A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. --Forest E. Witcraft
Parental rights were terminated for Miracle's parents today in court. I listened to the short testimony of the case manager followed by the findings of fact and orders of the judge. A sadness came over me during the findings of fact, as the judge said, "No parent has ever visited this child." What a crying shame!
I'm very happy that Miracle is with us, being loved on by all of us, and that she will have the opportunity to grow up with her siblings and know members of her birth family. We had a visit with aunts and cousins of the three little ones a few weeks ago. This was the first time they met Miracle, and they couldn't believe how much BB and Precious had grown since spring.
Next steps: transfer case to adoptions unit and contact attorney.
Today was the Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) hearing for Miracle. This is where 4-5 trained volunteers review 20+ case files and meet with whoever shows up for each case on one scheduled day. Everyone involved in a case (foster parents, bio parents, case managers, therapists, lawyers, CASA, even family) are invited to attend. The FCRB listens to everyone who wants to make a statement or request and then makes a written recommendation report to the court regarding the case. They also have a standard list of questions that they must answer for each case, like "Is the case plan appropriate?" and "Is there compliance with the case plan?" An FCRB hearing is held every six months for every case where foster children are placed out of their parents' home. It is often the best avenue for foster parents to make a request for therapy or other needs to the court. In my county, there are many different FCRBs to handle all of the cases, but a given case always goes to the same FCRB (people).
I took Miracle with me to the hearing because they always like seeing the little ones and because she is just a joy to be around (not biased here or anything). I made my statement regarding her progress and status. I did let them know that she has been recommended for occupational therapy (OT) twice a week and now the pediatrician is also recommending physical therapy (PT) as well. I'm really hoping these can be done either together or back to back. The case manager came in a little late and confirmed that the case plan was already changed to severance and adoption and that termination of parental rights (TPR) should occur later in August barring any unforeseen circumstances. She also said that there has been no contact with mom or any possible father since before the case was transferred to her in April.
Since Miracle's case is so new (March), they still had a lot of Precious' case notes in the file (files are per mother). When compared to old notes in the case file which indicated a lot of the issues Precious had early on, the review board members were thrilled that Miracle was doing so well even though she is so little (41% height, 17% weight, < 5% head circumference). They were also very happy Miracle was present today and very pleased that she would be adopted with her biological brother and sister.
When it came time for the standard questions and the FCRB "findings", they answered everything as one would expect, but all the comments made to summarize stressed moving this case along. They want TPR this month. They want the case transferred to adoptions ASAP. They confirmed my adoption certification was still valid (a major hold-up in adopting Precious). They stressed getting reports done. Bottom line, they don't want to see this case again in six months; they want the adoption finalized!
Miracle was evaluated for OT. She is doing very well, but OT was recommended because she is very stiff and at risk developmentally. We see the pediatrician tomorrow for her four month well check and will discuss it.
Precious bops around like a little Shirl*y Temple lately with all her curls. She is pointing more and trying to communicate but resorts to crying and temper tantrums frequently. I think the terrible twos arrived early.
BB had his first day of developmental preschool today. It is just under three hours. Then he rides the school bus to daycare for lunch and nap and play. He was exhausted tonight but I think he loved the day.
Buddy arrived home from Ohio this afternoon. He had a wonderful time. After he gave me a hug and said he missed me, he told me he left his DS in Ohio and then asked when he would get to go back again.
Sweets seems to be liking sixth grade. She and May participated as leaders in Sunday morning's worship service which was led by the youth. Sweets is very excited about moving up to the church youth group.
May is still working on finishing her summer online math class. Thursday night is final registration for high school, when a decision must be made about which math class to take. I believe she can pass this class if she gets with it!
My computer is toast and out to be rebuilt. Unfortunately, I don't have a very recent backup. I'm so glad I'm not still in school. Besides getting everyone back to school, children's chorus starting again, multiple routine doctors' appointments, and general schedule coordination, so many annoyances keep popping up like the computer, a plumbing issue, the pool cleaning system, van a/c problem, and new alarm system city permit requirement, to name a few. I need more hours in each day!
It's hard to believe that it is August already. The summer has gone by so quickly. Sweets is almost done with her second week of 6th grade and it sounds like it is going well. BB has "Meet the Teacher" this Friday night for his developmental preschool which starts next Tuesday. May and Buddy have "Meet the Teacher" next Thursday and start school a week from Monday. Children's Chorus starts with a meeting on Tuesday night. Several doctor's appointments are set up for next week. Whew! Yep, "summer" is about over. Unfortunately, the 100+ degree days will be around another month or two. Rain, you can come any time!