Just when I thought we were cruising along, we hit a big bump in the road. Ugh! Another one. My patience is running really thin.
Little man has been with me for 20 months now and every month we have the routine monthly social worker check-in. A week and a half ago the social worker called to let me know that she needed to cancel the appointment because she realized the day before that a notification that had not been sent and that this notification could possibly cause a delay in the entire process. She wanted to cancel the meeting until she received clarification from her lawyers. Ugh. Never a good sign when the lawyers need to be advised. We decided to meet the following Friday when, hopefully, she had an update for me.
We met. She had an update for me. It wasn’t good. Apparently the court system did not notify the biological mom and biological dad of the upcoming termination of parental rights hearing that was scheduled for November 20th. Because they didn’t send the notification, let alone in the required minimum 50 days prior to the hearing time frame despite the social worker submitting all the necessary paperwork, the November 20th court date is now pushed back.
Here’s what gets my blood boiling.
#1 Biological mom was on the call with her lawyer and the judge in July when the November 20th court date was set and the reason for the court date. Yet, she still needs to be physically handed a document saying what it’s for.
#2 The court has, apparently, a really bad habit of “forgetting” to send these notifications out. I asked other foster parents and it’s a very common occurrence. How do they get away with this? By their lack of organization, responsibility, and professionalism, they put more work on the already strained system and the exhausted foster parents.
#3 The court date is being rescheduled for March. Yup! That’s right…4 months after the originally planned hearing.
#4 Biological mom now gets 4 more months to “prove” herself. She has done nothing to show any interest in getting her son back yet she gets 4 more months to try to do so.
#5 As mentioned before, this puts an additional strain on the social workers working the case, the ones that supervise visits, and me. Why? Because she now has 4 more months of visits when they could have possibly been terminated at the end of next month.
#6 I have been told that until parental rights are terminated, family members and those close to the biological mom and biological dad can request custody of little man. Chances are slim that they’d get him because he’s been with me for so long, but there’s a chance.
So there you have it. What was going to be a nice little bow on (what will be at that time) 21 months, is now being prolonged for another 4 months. He will be more than 2 by the time we have this hearing. <SMH>
Hang in there, Maeve. We all love you and know Little Man is where he needs to be. You are doing a great job. Little man is receiving excellent care! The unnecessary stress is inexcusable. Try to stay positive. I’ll pray that you find some peace.
I have faith that little man and you will be together forever but I cannot believe you have wait even longer for it to be official. Definitely a broken system!
My love to you and prayers for strength to get you through the next 4 months.