Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wow, what a week!

On Monday, I received a call from Lil Sis's foster father. The tribe has decided that to actively begin looking for a tribal home to move her to.

Deep Breath...

It's been such a long week that it seems like a month ago that I heard those words. Being me, I couldn't just take that information & wait. No...instead I got the name of the Indian Child Welfare (ICW) worker & gave her a call.

Apparently, since the grandmother is not going to be allowed to have her back, they are no longer concerned about keeping her where she is. Her mother is still in prison and unlikely to ever be able to care for her. At this point, no one is aware of suitable family members. So, they want to move her to a home within their jurisdictional boundaries to start concurrent planning. I begged the ICW worker not to move her because she is attached. That's when I was informed that "the decision has been made" that the home she is in now is not going to be considered as an adoptive placement, should she ever become legally free. So, a move is inevitable. They want it to happen sooner, rather than later, because foster parents gain legal standing to challenge a move once the child has been in their home a certain period of time. I was told by the ICW supervisor (yes, I called him, as well) that "we need to get the child outta there before the fosters get rights".

Since they WILL be moving her, I asked the next logical question: what about her having a relationship with her sister? "That would be great! Do you want to take her?" Long pause...

Basically, I was told that I am their preferred placement. However, if I do not accept placement, then sibling visitation will not be on the list of priorities in choosing another placement. She will likely end up in another part of the state. If she eventually gets adopted, the adoptive parents get to decided what happens with her. If they don't want my daughter in the picture, there's nothing I can do. To me, this distills down to either accept placement or the sisters will most likely lose each other again. Wow. No pressure...

At first the foster family, being understandably upset, took the stance that, if she was going to be moved eventually, it should be done immediately & finally. This would have meant an emergency move &, if she couldn't come to my home, most likely having to go to a shelter until a home was found (at least according to the state case worker (CW)). However, they have since back off on that & she is still in their home for the time being.

I am working on the process of being certified as a kinship home. This makes me approved for Lil Sis to come stay here for visits with her sister and also allows me to take placement if the need arises. The ICW worker told me that she will not push to move her as long as transitional visits to my home begin. However, if we don't set up that plan, she will be moving her soon, even if only to another temporary home. Naturally, I told her what I thought about arbitrarily forcing a child to undergo multiple moves. She was not appreciative...

In any event, I now await a call from the CW letting me know what the plan is. Of course, she has to clear it with ICW & the foster family has to agree. However, what she & I discussed as being the best possible transition is to leave her in the home she is in until the end of the school year. Then transition over the summer. We could start while she's still in school with every other weekend in my home. Then, sometime during summer shift to every weekend. Once it gets close to school time, reverse it, with her here during the week & with them during the weekends. We can always scale back on the weekend visits with them later, if they want. However, I'm ok with doing it indefinitely (barring a move, or something of that nature). I truly believe that they need to remain a consistent part of her life.

In the mean time, my house has been rearranged & is prepared to take another lil girl, if that should become the reality.

I have gone through an obstacle course of emotions all week, and I have some pretty strong opinions about the decisions that are being made for this child by people who have never even met her. However, I shall save my venting for another post...

4 comments:

  1. Oh wow Summer. You have my respect and full support, but wow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes our plans aren't THE PLANS if you know what I mean. May you find the emotional resources, support and fortitude to get through this time. You know I am here for you, even from a far.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Summer I know we have talked alot about this in the past week. I believe that short of her staying in her current placement since she has a strong bond there, your family is the best option for all concerned. I know the thought of another child is overwhelming but she was always meant to be part of your family.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a week is right! I HATE that the best interest of the child never seems to be a priority for case workers. I'm glad this little girl has you on her side. Hang in there, and please reach out for any support I can offer.

    ReplyDelete