Bella's case plan meeting was two and a half weeks ago - I just suck at getting updates posted in any timely manner.
I think it has something to do with the children who have, in the last 24 hours, squeezed all of my lotion out onto the floor and practically bathed in it, covered the kitchen floor in thousands of tiny pieces of paper bag confetti, and opened every card game that we own and mixed all of the cards together into one big mixed up pile - all in the name of having fun.
The case plan meeting went very well.
Dad is still very motivated and doing everything he is asked. Mom (more recently) has really gotten on board and is seeming much more excited to get the girls home.
The plan is to officially, 100% transition Bella home at the very beginning of March. Her next court date is March 1, and they will move her in the days following. Between now and then, they will continue to do weekend visits and possibly start extending them into the week.
They've done a very thorough job at planning this transition. They have slowly increased visits, and will continue to do so, while monitoring how things are going. They have put family therapy in place that will help the family with nutrition and family interaction. And after Bella transitions home, they will continue to monitor how everything is going in the home for three months. I have to say, I am impressed. This is the best we've seen the system work thus far.
It is also helpful that we have had the opportunity to develop a good relationship with Bella's parents. I see them at every doctor's appointment, which is very frequent. They also call every night to talk to Bella, which keeps communication open between us. Bella's Dad has always been very excited to tell us about his progress, and we've been happy to provide support and encouragement along the way.
The only thing that concerns me is the emotional toll it is taking on Bella to go back and forth between our house and her parent's house. Every weekend she goes there for 2-3 days (soon to be more) and then has to leave again and come back to our house. It has been extraordinarily difficult for her to process.
In her attempt to process the back and forth, trauma related behaviors have snuck up and attacked. Huge, long, irrational tantrums are our norm these days. We've also seen a lot more defiance and disrespect. We've also seen a handful of behaviors tossed in that, "I get to do at my Mom and Dad's house." Pleasant things like spitting at us when she gets an unfavorable answer. It breaks my heart to see all of it. It isn't her, it's her pain. She's like a completely different child.
I'm just concerned because she will continue to be put through the proverbial wringer for another two months before she can finally find a resting place and consistency. I'm not sure there is a better answer though.
Anyway, we are officially transitioning her home.