I’ve been a little quiet since the hearing last week and all that has happened since then. Thank you to all who e-mailed, texted, called, and prayed. I think I just needed a little time to frame my mind around all of it and be sure that I was at least within throwing distance of the right attitude before I talked about it much.
I feel like we all (everyone on the case plan team) went into the hearing rather confident of what would happen. The caseworker had already changed the case plan goal to adoption at the previous case plan meeting, an adoption worker was assigned, etc.
At this point, seven years into my experience in child welfare, I am convinced that if there is something that the court can do to throw you for a loop and/or neglect very important issues brought up in court reports, they will.
Basically what happened was this:
The county attorney still had not filed the motion for severance. This is why court was postponed for four weeks at the previous hearing. All so that this attorney could file one piece of paperwork.
Because the motion had not been filed, they could not legally set a hearing for termination of parental rights. So this time, I guess to make sure they gave Mr. county attorney plenty of time to file his paperwork, they set the hearing out until January 13th.
In the meantime, the court ordered that the girls continue to have weekly visits with Mom and that her ‘progress’ be tracked. This makes so much sense, since just in the last four weeks that she’s been in the picture, after being MIA for over 6 months, she has missed a visit, failed to be at Bella’s hospital appointment, and did not bring dinner for the girls at the visit that she did show up to.
I wish that Bella and Tootaw would be able to go home. I prayed for it incessantly for the first 12 months of the case. We did everything we could to support mom and dad toward reunification. I will forever mourn the hurt that the girls will experience for the rest of their lives due to not being able to be with their birth parents.
But it is clearly not going to happen. So at this point we are only picking scabs on two little girls’ devastated hearts.
Since resuming visits, Bella has started throwing up again and we are seeing the first traces of the same food issues that we had previously. Tootaw completely regresses in potty training after every visit, and by the time we make any progress it is time for another visit. They are so confused.
With that said, I am at a place where I am at peace with where God has us. This is not His first intention for the girls. This is a result of brokenness and sin and hurt. But He will not leave them here alone. He will use all of this – His scope reaches infinitely farther than mine.
And I know He will heal them in time. I see it in Bella’s giggle, in how she is choosing to call us Mommy and Daddy now, in her gorgeous hair (which is now down past her shoulders!). I see it in Tootaw’s attachment to Brian’s daddy love, in her smile and innocence, and in the easy way she has become a part of our family. He will heal them. He is healing them. And no postponed court hearing is going to get in the way of that.