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Thread: Terrified and heartbroken already

  1. #1
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    Default Terrified and heartbroken already

    Well we just got a call from our social worker about yesterday's preliminary court hearing and it did not go as well (in our favor) as we were led to believe it would I think. I was told Monday, during our first home visit, that mom was in a mental hospital, was noncompliant with meds and was in a fantasy world, didn't know what was going on and was out of touch with reality. She managed to get released and show up in court though. At first, I had no ill feelings toward birth mom at all. She didn't ask for all of this to happen to her and I thought it was so sad. Now I feel so frustrated though. I guess it's hard for me to understand how you can just refuse to take meds when you have a problem this severe that could very very negatively affect you children. Also, it appears none of her other children are with her which so far everyone's acting like that doesn't matter but I don't see how it doesn't.

    We were also told that no one filed a petition to get baby girl but today were told someone came forward at the last minute. It's not a blood relative, but a relative (?) and now they're going through the home study and all of that. I have no idea what this means for us. It sounds to me like they're likely to be deemed fit because who would petition the court if they aren't likely to be deemed fit? Sounds to me like it'll all go through and they'll get her. The SW couldn't tell us anything about whoever petitioned so I'm just assuming some stuff here.

    Mom also got visitation. I guess I'm not surprised except that it's hard for me to understand how, in one week, she gave birth, had her baby taken from her, was forced into a mental hospital, and then is out on meds and everything is perfect...in one week I can't see how all of that can happen and things are just okay. Visitation starts Monday and I'm so nervous.

    Also mom disagreed with allegations against her (which I assumed she would) so it's going to the adjudicatory court Dec. 13. I suppose that's pretty much what always happens but we're scared of that too. They went ahead and scheduled her court date for the 75 day hearing for Jan 29th but I don't know if we'll even get that far with her. I'm just heartbroken already. DH and I have just been sitting in bed crying this morning after already being up with baby girl all night. I knew we signed on for this stuff but I thought we were lucky (like an idiot I guess). The situation sounded like it was in our favor and even if she went back with birth mom, I thought I could be happy for her, but the more I learn the more I'm just terrified that this will end soon and we'll be childless once again. Sometimes it feels like the world doesn't believe we deserve a child. Regardless of that though, this little girl is our child. That's just how it feels and I can't imagine being in this world without her. All I want to do is hold her and never let her go.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

  2. #2

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    Oh, this has to be so hard! I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I know it has to be impossible to not get attached. I hope it works out for you. Big, big hugs!



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    This is my greatest concern with foster care. I hope that you can be at peace with whatever happens. The goal of the courts will always be to have the child be raised by family and it is understandable if not heart breaking at times.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My blog about MCAD

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    I dress myself!

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    I'm sorry. You just have to take it one day at a time. Tell yourself that if she doesn't get to stay, she wasn't meant to be yours and YOUR baby is still waiting for you.

    I will also say that even if she gets visitation, it doesn't mean that termination will not occur.

    Foster care is one of the hardest routes I think.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    This process can be so overwhelming. Please make sure to use the support resources that should be available to you as a foster parent. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to your social worker - she should be able to provide some support to you as parents too. I have always felt like the potential adoptive parent has the loneliest role in the process because the focus is so much on the child and biological family first.

    As far as the relative coming forward, just because they petition does not mean that they will be found a suitable match. DD and DS had an aunt and uncle that tried to get custody and had to do a complete home study and were found unsuitable because of the continued access to the biological parents. They felt like they were coming forward to be guardians on paper and were still going to let the bio parents have complete access to the kids. DSS will definitely investigate closely since they were identified late in the game.

    Thoughts and prayers are with you!
    Alyssa
    Twin girls 5/24/09 Baby bean 3/3/11
    Adoption Finalized 8/31/12 - Proud mama to Max and Kacey

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    Quote Originally Posted by WishingNWaiting View Post
    I have always felt like the potential adoptive parent has the loneliest role in the process because the focus is so much on the child and biological family first.
    Isn't that the truth.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Quote Originally Posted by WishingNWaiting View Post
    This process can be so overwhelming. Please make sure to use the support resources that should be available to you as a foster parent. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to your social worker - she should be able to provide some support to you as parents too. I have always felt like the potential adoptive parent has the loneliest role in the process because the focus is so much on the child and biological family first.

    As far as the relative coming forward, just because they petition does not mean that they will be found a suitable match. DD and DS had an aunt and uncle that tried to get custody and had to do a complete home study and were found unsuitable because of the continued access to the biological parents. They felt like they were coming forward to be guardians on paper and were still going to let the bio parents have complete access to the kids. DSS will definitely investigate closely since they were identified late in the game.

