Ok, I know I left you guys hanging last time. Yes, we do, and are planning to adopt again. We will most likely go through the same agency we did with Baby Bam. We will get the process started soon. This will be the babe of the family though, as I think 3 is all that we can handle. :) So please keep us in your prayers as we start this process all over again. I guess we are gluten's for punishment. Haaa. The process was hard and long with Bam so hopefully it will go a bit smoother this time. At least this is our prayer. Naturally, I feel more equipped this time.
OK, here we go with our story... If you are a new reader, feel free to start at the beginning. It's a new blog and you can catch up quickly.
I remember being confused after C left. What did this mean? Questions spun around in my head like a merry-go-round. We were told that they would be placed with us for about 6 months, but now what?
Would she come back?
Would she come back to live with us?
Would she come back to get her baby and go somewhere else?
Where would they go?
Who would take care of The Bug?
How do we refer to ourselves now, as mommy and daddy?
The next month (hell the next 2 years) was confusing. No one had any answers for us. DCS was a joke. Their worker at the time was brand new and had no clue what she was doing. As a Social Worker, this drove me crazy! The agency we fostered through was great but couldn't get to the bottom of it either because they needed some answers from DCS. Well, I guess the truth was that there were no answers at the time. It was going to be a long time until we had any answers at all.
On 9/29/2006 we headed back to court. This time it was because C was gone and a new plan (not that a real plan was established to begin with) needed to be formulated.
We would soon learn, this was the first of many more court visits that would make our skin crawl. This would be the beginning of our cynicism of the foster care system.
We were in front of a new judge this time. When children enter state custody they are appointed an attorney to speak and work on their behalf. Both children, C and The Bug had separate attorneys present. The attorneys are called the Guardian Ad Litem. In our experiences however, they may as welled be named, "worthless, eaters of your tax dollars, how many times did it take for you to pass the bar? IDIOTS!"
We'll call C's attorney WT. The Bug's I will refer to as CRAZY.
WT looked like she had been ridden hard and put up wet. She spoke with a deep smokers voice and had the violent cough to go with it. Crazy was an older woman, although I think she wasn't as old as she probably looked. She was on the heavy side and tall. She walked with a cane and spoke loud. It didn't matter how loud she spoke though, she never made much sense. In retrospect I wonder if she was bipolar or something but I will get to that much later.
Also present was C's appointed defense attorney, because at this point she was being charged with a a crime. The DCS attorney was also there to defend their stance. Of course Seth and I were there and then other random people who were waiting for their cases to be heard.
We were probably there for 3 minutes at the most. The judge asked where C was and asked DCS what they were doing to try to find her. Their worker responded (who happened to be a new worker whom should be referred to as Satan). The judge then asked C's Guardian Ad Litem a few questions.
One of the things that C's GAL wanted was for C's status in the system to be changed. You see, Violet filed an unruly petition against C. This is something that is filed against juveniles who don't follow the rules of society and authority. Generally, a parent or the school system will file this kind of petition. Well, C's attorney argued that C came into care because of "dependant/neglect", another reason kids come into custody. This is just like it sounds...the dependent child has been neglected by their parents and legal caregiver. In this case, C has been neglected by Violet, her mother and father. In turn, The Bug has been neglected by C. So the judge grants the petition, and it was (and still is) in my mind the right thing to do.
So, according to the state and juvenile court, C and The Bug both came into custody because of dependent neglect. Do you get it? "WHY" kids come into the foster care system in the U.S. is a big deal. This can determine their lives, literally... as I think it determined both of theirs.
But, here's the kicker...
As the judge continued his questions to C's GAL (WT) he asked her, "Who failed this child?" And without a moment's hesitation WT responded, "C failed herself your honor."
I almost came out of my seat. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? C is a 15 year old CHILD! How does a 15 year old child who was born into this world without a chance fail herself? Nooooo, her mother failed her, her father failed her, Violet failed her and now as her GAL, YOU are failing her. I was LIVID and I can't tell you how close I came to responding to that.
The craziest part about all of it was that WT, the very same person who was making this ridiculous statement just argued to the court that her client's status should be changed to NEGLECT? Huh? Do you get it now? I don't! It took everything I had not to scream and yell on this child's behalf. This was so unfair and wow... it was about to get soooo much worse.
Anyhow, the result of the hearing was that The Bug would remain with us and if and when C was found she would be placed somewhere else. They didn't specify where. I wish now I would have pushed for some answers here BUT, this wasn't my role. Her GAL should have been doing that. The judge looked at us and said, "I am so sorry Mr. and Mrs. T, but I can't have her placed with The Bug and for fear that she will run again and take her." We shook our heads. We knew at this point we could not give C what she needed in our home.
It made me so sad. I missed C. I STILL miss C.
**By the way, I would love to hear what you like/dislike about my blog, my writing, our story, etc... Leave a comment if you are reading and have any questions. Also, I really don't like to read others blogs and NOT know the first names of their kids or people they blog about. If you want to know, email me. I will send you an email and tell you my kid’s names. Since The Bug was in foster care and Bam was adopted, I want to protect them and their anonymity. When they are old enough to decide to share these stories publicly, that will be their decision.
Off to have dinner with friends. The Sun is FINALLY out. :)
5 hours ago