You know, I’m not one that believes in jinx but… since my last update we have been battling one illness on top of another. It’s been a rough and smelly time at the Senters’ abode. And our favorite toddler was too sick to go to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. That’s two years I’ve missed it. Maybe I will never experience this Savannah tradition live and in person. Thankfully the local media step all over themselves covering every last minute of it so we got not stop coverage from 6 AM until nap time.
One of the funniest things was the televised Mass. So the Mass itself was not funny, it was lovely. Before the parade begins, the parade committee, local dignitaries and those Savannah natives that trace their roots back to the potato famine and/or the founding of Savannah gather at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (yeah, it’s pretty cool that our city has a Cathedral) where the Bishop and visiting Irish Catholic Priests bless the day with words honoring Saint Patrick who is responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland. And here you thought the holiday was just about wearing green and drinking copious amounts of beer. The funny part was the news coverage, they actually have commentary as the Mass is going on. Too Funny! “And now the Cathedral Choir is singing. Each member has to audition and attend two practices as week.” “Bishop O’Conner is now preparing the sacrament.” All whispered in golf tournament voice. I’d really love to attend the Mass in person one year but I think I would really miss the play by play commentary.
Yesterday we had a visit with BD’s case worker. She is required to put eyes on BD each month to ensure she is being well cared for, not abused or otherwise mistreated in her foster home. Usually she just drops by the daycare and takes a gander at our little one. BD loves her caseworker and the feeling is mutual. Ms. Taylor is clear with Tim and me that BD is her baby. Last night BD was showing off, she was bringing one by one her favorite downstairs toys, shoes, dolls, books, bathroom toys to Ms. Taylor. At the end of the hour and half visit, Ms. Taylor was covered with baby toys and various tchotchkes.
Ms. Taylor gave us a rundown of the case and where we stand. BD has a panel hearing the first week of April. This is a group of professionals that work in Child Welfare but are not associated with this case who the judge appoints to review the case and make a recommendation as to the desired outcome and case plan. I have attended two others and they are a little intimidating. Mostly we will be there to explain BD’s growth and development in our home, to express our desire to adopt her if the case goes to adoption. BD will be there so they can all put eyes on her and see that we tell the truth, she is doing great. Typically, the children get really bored really fast in this meeting so that will be fun. Ms. Taylor submitted the termination of parental rights for BD’s mother at the first of the year. She is waiting on a DFCS Director’s (who is out on paternity leave) review of the paper work. Once approved by DFCS management, it will go to family court and the mom will be served with a notice and date for the hearing. After that, it is really up to the judge. Mom is still in jail but has a hearing for her criminal case on April 14th. Ms. Taylor wants to serve the mom before April 14th as there is always the possibility that mom will be released from jail and if history repeats, she will disappear into the drug addicted, criminal population of our community until the next time she gets arrested. Serving her while she is in jail makes this process easier so we are praying that all the wheels turn and the cogs drop into place at the perfect time.
We also learned last night the BD’s bio dad who has already surrendered his rights as parent to BD, wrote a letter to his estranged baby making partner and urged her to do the right thing and surrender her rights as well. Man, I wish I could hug this guy. I can’t imagine the fortitude of character it takes to admit you are not a fit parent to the child you created but then also feel so convicted of your failure at parenting to urge your partner to make the same decision in the best interest of the child. WOW! I really want to reach out to both parents and share with them about BD’s life with us through pictures and stories but I don’t know how that would go over. Tim is encouraging me to wait until the adoption is final before doing anything that might disrupt the case progression. I’m being a good wife and listening to my husband’s wise council…this time.
I talked to Ms. Taylor about what our new Resource Development Worker shared with Tim and I during our first and only meeting with her thus far. Our RD told us that if BD’s case went to adoption, she would not be placed with us unless we were willing to take her siblings and that since they are with family, the court would most likely place BD with her grandmother as well. Those words of caution which are the DFCS party line sent me in a foster/adoptive parent tail spin that I have to work and pray hard to overcome. Ms. Taylor was very unhappy about the conversation we relayed to her and stated that she would seek her colleague out to discuss this case and her plan with our brand new RD. She assured us that we are the intended adoptive parents in her case plan. Period. I’m going to rest on that and let God work out the details because this is the stuff that makes fostering and adopting through the foster care system crazy.
I’ve been asking BD how she feels about getting a little brother or sister, trying to lay the ground work for opening our home back up to foster placements in the near future. She’s pretty adamant that she doesn’t need siblings. We will see. So far I have no new tugs on my heart telling me to pray for the next child in advance of the placement. In God’s perfect timing…
Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.