    Thoughts and prayers are with you!
    I agree about the adoptive parent's role being the loneliest. I just feel like there is no one on our side. I do think if it was up to the social workers they'd be in favor of us, but I realize it's not and that they have to remain neutral. I've been crying all morning, and I feel so stupid for allowing myself to get so so invested in the situation thinking it would work out perfectly or at least in our favor this early. I realize it very rarely happens that way.

    I just don't know what to think about it all. Part of what's hard is learning the legal system and the steps that have to be taken. We didn't know what any of those were this early on, or that someone could even petition to get her. We thought they'd already been given that chance before they sent her to us so why now? Doesn't make any sense to me. And birth mom is hard not to be angry with right now too even though I wasn't at first. I don't understand how she can have an issue this serious and not take her meds. I understand that meds make you feel TERRIBLE sometimes as I have to deal with that myself thanks to being immune compromised but when you have kids I just feel like it's not a choice. You do what you have to to take care of your kids regardless of your own desires. I just feel it's selfish and I know I shouldn't judge but it's so hard not to.

    I guess all we can do right now is focus as hard as we can on our baby girl and make sure she's getting everything she needs and that she continues to grow and be happy, safe, and healthy. I just wish I didn't feel so destroyed. I can't imagine she'd be okay without us right now unless there was another us out there. I can only hope if these people get her that they're as good for her as we are. She's such a content and peaceful baby I just know she's happy here!

    Anyone have any idea how long it'll take for a decision to be made on the petition?
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

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    Leah, I'm so sorry you're going through this

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    Oh leah I am sorry to hear you already having to deal with issues. I hope that it works in your favor.

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    I think it depends on the state and case about how fast the petitions are decided upon. Knowing that they already have a licensed foster care family in place I could see them taking longer to make sure they can take a close look at the relative. And the courts don't ever seem to move quickly unless there is a danger to the child.

    Don't beat yourself up for being mad at the birthmother, I think that's a completely naturaly reaction. When we went through the process I felt like I couldn't say anything bad about the biological family to anyone because I didn't want it to be used against me later on, but when you have wanted to be a parent for so long and have had to jump through so many hoops, it is going to cause resentment when others don't take it as seriously. Most days I don't think about the fact that my kids aren't biologically related, but every now and then something will happen that will make me fume.

    Don't be afraid to reach out to your social worker and ask questions. That's what they are there for and because they are so used to the process they don't always think to tell you the nitty-gritty details unless you ask.
    Alyssa
    Twin girls 5/24/09 Baby bean 3/3/11
    Adoption Finalized 8/31/12 - Proud mama to Max and Kacey

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    Thinking of you...be strong.

    Jess

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    Oh Leah (((BIG HUGS)))!! I'm so sorry ...really praying for you and baby girl!

    Things can go back and forth for a while (DS's case plan was changed several times between adoption and reunification). I think there's still hope...keep holding on Momma!

    Thinking of you! Wish I could give you RL love and support...my heart hurts for you!!

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    I am praying for you-I'm so sorry this is hard. I know you ARE going to be an amazing mom, and even now, I wanted to encourage you that you are mothering this child in this interim time-your care for her DOES count & it's important & it's real, whether she does end up staying with you or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WishingNWaiting View Post
    I think it depends on the state and case about how fast the petitions are decided upon. Knowing that they already have a licensed foster care family in place I could see them taking longer to make sure they can take a close look at the relative. And the courts don't ever seem to move quickly unless there is a danger to the child.

    Don't beat yourself up for being mad at the birthmother, I think that's a completely naturaly reaction. When we went through the process I felt like I couldn't say anything bad about the biological family to anyone because I didn't want it to be used against me later on, but when you have wanted to be a parent for so long and have had to jump through so many hoops, it is going to cause resentment when others don't take it as seriously. Most days I don't think about the fact that my kids aren't biologically related, but every now and then something will happen that will make me fume.

    Don't be afraid to reach out to your social worker and ask questions. That's what they are there for and because they are so used to the process they don't always think to tell you the nitty-gritty details unless you ask.
    All of this.
    Big Big mama
    Julie, DH: W, DS: Mason, GGB Trips Amelia, Ellanor & Noah
    FFS "Baby C" disrupted fost/adopt of sibs Q,Z,J & K 9/10-3/11

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    I've got another question I'm curious if anyone can answer. I'll probably be calling the social worker tomorrow with these questions just to verify for our area and all, but does anyone know if, when a petition is filed, the foster family is considered at all? I was under the impression if it was blood family, they went with them if they were deemed fit no questions asked, but I wonder about this not being blood family. When the court makes a decision, I wonder if her care here will be taken into consideration. For instance, would a single person be less likely to get her over us because we're a couple and she'll have a mom and a dad? And does her being a newborn have anything to do with how they deal with that? Obviously we have everything we need and then some and are ready to care for a baby...what if they have nothing and no clue compared to us? Or do they even make the comparison? I feel like we deserve a chance to at least be considered since we've had her since birth but with it being "family" however loosely that's being interpreted I just don't know where we'll fit in, if at all.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

