I almost didn't post this weekend. It's well into Sunday evening and it's been a busy old time over Easter, but that's not the reason. My problem is that my mind is so full of things I can't write about that I can't seem to think of anything I can write about.
Suffice it to say that Birdy's care plan has taken an unexpected turn and is now heading in a completely new direction which I'm not terribly happy about. I can't say what is happening exactly, but there is a particular set of circumstances that has prompted this change and means that they are considering an option for her that wouldn't have been considered for her, or probably the majority of other children her age, unless these exact circumstances had come into play.
I'm filled with foreboding about it. This is probably partly because a few years' involvement with anything child protection related breeds a certain amount of pessimism and cynicism. It's also because the plan they are looking at for Birdy is virtually identical to the course that was chosen for OB's own birth mum, years ago. The similarities are uncanny. And it worked out very badly for her in the long run. I often wonder how different her life would have been had they gone a different route. I can't help imagining things could have gone a lot better for her than they eventually did.
The problem is that there are protocols. First we try A. If A won't work out, then we try B. If B doesn't look like a goer, then we move to C. There are certain trump cards which, when played, seem to outweigh and overrule all other considerations. Now that this particular set of circumstances has been revealed, Birdy's options are set. No judge would even consider another option because a trump card has been played. I am concerned that this will turn out to be a second-best option for Birdy, but .... trump card.
Foster caring can be a bumpy ride. When you've cared for a child for so long, nurtured them, protected them, fought for them and learned to love them, your instinct is to want to have your say in the decisions that are being made about them. That's not our role. And frankly, it's above our pay grade. I understand that this role belongs to those who are trained and experienced. And I understand that they have their guidelines and protocols to follow which have been set by others who, in turn, have their own training and experience. That's how it goes.
So, what do I do? I listen to what the social worker is telling me, wait for phone calls and emails, note dates in my diary, prepare Birdy's stuff, plan for a possible transition and at some future point, I say goodbye.
And then I pray for her.