Like I said last post, Bella’s case isn’t going so hot these days….or for the last four months.
AGAIN on Monday, Dad missed Bella’s hospital appointment. I think that makes 9 out of 19 or so – that they have actually attended. This is not missing her yearly cleaning at the dentist. This is a big deal. And one of the symptoms of the primary reasons she first came into care.
Two weeks ago he was given a very sobering (in my opinion, very merciful) come to Jesus talk by the caseworker on why it’s so important – ya know, life and death – that he show he can be at every appointment.
This is combined with several other things that are, well, not going well, for lack of a better description.
It’s hard for me not to feel disappointed.
I go back and read posts like this one, and this one and I am reminded how well things were going – or seemed to be. She was doing visits four days per week, a 30 day home trial was impending, we had two different dates she was supposed to go home.
I guess I should just lower my expectations? Then when no one shows up at the hospital, or we get a call with more bad news, it will just be like I was expecting it?
But somehow, lowering my expectations feels like giving up hope.
Hope they’ll get it together. Hope their family could be healed. Hope that Bella won’t forever have to live with the loss of her birth family.
In some ways I am though. I don’t know how to tangibly support reunification anymore. I don’t know when to believe what Dad is telling me. I don’t know what to tell Bella when she talks about her future.
15 out of 22 months is up in October.** The caseworkers haven’t given us a clue one way or the other how they think things might go. Do we plan and prepare our hearts for adoption? Do we continue to root for reintegration when things seem so scattered and broken? We are open to adoption, and would of course be excited and love that Bella and her sister would join our family. But it just feels a little disappointing. This isn’t what I have wanted for her.
We can only pray that God would prepare our hearts for where we are headed, and help us to prepare Bella’s in the same way.
**Legally, in the foster care system, when a child is in state custody for 15 out of any 22 months, the court has to reassess the situation, and unless reintegration is imminent or seems absolute, they are supposed to change the goal (either to adoption, kinship,or independent living. In theory, this keeps kids from drowning in foster care for years on end.