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    Unfortunately, our ethics as Social Workers dictate that our first priority is child safety but also keeping a biological family intact. I know that's hard to grasp, especially when you are a foster parent. Mental illness in and of itself is not a reason we can take a child. Lots of people suffering from mental illness don't take their medications and still manage. Obviously the birth mother has a history with CPS so the baby was taken. But again, priority is family. I would check the laws regarding kin relationships. Many states recognize kin out to the 5th degree including fictive kin. I'm guessing that they sent the baby to foster care since your home was safe but kin could still petition. And I doubt they will consider the foster family in this case. Perhaps if she had been in your care for the last year or two....but a week is hardly enough.

    I'm really sorry. I know this isn't what you wanted to happen. It takes extremely special people to foster and you are among the finest. My heart hurts for you as I'm sure your SW has the same feelings. It's hard for her too especially when her role is limited by the courts.

    Mommy to Piper 6/5/09 and an 11/2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babidol View Post
    Unfortunately, our ethics as Social Workers dictate that our first priority is child safety but also keeping a biological family intact. I know that's hard to grasp, especially when you are a foster parent. Mental illness in and of itself is not a reason we can take a child. Lots of people suffering from mental illness don't take their medications and still manage. Obviously the birth mother has a history with CPS so the baby was taken. But again, priority is family. I would check the laws regarding kin relationships. Many states recognize kin out to the 5th degree including fictive kin. I'm guessing that they sent the baby to foster care since your home was safe but kin could still petition. And I doubt they will consider the foster family in this case. Perhaps if she had been in your care for the last year or two....but a week is hardly enough.

    I'm really sorry. I know this isn't what you wanted to happen. It takes extremely special people to foster and you are among the finest. My heart hurts for you as I'm sure your SW has the same feelings. It's hard for her too especially when her role is limited by the courts.
    This was the case for us. Baby C went to a (completely awesome!) family deemed kin because they had previously adopted a cousin or some other relation of his but it was so confusing trying to figure out the connection. With our kiddos we were considered kin because of our pre-existing relationship with them and because dh was the teacher of one of them. So yeah, that whole kin thing can be pretty complicated.
    Julie, DH: W, DS: Mason, GGB Trips Amelia, Ellanor & Noah
    FFS "Baby C" disrupted fost/adopt of sibs Q,Z,J & K 9/10-3/11

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    I'm sorry. As I said in your other thread...you have to stop thinking about this baby in the terms of her being yours. You just can't set yourself up for that heartbreak. The courts ALWAYS try reunification. My bro and SIL are going through this right now with SIL's niece. Her mother killed herself, her father is a drug addict...she had nothing no bed no school nothing, he had needles and drugs all over his room (in his parents house where they lived) and she slept in there...in the same bed, with him. He was busted in his room, with her and all his drug stuff sitting out all over the place. My bro and SIL are your normal good couple, they have jobs, they have a 3 bedroom home, they have everything that little girl would ever need or want. She has been living with them since her dad was busted...but since he was busted the courts and CPS have done everything in their power to get him help, get him clean, get him a job, get him a home so he can have her back. I told my bro and SIL the same thing I told you...you have to go into this knowing she is going back...it is just the way things work, unless the parent themselves gives up their rights. I'm sorry, just enoy the time you have had/will have with her but please know the chances of her being your forever child are very very slim. Your baby is out there...and in the mean time being a wonderful loving foster home is so amazing for all the kids in need out there. HUGS.

    ~*~Katrina~*~ Momma to Xander, Hayden & Lily (6) and Jericho (3 1/2)

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    Were you able to contact your sw today? Praying you get more answers and clarity regarding your role and expectations!

    (((Hugs))) thinking of you!

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    Thinking of you and hoping you were able to connect with the social worker!
    Alyssa
    Twin girls 5/24/09 Baby bean 3/3/11
    Adoption Finalized 8/31/12 - Proud mama to Max and Kacey

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    I called and left the social worker a message, but haven't heard anything back yet and don't think I will today. I thought it might help to understand the steps of the legal process a little better though I realize we have no rights of any kind and our feelings don't matter to anyone whatsoever. I understand that feelings aren't taken into account in court and when making legal decisions but you'd think that feelings would at least be treated with a little more respect than they are.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

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    I definitely understand the desire for your feelings to be taken a little more seriously - hopefully the social worker can provide a little more guidance on what to expect. I'm sure the sense of the unknown is only magnifying the other emotions you have. But know that you are providing a safe, loving environmnet for that sweet baby and no matter what happens you are giving her a good start at life.
    Alyssa
    Twin girls 5/24/09 Baby bean 3/3/11
    Adoption Finalized 8/31/12 - Proud mama to Max and Kacey

