Thursday, January 10, 2008
Adoption #2: The latest on Baby Bug
Yesterday Baby Bug's father had a settlement hearing. Early in the settlement, he agreed to the same case plan that Baby Bug's mother has. The judge emphasized that he has up to 12 months to be working this case plan required for reunification. If he fails to work the case plan during htat 12 months, his parental rights will be terminated. The judge also emphasized that his parental rights can be terminated sooner than 12 months if deemed necessary.

The lawyer for Baby Bug requested that CPS has discretion to modify visition without a court order. The lawyer also asked that CPS be given the discretion to return Baby Bug home.

Baby Bug's lawyer spoke out and said she'd agree to allow CPS to have discretion with visitation (as long as she was given at least 5 days advanced notice before a change was to be made so she would have time to file an objection if necessary) but she did not agree to allowing CPS to have discretion to return Baby Bug home. The judge agree with Baby Bug's lawyer.

So, as things stand right now, Baby Bug is to remain with us through at least the end of March, when her parents have a Dependency Review hearing (this happens every 90 days until she's returned home).

During the next two months, it's the intention of CPS to gradually change the nature of Baby Bug's visits with her parents (as long as Baby Bug's lawyer doesn't disagree). Starting in February, if all goes well, the visits will be supervised out of the parent's apartment, rather than out of the CPS office. The visits will still be twice a week for 2 hours and then Baby Bug will be returned to our home. If that goes well, the parents will start getting short unsupervised visits and then overnight stays.

By end of March, CPS hopes to have the parents to the point where they are managing unsupervised overnight visits. Then they will recommend to the court that Baby Bug be returned home and that services continue in-home.

For the past 6 weeks, Baby Bug's parents have been in 100% compliance with case plan requirements. I sat in on a Family and Child Team meeting (CTF) and listened as various state and agency employees applauded the parents for their efforts, stating they've never seen parents comply 100% straight out of the gate, and encouraged them to keep it up.

During that meeting, I also got to watch the parents interacting with Baby Bug (she was there too). They were quite loving with her but I had to hold my tongue a couple of times as she was fussing. For example I wanted to tell them, "She likes to be held out, not close to you, so that she can see what's going on," but I didn't want to undermine their efforts with my advice, so I said nothing (hard to believe she's been living longer with us now than with her parents).

So, overall, I'm happy with the results of the hearing. CPS has decided to gradually work into in-home services, rather than just returning Baby Bug this week, as we were initially lead to believe. I believe our CPS worker is fairly new because she mentioned that after a conversation with her supervisor they decided to take it slow with the in-home services goal. Good idea!

I think it's great that the parents are 100% in compliance and seem highly motivated to get their baby back. I just thought that 6 weeks was too soon to tell if they were going to stay on the straight and narrow. I'll be more comfortable with Baby Bug returning home if they can keep up the good work for another two months.

I sure will miss this Baby Bug if/when she returns home. She's such a sweet and happy baby!

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5:07 AM

At 6:03 AM, Blogger heidi @ ggip said...

This all is so complicated. Good for you for doing the best you can for the baby.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Aunt Murry said...

I really admire you

At 7:06 AM, Blogger abebech said...

Thanks so much for sharing about baby bug. Dh and I have been having long talks about fostering, in large part because of the way it's working out for your family.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Jenn @ Knee-Deep in Munchkin Land said...

I am in awe. Firstly, I am thankful they have to prove themselves a little longer. I, too, would have been a little anxious if she'd been returned so soon. And secondly, wow, you are an inspiration. It takes a special kind of person to take in a child, knowing they'll (hopefully) be returned at the end of it.

Thinking of you...

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Mari said...

I hope you realize what a blessing you are to baby bug. I admire your great attitude and the love you show her, expecting nothing in return. You are making a huge difference in her life. Blessings to you!

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Ms. Kathleen said...

What a super blessing you and your family area to this little child of God's. I am happy they are taking it slower as well. God Bless You!

Oh, my PIF books are posted on my blog!


At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is a happy baby because of the security your family has provided. That will help her through all of this. HUGS!

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Tamara said...

You know, this is the first time in over two years of reading foster parent blogs that I've read about birth parents completely following their case plan. It is encouraging and uplifting to read about. What a blessing to know that people CAN turn their lives around and that sometimes the system can work the way it is intended. It will so hard to say goodbye to Baby Bug, but there must be a great feeling too to know you are doing the Lord's work (and how it is preparing you even more for the child who will eventually stay! - that's how we felt anyway as our Cookie was #4 of the kids we had in foster care and the first to stay). BIG HUGS as you navigate these next few months!

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Jen said...

I really look up t you. I dont think I could do it without a connection. I would have such a hard time with it. You and your family are pretty amazing.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole family is very lucky to have you.


At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did this case turn out so far? The last post was over a year ago.

Is BB back with parents?


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Name: Overwhelmed

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It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

January Pay It Forward Book Exchange- 23 books up ...
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Adoption #2- Overdue Update on Baby Bug
Yes I'm Still Alive- Happy New Year!
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Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
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