I don't blog, so y'all are stuck hearing about J (my darling foster son) and our experiences taking care of him and working with social services.
First (somewhat incoherent) thread is here. In a nutshell: J was placed with us for 8 days when he first came into care, went to another family while we were out of state for 5 weeks, and kinship placements having fallen through meanwhile, he was returned to us for what DSS says will be a long time.
The case plan will be reviewed in December (which I think really means January). The current goal is reunification, and if Mom complies with the terms of the case plan, she could get her boys back at that time. I have no idea where Mom is at with her plan, only that she's missed one visit. Another visit is coming up this week.
The siblings (3 bio, one foster) have integrated very well. My husband is having a harder time with the transition - I swear to God, it's like he's the silverback or the alpha lion and he can smell a rival's offspring in his troop/pride/pack/whatever. Some cultural difference (largely accent) also pose a challenge. But he's working on it like a person who's read a whole bunch of attachment books, even though he's never read one AFAIK. He takes J out for alone time, performs daily care activities for him, engages him in drawing and reading books and playing video games together, etc. I think that relationship will sort itself out well in time.
There are definitely some under-the-surface issues i.e. abuse that hasn't been discovered by DSS in the course of their investigation. J has mentioned being burned several times, and has night terrors about being burned. He also talks a lot about his primary non-TV pastime at his home, which was standing in the backyard throwing a knife at a tree (he's 4!!!). The social worker has promised us a psychological evaluation, which I hope will lead to long-term therapy. I'm pleasantly surprised that we are able to obtain in the absence of major behavioral problems. My husband thinks that a lot of his angst comes from feeling like there's some major case history he does not know. So for the sake of everybody's peace of mind, I hope that J can talk freely with a therapist and everything will come out.
As some of you told me I would, I have really changed my perspective on biomom. While I'm glad that DSS procedures keep us anonymous, as she was arrested with a guy I am truly frightened of and don't want to be tracked down by, I've had the chance to see a picture of her before she started using, and I would be genuinely happy if she could stop using and start parenting. But at this point, I do not think it's incredibly likely. And biodad? No idea who he is, and no idea if DSS has even tried to locate him. Hassling them about that is on my to-do list, but the therapist came first.
J asked us to take his brother in, which we can't do, but we are hopefully going to be given contact info for that foster family soon. Preschool is going well. I think Religious School will go equally well. I'm trying to get my own kids not to call me "Miss Mom," but it's pretty cute coming from the foster kid ;-)