Well, the department didn't hold a termination hearing . . . instead at the hearing they requested that it be delayed 30 days. Instead the judge delayed it 6 months because the Department knew that a sister was Native American from the first day of the case (almost 3 years ago) and they never even notified the reservation that she existed until 2 days before termination was supposed to happen. So all of these ICWA laws have been violated and they need to make sure that they can do things according to the book now. I don't even know what the dept was thinking, trying to get the kids adopted . . . if at any time the reservation found out they would be within their full legal rights to reverse any adoption. It's a mess. And it all could have been avoided if they had just kept the rules in the first place. Anyways, the final news is that we will have the kids several more months (until about Christmas??). What I think will happen is that the department will send all 4 kids back with their mom (she was pretty close to getting them back anyways) because they almost can't proceed any other way. Either they split the kids up permanently and terminate on 3 of them and leave the other one in permanent guardianship somewhere else (no one wants to split them like that) or they just wait and try to terminate them in 6 months . . . and during those 6 months they will have had to, by law, make ACTIVE efforts at reunification . . . not just REASONABLE efforts. So chances are I'll be sending these little kiddies back sometime this year (or next??).
But you know, I'm not furious or anything. I'm just glad that I know what's going on now and can plan my life accordingly. And it gives me and Ellie and the kids plenty of time to prepare for how it will end. I actually feel at peace with it now. So that's a good thing :-) A little disappointing . . . but I have a settled feeling about it, not a stupor of thought. So that's good :-)