We have been saying "No" a lot lately. Our foster care agency has called us almost every other day in the last 2 weeks trying to place other children with us. We still have Baby B and likely will until at least Tuesday when she has court. Every time they have called about other children we have had to say no. It breaks our hearts to turn down children in need of a home. We have plenty of love to give but one thing we've learned in this journey is that we can't do it all. We are licensed for up to 4 children and we have beds to fit 4 children. However, we don't have vehicles that can hold that many car seats. Jonathan is also a "nanny" for a 2 year old who is at our house all the time. This means if they placed 4 kids with us we would really have 5. The majority of the children they called about this week were under the age of 3 and were sibling groups of 2. We have room in our home and in our hearts for them but going anywhere, including doctors and family visits, would be impossible if Jonathan had to do it alone. Since my job isn't very flexible with time off and taking off to go to appointments this means we had to say no. We have told our agency that we will be willing to take 1 more child that sits in a car seat and can take 2 if one of them is old enough to ride in the front seat, at least until B goes back to her family.
Baby B's situation is the one time in all of the children we have had where I feel like the system is actually working the way it is supposed to. She has a grandmother who is trying to be approved to have Baby B come live with her. Baby B's big sister already lives there so I know she will be taken care of and loved. With S&K things seemed to work until they were sent with a family member who didn't have a home study and showed up the day of court saying she would take them. From what was said in court on her job and where she lived I'm not sure how they could approve her in less than 2 hours for 3 extra children to go live at her house. Then came the 3C's. Their situation is the one that still infuriates me. We had actually been told by CPS and our Ad-litem that they were going to push to terminate parents rights. Then the initial court date arrived and after 4 hours of talking about it the judge decided to send them back with their parents so that they could move to another state for dad's job. I don't understand why the judge would send them back to their parents when their parents hadn't been taking care of them and the children had been removed multiple times previously. They say that CPS will be following them in their new state but we all know that things fall through the cracks and that the CPS workers are way over worked. This family actually has CPS cases open in multiple states and instead of the judge saying that they should find a foster placement where they were going and move foster care to foster care they were returned to their parents. It doesn't make sense to us. We pray every day that they are being fed, know they are loved, and are being kept safe. I know that God is bigger than all of this and that he has a plan for us and for those beautiful children. However, I still often times find myself thinking of them and missing their sweet faces.
The foster care journey so far has been fun, sad, tiring, exciting, and rewarding, sometimes all at the same time. I'm so glad that God has put us on this path and that He knows exactly where the path leads. We will continue walking and following Him wherever that may be. I will miss Baby B and her laugh when she leaves but I know that God has other children that he wants to touch our lives with and have us love on, be it for a short time or forever, I'm excited either way. I'm ready to be able to tell our agency "yes" again.