Tuesday, April 8, 2008
On October 3rd, 2005, we received a phone call from a social worker asking if we would take a five month old baby. I said, of course! She said that they did not actually have the baby yet, as they were trying to find her mother, but that they thought it would be in the next couple of days. So I slept with the phone by the bed waiting for the call. It came the next afternoon. I left work early and arrived home at exactly the same time as the social worker.
She was a beautiful baby girl! (although she was in desperate need of a bath, but that is often the case when foster children come into our home) It was very exciting, but also a little scary. The primary goal in foster care is always reunification with the parents, and if that cannot happen, relatives of the child must be looked at as placement options before foster parents. But that was a risk we were willing to take if it meant there was even a possibility of us being able to keep her, so we braced ourselves for the coming months full of ups & downs.
When she was placed with us, her mother vowed she would do anything she had to do to get her daughter back. She started outpatient treatment for substance abuse, found a part time job, and showed up for all of her visits...for the first month. Then she met a guy and decided to move in with him in Iowa. (Amata's biological father has been gone since she was a few weeks old). By Thanksgiving, she was told that either she went into in-patient treatment or a petition would be filed to terminate her parental rights. So the day after Thanksgiving she entered a treatment center in South Dakota. She stayed for 2 weeks before she called her new boyfriend to come & get her. From there she was hit & miss in showing up for her supervised visits, and because of that she only got a 1 1/2 hour Christmas visit on Christmas Eve Day. Right after Christmas a petition was filed to terminate her parental rights, which encouraged her to enter in-patient again. She actually completed the program this time, due in large part to the fact that everybody she called to come & get her refused. I admit, I was somewhat disappointed that she completed the program because obviously, if she was able to get her daughter back, we would not be able to keep her. We also found out around this time that she was pregnant again, which made us think she would definitely get her children back, because she was pregnant, so obviously she would not use any controlled substances, right??