Today was one of the first big milestones in progress toward adoption. There was a hearing to check on the progress of the case. I of course can't share details on this but I can share some of the outcome.
I had thought of a race as an analogy to explain where we are in the process. I shared it with Jay and he made a really good point that if I used a race it might make this appear to be a competition. That is the last thing I want to do. Decisions which will greatly impact the course of all of our lives are at play. If we are able to adopt it means someones dreams of being a mother to these precious kids has ended and the same is true on reverse. Well, maybe. More on that later.
When we took the kids in the primary goal of the state was to place the kids back with their birth mom and adoption as the back up plan. We were given some information that led us to believe the chances of being reunified with their birth mom were not the greatest. Today they had a 4 month evaluation of the case and deemed the plan has changed to concurrent for reunification and adoption. This means the legal chances are officially 50/50 for which way this case could go. There will be another court date in December to evaluate the progress once again. If things remain as they are today we have been told they will motion to switch to a primary plan of adoption (opposite of the plan when we took the kids in). If this happens it kicks off the process to terminate parental rights. We were told not to expect this to happen for around a year so this has really sped up the timeline we had in mind...which is a GOOD thing.
There are a lot of ways this could go. Progress could be made by their birth mom and the plan is switched back to the way it was at the start and flip back and forth for up to 13 months until the kids are given a permanent home with one of us.
The other option would be for their birth mom to relinquish her parental rights voluntarily. We've personally told her and passed on the message through the kids social worker that it's our honest desire to have her in the kids lives in some shape or form. The benefit to her in choosing this option is that she will get to negotiate with us on an open adoption plan. It would also give her a chance to be a parental figure in their lives even if she has lost her rights.
Things are still very fluid. Everyday I: worry about loosing them, thank God for the time with them, pray for their birth mom, and most importantly...wish these kids heath and happiness for the rest of their lives. They are an absolute joy. Most new moms wonder what their kids will look like, be like, do when they get older. I wonder all of those things too but just pray I'll be able to see it.