Thursday, May 24, 2012

System Defined Permanent

After another day of court for Baby K, I was doing the mom thing - albeit I was cutting it close because even though it was clearly marked on the calendar and in my phone and we had talked about it, I still managed to space Youngest's choir performance until 30 minutes prior to - and taking Youngest to her concert yesterday when I asked her this question:

"What does permanent mean? Like permanent markers?"

Youngest: "Oh - well that means they're supposed to stay on forever, but if you just rinse and scrub a lot they come off anyway."

And I thought to myself, "Yep. That is just what it means." Of course we laughed and talked about all the times it has been good that permanent markers aren't really permanent.

So, we were awarded "permanent guardianship" of Baby K. Both of her parents need an indefinite amount of time to complete the tasks the state has set before them in a manner that demonstrates either is in a position to be a full-time parent and caregiver....But what does that mean?

Here in Sunnyville the state doesn't want to keep children in the foster care system, it is costly and unstable. As a result, they opt for permanent guardianship. It isn't adoption. It isn't foster care. It is a static state that can last until the child is 18 or until the parent(s) satisfactorily complete(s) the plan and show(s) stability for a period of time. At this point the parent petitions the court for reunification.

This is the state we have now entered with Baby K. She will still visit with her parents weekly, she will still possibly return to one of them at some point in her future, but for now she is ours...Yes, it is pretty much the same exact place we were before court yesterday with a major difference for us.

We can return to a normal or what passes for normal in Sunnyville life. There will be no more visits from case managers or court-appointed guardians. We will be able to ask the neighbor to watch Baby K without having a full background check done first. We will be able to go on vacation as a family. We will be parents to Baby K in every way we have been, without the constant checking-in with others to have our plans/actions approved. It seems almost inconsequential, but it isn't. It is a return to stasis for our lives...

At lest that is what we fervently hope. Of course there is still a connection to the parents, it is almost like a bizarre divorce triangle. With her mom's visits being supervised by an agency and her dad's visits supervised by us or someone else in the family. But, hey, this is 2012 and families come in all shapes and sizes, so happily Baby K remains a part of ours and we continue to move forward as we always have with hope and love.


  1. Congratulations on the "permanent guardianship".
    I had to back-read posts to get the story, as I have been an absentee blogger for much of the year.

    Baby "K" is so very lucky to have you and your family in her life. Wishing you all the best!

  2. Hey!! It's been forever since I've stopped by. Your life has a lot going on. I've read may and april. I'm going to have to do some major catch up. HAHAHAH


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