Merry Christmas!

The baby has arrived!!¬†He is gorgeous!!!! He is 4 weeks old, but he was 5 weeks premature, so his adjusted age is -1 week ūüôā He is just a tiny little bit of a thing, and so, he will henceforth be known as Lil Bit.

He looks so much like Squirm that my heart melted immediately. He even already has some of Squirm’s facial expressions.

The Twins are doing really well with our newest addition. Squirm is ¬†kind of oblivious and Squish is ENCHANTED. They both say Hi Baby and Squish gives him hugs – and then tries to stick his finger in Lil Bit’s¬†ear.

Oh! And the final TPR order was signed for Squirm, so we’ve started the clock on his 30-day appeal period!!

It’s a Very Merry Christmas¬†for our¬†Traveling Circus!!

A Good Day for the Traveling Circus! (Updates)

Squish: TPR disposition hearing today. No surprises, and we’re one step closer to Forever Day. Judge Chinchilla ruled that all parental rights are terminated. The CLS attorney has 10 days to submit the order; 31 days after the order is signed, Squish will be freed for adoption.

We are still waiting on the ICPC on his paternal grandma. Everyone seems to be very surprised that MA is moving so slowly. The CM sent an update request through official channels, but has yet to hear anything.

Squirm: I’m not sure how or why, but I haven’t posted about the recent mini-roller coaster we’ve been riding with Squirm’s case.¬†I mentioned previously that his paternal grandmother had apparently located an army of “SEVERAL close Relatives who would like to get [Squirm] so that he may Remain in Our Family.” Well, two of those relatives have come forward in the last 6 weeks. The first call came 6 weeks ago from a great-aunt who was supposed to call the CS back with names, birth dates and socials for all household members. She never called back and didn’t return the CS’s call a couple of weeks later. I never really worried much about her – I just didn’t feel like she was a threat to us – just an irritation.
But then, last Monday, I spoke with the CS and learned that an out-of-state cousin had come forward – she hadn’t known that Squirm was in foster care, but was willing to do anything necessary to get him. The cousin seemed really nice, gave the CS all the necessary information, and they made arrangements to speak again this week. I don’t know why, but this one freaked me out – it could have been timing, it could have been that the CS thought the woman was very nice… I don’t know, but this one had me worried. Since we are SOOO close to the TPR trial, which starts 11/8, the CS wanted to speak with her supervisor before moving forward with the ICPC.
So…. hurrah! I spoke with the CS today – because these people have come forward so late in the game, and ICPCs take SOOO long, CPC will not be moving forward with any homestudies for the great-aunt, the cousin, or any family members that come forward now!!! Granted, the bio-dad can still have his attorney file a motion for change of placement. But considering that there’s almost no chance that he could get a court date prior to the TPR trial… by the time the motion could be heard, he wouldn’t have any rights anyway!!!
Which means… really the only thing between us and Squirm’s Forever Day is the previous foster mom – and I’m really confident that’s she’s not a threat. Not only has he been with us longer than she had him (over 3 months longer by the time he’s freed for adoption), but they took him away from her for a reason…..
So, yeah. Today was a good day!!
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Our Journey (so far)

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.

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 Р100% serious Рhe 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. ūüôā

June-July 2013: 
We learned that¬†Squish‘s birth father wanted his mother to adopt Squish. CPC requested an interstate homestudy (ICPC) from Massachusetts.
‘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 РJuly 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!

Rapidly approaching TPR. Distant relatives. Woodwork. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

Let me start by saying, “Grrr!” (and my handy-dandy foster care lingo primer¬†might be helpful for this post)
Squirm’s paternal grandmother sent me an email this weekend that she has “SEVERAL close Relatives who would like to get [Squirm] so that he may Remain in Our Family.I will be letting Everyone know so that they can be checked out by the State Of Florida.”¬†

Evidently, she followed up by calling the CM’s supervisor today.¬†
Just to give you some background, this is the same woman who:
  • just showed up out of nowhere last month wanting visitation & was granted 1¬†supervised hour/week
  • doesn’t want to deal with orientation at the visitation facility
  • keeps trying to convince SuperDad¬†& I to¬†
    • either agree to supervise her visits so she doesn’t have to deal with the visitation facility,
    • or just “let me know when you’re going to be at McDonald’s or something – I’ve got a car, I can meet you there, and that awful [CM] doesn’t have to know
  • has something so bad in her background that CPC won’t even do a homestudy¬†
The CS told her that anyone who’s interested in having a homestudy will have to contact the CS. She’s not going to just take a list of names and start the process on all of them. Grandma then said that the whole family is attending a funeral this week, so it might be a couple of weeks before the relatives contact the CS. Good to know this is a priority….
Honestly, I’m not really stressing about it – it’s just irritating. Where the hell were these people when Squirm came into care last June? Or when he was moved to my home 6 months ago? *Nowhere* The CM and CS have asked bio-dad repeatedly about family – he just keeps saying there isn’t anybody who can pass a homestudy. And, seriously? Bio-dad has surrendered his rights on *5* children before Squirm!!! As far as anyone knows – NONE of those kids were placed with his family.
Anyway… I don’t know. I’m very much in a “whatever is supposed to happen, will” kinda mindset this week today right this minute. It probably has more than a little to do with Lady Bug’s case – I was dead-set against reunification, but prayed for the best outcome for her – and I think just maybe we got it.
It’s entirely possible that the SEVERAL close Relatives will never contact the CS. I’ve seen lots of instances where people say they want a child, but when it comes time to deal with the system, they suddenly have better things to do.¬†
Plus, I have some faith in Squirm’s judge. I don’t think he’ll appreciate that none of the family said a peep before now – or about any of the other kids. And I think he’ll remember that either SuperDad¬†or I or both of us have been to every single hearing since Squirm came to us – even the one’s we didn’t have to go to, or the one’s that were continued to later in the afternoon and we were told we didn’t have to stick around for.
So I’m going to try not to worry about it tonight – I’m going to pray on it and ask my friends to pray on it (yes, that includes you), and trust that it’s all part of the grander plan. And whatever is supposed to happen, will.¬†