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    Thank you so much Alyssa. All of your posts have comforted me and been such a huge help through all of this already. I feel like you really understand the pain you go through in this process and you don't belittle it at all which I really appreciate. I'm sure you've been through all the comments before where everyone just tells you not to worry or to just get over it or to view it differently. I've also wanted to ask our social worker if there's any kind of counseling available for foster parents or if there's some they can recommend. This has been particularly hard since she's the same age as my baby would have been had I not miscarried. I just never expected that to happen and I feel it was the one thing I was just completely unprepared for.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

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    That has got to be extremely hard Being a foster parent has to be the hardest thing.....so much so that I know we couldn't do it. The fact that you guys were willing to go this way and put your heart at risk says so much about you.

    I still want to hold out hope that things will work out somehow for you.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Thank you Jennifer! I really appreciate all of your kind words and support! Right now I don't feel like we're anything special. I feel like baby girl is for sure, but I just feel like we're naive and stupid. Everyone I talk to is borderline mean about it, and kind of acts like we're stupid for hoping this wouldn't happen though we never forgot that it could. I mean we don't know anything for sure. Things could still go in our favor but I'm preparing for them not to so I'm not so destroyed if she does go with someone else. DH still has a lot of hope that this will all work out, but all we can do is wait and see. Social worker never did call me back and they're closing down in a few minutes so I guess I'll hope to hear something tomorrow and not while we're at the doc office for baby girl's appointment.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

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    Yeah I remember the fear my aunt went through with my cousins. It is a HARD road. It was easier with the second than the first one and he's the one that she had to bring him to visits with the birthmom.

    One thing they did with the first was use terms like OUR baby, OUR girl. With the second, they said instead our FOSTER baby, our FOSTER son. I think that kind of helped everyone to not attach quite so much to him.

    It is so hard though because of how the system is....focus is first on the child (as it should be) and second on the birth family (in which I do NOT agree how much time and leeway they are given to get their act together....but it is how it is). Foster family is not cared about much at all. The system has a lot of issues.

    And you are special for sure. I actually got flack from my aunt for NOT doing foster care (think she has blocked out how emotionally hard it was for her!). But I just knew that DH and I were not cut out for it and would have rather remained childless than put our hearts at that much risk.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    I can certainly understand not doing foster care and there reasons why people don't want to do it. Honestly that's why at first, I refused to even consider it. It became obvious that for the time being it was our only option for adopting so I looked into it more and on a whim made the call to DSS and got such positive and friendly responses I felt better about it. I knew it would be hard but it's definitely harder than I thought. We try not to call her ours. People ask me who's she is and I just say she's our foster baby. It's hard at home though. They told us to refer to each other to her as Mommy and Daddy because she wouldn't know any different and it was better for development or something. So that's what we've been doing and I do think that may have made it harder.

    I can't believe your aunt gave you a hard time for not doing it. She must have blocked it out. I don't think I could ever tell anyone "Oh yeah it's the best way to go". Lol. It's got to be the hardest way to go for sure.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

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    You may be the most crucial, instrumental step in that LO's life! Whether that's recognized by anyone or not doesn't make it less true (((hugs))). Those first few days/weeks of a newborn's life are so vital and you're giving her an advantage she wouldn't have had otherwise. You're not just any foster family...you're *her* foster family and that makes you extremely important!

    It's not "stupid" of you to have hoped at all!! How cold you would be had you not gotten attached! Isn't that what babies need most?? How will she ever learn to attach if everyone in her life keeps their emotions at arms-length out of fear? I think babies can sense that.

    To her you *are* mommy and daddy. Until the court determines she is to be placed in a different home it's who you need to be. My goodness, you're not a 3rd world orphanage and for others to suggest you act like it is insensitive!

    If she has to leave, no doubt, she'll take a piece of your heart with her but maybe that's what will help carry her through the rest of her life.

    (((Hugs)))again Leah, I can't even imagine how painful this is! Praying you find someone to reach out to. There was a foster care/adoption support group available when we adopted. I wish I would have taken advantage of it at the time.

    Stay in touch...our shoulders are here if you need a good cry or vent!
    Last edited by kellyowens; 11-29-2012 at 05:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leah26 View Post
    Thank you so much Alyssa. All of your posts have comforted me and been such a huge help through all of this already. I feel like you really understand the pain you go through in this process and you don't belittle it at all which I really appreciate. I'm sure you've been through all the comments before where everyone just tells you not to worry or to just get over it or to view it differently. I've also wanted to ask our social worker if there's any kind of counseling available for foster parents or if there's some they can recommend. This has been particularly hard since she's the same age as my baby would have been had I not miscarried. I just never expected that to happen and I feel it was the one thing I was just completely unprepared for.

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