So for those that are not familiar with foster care we always have to do what is called a concurrent plan. If the plan for reunification does not work out (Plan A ) then what do we do with the child to get them out of foster care (Plan B). Well it has been three months and despite my protests and requests no timeline for reunification exists. In theory this means there is no plan to execute Plan A so how on earth do we plan for it, prepare the kids for it…shoot just plan your life in general. I have been stymied for weeks now and next week is the Service Plan Review and I am not entirely sure what the service plan is. I bring my fears to the table and I get lukewarm answers, yes plan for after school care and yes plan for the kids to be with you on your vacation but maybe no not for their next dentist appointment in October. I sigh the system is frustrating and “there is reason for hope with Mom.” Well that is good news at least Mom is making progress to a degree so OK lets fly with that and then there was this email today:
Now that the children have been in care for three months, I am required to ask you if – in the event the children cannot be reunified with their family – you would be willing to adopt the children. There is no right or wrong answer, and “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer at this time. “I haven’t given it much thought yet” is also a perfectly acceptable answer. I’m preparing an internal report that the state requires every so often, and I have to speak to this matter in the report.
No pressure, I promise. Just share your thoughts.
I laugh to myself. The bold is what he sent me exactly no changes for publication. How is it that there is a timeline for me to respond and make these decisions and yet there is not time line for them to plan the reunification. Now I knew this email was coming I have been in foster parenting for 8 years and knew at three months they ask this and yet I get frustrated because I am required to answer TODAY but you have not answered me concretely in three months. Then it hit me…I have to answer this question today because the permanency hearing is upcoming and it has to be in there for the judge.
I did a mini freak out being totally honest. Part of me screamed YES but then part of me said “You are mid forties, the baby is 2 is that really fair to her?” Since I knew it was coming I talked to my family. My sister started to laugh and said “Why not you have been doing it already” I ran the age past her and she simply said “Look even an old mom is better then no Mom at all” Yes part of me agrees and part of me is concerned maybe that is just my nature. I run it past my parents and per usual they are opposed. It is too many, you are single aren’t two enough? My Mom summed it up “If you were some one else’s kid I would be supportive and say wow what a great idea but you are my daughter and I am afraid it will ruin your life” I just grit my teeth,I have to run it past them but no I am not at all surprised by their responses. I can’t make them have faith in me so onward we go. I ran it past my BFF and she simply said “Could you live with yourself if you let them go?”
I run it past M1 and M2 and both are on board. They think it is a good idea and want to know if it will happen for sure. I clarify it will be awhile but we have to have a plan in case they can’t go back home. They both think it would be awesome and M2 relays that she hopes they can’t go home. Well honey that is still the plan so hold your horses for now.
So I guess I will tell them yes. I did pray for children and maybe these two are the ones I am praying for but then again it is awfully early to tell. Oh well off I go to write an email hopefully I am making a good choice.