This week was full of crazy twists and turns and an insane amount of nonsense. It had taken me two whole business days to coordinate a phone conference with myself, Tyler, the kids social worker and her boss but when we did I thought I had struck gold! We had to wait a week until the call actually happened but still, I pushed and prodded and in one week I hoped it would pay off handsomely. Tyler and I had taken some time to organize our thoughts and expectations on paper and certainly felt prepared as far as getting some questions answered! I had arranged to meet Tyler at home over my late lunch break so we could be in each others presence to swap eye rolls or kick each other under the table if things started to get rowdy. Well. 30 minutes prior to the call we had rearranged both of our schedules for I received an email from the social worker stating her boss would not be there as planned due to her being ill and leaving early. To say that I bawled my bloody brains out on the way home would be a gross understatement. The fact is...I bawled my bloody brains out on the way home. ;0) We spent the first 20-30 minutes discussing next steps, deficits in communication, expectations, visits, logistics and while my intention was never to sit there and berate the social worker on the 50 ways she has failed us since July it did take up a decent part of the conversation because it was important. It impacts us directly and it impacts the kids directly. Around the 30 minute mark social worker drops a nuclear bomb directly into our ears via the wonderful world of modern technology in the 21st century..."there's something I need to tell you about the youngest boy"...pause...awkward silence...crickets...at this point I believe my head literally exploded off my body. "On Friday he was removed from his foster placement due to extreme substantiated abuse towards another child and now his parents are in jail and he's at his second placement in two days." Ehhhhhhhh. Whaaaaaaaat? It was almost too much to process. And due to a very large miscommunication he would be moved soon from the second placement to a THIRD in less than a week. As in three. As in not even how old he is. Most people at this point upon hearing the horror ask why he couldn't be moved to us instead of three strangers homes...its to do with the ICPC paperwork. Legally a child cannot leave the state of which they are wards of without this packet of very important paperwork being agreed upon by both the current state and the placement state. What you need to know at this point is there's no way to expedite this (the only exception would be if we were blood relatives), Indiana has approved our ICPC placement and the paperwork has either just arrived to the central office in Jefferson City or it will very soon. Beyond that then? We just wait and pray that things move quickly as they have for us in the land of paperwork. He is safe for now and while this situation is not ideal it is certainly better than witnessing more abuse. This conversation with the social worker provided some new insight but not a lot of answers. So I prayed for that to change. I reached out to many and asked for prayer in that situation as well. To pray for our littlest guy to feel protected where he is, for the other foster child who is not well and is suffering significant damage from hateful people who chose to abuse him over abusing mine. You guys, this was J's one and only placement from the time he was four months old. He called them mom and dad. He is suffering a great loss at this point and there will be bits and pieces of that loss that will factor into his hurt much later in life. This is the ick of adoption. This is the horror of broken people tricking the system into thinking they aren't monsters who almost killed a child. When we began this process I went into it thinking I knew how messed up it was, nothing's gonna phase me when in all actuality nothing had prepared me.
Fast forward to this afternoon. I had reached out to the kids CASA worker and left a message desperate for a return phone call. Our attorney had told us they are an amazing resource and I needed a miracle, someone to give me more info and help me weed through this uncharted territory of what information I'm entitled to as their future parents. I cannot even begin to tell you the relief I felt after out conversation was over! So many of my questions and frustrations were validated and I felt for once in this whole process I wasn't fighting someone who is supposed to be on the same side as me. Within an hour and a half of that conversation Tyler received a phone call from our social worker that we could schedule a visit in two weeks and what's even better is that visit would be with all FOUR of the kids! Because the girls foster mom is being very difficult with some things we had been told for quite some time that until a few things happened (i.e. therapists show our life books and then give the green light for a visit) we would have to only to see the boys when we drove out. But now? All four baby. I'm pretty sure I did cartwheels (good one) all the way out to my swanky mom-bus (read minivan) and then celebrated on the way home (read drove with wild abandon).
This week I was reminded again why the fight is worth it. I've not ever felt like giving up, I've not ever felt like this is too much for me to handle. This week I was reminded of a little thing called perspective. I was reminded that His love is vast, and deep and wide. That I have amazing friends and family who poured into me and my family every day this week when they knew it was hard. Texted and called me with words of encouragement, brought me flowers at work, listened to my exhausted sobs of frustration, dried my tears, validated my sadness, told me to buck up and carry on and more importantly prayed safety around my littlest of littles.
This week I'm reminded that He will never call me to fail. He only calls me to believe.
"You're a good good father, it's who you are. And I'm loved by you, it's who I am. And you're perfect in all of your ways." Good Good Father by Housefires