LJ has been with us for two months now. We have been on a roller coaster ride where his case is concerned. He came to us on a "Foster Only" basis. Meaning, he was on intensive reunification with his mother. He was seeing her three times a week at that point. Somewhere along the way that grew to four times a week and is now down to one time a week (sorta). We have been told so many different things concerning him, we just say whatever to it all now and just love him and give him all he needs while he is here with us.
My biggest problem with the whole thing is that I felt a little "tricked" into taking him. This is nothing against little LJ but against the system itself. He had been in a shelter home (emergency home) for 50 days. When they called us (specifically knowing we only wanted to take a child 12 months and younger) they told us he was 18 months old. What is another 6 months right? Well, in terms of children who have not had the best care...it was a lot! Plus, since he was considered "foster only" (I'll explain why later) we couldn't even read his file which would have said specifically WHAT he had been through in his short life. So...we have a few hours to decide. In our crazy state and our big hearts we say YES! Well, he comes to us and he is 22 months old. YES, 22 months. That is, TWO years old. We find out that he is considered Foster Only because they couldn't find a home for him because of his intensive reunify status. And all of the Shelter Homes were FULL so they needed him out. Isn't the system LOVERLY?
So, you all know what happened less than 24 hours after he came to us right? So naturally I wasn't in THE best state a foster parent could be in. So really, that same week (I am ashamed to admit) we asked to have them find another family for him. I was a wreck. My kids were a wrech...and poor LJ didn't need to be in a home where another mother was a wreck. It was all just TOO much to handle. Remember I said our hearts are big? Well that is why he is still here. Somehow or another we pushed through all the shiz and here we are two months later, because seriously he was supposed to go live with grandparents, then with Mom. Now, hopefully in the next few weeks he can go back to be with mom. He has been in the system for almost six months. They give parents AT LEAST eight to get it together to have their children back. SO, either in the next few weeks he will be back with her, or they will screen him for "legal risk" which means they will screen families (including ours) and find the best possible fit for him...which means he may be able to be adopted by a family.
In our hearts, we honestly and completely feel he is meant for another family. We have never felt an overwhelming impression that he would be here for a very long time. But if it becomes necessary, we will have the dice thrown in our favor...so wherever the cookie crumbles...if he is to stay here we will keep him forever...if not and there is a better and more eternal placement for him, the state will find it. Hope that makes sense.