. I should be done with my hours by the end of this month; Mr D might need some time in late June or even early July.

Anna (the agency caseworker) discovered that the phone number she had for Kayla (M's biological mother) is disconnected. I told her I also have some pictures of M I'd love to get to Kayla if she wants them, so she's going to try to reach her through Facebook or through the DFCS caseworkers who are supposedly "monitoring the situation." Hopefully, she can at least learn the due date. It would be nice to know that much, just to get a sense of when this might all start happening. If the tip I got was right, she was "about 5 months pregnant" about two weeks ago. That means a due date in late August? M was 2 months early, but didn't need a foster home for the first 5 weeks because she couldn't leave the NICU yet anyway. The timing may be tight, but I think we can be ready for the worst case scenario.

I think, if the baby does come to us, we will go the route you suggested, Cherub Mama. There'll be a crib in our bedroom, but also pack-n-plays in other parts of the house, like the office and living room. Our bedroom will be the official "place the baby sleeps", while reality will probably vary from night to night so that whoever isn't doing the feedings has chance at sleeping through them. Daytime naps can definitely be in our room. We're allowed to do that for the first year. Once the baby sleeps through the night, we can move the crib into M's room, but do the same "in reality, the baby sleeps wherever is most convenient for that particular stretch of sleep." If the baby is a girl, she can share a room with M indefinitely. If the baby is a boy, we have until M turns 3 before we have to figure out something else....and for now, I think we'd just be hoping that the case is over before M turns 3.

I'm still trying to hope that this baby doesn't need us and that it's for good reasons (like M's mother being clean and stable or the new baby's father having family that can take him/her in). I feel a little bit of guilt about how much I don't really want to do this; but I want even less to not do it if it's needed. If that makes any sense!