Since I had to delete my whole blog when we hired a lawyer, the back story is missing. I thought I’d bring everyone up to speed so you all know the whole dealio.
We got SB as a foster placement on Valentine’s Day, 2011. We worked very hard with his birth mom to get her in a place where she could raise him. She was given LOTS of support and love, but was unable to get it together. She was able to get clean, but she was unable to change her lifestyle or choices, or to provide a minimum standard of care. Hubs and I hired a lawyer in February 2012, as it was apparent that we needed to step forward and keep SB safe. (Our state law allows foster parents to step forward in the case after caring for the child for 12 months.) We continued to try and work out some sort of open adoption agreement, but BioMom resisted strongly. We received a lot more information about some of the history of the case as we prepared for trial, making us even more hopeful we were doing the right thing. BioMom insisted on taking this to trial, even though the odds were very firmly stacked against her. So, we went to trial, and she lost, and now we have a no contact order, as terminated parents are not allowed contact. In addition, there are some behaviors that came to light at trial that make contact a serious concern, especially if BioMom relapses. We learned some scary, scary stuff. Things that, if I had known them when this case started, would have changed the entire way I handled it.
When we started fostering, we never intended to keep any of the children. We intended to do birth mom support, and reunite families. However, our first priority was always the child, and in this case, that meant we had to intervene. We feel like we did the right thing. We are sad that BioMom pushed this case to trial, as we feel this could have been settled in a different way. However, knowing what we now know, because this went to trial, we feel pretty confident that it played out the way it was supposed to. Sometimes in life, the way you think things should look, and the way they actually end up, are very different things. This was one of them. A year ago, I was encouraging SB’s bio mom to go to rehab and get clean. I was looking for housing for her. And now I’m looking forward to a future of being Sugar Biscuit’s mommy, a gift that I take very seriously, and am humbled by.
We have a LOT of processing to do in the days and months to come. Decisions to make about where we go on our foster parent journey, about who we are now as a family. We are going to take our time with that. It’s been a hard, hard road. I’m looking forward to some breathing, and thinking space, and enjoying the blessings that come with the passage of time.