November 4, 2010

Adoption Series Chapter 3

It did not seem to take long at all...the results of the DNA testing for lil JB's birth father came back all too quickly. There was a 99.99999 something % chance that he was his father. Now we knew. Where was this man? Well, he was in jail. We soon found out that he had been in jail more years than he had been out in his lifetime. He was in his early forties, and a life of crime was basically what he had led. We breathed a sigh of relief, because in all could a man in jail parent this darling child? Apparently, we spoke too soon.

It was not long before our case manager was calling us to tell us that lil JB had a grandmother in NY. A grandmother that worked full time, had her own apartment, and had raised three children. Well, in all actuality, I believe she raised TWO children, because lil JB's birth father had not ended up anywhere but in jail. But, she was blood and the foster care system always feel it is best for a child to be with his parents and if he cannot be with his parents, then a suitable relative or non relative. The fight began.

The case manager stated that they would have to look into her as a possible placement. This could take up to a year to determine if she was a suitable place for him to be placed, because they would have to submit paperwork through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. It didn't matter that he was a special needs child (black and under the age of five), it still took time. The other thing the grandmother would have to do per NY state law, was become a licensed foster parent. This all seemed so far out of reach, but the state expects the agency to look into this. They must exhaust all arenas. At this point it was about February of 2007. We were feeling deflated. We were scared. We just wanted lil JB to be here with us, forever. We knew it would be a long battle.

The next thing that happened was his grandmother decided to take a trip to Florida. With her nephew in tow, she flew down here and visited with other family and friends in the area. Then the big bomb came...she wanted to see lil JB. We offered to the case manager to have her over to our home. The case manager felt it was best for the visit to take place in her office. So, on one sunny afternoon in late March, the case manager picked up my baby boy from daycare and brought him into the office to meet his grandmother, and essentially his cousin. We waited with bated breath.

My husband ironically (sometimes to the day I wonder if he really did) had a staffing at the case manager's office that afternoon. He decided he would pick lil JB up after the visit. The case manager asked him to come back to her office a few minutes after the visit was scheduled to end because she wanted to ensure that the grandmother was already gone to avoid any interaction or possible conflict. Conflict? Who us? Haha. Anyways. It just so happened that as my husband was leaving the office with Isaiah he ran into the nephew in the parking lot, who yelled out, "Bye Isaiah!" So, my hubby took it upon himself to go over and introduce himself. They got to talking, as the nephew seemed to be around our age, and apparently had a little boy back at home the same age as Isaiah. My husband offered for them to meet up down the road at McDonald's and continue the visit. The nephew agreed and said that he and his aunt would meet them their. So, off they went.

The visit went well, and my husband got along great with these relatives. As they were talking and getting to know one another, Isaiah played in the play area. All was going well. When it was time to leave, the nephew pulled my husband aside and said, "It is so apparent that Isaiah loves you, and that YOU are his father. I would hate for him to be taken away from you, when he is so well adjusted. I will talk to my grandmother and try to get her to drop the request to take custody of him. It just wouldn't be right. If we all remained in contact, I am sure that this would work out okay." My husband had never been so grateful in his life. So, now we waited in anticipation to see if the grandmother would drop her pursuit...

~June Bud



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