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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our first foster placement

Thanks so much for all the love and support!! So blessed to have such great family and friends!!! You are all the best! Yes, we do have a foster son! Here's explaining stuff... grab the chips and soda! :o)

Let me begin by saying I am happy to answer any and all questions. But please be understanding that due to this being a state matter, we cannot disclose some of the details. We also cannot post any pictures of him on facebook or our blog. The only way to see him is to see us! Bwhaha lol Like I said, please ask anything and everything, but if we say it's confidential, please be respectful of that. Here's a bit more detail:

I will start out by telling you what we decided his online name will be. We decided Little Man (LM for short). Little man is actually not totally in our custody yet. Due to some health problems, he is in a hospital and should be coming home soon! Not entirely sure when. We think next week sometime. Don't hold us to it. This is a fairly new case. Meaning, we don't know if we will be able to adopt him. We don't know quite a bit of stuff yet. We'll learn as it unfolds.

So here's the story on how things happened. Tues. at lunch time I got a call from our foster care worker saying that Little man was possibly going to come into state custody. If he did, would he take him? Of course I said YES! She informed me that the custody hearing was Wed. afternoon. Wed. I was so incredibly anxious like all day! Finally late afternoon I got a call from a different case worker saying LM did get placed into state custody! Bitter, sweet. Happy for us, sad for birth family. We went and saw him for the first time this morning. LM is so stinkin' cute!!! So excited to have him in our home!

I have a friend who brought up a good point. Not everyone understands foster care, adoption, and the difference. Let's begin with foster care.

FC is a state program. When birth parents, for one reason or another, are not caring for the child to the standards state sets, the child can become a ward of the state, in FC. The first option is for the child to go to another family member (kinship placement). Not always available though, so the child will be placed with foster parents (that's us!... well, we're one of many!!) A judge will set specific requirements that the parent(s) have to do in order to get the child placed back into the parents custody. Depending on the age of the child is how long the parents have to fulfill. If the child is ... I may be wrong but I think it's 2 or older... the parents typically have a year. If the child is younger than 2, the parents have 6 months! If the parents are unable to fulfill these requirements by the time alloted, the judge can grant an extension or the parental rights will be terminated. This means that the state will no longer help the parents. The child is still not able to be adopted, but a whole heck a lot closer. I'm little fuzzy on things here, but after so long the child will become what's known as legally free. Once this happens, the fostering family can adopt the child. This would be a good time to answer a question I got in my comments... "what is respite care?" So when Jared and I want to go on a date we can get any body we want to baby-sit. Now, if we want to get away for the night we have to leave LM with someone who is 18 yrs. or older and has a background check. If we want to go see my family is Vegas for a few days, but can't take LM for some reason, then we have to do respite. We leave LM with another licensed foster family. So respite is just a long baby-sitting job with kids in the foster care system. Hope this makes sense.

Adoption is right away, birth family picks an adoptive family. With LDS, this typically happens right before or after the baby is born. I'm going to use the typical scenerio to make it easier to understand. So birth family picks adoptive family. At the hospital birth parent(s) will sign their rights over, adoptive family will take the child home. After 6 months, the adoptive family can finalize the adoption.

So with FC is can turn into adoption, but it may not. We may have LM for 1 month, 1 year, eternity! Hope this helps differentiate the two. Maybe, hopefully answer any foster care, and adoption, questions. If not, please, please, please ask.


Shan said...

So excited for you guys. I'm interested in hearing what happens as George and I have been thinking about it as well. It'd be great to have a perspective from someone actually doing it.

Anna Campbell said...

Can't wait to meet Baby Dolphin. Sending up some clothes and formula with the fam. can't have Little Dolphin running around naked!

Stacy said...

I cannot even begin to say how excited I am for you two! Whether you have him for a month or forever, he will bring so much happiness for the time he is with you!!! Let me know when you are ready for a visitor, and we will bring by a gift for the little man!!!

Tara said...

Congratulations!!! How exciting!!!! I am so happy for you guys!!!