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  • Donna

Two Steps Forward

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

I’m thankful for two steps forward.

We got good news last week at our foster daughter’s court hearing: the judge decided it’s in her best interest to stop trying to reunify her with her birth mother. Makes sense to us, as they’ve never met. But since bureaucracy follows its own “scientific method,” it took four court dates to reach this decision. Our foster daughter has another hearing scheduled for March, when she’ll be nine months old. That’s when the court may decide to sever the birth mom’s parental rights, which is the next milestone to reach before we can petition to adopt her.

Our foster son, who arrived at our door two months ago at three weeks old, also had a court date last week. And I’m thankful for the results of that hearing, too. He’s in a different situation because his birth mom has tried to relinquish him from the beginning. I’ve got to say—she seems like a really nice person and has acted in his best interest ever since he was born. DCFS asked the court to consider this case a voluntary relinquishment, and the judge agreed. That means we’ll be able to petition to adopt him very soon. His birth mom already terminated her parental rights voluntarily and the birth father’s rights will likely be severed within a few weeks. We’re going to be assigned an adoption worker and start the process that will legally make him a permanent member of our family.

Speaking of family, I’m thankful for mine. I realize it’s trite to say, but it’s true. I’m thankful for the family I have right now. Sometimes the fact that holiday traditions have the same participants year after year numbs me to the transient nature of life—the fact that none of this is guaranteed. I’ve lost aunts and a brother-in-law to divorce—gone from my life overnight. And I’ve done the same to my family by ending relationships. An uncle and my grandparents—most recently an honorary grandfather—are no longer with us. We never know when the “last one” is happening.

The foster/adoption process punctuates this reality. It reminds me to appreciate my life right now, how it is right now, with who’s a part of it, right now. So today, I’ll tip a big ol’ glass of wine to my family and friends after baking a pumpkin pecan pie, like I’ve done every year for the last decade.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!


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