Friday, April 6, 2012

Just to make things more interesting...

We're considering getting involved with the interstate fostering/adoption of my cousin's half-sister's as-yet-unborn child.

I think it's pretty unlikely that anything will happen with this, but here's the situation: My favorite cousin is AC. She lives in Virginia. So does AC's half-sister, AG, who is not a blood relative to me. AG had a pretty tumultuous childhood and doesn't have the drive and determination that allowed AC to rise above that same childhood and become a successful adult. AG is pregnant, due in August, and woefully unprepared to be a parent. AC has brought up the subject of adoption, and AG was very resistant. However, AC and the sisters' mom think AG is simply not capable of being a parent, and think the child will likely end up in foster care.

That's where we come in. We have offered ourselves as an adoptive placement, if they think AG will be more receptive to an open adoption with someone she has at least met (she knew me when we were kids, but has never met Andy). If she is still adamant that it won't happen, we can have AC and their mom list me and Andy as a possible kinship placement if/when the child enters foster care in their Virginia county.

I talked to AC yesterday and officially offered our home as a placement for the baby. AC told me that she has envisioned that exact scenario as the perfect solution at least a hundred times since she found out her sister is pregnant. The family supports me and Andy adopting the baby, and with the distance (geographically and in our relationship) I'd be able to set better boundaries with AG than either AC or their mom might. Also, Andy and I are already signed up to parent children born to other people. We're prepared for this. Now that it's all out on the table, we'll work on a plan for this idea to be presented to AG (by AC or by me - we're not sure if she'd respond better to hearing about what foster care/parenting is actually like from me).

I also called the foster care office in their county today. I talked to a lady about how their county defines kinship placements (as in, are we close enough to be considered family?) and she reassured me that if the family names us as a kinship placement, they'll go with it. We also discussed how we could be involved if/when the child enters foster care several hours away. Apparently their county holds "family planning" meetings after a child enters care, and AC and the sisters' mom would have the opportunity to speak and to invite us as an already-certified possible placement.

So in addition to dealing with the current placement's super-complicated case, we're getting involved in another no-way-to-know-how-this-will-go crazy scenario. Totally a reasonable idea.

In real life, not knowing what's going to happen DRIVES ME NUTS. I hate not being able to plan. I think out nine million different scenarios and outcomes and can't fall asleep because I can't turn off my brain. But hey, another kid is being born into an unsafe situation, and this time we might be able to prevent a kid being dumped on AC by her unstable half-sister. So I'll call AC next week and we'll start planning.

Do you know of anyone doing a family placement? Or an interstate thing? Are we just plain nuts?


  1. Make sure your plan is in place BEFORE the baby is born!!! If the child enters foster care it might take a very long time to get him/her out. We are in the process of trying to get a family members baby OUT of foster care (for the last 5 months). It has been very stressful. If the bio mom were to have had the baby placed with us PRIOR to CPS taking the baby from the would have been MUCH easier.

  2. Yeah, we're definitely hoping to have a plan in place! As far as I know, AG is absolutely insistent that she will be raising this child, so I don't know if we can convince her otherwise, but we'll be trying. And AC will make sure we're named as a possible relative placement so we'll get to talk to the county before the child is placed elsewhere.

    Sorry things aren't going smoothly with getting the baby out of foster care. Ugh. This nonsense is complicated, isn't it?