COURT ANXIETY: FROM A FOSTER PARENT'S PERSPECTIVE
I'm writing this literally from within the trenches of court anxiety.
Big Sis and Little Sis have been with us for 16 months tomorrow -- 487 days. We love them dearly. They are our daughters, but not legally. Not yet. Maybe not ever. We literally have no say in the matter.
When they first came to us, we were adamantly doing what we could to help their family reunify. That's the whole reason we became foster parents -- was to reunify families.
Now, we're pursuing adoption because after 487 days, there is nothing about their case that makes us feel good about reunification. Unless something changes, this is our stance. Not that anyone within the court system cares, but I know my readers do.
Alas, today is court day.
I am waiting to hear from our girls' case worker what happens in court today because, for the second time this year, we (the foster parents) have been excluded from the courtroom.
I think I have an idea of what is going to happen today, but with anything in foster care, there are no guarantees.
So I sit. And I wait. And I try my best not to let the many many worst case scenarios enter my mind.
The girls have come so far from when they first arrived on our doorstep. It truly is incredible.
Yet, they still struggle. Because they are stuck in the middle of the utterly confusing foster care system, with no end in sight. No permanency in sight. And although they are young enough you'd think they may not know what's going on, they can feel it -- the uncertainty.
I'm sitting at my kitchen table, blaring worship music, praying, and writing this blog to keep my hands busy.
Thank God for my anxiety medication and worship music that gives words to what I'm feeling when words escape me.
"I'm gonna see a victory, for the battle belongs to the Lord."
"All my hope is in Jesus."
"I know who goes before me. I know who stands behind."
What I know:
We love Big Sis and Little Sis deeply. We are, indeed, "too attached."
We have done everything we possibly can to encourage the reunification of this family. Yet, we still do not believe it is the safest option for the girls.
We want the girls to have a relationship with their birth family, regardless.
Their case is at the mercy of the court system, which is extremely behind due to COVID (or whatever other excuses they can come up with), so it could be months or years before we actually gain any real ground one way or the other in their case.
Absolutely nothing. Everything I think I know could change tomorrow. So forget everything else I just said.
Welcome to the roller coaster :)
I got a call from the girls' case worker about an hour and a half after court started. Nothing changed. Surprise surprise. Cheers to another 6 months in limbo!