Yesterday it finally happened! My daughter (Beautiful) was reunited with her sister. The last (& only) visit they had was when Lil Sis was about 8 weeks old. I saw her a few times after that at various court dates or meetings, the last time being when she was a toddler. Shortly thereafter, she began living with her grandmother full time and Grandma suddenly cut off all attempts to contact my daughter. Bear in mind that Grandma had been denied anything more than supervised visits with Beautiful because of a significant history of alarming issues. Basically, she kept moving until she found a county that would let her keep the new baby with only a "safety plan". I will refrain from venting on that topic in this post.
They had a wonderful visit & I had a lovely conversation with her foster parents. They were so thoughtful, sending my daughter home a framed photo of Lil Sis. I only wish I had thought ahead to do the same. They
really are great people and great parents. I was very impressed with them and their willingness to be honest advocates for their children. I sincerely hope that Lil Sis is able to be adopted by them, as I believe that she can thrive there. Additionally, she seems to have bonded with the entire family and a move would be traumatic.
I've been asked about their adoption
prospects. Not that my opinion matters in the grand scheme but...I think they look good. The Nation (ICWA applies in this case) has been informed and
hasn't intervened to move her. That, combined with my conversation with
their ICW director, lead me to believe they
support her current placement. There aren't any bio family
possibilities, as far as anyone is aware. The only obstacle at this
point is finding out when their mother will be released from prison. If
she gets early release, they may want to give her a plan to work. If she
has to serve her full sentence, I can't imagine them dragging the case
out that long. After all, Lil Sis doesn't even remember her. She was a baby
last time they even saw each other. Honestly, I think they should file
to tpr right now based on abandonment, since she has made no attempt to
contact in several years. But, as those of
you that have been involved in fostering know well, things can get a lil tricky when the biological parent is
incarcerated...regardless of how they were behaving prior to the imprisonment.
Lil Sis's foster family & I (& all the authorities involved, so far as I can tell) seem to be on the same page in that we agree that Lil Sis
needs to stay where she is, with an open arrangement with us so that
she & Beautiful can have a relationship. If, by some tragedy she could
not, the 2nd best option would be here, so that she & Beautiful won't
lose each other again, with an open arrangement with her current foster
I sincerely hope & pray that we can allow these girls to continue contact and develop a lasting relationship. After all, they didn't ask to be brought into the situation that they were born into. The very least we can do as their parents is try to make the best we can with the options we have.