First I would like to say that a rushed 15 minute meeting at which barely anything is presented on ANYONE's part (social workers, mom's lawyer, dad's lawyer, Lizzy's lawyer) is ridiculous to me. Yet, I assume this is normal. I hate that. This last hearing was pathetic and even though after reading the court documents I see that what my worker had "hoped" for was pretty much been accomplished I am horrified that that is the way in which these cases are treated. I would like to point out that no one mentioned the fact that Lizzy was taken away 18 months ago. Nope, no one cares. With a scroll of the pen she was basically sentenced to 3 more months in foster care when they set the next court hearing for the normal 3 months later. Who cares if she is in foster care for 2 years. Truly, who cares?
Secondly, the lack of ANYONE taking the lead and stating some of the obvious "problems" that are going on was pathetic. My (Lizzy's) social worker did a terrible job and it was only towards the end that Lizzy's lawyer spoke up and laid a few things on the table that NO ONE questioned or even commented on. I am glad that he did make sure people heard them and that they were recorded as being said, but it is amazing that someone can say "Realistically this man has only shown up for 20% of his visits" and basically everyone acts like "What do you expect?" I know they are used to this, but I have still not crossed over into the world of "Being a crap-tastic parent is normal" land.
I walked out of there and called my husband crying. I was so upset, I was convinced that it looked more like Legal Dad could get her than just about anything else and I, after everything else I have seen my other kids go through, was convinced at that moment that these kids are cursed to have the worst fate possible.
I know that is dramatic, but I have to say that so far in my experience I have seen:
-A child returned to a home where she constantly was saying she was being molested.
-A child removed from an abusive adoptive home and then adopted into a family that was rushed, blindfolded into finalizing an adoption that was not a good fit for them and now is just living with it because it is the right thing to do.
-A child that is forced to do visits with a dad even when she is screaming in such terror that her face turns blue.
-2 little girls given back to a mom who didn't visit them for 6 months and literally changed nothing about her life, but because 2 states couldn't get along and work out something to keep them safe they were thrown right back into what they were taken out of.
THAT has been my experience with foster care. I have not seen children "saved", I have seen children hurt. So, forgive me if my out look on Lizzy's case is not good.
After reading through the court report I do see that the court said "Go ahead and write the petition". That is the next step and it will be interesting to see what that leads to. I just don't have any high hopes for a fast resolution to this issue, that is for sure. I was beyond hesitant to even say I was willing to adopt Lizzy, as if me uttering the words would almost seal her fate to be handed to the worst option she had. I don't know what will happen. I am not desperate to adopt this child. I love her and want what is best for her, but I am not where I was 2 years ago. I have seen the worst and have come to the point where I know that it is ok that I don't understand why God puts these kids where HE does, but it doesn't matter. He is God and I am not and I take much comfort in that. I do trust HIM, even if it means me handing this child over to a man I would not even let touch my biological children-ever.
It's not easy, but it isn't about me. It's not about what I think is right. It is about trusting HIM.