Monday, February 23, 2015

Q & A

Hey friends, so it's been a very, very long time since an update.  Over the past year I honestly have felt like I've kind of been in survival mode between all the emotions, paperwork, doc visits, specialist appts,  court appts, visitations, and oh yes, adding an infant into our home while learning this court system of ours.

So I'm going to copy this idea that a dear friend of mine did. It seems to be the best way to answer all of the questions broadly so we don't have to answer a million individually. So we're going to the good ol Q&A. I chose the top questions we've been asked - so hopefully this will give some more insight to this process ya'll have prayed us through and just to the foster/adopt process itself.

Q: When did you get him?
A: We got the call and had 2 hours to get to the hospital. We brought him home when he was 5 days old.

Q: Do you know the birth parents?
A: Yep. Not super well, but yes. 

Q: Why was he removed?
A:  So, that's a personal question and forgive me for not answering it fully. Just know if the state steps in- there are reasons. Don't always assume the worst and make the bio parents out to be bad people. We have no room to judge ever, especially when we don't know the full story. And as of now- Aaron and I are the only ones who need to know the full story :-)

AND a tip for those surrounded by families beginning this journey-don't pry, ask a bunch, or assume you know anything about why the child was removed- you don't need to know.. just love on the foster fam and the child. THE END. Compassion should be given, not earned- because EVERYONE has a "rest of the story" that we don't know. 

Q: Why does this process take so long?
A: It can definitely make you angry wondering why- but the reality is... the state tries to do anything and everything to reunify birth families. So- the state gives 10-18 ish months for the bio parent's to work their plan given by the Dept (aka CPS). Some bio parents relinquish rights, some are terminated, some are reunified.

Q: How come some people are able to adopt so quickly?
A: Every case is different. Some bio parents fight, some don't. Some cases have simple details, others have crazy ones. Some can adopt after a seven months and some it takes over 2 years. So there's no real answer unless you want to sit down and verbally chat for a couple of hours. :-)

Q: Why did you hire an attorney?
A:  Well, unfortunately this case got to be incredibly complex. And the state is incredibly overworked so sometimes we as foster parents have to pay someone to have a voice for US in the courtroom and to bring light to the tiny details that could determine the course of a child's life. The state did not give us one. We hired her. 

Q: Why did it take so long for the judge to realize y'all were a good family?
A:  SO,  during the trial, or any hearing, we are not spoken of. Like, at all. The Department notes to the judge that we are a "safe and loving foster to adopt placement and the child is doing well". That's about it. Trial was focused on the bio parents to see if they did their plan and could appropriately care for "the child". 

Q: Why so long until adoption? 
A: Usually the court requires a 6 month waiting period, which doesn't apply to our case because we've had him in our home longer than 6 mos. And after parental right termination, there is a waiting period (90 days) for other family members to the third degree to come forward. So adoption could have happened in Feb or March, but bio mom made an appeal. If she requests it, her attorney has to file it. No decision should change, but we are looking at about another 6-ish months for the new court to get to the case, review it, and decide if bio mom received a fair trial or not. THEN we can proceed with adoption.

And my personal favorite....
Q: How do you handle bringing a child into your home when you don't know if they'll be able to stay? Won't you get too attached? 
A: Absolutely you get too attached. That's the whole point. To show children what true love is. What family is. How valued they are. That they are WORTH falling in love with. Christ loves and adopted us. So we love. As far as "handling" the unknown... You can't. You don't handle- I went crazy, I broke, I got to the end of me, and finally decided to truly let go and let God (corny, yes, but oh so true). God intervened, God overcame, God empowered and God handles.
Then you either move towards adoption with joy on one side knowing it means brokeness on the other, or you very difficultly, kiss that baby and send them on to where the judge decides is best and rejoice that family is kept together.

Nothing allowed me to see God MORE and release my grip MORE and yield MORE than this. You walk blind. You die to self daily. You hurt daily. You see injustice daily. You lean on Jesus daily. You trust that if God is for you then victory has been had even though we don't understand the way it happens sometimes. You question. And sometimes, okay maybe a lot, you get down right angry. You cry your ugly cry. You pray. And you carry on.

The real life journey is just beginning as we grow as a family, but I have to reiterate HOW much each of you that have prayed us through this, mean to us. YOU guys are purely amazing.
-AAB and MKB