Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
This week we had a meeting with Boo's CPS worker. We discussed a lot of things but the most important thing we talked about was what might happen in her upcoming Permanency hearing that's taking place next week.
A Permanency hearing takes place after a child has been in the "system" for 12 months. At this hearing, the judge is supposed to decide whether to change the goal from reunification to severance or decide that there's a compelling reason to extend the case plan out for the parents and keep the goal as re-unification.
Yes, Boo has been in the system for nearly 12 months already. She's only 16 months old. She was removed from her mother, then from an extended family member, and then she was put into foster care and was pulled from two different homes (through no fault of her own) before she arrived with us.
I'm determined that this will be her last stop unless she's re-unified with her parents. This child deserves a permanent home and a family she can call her own. I pray that we are allowed to be that family.
So, the way CPS explained things, it looks as though we're in for a long ride no matter what the judge decides next week.
If he decides to extend the case plan, it'll be like Boo has to start all over. We're talking she'll be in the system for a minimum of 10-13 more months, if not longer, before the issue of severance comes up again. I can't get into the details of why, just take my word for it. That puts it at about next July before talks of adoption come up again. It means she'll have been in the system for 2 years and in our home for a year and 5 months!
If he decides to move towards severance, then we're still looking at many, many months before all the additional hearings, trials, appeals, and adoption court appointments will be finished so that we could finalize her adoption. In fact, when I sat down and calculated all the months these things would involve, I believe that the best case scenario would put us at about August or September of 2009 before we could finalize!
I was shocked, to say the least, when I realized how long all of this will take, no matter what happens next week. I want to cry in frustration and anger. My heart is heavy. What kind of system keeps a child in limbo that long?! It's just not right!
Both the CPS worker and Boo's lawyer are going into court next week and, once again, pleading with the judge to allow severance and adoption. They feel that is the best course of action for this little girl, given the circumstances which I can't explain.
I want to pray for the best possible outcome for Boo but I don't even know what that means at this point.
Perhaps you all might be willing to pray for God to give us strength to get through all of this and that Boo will be as unaffected as possible about the enormous decisions being made for her. I just want her to have a happy, normal childhood.
I could sure use come encouragement right about now!
By the way, the picture in this post is one of Boo at an outdoor concert, wearing my straw hat. She does love hats!