Lady Bug

Our Journey (so far)

1999: 
Met the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen in my life.

May 17, 2003: 
Married my best friend at sunset on a sailing ship off the coast of Key West.

2004:  
Began infertility treatment with Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) at Shands.

Jan 2006:    
RE suggested moving on to IVF.
Registered for foster care classes.

Feb 2006:   
Got rear-ended while moving. No time to go to ER. In pain, but too busy for doctors.

Apr 2006:   
Got foster care license & first placement – 2 adorable little boys; 9 months and 3 years.
Finally admitted that I need to see a doctor about my back.

July 2006:
Discovered that back injury is serious & permanent – closed out license.

Aug 2006:   
Began to try to accept that God’s plan doesn’t include me being a mom.
Went to college – ultimately earn Bachelor’s Degree, Master of Accountancy & CPA license.

Aug 2011:   
Realized that I really do want to be a mom.

Sept 2011:  
Super Dad took the news like a trooper and checked into getting re-licensed. And learned that the class we finished in March 2006 was only good for 5 years(!).
Registered for foster care classes.

Mar 2012:
Got foster care license and 1st placement (7-month-old Lady Bug) in same weekend.

May 2012:      
Got 3-year-old Super Boy (ADHD and ODD) & 15-month-old Peanut (epilepsy)

July 2012:
Peanut was moved to a medical foster home & Super Boy to a home that could better meet his needs.
11-week-old Squish arrived in the middle of the night – 100% serious – he looked just like Walter Matthau.

Jan 2013: 
Squish was reunified with his birth father, and I told our agency No More Boys.
Squirm showed up with the expectation that he would likely be reunified in a few weeks…. We soon discovered that he was not going to be short-timer.

Apr 2013:
Squish‘s CM texted and asked if we’dl take him back because she thought he would be coming back into care. After harassing Licensing Agency, Foster Care Liaison and anyone else I could think of, Squish came home two days later – just in time for his first hockey game. 🙂

June-July 2013: 
We learned that Squish‘s birth father wanted his mother to adopt Squish. CPC requested an interstate homestudy (ICPC) from Massachusetts.
Squirm
‘s birth mom surrendered. She was expecting again, so we were pretty sure that was why.
Squish‘s birth mom surrendered, and her attorney stated for the court record that she was surrendering with the understanding that we were interested in adopting him.

September-October 2013: 
Squish‘s birth father no-showed an advisory hearing – motion for TPR by default was granted. The final disposition was entered and the 30-day-appeal-period countdown began.
Lady Bug reunified with bio-dad.

November 2013: 
Squirm‘s birth father no-showed the TPR trial- motion for TPR by default was granted.
The final disposition on Squish‘s birth father was entered and the 30-day-appeal-period countdown began.
Lil Bit was born, sheltered, and placed with a maternal aunt and uncle, over my protests.

December 2013: 
Squish became available for adoption.
Squirm‘s final disposition entered and the 30-day-appeal-period countdown began.
Lil Bit finally came home.

Our first Christmas with the boys.

January-February 2014: 
Squirm became available for adoption and we learned that his previous foster mom (PFM) would be applying to adopt him. This meant that an Adoption Selection Committee would be convened to select Squirm‘s adoptive family.
The ICPC for Squish‘s maternal grandmother was denied, clearing the way for us to adopt him.

March 4, 2014: 
We adopted Squish!!

March-April 2014:
The Adoption Selection Committee selected us to adopt Squirm and we learned that PFM not only appealed that decision, but also file a shady not-actually-legal petition to adopt him even though she wasn’t selected. We retained an amazing attorney and settled in for a long fight.
Developments in Lil Bit‘s case meant that we weren’t going to see the quick resolution that CPC had initially expected.

May – July 2014:
We had several meetings with our attorney and a court appearance and a continued appeal hearing and worried that, against all odds and expectations, PFM would succeed in taking our son.

August 2014:
The day before the appeal hearing, we learned that PFM was withdrawing her appeal and adoption petition, and finalizing our adoption paperwork was being fast-tracked (like seriously fast, not just fast for foster care).

August 22, 2014: 
We adopted Squirm!!

November 2014:
SuperDad and I took the twins on a Bahamas Cruise to celebrate their adoptions – just the four of us. It was amazing!

Struggling to Encourage (OR: what if don’t have anything nice to say?)

I’ve been really bad lately about posting. Largely because I don’t feel like I have anything positive or encouraging to say. There are definitely some good things going on right now – we’re getting closer to adopting Squirm & Squish, and I’ve seen some huge benefits recently from Lady Bug’s therapy. I feel better now than I did about Lady Bug being reunified – if they let her keep her therapist.

But I’m just absolutely disgusted with the bio parents and Case Manager for not even bothering to consult Lady Bug’s therapist before the Reunification Staffing. That just shows me *beyond all doubt* that the bio parents and Case Manager are not even pretending to consider Lady Bug’s best interests. And then on top of that, they’re talking about discharging Lady Bug’s therapist because “it might be confusing to her to have multiple counselors” and the dad’s counselor is doing the family therapy. I can see the confusing bit – which is why the child’s therapist is normally the one to do the family therapy.

The GAL is objecting to the reunification, the transition plan, and the discharge of Lady Bug’s therapist, I just wish I had faith in the judge listening.

See? There I go again.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I’ve wanted to be a foster parent since I was 8 years old. (If you’re just now joining us, check out the beginning of the story.) I feel called to foster. I’m passionate about it. And I’m passionate about encouraging others – to think about it, give it a try, stick with it, support foster parents, etc. But I just don’t feel so encouraging lately.