I finally have something to say in the realm of adoption.
Praise God, nearly 16 months after placement, I received news yesterday that a preliminary termination hearing is being held at the end of July for Oliver. Birthmom is fighting to the bitter end; her last visit with Oliver was the first week of January, but she still remains firm in her conviction that she has every intention of raising him on a daily basis. There's more I could say on this matter, but I won't. I will simply sigh deeply and watch as the facts of poor Oli's life are paraded in court. I will listen in sadness as the psychiatrist outlines why Birthmom received a failing grade on her parenting and psychological exams. I will hear a litany of pleadings and petitions. And then, at the end of the day, I will turn my eyes to the Lord and wait for a judge to make a decision.
Oliver's birthfather is relinquishing custody, and our open adoption agreement is in the works. I have both sympathy and frustration for Birthdad. He is a wreck of a man, damaged by horrific abuse in his own childhood and poor choices in adulthood. When he says he never wanted to be a father, that he freely abdicates that right to someone more capable than himself, I am grateful. When he holds Oli's hand in his and says, "Bye, buddy," at the end of a visit, my heart is softened. And when he fails to show up for yet another visit, I am angry. Ours will be a complicated, tangled relationship for life. When the signatures are placed on the agreement, we will bound forever to one another through our love of one small person and that brings me a peace both terrible and beautiful and the same time.
Manolin's case continues to be as cut and dry as one finds in the world of foster-adoption. His birthmother is still under a ten year no contact order that precludes any relationship she might desire with the little man she carried and then sought to destroy. Termination paperwork has been filed and will most likely never go to court; how does one, after all, convincingly attest in a court that she can successfully parent a child she is forbidden by law to even request a photograph of? Evaluations and counseling reports aside, Birthmom is not going to regain custody of Manolin. I hope she relinquishes rights. It will be faster and less painful for all of us.
And this, dear readers, is where one finds joy in the world of foster-adoption: at the end of one relationship, there blossoms a series of others. Our family sits quietly, awaiting hearings and judgments that will make us whole. In our hearts, of course, the truth is already there. Maybe by winter the truth will have bloomed for all to see.