Junior has made some major accomplishments this week. He received an award for good behavior in class. He is a good student and typically does not act up in class, but his behavior was recognized in a class where he lacks interest and does not complete class work. We were glad he has improved his attitude, not sure if it will translate into an improved grade. Then in math he completed 60 multiplication problems in 60 seconds. The school principal awarded all students who accomplished this task to lunch off campus. They walked to a local restaurant and the principal bought the kids lunch. Junior really enjoys math and it tends to come easy for him. It is still an honor to be recognized plus he got chicken strips for lunch!
He has also been doing some emotional growing this week and I am proud of him for being able to to handle the situations that he has faced. Foster children's lives are not your typical childhood and often they have to deal with more complex situations than their peers. While a part of me wishes to protect him, shield him from the complexities and uncertainties of his case, I realize he will have a more mature way of making decisions and an increased ability to deal with his emotions, something typically lacking in teenagers. To help him make sense of his life, we are working on his life book. A scrapbook with photos he has chosen that depict his life through the years and descriptions about who he is and the important people in his life. For the school section we listed the schools he has attended. One page lists his favorites - food, color, song, movie, etc. It has been amazing to observe Junior's emotional development over the last five months. Yes, it has been five months since we became a family and our lives changed forever.
We progress through his case, with all its uncertainties, waiting for the day when we find out if we get to be his forever parents. Then we incorporate both birth parents into our family along with all the other biological relatives. Our family just grows. We so love Junior!
The next several weeks are going to be intense in regards to his case, especially if we go to trial and it gets postponed. There is at least one meeting scheduled prior to trial where the open adoption agreement will be presented to the lawyers of each biological parent. Either parent can decide to relinquish parental rights or to go to termination trial. The open adoption agreement goes into affect after the adoption is finalized if one or both parents relinquish parental rights. If we go to trial and both parents' rights are terminated then there is no open adoption agreement, contact with bio parents is whatever we and Junior decide is best for Junior.