Back in November we got a call from a child case worker, she had seen our information and felt we could be a good match to, lets call him T here. There were a few minor differences, but we all agreed that they were minor and should not be a problem. We have Dogs, he is listed as should not be around pets. However the incident was years ago and it may not have even been him, but since it was not known they suggest he not be around pets. There was also a recommendation that he be the only child, which we said at first would be the case but we would likely continue to look, but his needs at that point would be a consideration in future potential adoptions. T was older than we wanted and had siblings that could not be placed with him. We hate breaking up siblings, but one aged out and was in prison, the other had already been adopted. They recommended we allow phone calls with the one sibling, and we agreed.
At the end December we were given T's contact information so we could talk with him on the phone. We called regularly and things were going well. In February we made a trip out to visit him. and it was a great visits. There were a few more restriction on us than we had expected, but we managed around them and we all hit it off. While there we learned he had run away the week prior. He said he was being pressed about things he was not comfortable talking about at the moment, and he was bored, so just had to get out. We Told him to behave so we can get him home with us as soon as possible.
After the visit his case worker said he spoke very highly of us. He seemed to have hit it off with us as much as we did with him.
Around this same time 2 other kids came up, but they would not have been a match with T in our home, so we declined them.
His Case worker told us everyone was so excited for him to come visit us and that he was doing so well. The plan was to get him out to visit as quickly as possible. Then of course COVID-19 lockdowns began. His case worker said no interstate travel with kids would be allowed. and we would have to post pone his visit until travel bans had been lifted.
Then 2 weeks ago we were asked to join a video conference. In the call they had him let us know what had happened. He and another child had been planning something very seriously illegal. Thankfully it did not happen. My spouse and I were shocked, but we care so much for him. In the call we said exactly that. Everyone was understandably disappointed he had done something so serious, and thankful it had only been planned. Suddenly I felt the weight of fatherhood, and I was not even his parent, let alone legal guardian.
My partner decided to send a letter to him letting him know just how serious what he planned could have been had he gone through with it. I advised him to take out one line that really in appropriate to a child and could be interpreted poorly, but he felt it was important to shock him with the consequences of his actions. Instead he removed my name from the letter. I had helped him with moving some things around, so that he was making it clear we love and support him, before he get into the harder message. A message his case worker had similarly made during the video conference.
On Friday he asked if the letter had been received, it had, and they were no longer considering us as potential adoptive parents for T. They listed several reasons. The biggest one being the inappropriate comment. Also that we planned to adopt other kids, and that we have pets. Also they had not received some papers that would be needed. Which our home study agent was unable to send because she does not have access to them working from home. They also said no further contact between us and T would be allowed. Not even a chance to say good bye.
I sent a response, as I had talked to T on the phone, and had taken a more reassuring tone with him. He was so happy that I had noticed somethings about his demeanor and how he responded to comments during the video conference. I felt his case worker may not be aware of these things. I also begged that he be given a voice, in the decision as I felt some of his issues were very likely caused by feeling he has no control in his life.
I kind of wonder if he may try to call us. He has called us before, and does have our phone number. He would likely have to run away to do that though. I worry what to do if he does. Ask him what he really want? If he wants to be adopted by us what do I do to fight to make it happen if the case workers and everyone feel it is not advised.
Mostly though, I am grieving so terribly. I felt like he was already my son, and now I can't even speak to him to say good bye. I am also confused as to how we went from, everyone is so excited, to you are no longer being considered, and mostly it is one sentence that seemed to over ride everything else we did.
I feel like there must be a bigger piece to the puzzle I am missing.