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The First Conversation

This morning, Stephanie and I made the last minute decision for her to drive to Fairbanks for food and supplies for graduation. It was one of those round trips in a day. Snarky came by our place this morning looking for the preacher who comes up on Sundays. Snarky is Jamiee’s current foster care provider. She’s been a pain in my side all year long about a variety of things unrelated to Jamiee. When Snarky, ever the opportunist, heard that Stepanie was driving to town, she declared that she would ride to town with her. That’s her style, not to ask but to simply declare. Whatever; I would have said no, but Stephanie is much more gracious than I. And as it turns out, it was just the opportunity we were looking for. 

During the drive, Stephanie and Snarky started talking, and Stephanie asked about Jamiee. Snarky said that she was really ready to be through with Jamiee, and that Snarky planned to put her in a group home in Fairbanks as soon as school was out. Stephanie asked, what if there was a family in our community that could take her? Snarky said, “No one here wants her. And no one could pass the background check anyway” (a background check is required to become temporarily licensed as a foster care provider). But Stephanie persisted, and asked, but what if there was a family that could take her. Snarky then asked bluntly, “Why? Do you want her?” Stephanie said, well, yes, that she and I had talked about Jamiee over much of the past year and had imagined the possibility of having her come stay with us. Stephanie told me that Snarky seemed very enthusiastic about the idea, in a "yeah, take her, please" kind of way. 

So now, Stephanie and I are planning to talk to the chief of the local tribal council and the tribal ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) worker to discuss the process of possibly gaining custody of Jamiee. It’s a scary prospect. Stepahanie and I have talked a lot about the challenges and pitfalls we could potentially face. But when we then consider what could become of Jamiee if she remains in her current situation, or if she is moved into a group home, we know it’s the right thing.

Posted on Sunday, May 6, 2007 at 11:58PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | CommentsPost a Comment

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