It started at 12:01 this morning when I couldn't get my eyes to stay closed. We tried watching a movie, organizing school stuff, talking.
Trouble was, I couldn't get my mind to shut off.
I was anxious. Nervous. Feeling unsure.
See, today Baby V's birth parents had a court hearing and we decided to go.
As his foster parents we have the right to be at all hearings and have access to all information on the case. And since we still haven't met the caseworker and basically have zero information on the case, we figured the only way to know what went on behind the courtroom door was to be there.
Let me start off by telling you how crazy the people there were. It was Family Court Day so all the people there were there to find out things that would effect their children forever. Do you think one person was wearing dress clothes?!?!
Well, except Andrew and I, who stuck out like sore thumbs in his suit and my dress!
Going to the hearing meant we would have to meet the birth parents. And it was weird.
We got there early (Amber would be proud!) and the waiting area was so tiny we knew right when they came in. We debated over when we should introduce ourselves, before the case was called or after, but I was SO uncomfortable in the room with them that I made Andrew go introduce himself.
They are pretty much what I expected. They were both in jeans and baggy shirts. She had a cigarette tucked behind her ear. They were obviously low income and obviously scared about the hearing.
But they were nice. They seem to care about the baby. And they seem to be getting just as much of a run around from DFACS as we are. The caseworker told them that the plan will take at least six months but that if they pay their bills on time, he could go back in 3 months since that's cheaper for DFACS.
Wow. Great work caseworker.
The Judge was nice, but I think she was too easily impressed with what they have done. In the past month the birth parents moved into their own apartment and she has held a job working 3rd shift.
Call me crazy, but that isn't enough.
I understand that this hearing was just to prove there are no other family members the baby could be placed with, but it still seems like some harder questions should have been asked. It took everything I had to stay in my seat while I listened to the caseworker talk about how well the plan is going when she hasn't even seen the baby!
It's still early. We are only 30 days into the process. But it looks like Baby V will be going home. Especially if the hearings are all that easy.
We are still waiting for a copy of the case plan, but at least it is filed now.
Amber and David had kept the kids while we were gone so afterwards I got to vent over lunch with them.
And after a long family nap, I'm feeling a bit more calm. It will take me a while to process the emotion of today.
Like how much it bugged me to hear the Judge call her Mom when I'm the one spending 24 hours a day raising him. Or how they were so impressed with the bonding progress when she has only seen him 8 hours over the past month.
Then there's the fact that I didn't dislike them. No horrible vibes. They seem to really want to love him. Part of me was hoping they were psychos so I could be justified in wanting to keep him. Plus it's impossibly hard to let go of how much better we could provide for him compared to them.
It was a strange day. No real new information, but a whole lot to process.