Since the last update, I did manage to get in touch with A's guardian ad litem. We had a good conversation, and she was very polite, compassionate, and dare I say, positive sounding. The one thing she said that gave me hope was the phrase, "Even if State Y [where they are trying to send her] approves birth-mom's aunt for foster care, State X [my state] has some serious concerns regarding the size of the house and the number of children already in her care."
So does that mean that even if an ICPC is approved by the receiving state, the sending state can then sit back, look at the two potential placement options and NOT send a child to the "preferred custody" of birth family? That seems to be the 6 million dollar question right now, and no one knows the answer. It may be an answer that is up to the judge. And I know the judge this case is in front of does always favor birth-family.
My fingers are still crossed the whole thing is solved neat and easy with State Y saying, "Nope, not gonna work as a foster placement here," and she thus stays here.
I did ask the guardian ad litem for a home visit so she could meet A and actually know who she was arguing for, and she agreed to have the CASA (court appointed special advocate) social worker get in touch with me to schedule that. Within a week, the social worker had called me and came out for a visit. Again, she was a very positive and really wanted to know A. Happily A. was in good form, crawling over to pull herself up on the SW's legs, inspecting her rings, and joust doing this soul-searching gaze she has into the SW's eyes, before racing back to me and throwing herself into my arms to cuddle. Toys? Nah, she's not into paling with toys or being distracted by them, A is all about people and hugs.
I did print up about 5 photos to give to the SW to put in her file so the attorney and the judge would put a face to the case number, and the SW was thrilled -- which relieved me since I didn't know if I was being too ballsy. The SW has worked for CASA for 20+ years now, and when she came in, I started into my schpeel of the nonsense this case has been tied up with, then paused and said, "Wait, do you know her whole story?" as far as birth-mom, number of half-siblings and birth-mom's current situation. She wasn't sure so I started to tell her, and she immediately said, "Oh, yes, I remember this case! I've been doing this for decades so nothing phases me anymore, but this case actually made me sick and angry as I read it." Good. Please tell that to the judge!
So this is where we sit, waiting, wondering, praying until the permanency hearing on May 25. More and more A is bonded to me and her whole large family that has sprung up around us.
I'm trying to focus hard on the words a friend said about the craziness of this situation, and how clearly the Universe has declared her to be my child, because it isn't for "no reason" that birth-mom left State Y while 8+ months pregnant and gave birth to this child in State X. It was because A was meant to be my child. It has to be a sign that we both came together when we did given the crazy journeys we had each been on. Right?