Monkey had a visit yesterday, and his CASA and his attorney pinned down The Invisible One and crashed the visit. They were both expecting to see Monkey with his parents and to discuss extended visits because the last we had heard (after court in November), the plan was to return Monkey after the next hearing in March.
After the visit, his CASA immediately texted me and said that The Invisible One would be calling me shortly. Two minutes later, I got a phone call that completely floored me. The gist of it boiled down to:
- Mom flaked out and took off right after Christmas. Don't you just LOVE how I (as well as Monkey's CASA and Attorney) am just now hearing about it?
- Mom finally resurfaced last week, and is exhibiting behaviors similar to those when this case first started last May. Basically, she is no longer an option and if Dad wants custody, he is doing this alone.
- Dad works nights (9:00pm-7:00am) and before CPS will even consider moving Monkey home, Dad has to demostrate that he has a reliable childcare plan in place.
- Dad wants to know if I would be willing to keep Monkey Monday-Thursday nights while he's at work.
- I asked if I could start transporting Monkey to his weekly visits with Dad so I can get a better feel for this whole new development and see if I can figure out what's really going on here.
There is a lot to consider here. My main concern is that both Dad and the Invisible One are just exploiting my love for Monkey in order to put an end to this case, and that once CPS is out of the picture, Dad will drop me like a hot potato. Honestly, I think that if Dad can't do this without me, he shouldn't regain custody in the first place!
I ended up telling the Invisible One that I wasn't saying, "no," but I wasn't saying "yes" right now either. I told her that Dad needs to move forward as if I am not going to keep Monkey and that I would think about it. I want to see if he is willing to put in the work and get a plan in place that doesn't involve the "easy" solution. If he does get something lined up, but still would prefer Monkey stay with me, I think that would ultimately say that his intentions are good and that he truly does want the best for Monkey (maintaining contact with the only Mama he's ever had).
follow the discussion on Facebook and add you own experiences, advice, concerns, etc. There is definitely a lot to consider, and my mind (and heart) are all over the place on this one. Diane!?!? If you're reading this, I could definitely use your advice! I think you are one of the only single foster moms I know of who has been living a similar situation, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I definitely wasn't expecting this when I woke up yesterday. It breaks my heart that Monkey's mom is having such a hard time. I hate that there are some things that have such a powerful hold over people that they end up choosing that thing over their own child. I've seen her with Monkey. I've seen the love that she has for him. I've seen her clean and sober and trying so hard to be a mom that he can be proud of. Knowing that this has taken hold again is heartbreaking... Especially for Monkey. :(