The big court date is in one week, and it's going to be a doozy with the Booger Bear stuck in the middle of what seems like a huge custody battle. His caseworker tells me that, barring any unexpected surprises from the judge, J should be staying with me for at least a few more months as we transition him into his Daddy's care.
Selfishly, I want to pray that the judge say, "He is perfect where he is. Leave this baby alone." But I'm not going to do that. The goal of foster care is to reunite families if at all possible, and I knew that when I went into this, even though I really, REALLY want to be able to adopt this sweet little boy who's been with me almost a year. I wanted to foster infants because the first few years of a child's life are SO CRUCIAL when it comes to their ability to attach, trust, cope, etc. as an adult. I wanted to be able to give these babies what they needed in a time when their biological families just can't do it. The Booger Bear has been with me most of his life, and in my heart, he's my son. And while I want nothing more than to have him with me permanently, I won't ask for that. Instead, I ask that you pray for the following:
Prayers for the Booger Bear - In the week leading up to the hearing and in the coming months, please pray that the judge, CPS, the attorneys, his biological family, myself, etc. come together to make the best decision possible for J. Please pray that when the time comes for him to leave the only home he's ever really known, that the transition be as easy on him as possible. Pray that his biological family continue to come together to make him feel as safe, comfortable, and as happy as he has been with me. Pray that he continues to be the happy, intelligent, loveable, well-adjusted little boy that he has turned out to be, and that he continues to thrive with his dad and his family if that is what the judge thinks is best. Please pray that J's mom get the help that she needs for herself in order to be a positive part of his life.
Prayers for Me - Please pray that I am able to accept whatever decision the judge makes, and that I can stay strong and encourging for the Booger when he leaves me. Please pray that I remember WHY I made the decision to foster infants, and that I have peace in knowing that I have been the best mom to J that I could possibly be in the year that he's been with me. Please pray that I have the strength to continue fostering. I know there are other babies out there who need the same kind of love, security, protection, and guidance from me that the Booger Bear needed when he first came to my door. The only difference is that J now has a biological family who can give him that to the best of their ability, and these other babies don't.
Prayers for My Family & Friends - Please pray that my mom, dad, sister, niece, nephew, extended family and close friends who have almost as much love invested in this sweet little boy as I do come to the same peace that I hope to gain for myself. Pray that they can open their hearts to any other babies who come into my life just as freely in the future as they did with J. In the end, whether the Booger Bear remains with me a while longer or goes to his biological family, he is who he is and the man he will become because they loved him too.
Please keep J and the rest of us in your prayers in the coming weeks and months. Thank you, everyone, for all of your support!