Permanency Hearing was last week. I didn't post about it because I was too annoyed, and it would have been a very short post.
When we go to court, we get scanned by security and take the elevators to the Family Court floor. You walk into a big lobby and check in at a desk with your judge's bailiff. Then you wait to be called into court.
Last week I walked up to that desk knowing full well that nothing was going to get done that morning. Mom had asked to teleconference in, so they couldn't make any big decisions on her end. Then the day before court, Dad checked into an inpatient program and wouldn't be able to attend, so the judge wouldn't have said anything concerning him. Still, these permanency hearings need to happen every 6 months and I felt like it would say something that I was the only one in court for Baby 4 that day.
I gave the bailiff the case name and she told me that the judge "was not in" today and everything had been rescheduled to June 4th. Really?! So I just paid $6 for parking and $30 for babysitting and put on pantyhose for the judge that "was not in"?
Turns out though, this week, I'd gladly go to court in pantyhose everyday as long as nothing happens.
Today, 4's caseworker came over for a homevisit. She gave me the date of the rescheduled permanency hearing to be sure we both had it right. I asked her if she knew what had happened last week. Turns out our Judge got into a car accident the day before our hearing and had to have reconstructive surgery on her nose (Read: I'm a terrible person for being mad at her last week). While she's recovering, all of her cases have been sent to Judge "Foster Parent's Worst Nightmare" 's court
And my heart exploded.
Judge FPWN has been in our county's family court forever. She is very openly anti-adoption. We have kids that she has kept in care for 7 years and then sends them home. There have been relatives who have never laid eyes on the child (who has been with the foster family since birth) and they've been sent to the relative resource. A friend of mine had a bio who wanted to surrender and let the foster family adopt, and Judge FPWN would not let her relinquish- wouldn't take the surrender.
Everytime I've complained to someone at the county about Baby 4's case, they've always laughed and joked, "You can be thankful you have your judge and not Judge FPWN!!"
And now we do.
She will absolutely send Baby 4 to Relative Resource if she hears the case. It would be huge win for her because when the case was in the media, the news reports made RR sound like a saintly victim. They also made Baby 4 sound like a paraplegic who would never walk or talk again- and that's the furthest from the truth. All Judge FPWN would need is for Relative resource to get on a local channel and say that she's grateful to have her baby back after the evil foster system kept him away for so long, and Judge FPWN would definitely get voted in for another term. Because nobody fact checks- not reporters or voters- and they wouldn't know that 4 would be uprooted from everything he's ever known and moved into a new state, home, school, Dr, and culture if RR gets custody.
The caseworker said she thinks that Judge FPWN may just adjourn all of our judge's cases until she heals and gets back. I hope so. Even more than that, I hope our Judge's nose heals before June 4th- which I think is totally doable.
Foster Care never let's me forget to stay on the edge of my seat. At least we can relax a couple of weeks before getting nervous again.
I really do still love this blog even though it's been a bit neglected recently. I'm working on a post for later this week about telling your preschooler what rehab is... Stay Tuned.