Thursday, February 5, 2015

Highlights from court

I'm not going to say outright why my current cherubs came in to Care. I have a feeling that over time, as I blog about the kids, most people will figure out the gist of things. But for now, because this case is so high profile, I'm leaving the main details out. Bear with me.

That makes it harder to report about court. All I can really do is go over the highlights.

Although I am tempted to report all that happened. Court is open here in Texas. Any of y'all could have been sitting in the gallery and heard everything.

Still. I must protect myself and my cherubs.

This case looks like it's going to be the usual foster care circus. There are multiple siblings, five in all. Four of them most likely have the same father. The youngest of the group has a different daddy.

But because the bio dad to my kids is not together with the bio mom and hasn't been for years, we'll have to work with separate visits, case plans and all that jazz.

My biggest complaint today is that young cherubs are required to go to court where I live. There were so many adults there (investigators, social workers, lawyers, etc.), two foster families and all the cherubs. Little kids, especially, do not need to be caught up in all that drama. The bio dad to my kids (hmmm...let's call him Schmee) seemed very appropriate. But Bio Mom (let's call her Wendy) was super, super emotional. She really should have been given a chance to have a visit outside of court and then deal with court without the children there. Lawyers should have contacted me outside of court as should have social workers.

But that's not how it's done down here.

Even worse, people that have been charged with capital crimes are still brought to CPS court down here. More than once I've seen adults in orange and chains being brought in to CPS hearings. At Daisy's last court hearing they even cleared out part of a tiny (seats 20 maybe) waiting area so a mom could have a "visit" with her kids.

Children don't need to see people in orange jump suits and chains.

I detest System induced trauma!!!

Captain is too stoic. He started to cry and then just grabbed those emotions by the balls and shoved them back down. In general, he refuses to act like he's scared, or sad, or upset or anything. (Though when the man in orange walked through the waiting room Captain's eyes sure did bug out. I had to assure him that he is safe.)

Captain needs therapy with a good therapist that will get him to open up.

Pirate cried. Especially when Wendy cried and cried and cried.

Tinkerbell seemed happy to see familiar faces but was totally fine with the goodbye. She hasn't acted different at all today.

I'm wiped. Compassion fatigue is very, very real.

This afternoon though I managed to muster up the energy to go watch Ricky in the Regional dive meet an hour away from my house. It wasn't easy. And I questioned my sanity more than once. Taking five restless kids to a dive meet isn't exactly a piece of cake. But it was super awesome to be there in person to see Ricky win 4th place! Next year I bet he makes it to the State championship for sure!!


kate said...

So glad these cherub have you! Are the other two sibs together?

Re: food--
I have an internationally adopted daughter so have lots of research and first-hand experience on food issues. I would make what he wants for breakfast and put what he doesn't eat in a clear container (so he can see it's still there) and leave it on the table if it's non-perishable or put it in the 'fridge. I'd let that be his snack later in the morning.

It sounds like he's been food deprived in the past or that there is other trauma surrounding food. You might try having a container of food that is HIS that he can snack from anytime. He may eat and eat and eat. He may just take comfort in knowing that food is available anytime. It needs to be somewhere he can see it. Just telling him that he can have a piece of fruit whenever he asks is not the same. He needs to have control over the food.

I know there are people who dismiss--or, worse, argue with-- food as "just being a control issue". Goodness, gracious! Don't you think these kiddos NEED to feel a little control?

VJ said...

To the commenter above - we had other foster parents talk about how they "don't let kids be in charge of food," etc. as if they are just being brats. Malnutrition and food-related neglect seriously messes with your brain. It made me SO MAD that other foster parents couldn't consider that!

I'm really glad you have a good system with the clear container always available. Our toddler had major food insecurity issues and we would let her eat as much as she wanted to at designated meal and snack times. She could ask for "more" infinitely (didn't have much language) but after the main dish it was just all vegetables, all the time. I figure, kids never get obese eating kale, and if she doesn't want her choice of a vegetable spread, she's not truly hungry. The mealtime tantrums decreased a lot after we started that procedure, though once she began overnights with her mom, we were right back where we started :/

Anonymous said...

Could the children's doctor write a note stating being present in the room with the accused abuser is detrimental to their mental health and request that the children be present at court acknowledged by the judge and then sequestered in... perhaps the judge's office with a supervisor... to prevent additional trauma?
Wishfully trying to prevent increased trauma.

Anonymous said...

I have a perfect quilt for Tinkerbell that I just finished. I will be happy to send it to you on Monday.

Lucy said...

Hi CherubMama. I have been reading your blog from start to finish and I have to say THANK YOU for being so honest and so real! My husband and I are in the midst of an international adoption and plan to get our foster care licenses within the next couple years. I feel that your blog has opened my eyes more than any other resource to what life might be like when we do. I love your heart for kids from hard places and your willingness to put in the hard work and get hurt if it means keeping one child safe and loved. You rock!