Okay, I'll just start by saying that our little Monster Man (or Monkey Man, if you prefer, MM for short) is still with us. In all honesty, unless something very unexpected happens, he will not be leaving us! Last month on May 14, I received a call from MM's caseworker who stated that his birthmom wanted to meet with The Hubs and I to discuss MM. We met with her on Wednesday, May 15 after her visit with MM. We met privately, just her and us in the DFCS conference room. Her side of the conversation? "I love my little boy very much and I would dearly love to take him home and give him everything he needs, but I know I can't give him what he needs, I can't give him what you guys can give him and I want the best for my little boy. You guys are the very best! You love him so much and you treat him as if he were your own. If I sign my rights over, would you please adopt him?"
Obviously our answer was a resounding YES!!! So she went that evening and voluntarily relinquished her rights. I didn't have to be with her, but she asked me to go and she held my hand while she signed. We are planning to have an open adoption. She will have the ability to see him once a month (I was going for twice a month, but she only wanted once a month and with The Hubs and I both there for the visits so she can get to know us better too), will be able to call at least once a week but not more than every other day to check on him and will receive photos of him throughout the year. As long as she wants to stay in the picture and doesn't bring anything that would be harmful to MM into the mix, we're more than willing to let her have these small concessions.
She had 10 days to change her mind, which actually turned into 12 days due to the 10th day being a Sunday and the 11th day being Memorial Day, but her time is up now and she did not retract her termination of rights. Now DFCS is in the process of hunting down the dad, who hasn't been in the picture since MM's 1st birthday, to attempt to get him to sign rights over. If they are unable to find him, they'll publish in the legal section of the newspapers around his last known address and will terminate in absentia. Then we simply have to complete things from our side and MM will officially be ours!! If everything goes exactly to plan, we should finalize in September. MM has been with us 8 months already, so there'll be no extra wait time from the placement end.
Right after this happened, on May 24th, MM's caseworker called and asked us if there was any way we could take two more children, a boy aged 4 and a girl aged 3. The boy has ADHD and some aggression issues, but we discussed it overnight (they were moving from another foster home so it wasn't an emergency situation) and decided we were going to give it a shot. So, they've been with us for nearly 3 weeks now. They are a handful, to say the least!! They are almost certainly only going to be a temporary placement as their mom has nearly completed her caseplan and they go back to court in July. If the caseplan has not been met at that time, DFCS will have to petition for termination of rights because the kids have been in care for 12 months now. The caseworker stated she was definitely going to be pushing mom to complete the caseplan. Should these two become available for adoption, I don't think we will be adopting them. Short-term, we can manage with them, but long-term they don't really feel like a good fit for our family. They need more individual attention than we are able to give them all the time. We still have to think about MM and they are a little too young to understand that he matters too. And their behavior most days is atrocious!! We're working with them, though, to see if we can help them any at all. Hopefully, their mom will be able to complete her caseplan. She actually seems to be an okay person, but when she was with their dad, there were a lot of issues such as inadequate supervision, substance abuse and domestic violence at play. She is now no longer with him, so fingers crossed she can make it work for her and them. At the end of the day, they need a stable, loving environment to go home to. They need someone who can devote the attention they deserve to them. For the short-term, we can do that, but long-term I just don't think we're the right fit for them.
So that's what we've been up to the last few months. Lots of things going on and very little time to spend blogging, not to mention my laptop crashed in February and I have to borrow The Hubs' computer to do anything at all online. I'm hopefully going to be able to afford to replace it in the next couple of months, but I think I'll do that with a Kindle Fire HD, as my Kindle is also attempting to die on me. I am electronically challenged, lol! I'm currently out of work for 2 weeks because I had to have my tonsils removed this past Monday. I'm in quite a bit of pain at the moment, but I know it's gonna get better. Still looking for a new job but no luck yet. Keeping fingers crossed something better will come along very soon.