Little Ms. K's mother missed her meeting today. I'm not sure what that means for us or little Ms. K except more delays. We are frustrated, disappointed. Jessica is going to ask Belay what has happened in the past with situations like this and see what his gut feeling is about us even getting a court date before Aug. 8th. We're hoping to hear by Friday. Up and down and up and down....
Yesterday was the Monday Gladney conference call and for the first time it included ALL of the Gladney families adopting from ET. The Q&A portion was hard to hear - a lot of background noise and such. But - and here was the punch I never saw coming - towards the very end of the call, Natalie, one of Gladney's African caseworker, explained that last year some families that didn't make the cut off before the close of court didn't get to travel for their children until mid December! AND, they are expecting the travel to perhaps be longer this year because of the ongoing situation. We are now talking perhaps JANUARY! OMG!
I lost it. Joe got the first tearful message. When I thought I had recovered enough and could sound composed I called our caseworker Jessica. She got the following message.. "Jessica - at this point I knew I hadn't recovered enough but it was to late I was already in - (voice quivering) please (little sniffle) call me tomorrow. (clearly trying not to cry now) Please call me I really (quiver, sniff) need to talk to you." Yeah, so much for composure. Oh and by the way did I mention this was all happening at the center where N gets therapy? I'm literally out in the hallway with all the other moms and kids walking past me while N's in PT . Thank goodness he also had playgroup so I dropped him off and went home where my friend Mackenzie got treated to a 20 minute tear-filled phone call rant. (Thank you Mackenzie for listening and being so patient!)
The call today.
I got a hold of Jessica this morning and she told me she'd just heard from the staff in ET andK's mother is back! (First, thank God she is alright - we were truly worried about her) Belay, the Gladney staff person in ET, is going to met with her tomorrow to see what happened, and to arrange for her to sign all the final needed paperwork. As Jessica said, this is VERY good news!! At least we may find out if we can get going on even requesting a court date. I told Jessica we weren't expecting to clear court but we REALLY, REALLY want to have a court date before Aug. 8th so we could perhaps travel much sooner then January.
I guess we'll have to see what Belay has to say tomorrow after speaking to K's mother. Please keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow's phone call brings some much needed good news!
I haven't posted in awhile because I just don't have any good news to share. Nothing is moving forward on any front. On the personal front, the staff in ET is debating now whether to have a family member go to court or whether it would better to file an abandoned child report. Subsequently, Gladney still hasn't been able to asked for a court date for us. TICK TICK TICK....August 8th looms large. And even though I know realistically there is no way we are going to get through court at this point a little (ok BIG) part of me still can't help but hope that we do somehow. Joe and I just want little Ms. K home. Period. And I just can't believe how frustrating, fear invoking, and messy this has all become.
Jessica just sent me an update on our girl this afternoon. Here is what Joanna, the Gladney staff member in ET had to say....
K is definitely princess material! First of all, she loves jewelry! Bracelets, necklaces and rings! She like them all and does not like giving them back or sharing! K likes to play gently, games like patty-cake and such but comes across as more of an intellect! She is quietly inquisitive and mostly an observer. And with her beauty, she will have most things in life!
Likes jewelry? Princess material? She is sooo going to fit right in! Jessica also sent a new photo of our little Ms. K. She is such a little beauty! I'm so grateful Jessica sent this today because we needed a little happy news! And Joanna has officially become one of my favorite people!
Well the news wasn't great today. Jessica called to tell me that the staff in ET thinks they are going to need 10 days to even be ready to request a court date to have a family member declared responsible for K. Then we have to wait for the courts to assign a court date to consider this. Then if that court date goes OK on the first try Gladney can finally request a court date for us. Then we have to wait to be assigned a court date. Then we have to get through court on our first try (which a lot of families don't do). And all this by August 8th. You can see where I'm going with this. We are, in all likelihood, NOT going to make this August 8th deadline before the courts close for the rainy season. This means we are looking at November or maybe even DECEMBERat the earliest to go and get our girl. By then, K will be 15 or 16 months old. We will have missed her first birthday and her first steps. We will have missed all those sweet milestones babies make between now and then. But we are most frustrated at the thought of K sitting there the extra 3-5 months. Because as good as the Gladney foster care home is - and it is - it is still a facility not a real home. So we have no choice but to hope and pray that we get the miracle of good timing and maybe, just maybe, we will be able to get her home before the end of the summer but it doesn't look good right now folks.
Gladney had a conference call today for all the families who already have court dates and those, like us, who are waiting for their court dates. The Gladney staff pretty much went over the situation in ET again and were, for the most part, reassuring that things should be moving along in another week (they hope). OK that part was pretty good. Here's the part were things got a little rocky. I spoke directly with Jessica, our Gladney caseworker, and she had some not so good news for us. No one can locate K's mother. Not even her family knows where she is. This is a big issue since the birth mother is required to go to court to relinquish parental rights to complete an adoption. Jessica has informed us that the staff in ET will now be looking for another family member to go to court to take legal responsibility for K. Once that is done, this family member could relinquish parental rights when we finally get a court date. In a nutshell, they need someone to take responsibility for K so that that someone can relinquish responsibility for K. Tomorrow I'm supposed to find out how long the Gladney staff in ET thinks this may take. In the meantime we are truly concerned about K's birth mother's welfare - we are hoping she is alright!!
WooHoo for e-mail!! Yesterday I got an e-mail from a great couple who just got back from picking up their new son in ET. Tara (she of the great couple) sent me 13 (that's right 13!) new photos of our beautiful little Ms. K! And Tara wrote this about her:
Let me tell you about your sweet K! She is obviously just lovely, but she also has the sweetest personality! As you will see in the first picture, she was peering her little head outside of her bed so that she could look and smile at us in the hallway. It was so cute that she was trying to get our attention and when she finally did, we picked her up and played with her a long time. She looked and stared with huge eyes at her picture book you sent and seemed enthralled with it :)
We just loved your sweet baby girl!!!
And yes little Ms. K is just lovely! And no we CAN'T WAIT to hold her ourselves! Now as for being enthralled with the picture book well, the look on little Ms. K's face (as she was staring at a baby photo album of pictures of us and grandma and cousins) was more the look of 'who ARE these people?' It totally cracked me up!
We are so grateful to Tara and her husband for taking over our gifts to K and for the gift Tara gave us of all those amazing photos of K. They are kind people with cameras and we are very thankful!
I received a phone call from Jessica, our Gladney caseworker, yesterday telling me that a problem has developed that is going to put on hold all pending cases in the courts and probably delay our getting a court date. I am literally sick to my stomach. August 8th looms large and there is no way to tell how long the delays may last.
So we will just have to wait and wait some more and hope and pray things move along quickly and that we are holding little Ms. K in our arms very soon.