I am entirely too emotional to be writing anything about any of this. But...this is where I recorded our journey and if I don't write, I'll forget the details. I'm the type of person that literally can't remember bad stuff that happened to them earlier in their life. I have holes in my memory. I know bad things have happened but I cannot recall the details most of the time to save my life.
I don't know why I want to remember this, but I do. So I'm going to write.
But it's not going to be pretty writing. The editing will probably suck. I'm not going to try and make some kind of a point. I'm just going to tell the story. I have no idea how many posts it will take. This is all 100% for me. I don't really know why I'm sharing it with the internet. I'm not sure this story paints a very good picture of foster care. And I know this particular chapter isn't going to bring any new families to CPS saying, "Sign me up! I wanna do what Cherub Mamma did!" But it's my story. Through it all I know we did what God called us to do. I know we did a good thing. Foster care gets a lot of things wrong. This case is no exception. But foster care is necessary. Maybe my story can just help someone through their own Hell...so they know they're not alone.
My alarm went off at 6:00AM. I rolled out of bed about 10 minutes later. I stepped over TT who was sleeping on the floor next to my bed. He was so nervous about court that he couldn't be far away from me. Sleep is so hard for TT when he is stressed.
Clothes had been picked out for the Dude and Dolly the night before. I woke them up just before 7:00AM and everyone started getting ready. Dude and Dolly had cereal for breakfast. They had cereal every morning for breakfast. I still smile when I remember how incredibly excited they were their first morning here when I offered them milk on their cereal. It was almost like they had never had milk before coming to our house and the utter delight was almost painful to watch. Dolly would sit in her chair every morning and say, "Leche Dude...we get leche!!!!" She was just thrilled to be getting milk ON her cereal. It was like I was giving them the best treat ever.
At about 7:45 I walked Herman to a neighbor's house. Our family actually suffered a rather significant stress on Sunday the 22nd concerning some decisions Herman has been making lately. I'm not going to share his story on here right now but it was serious and Herman could not be trusted to stay home alone all day Monday. My neighbor had agreed to watch Herman and help with some of the repairs that needed to be made.
We got to another foster family's home at about 8:10AM. My support system has somewhat disappeared and I don't have anyone close that can babysit TT and Bart. Court is too far away for them to stay home alone. They fight like crazy with Herman. I needed someone else to watch them. I didn't want them in court. (Praise God the family agreed. I cannot imagine the fallout if they had been in the courtroom to hear the news first hand.) Anyway, I dropped off TT and Bart, made small talk for just a bit and then we headed off for court.
Amazingly enough, there was almost no traffic as we drove west. We hit the town we needed to be in early. We stopped at WalMart to kill a few minutes. I bought Dude a bunch of new underwear. Exciting stuff to pick out Spiderman for your butt. :) I also let each child pick out a pair of new shoes.
Then it was off to court.
You cannot imagine what it's like. I can't even bring a purse in. No handbags of any kind are allowed. I had a binder with a notepad in it. I had a couple pieces of documentation in case anyone needed it. I had a couple ink pens for Dude and Dolly to use if they wanted to draw. I even brought Dolly's spelling words for her to write so she wouldn't be behind on homework this week.
We walked through the metal detectors and upstairs to where CPS court is held. There wasn't a chair available in the waiting area outside the courtroom so we sat against the wall on the floor. It's humiliating. It's degrading. The room was full of parents, foster parents and children waiting for their cases to be called.
We sat there for about half an hour. Ms. Colorado came in and filed the petition to terminate parental rights. I saw her pass a check across the counter and to the county. I know I'm responsible for the amount of money on that check. I wasn't nervous though. Everything was as it should be. Just shy of 10:30AM we went in to the courtroom to wait.
I'll write more later. These are going to be long posts. It was a long, long day.