"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
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.