So yesterday I was at the meeting for N with her clinicians and staff.
As I drove the long three and a half hours out there my phone rang. I placed it on hands free and discovered it was the Supervisor of Foster care. Now I had asked a question and the home finder was at training so I assumed that is why she was calling me (home finder had stated she had to ask the Supervisor as she was not sure). Now in the past we had had a strained relationship because the previous home finder had told her a ton of lies about me to her and about her to me. We are working on it but still it is a bit stressful for me. So the conversation goes like this:
“ANYM I am really glad I got to talk to you there is something I wanted to talk to you about and I wanted to hear from you personally. Now I know you are going forward with N and we completely support that but I need to ask you tough question. We know that the reality is that the Littles will be back in care, we know that and we understand that. Our first instinct is to put them with you but if you have N I am not sure how you will feel. We feel that you would be able to handle it and I am comfortable that you are capable but what do you want? How do you feel because I do not want to put you in the painful position of having to decide between children if that was the case. If you don’t want them back when it happens we will not let you know. We will put them somewhere else.”
It felt surreal when she said it out loud. I mean I have thought this the whole time and no one said squat to confirm it. Now I hear it I hear it from THE BOSS. I assure her I love the Little’s to pieces and ALWAYS want them back no matter what and that I was on board to adopt all three. The Supervisor laughed and said she had thought that would be my answer but had just wanted to hear it from me and to be sure I did not feel pressured to say yes. I assured her there was no pressure I loved them and wanted all of them. She asked a few logistics questions and told me she was fine with me having all three, she would tell the home finders to call me directly when it happened and then the Little’s would be mine forever.
I was happy and sad. I was happy because I knew beyond a doubt that they had faith in my abilities. I knew that she did not think I was a piece of crap as I had previously been led to believe. But I was sad, profoundly sad thinking about the Little’s coming back. The Supervisor explained that legally we had no choice but to send them back even though it would fail. We had to let the inevitable happen to prove she was not capable or the judge would not allow the TPR. They have to go home and have to come back. I am sad, really sad for them.
As we got closer to the campus I was forced to switch gears. I had to put on the game face and prep myself for the next obstacle in my path. I had to meet with the team for N.
The meeting felt like a quiz with them asking questions about my knowledge of Mood Disorder NOS, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD. I answered simply because I figured I don’t need to go into a lot of detail if they did not go to detail themselves. They asked me again about my thoughts about contact with the birth family. I reiterated the same thing over and over if they are safe I want to get to know them. They asked about schools, counseling and medical to see if I had resources and knowledge of what would need to be done. I had answers for most everything and they seemed to be satisfied after about a full thirty minutes of grilling.
The questioning then changed to adoption related. Did I have a lawyer? We want to finalize in Lewis County because the judge personally knows this case. The agency will pay my fees. Did I know about the three months waiting before filing? My mind raced, three months from now is winter. Lewis County is on the edge the Great Lakes. How much freaking snow would we have to drive through? My parents would not come, they don’t drive in snow like we get. Would anyone from my life come at all because Lewis County is three hours away? OK I get it he cares but how flexible would my friends be dead of winter in the snow belt. Sigh.
I pushed it out of my mind I can’t focus on it because I can’t make it change and what happens happens. We meet with N and I give her the school clothes we bought for her. She is very excited and is super happy to see us. We can’t stay long though because three and a half hours is a long drive home. We say goodbyes and off we drive. M1 and M2 fell asleep and I am left with my own thoughts.
Suddenly it hit me…in one year I might go from two kids to five. Holy Hannah that was not the plan when I first started on this journey.