For some reason I stopped getting email updates so I didn't see your response, Smithie. I do appreciate what you're saying, and I might take you up on that offer if we get much further. Trust that if DH didn't have a differing opinion, I would have started snooping around and finding out whether the kid's parents have been TPR'd (I have to admit, I found the child's birth parents on FB and they have been careless about sharing personal info in a public sphere, and based on that I would assume one of the parents might still have some rights but I'm not sure). I am still not sure if the kid will be adopted or they are still working on reunification. Also not sure what kind of priority they put on keeping siblings together, and I can tell for sure that in this situation I personally would not be willing to adopt the two of them together. I am just not ready to take on two kids on the cusp of being teenagers, and I can say that with no doubt in my mind. I would be surprised if DH felt differently.
We have not picked up another placement at this point, but did just get asked to watch our first kid again, this time for about half a week. We may be able to take the kid to do something tomorrow as well. So we are able to continue this relationship, which we both really appreciate.
I'm very interested in any advice people have to offer about how to respond when the kid asks if we can adopt him. Just to review- we are not sure what his reunification plan is like right now, and I don't know how to talk to him about it and make sure he still feels valued.
Monkeyscience, you can go either way. We are providing respite care- hopefully your agency can provide that if you go on a vacation without the kids. Or it shouldn't be too hard to get approval to take them. Depends on the situation. When I was a kid my parents went off without us a few times a year and they still have a healthy relationship, and I've always thought it was a good idea for your relationship/sanity. Of course we stayed with our grandparents who we adored more than anything, so that's probably a big difference between kids with a tightknit family and kids in the system. I hope we can take a kid to the beach someday, and I also hope that if we have a longer term placement we can have a nice adult weekend every once in a while. In my state I think you get 12 days a year of respite without giving up your per-diem-- I think...
Mountainmama, I think this is a great way to encourage the birth mom... It sounds like you are really doing the right thing. Many hugs and well wishes.