Spoke with Lil Sis's CW yesterday and, when we go to court in a couple weeks, they plan to ask for a finding that "active efforts to reunite have failed". Getting this ruling from the court will start the process of terminating her mother's parental rights (tpr).
Apparently, the prison officials say that she has a minimum of two years left to serve. Naturally, they don't feel it's in Lil Sis's best interest to make her wait that long in hopes that her mother, whom she has no memory of, will be able to get it together.
While I agree that this decision is in Lil Sis's best interest (though it is a bittersweet victory), it adds stress to me because, at the court hearing, they plan to ask me whether I want to adopt her or not. I'm reeling a little bit right now, because I have a lot of things I'm
juggling. I've been having to focus on things on a day by day basis,
without looking too far forward...so getting put on the spot to make a
decision like this right now is tough.
The pressure & time constraint on this actually comes from the tribe. They will want her in a pre-adoptive
placement ASAP. So, after the hearing, if I were to say "no", they'd
start staffing right away & move her as a (low) legal risk
pre-adoptive placement. That's how it worked with my other
daughter...and why she moved in supposedly for adoption but was there
for over 3 years (!) prior to it actually happening.
I feel like I'm being put in the same situation that I was a year ago. Either I agree or the sisters lose each other. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't want to adopt Lil Sis. I'm genuinely afraid that I can't pass the adoption homestudy because of my financial situation. However, if I can just pass the damn Bar Exam, things will be better. So, send prayers, positive thoughts, burn incense, whatever you've got...but I take it the last week of February & I have to pass this thing.
In any event, I've gotten some good advice from other foster parents that say, since a "no" is a one way door, I can tell them that I am willing to adopt. Then, the girls stay together & I can try to work things out while they are going through the frustratingly slow tpr process. If, at some point in the future, it becomes clear that I cannot possibly give her a forever home, I can notify the tribe to locate another placement. So, I think that will be the route I take.
Also happening in February...
Wasband's day in court.
Sounds like a straight to DVD movie, doesn't it?
We gave him an extra month. He STILL hasn't paid any support or any of the money owed to me that I had to pay for debts that he was supposed to get in the divorce. As of today, Child Support Services says that he is $42,450.29 behind in support. I cannot fathom what gets into people's heads to make them think it's a good idea to ignore the judge. He's still got a few weeks to come up with something. If he doesn't, though, she may very well throw him in jail for his contempt of court.
As far as I'm aware, he also hasn't taken the parenting class required before he gets visitation, so I guess he won't be seeing the kids anytime soon, either. Of course, he also hasn't responded to the proposed agreement for visitation schedule, either. So, I guess he's in no hurry to see them.
I will hate to
have to explain all of this to our children. However, there's nothing I can
do. Whatever happens is the consequences of his own actions. He's grown
& he makes his own choices.