Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Thought I’d share an update on our current fostering journey. But before I do, know this…I am a big picture person, which means my brain might bleed if I provide too many details. Here is my attempt to map out the course set before us.
Big picture: we have two of the sweetest little girls alive…living under our roof. They have brought energy, softness, coos, tears, fits of jealousy, fits of laughter, and many…many, many, many sleepless hours. Sweet Pea is seven weeks, and Chick Pea is seventeen months. Sweet Pea is sweet, snuggly, and voracious…girl eats every two hours…every. two. As is absolutely right on target. Chick Pea is a live wire. We are enraptured with her energy, her giggly grunts, her curiosity. Girl is into everything. Whew. Lookie there, I just gave details.
This is the path we will follow…one step at a time…please excuse the lack of specific details…you know…the whole brain-bleeding thing. Just roll with me here.
- March 17, we have court. At this time, the judge will determine, based on evidence gathered by CPS, whether or not the girls should return home or remain in foster care. Ish.
- If the girls remain in our care, the search begins for family members who are willing and able to care for the girls. Family members must pass a home study. If said family members pass the home study, the girls will be placed with family. Ish.
- If the judge decides that the home is currently unsafe, a reunification plan is put into action for the parents. The plan is submitted and agreed upon 90 days after the initial court date. Ish.
- At six months, we meet again to see how the parents are doing with their plan.
- At twelve months, a permanency hearing is held. If parents have successfully completed their reunification plans, the girls go home with the parents. If the parents are working their plan, but need more time, they will be given six more months to accomplish the reunification plan. If the parents are clearly not doing the plan and have no intention of doing the plan, their rights can be terminated. The process for adoption begins. Again, we wait for family members to come forward. If no “cleared” family members are found, girls stay with us until adoption is granted…in six months. Ish.
- If the parents were granted the additional six months to complete their reunification plan, the permanency trial is held at eighteen months. Plan completed = girls go home. Plan not completed, parents’ rights are terminated. The search continues for family members who can pass the home study. If after six months no family members are located, we adopt. Ish.
Whew. I think that covers it.
We are thrilled to be loving these girls…for as long as we can. Already, they have made our family stronger, kinder…grumpier. They have challenged our hearts, minds, and sanity. Already, we are changed…forever.