The decision making meeting was interesting. It's hard to go into great detail, so I will try and make this brief. First off, the most shocking news we recieved was that baby L's mom was found not guilty to a very serious charge she has been in jail for since March. She is getting out tomorrow. I am actually excited that she will get to see baby L soon. Since we have been writing her and sending pictures to her in jail, we have recieved letters back, and I know how much she loves and misses her.
The relatives of baby L that appeared at this meeting by phone live in another state and are the aunt and uncle of baby L's grandma. I believe they are in their 50's. They are definately fighting for her, as we heard everything they said during this meeting. They have grown children and many grandchildren of their own. They do not know baby L's mom, and said they have only met her twice before. Baby L's attorney informed everyone that her mother does not want baby L going with these people. Since she is getting out of jail now, she will get a chance to work anther plan, rehab, etc., however, she does not have much time, and will have to show huge progress within weeks. The dept. (all the employees at the dept. of children and family services) will be making a decision of who they want baby L with permanantly if her mother does not follow through and make huge strides. They will make their decision within the next few weeks.
Our state has very strict laws favoring relatives for permanancy, even very distant relatives like this. They said due to the uniqueness of this case, they will be having a conference with several other supervisors to try and make the best decision. They find this case unique for these reasons:
The bio mom wants her baby to remain with the foster family, when they don't usually see this as most moms choose family members for their children. (but since termination of parental rights have already been filed, they say her wishes don't hold a lot of weight, but they still want to consider them)
They also know that we would like them to consider an open adoption, and we have a positive relationship with the mom, which they also said is very rare. The moms attorney actually mentioned during this meeting that she has never heard of foster families writing to her clients while they are in jail, and she told us 3 times that it seems strange, but we are really are the only people that this mom trusts and has ever really felt support by, ever, in her life! She said that this has meant so much to baby L's mom, and everyone at the table was in agreement that this was a really good thing. Given her mom's background, I believe this is probably true. She was raised by a drug addict, and taught criminal behaviors. She never had a fair chance.
The bottom line for us is that we know how much she loves baby L, and we really hope that whatever the decision is, she will be allowed contact with her child. She was able to be part of the God Pod the entire time she was in jail. She has now heard, and claims she has a relationship with Jesus. She will taste freedom tomorrow, and I really hope she can draw on God's strength in the days to come.
I am seeing God's hand more and more in this case. It really appears that this jail time was a godsend for baby L's mom. It got her off the streets, off the drugs, and in a place where she studied God's word twice a day. It gave her hope, and allowed her head to clear, and she was able to get her priorities straight. She met Jesus. When I think back to the call we got about this baby, and how we finally decided to take a foster placement, it's amazing to me. Knowing nothing more than a baby needed a home and a family to grow in for awhile, I see that God had a plan from the very start. It's always great to look back as things unfold, and see clearly the Lord's design in it all. The next few weeks will definately be interesting, and we would appreciate continued prayers during this crucial time as the dept. makes their final decision they will present to the court.
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