Saturday, January 28, 2012

Major Development - Advice Welcomed!

If you don't follow "Trippin'" on Facebook, you probably don't know the latest development in Monkey's case.  Definitely a HUGE turn of events since my last post where I was desperately trying to get Monkey extended visits with his parents who I thought were doing well...

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).

You can 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.  :(


CherubMamma said...

My knee-jerk response...

1. I think I'm glad Mom screwed up now...rather than after a reunification had taken place. It's better for Monkey. He didn't have to live through that trauma.

2. I agree with your approach of making Dad show he's willing to work the plan without taking the easy way out. And yes, I'm sure CPS is trying to simply end the case as quickly as possible.

Protect yourself. Protect Monkey. And I'll pray those involved can see the big picture so that everyone's best interests are truly considered.

kate said...

Wow. I'm not a fb-er, so I had no idea.

Cherubmama and I are on the same wavelength.

Diane said...

WOW! Definitely a major shift. I would be very careful. I think your instinct about using you is right on the mark. Sweets' dad does it all the time, and I take it because that's the only way I can be in her life. I would try to build a relationship with dad but not a dependent one. If he can't do this on his own, he shouldn't have custody. That doesn't mean you have to cut him out of Monkey's life. Let him try and see how it goes. If he really wants Monkey on his own, he might consider switching jobs and/or he will have to find reliable care. Unfortunately, I think you may be dealing with a culture where a child is a possession and/or a prize. I am also worried about mom trying to stay with dad and dad not being able to say no. I'll email you.

Foster Mamalion said...

I must admit, as a foster mom, it is hard to let them go, but I have to say that dad should not use you as a sitter. I do not know his story, but most of the stories are somewhat the same and he will take advantage of you. He MUST find his own childcare without you. It could easily go out of control and there you are wanting to take care of Monkey and on the other hand "enabling" dad. This is HARD. We had that situation happen as well. We said no, but we were blessed because we still are in contact with the parents and see them for dinner every couple of months. This is the tough stuff of foster care.....oh, who am I kidding, it's all tough! I am thankful for foster moms like you who truly care for these precious ones!

Lisa Marie said...

That is a hard decision. I would have to say my first thought was "wow, what a great opportunity to continue to be in his life, as well as be able to monitor the situation" Being involved with the Dad seems like it could be tricky, and maybe it won't be for you. At least if he is around and the Dad isn't following the courts plan you can be there for Monkey.
Trust your instincts, they will lead you in the right direction! ;)

Allison said...

I'm reading this now, and wondering how you feel about everything now that you are in what seems to be a very happy and good place with Monkey and his dad. I haven't gotten to the part about what transpires between this post and NOW, but I'm looking forward to it! :)

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