Part 7 – Finally OUR Boys!
In January 2006, the state did an assessment on the progress, or rather lack of progress, by the biological parents, and determined the state would go for termination of parental rights. The
Just a Word About CASA
The boys had a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). I believe she was instrumental in getting the rights termed. Her job was to look out for the best interest of the children – she’s not on bioparents side, she’s not on the foster parent’s side, she’s on the kid’s side. She was appointed by the Judge to be an Advocate for the boys.
She was present at almost every pre-termination visit, and at every hearing. She checked up on the mother constantly through the therapist, the doctor, and the caseworker that were involved with the case. Weekly, she would ask the mother if she had found a job yet, does she have a place to live in order to raise the kids, and did she go to counseling this week. She also checked up on the kids, and fought to have them removed from bad foster homes. (She won that fight which is why the boys were placed with us, and the girls went to another foster home.)
Truly, our CASA worker was a God-send. I know the county does not have the resources for caseworkers to follow up and be as thorough as she was – therefore, she had proof of the mother’s inconsistency, irresponsibility, and poor judgment calls. Her hard work contributed greatly toward the termination of parental rights.
I have often heard people ask about loving foster/foster-to-adopt children. They ask if they should hold themselves back and try to protect their feelings, or if they should love the child unconditionally with no strings attached.
For this point I am going to stand on my soapbox for a moment:
My thoughts are that you should Love them with all you’ve got. These kids deserve it.
If the child has to move or is placed elsewhere, it’s going to hurt. If you “hold back”, or if you wear your “heart on your sleeve” – no matter what, it will hurt.
If the child stays, you will have a head start and it will be that much more joyful, and the child will be that much more secure in their relationship with you.
One thing we’ve figured out in our nearly 3 years of fostering, is that even if a child stays with us for a short time, we do have an effect on them.
For some children, the love you give them may be the only time it is given without strings or expectations. It may be the only time they ever hear “I love you”.
For others they may not remember you in particular, but they remember that “mommy” loved them when they were little.
Give them all you can, it may be the only time they are loved like they are the center of the world – and every child deserves to have that.
I now step off my soap box.
Exactly one year ago today, September 29, 2006 , the court finally recognized what Hubby and I felt in March 2005 – Woody and Tigger were officially members of the family. At that point, the boys had been with us for 19 months, so it was more of a finalization on paper. As they’ve been “ours” in our hearts for a long time. Even so, I still had a weight lifted from my shoulders – and I don’t know if I was projecting, but it really seemed like Woody was more relaxed after the court date, too.
We had a big celebration adoption party at the house on Sunday afternoon. We catered barbecue, and had a bounce house in the back yard for the kids. It was great to see them playing and having such a good time.
We are considering future foster-to-adopt placements, but for now we have decided to wait and just enjoy being a family. If we do accept future placements, the children will definitely be younger than the ones we have now. I think it’s important especially for them to maintain their birth order. If we challenge the stability by adding more children, I want to make sure it wouldn’t change their place in the mix.
More of God’s Perfect Timing
Shortly after their adoption, we received the new birth certificates in the mail. Now obviously, I knew the boys birth dates, but I didn’t know the exact time of day they were born. For Tigger, when I saw the date and the time of birth, something clicked and I remembered what we were doing at the time of his birth – You may remember back in Part 2, I mentioned attending an informational meeting with Hubby. As it turns out, as Tigger came into the world – we were sitting in the CPS office for that first informational meeting.
It amazes me how God orchestrated the timing for this. It was all part of God’s perfect plan!!!
It’s been nice to reminisce and recall our journey from beginning to end. Where our adoption journey ended – our life as a forever family began. I hope you have enjoyed reading our adoption journey – it is certainly one I will forever be grateful for.