Friday, June 19, 2009

To Explain a Few Things

I realize that some of the people that pop in here have no idea how the Foster System in California works. I'm part of it and I don't fully understand it.

It used to be that you could just shuffle kids around the system for years while the parental units tried to get their act together before some judge or other would finally have had enough of the crap on the parents part and let the kid be adopted. Yes I mean years.

This was overhauled a few years ago. The parents get 12 to 18 months to get their act together and the steps are laid out for them at the beginning. During that time the child will be placed into a concurrent planning home, where the child will most likely be adopted by their concurrent planning placement family if the parents don't meet the courts requirement to get the child back. This is basically a fost/adopt home.

Little N came to us in a different situation. She came straight into Emergency Care. We got her because we are an EFH (Emergency Foster Home) . Children that come into the system under extreme circumstances get placed into EFH. These are considered temporary placements until the court decides what the parents are going to have to do to get her back.

They are at the stage with Little N's mom that she is not getting her back right away and therefore they need to start the concurrent planning process for her. She has a Concurrent Planning Social Worker assigned to her who's job it is to find her a possible forever home in the Foster System. We want to be her concurrent planning home.

However, we are only licensed for fostering, so we cannot be a concurrent planning home for any child. We are not certified for adoption because we are not getting anywhere with State Adoptions, more specifically our Adoption Specialist. We haven't even been able to really start the process.

They want me to get grief and loss counseling because I need to come to terms with the fact that I cannot have kids of my own. While I want to tell them exactly what they can do with that particular bit of advice, I am looking up grief and loss counselors right now, so I can say 'See I did it. I wasted a ton of money on therapy and I will probably still cry about the fact that I cannot have more kids.'

I'm a crier. I didn't used to be, but I was lucky enough to finally marry someone that wants me to show emotion. I don't have to lock it all up inside. So SA needs to get over it. I still cry about my brother and that was over 20 years ago. I still cry when I talk about giving my son up for adoption and that was 19 years ago. Give me a stinking break people. But I digressed into a rant and this is not a situation I'm allowed to lose my temper over (though trust me, I want to so very badly because it might be the only way to get through to these people).

So our options are this.

1. Our Adoption Specialist's last day was yesterday. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am about this. So we will be getting a new AS. But, if the ex-AS was simply following the company line, I'm still screwed. But we could get lucky and the new persn could actually be willing to see that we will make great parents.

2. We go with an outside agency. Uur EFH coordinator has recommended this and little N's concurrent planning SW has recommended this. If we do this, we would probably still lose out on getting to keep little N, but we'd be in shape for the next child that crosses our path. But I have a packet coming in the mail and hubby and I will probably be setting up a meeting with them soon.

Now this needs to be said. I am not vilifying State Adoptions as a whole. I have no intention of doing that. It serves no purpose and they are doing the best that they can. However I do believe that our Adoption Specialist was fairly new to the system and she was given an instruction on how to deal with people that jump straight in after having their own kids has failed and I think she took it farther than necessary.

She's refusing to see that we don't fit the mold that directive was issued for. We contacted them BEFORE we started IVF. We've explained that we still wanted to be fost/adopt even if we managed to have our own children. The foster people had no problem with this and still don't. SA made us wait till we were finished trying the medical route to conception. We waited. That route dead ended and now still, 3 MONTHS later, it's still too soon for them to be willing to start the process with us because they don't think I've come to terms with it because I still cry.

I believe this is wrong.

So I've posted the information for that friend because she and her husband want to write a letter on our behalf. I'm not asking anyone else to do this. But those of you that know me in person maybe if you think you could help, it would be appreciated.

Here is their address:

California State Adoptions
101 Golf Course Drive
Suite 250
MS 28-09
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
C/o Amy VanLeeuwen (this is NOT our AS, this is her supervisor)

As always I will keep ya'll posted. And if we lose little N, we will still try to make sure she's in a home that will care for her the same way we have.

(and yeah I'm crying right now - I know life is unfair but you figure at some point something has to happen to make it all break even)


perpstu said...

What a messed up system. I will absolutely write a letter for you! It will go out in the mail first thing on Monday morning. (((HUGS))) Good luck with your new AS!

Shake Your Bon Bons said...

I am wishing you guys the best of luck!

Leslie said...

I have my fingers crossed that this will work out for you. Little N needs loving parents and you sound like you more than meet that need. Good luck, sweetie. (Oh, and crying over loss is natural. What the heck are they thinking???)

AlisonH said...

Little N has a home and two parents who love and want her. And they think they can do better than that?

As for crying--I want to tell them, listen, fer cryin' out loud: I miscarried my first baby at nearly four months along, went on to have four healthy happy children, and 28 years later if you get me talking about that daughter we lost, you could probably still get me wiping a tear or two. It's part of choosing to be a human being who cares rather than one who shuts down and closes off from others--it's a choice of allowing bad experiences to increase one's empathy for others having to face terrible things now.

Like for, say, Little N, who has so much now, at last, and so much to lose.

Chicken Mama said...

Thank you so much for spelling it all out! Jeff and I will write letters. You two are so kind and wonderful and are sweet parents to little N. Continue to feel your emotions. It is when you stop that you run into trouble!

Jennifer said...

There is nothing wrong with tears. Little N has the best home she could ever have with you and your hubby. There is not a dought in my mind about that. I am praying for y'all!!