Sunday, 14 July 2013

Final court hearing

We've had some progress - Andy is becoming a little bit more assertive with Jack-Jack and has started hitting him, throwing things at him and snatching toys from him. Although this doesn't sound positive, it shows he's growing in confidence and at the very least means we're not spending all day telling only one child off!

Now that we're more than six months into placement it's starting to get very hard for us that we don't know the plan for Jack-Jack - we don't have any way of preparing ourselves for each eventuality. His final court hearing is coming up, so we should find out whether or not he'll be going home to mum, and if not then what the court's recommended plan for him is. They normally go along with the local authority's recommendation, but not always. Long term fostering is never the plan for under fives (except in extremely rare cases - I've only heard of one), so the likely outcome for him if he doesn't go home is going to be adoption and there is no shortage of adopters waiting for healthy under-twos. We know this is a possibility, but no one has discussed timescales with us so we have no idea how long the process is likely to take.

Parenting is full of uncertainties - as a birth parent when you bring your newborn home from the hospital you don't know when they're going to learn to walk, whether they're going to be an early reader, what their talents are going to be, which childhood diseases they're going to get and when, whether their hair is going to be curly or straight etc. Adoptive parents face even more uncertainties as they may have very little information about the birth parents' histories, so can't even make educated guesses at their child's likely traits, abilities and any possible issues.

Foster parents face a lot of this too of course, but also live with the biggest uncertainty of all: is this child still going to be living with me next year? At Christmas? Next week? Tomorrow?

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