Last week we had another new development in the foster care case of our sweet sibling set. But before I get into the news, I need to explain a little back story.
We’ve had Little Man since July 2015 when he came home from the NICU. His stated goal was reunification with his birth parents, and we did our best to support that goal as well as we could. There were issues, but we trusted in the legal system to make decisions that were in his best interests.
In April 2016 Little Man’s goal was changed to adoption by the foster family (us) and we were thrilled. And then our world got rocked just a bit with the news that the birth mom was pregnant and the state wanted to place the siblings together. We said yes, and in June we found out the baby was a girl.
Sweet Pea was born on a hot July morning and was admitted to the NICU. I spent much of July splitting my time between the kids at home and a teeny baby in the NICU, but it was all worth it! In August she came home to very excited big brothers and sisters. At the court hearing in August her goal was set to adoption by the foster family (again us).
The birth parents caused a bit of drama and pretty much made our lives difficult any way they could. Generally we meet the birth parents within the first month of caring for their child, however we are 19 months in with Little Man and we still haven’t met them. It wasn’t pretty or smooth, but thanks to some great case workers we kept on going.
In January the birth parents missed their court date. It was the second one they had missed and the judge was not pleased. He ordered that if they didn’t appear at the March court date he would rule on TPR that day. For three months we waited to see what would happen. Would they show? Would they not show? Would the judge really rule on TPR without a trial? It was an endless round of questions that had no answers!
Last week was the court date, and since we aren’t allowed at court I waited by the phone all day. At 2pm our case worker called and told me that they didn’t show, the judge ruled in favor of TPR and that the kids were legally free for adoption.
It was an emotional moment for me. While yes, I am thrilled that we will be able to adopt Little Man and Sweet Pea, on a human level I hurt for the birth parents. I can’t imagine having children removed over and over, and then losing them forever. Adoption is a complicated emotion – you can’t pretend that birth families don’t exist. They do, and you will always be tied to them through your adopted children. It’s heady and crazy and so hard to explain!
The birth parents have 21 days to appeal, so for now we wait until April 11th. Once that day passes without a filed appeal we will be able to start on the mountain of paperwork that adoption requires. But for now we celebrate that we have reached another milestone and we are one step closer to adopting our son and daughter.