Well we're coming up on the dreaded court date and we just keep thinking that this coming week may be our last week with baby girl. I don't let myself dwell on it too much though when I do it about kills me. I want to enjoy my time with her so I try to put it out of my mind. It's when she's sleeping or something and I'm not busy that it eats me up. But it's going to happen and I can't do anything to change the outcome. I'm just trying to prepare myself to hear that she'll be leaving so it's not as much of a shock if that's what happens.

This week though, at visitation, the mom told me that she could tell how happy she is. I've been showing her videos of baby girl smiling and laughing and listening to music and all of her cute and funny reactions. And mom said "I can tell she's happy. I'm so glad to know she's so happy." The lady supervising the visits said that she thinks she's a lucky little girl to have ended up with us in such a happy, loving home. She says things like that all the time, and always says it in front of mom. Mom always agrees. After our visit, I called the case manager to talk to her about updating some paperwork. And before we even got into that she told me how proud she was of us. She was our trainer, and she said that she couldn't be more proud of how we've handled it all and how kind we've been to mom. She said if she goes home she could pretty much guarantee we'd have relationship with her if we wanted because we have such a good relationship with mom. She went on and on about how we've gone above and beyond what most people do and how it makes a huge difference to everyone involved.

Personally, I just think of it as doing what I would want someone to do for me if it was me in that situation. She grows and changes so fast. How can we not give her pics each week? Plus, we love to brag on how well she's doing because we're proud of her. So we love being able to show that too. And I know it makes mom feel better to know she's doing so well.

Anyway, I know that typically with petitions, they don't even look at the foster family and it's like the foster family might as well not exist because "family" is automatically considered better than foster home. But I'm wondering if anyone knows if there's any chance that all of this will matter when making the decision to put her with family or let her stay with us? I think we've got a good thing going here. We have a good relationship with mom (probably better than family would have with her because of all the baggage) and baby girl is so secure here and happy in this environment cause it's all she's known. I know in the long run it's better to change her environment early on rather than later but still...I feel like it should count for something. Is there any way that it will, especially our relationship with mom?