Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seek justice... Defend the fatherless

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

Throughout this whole foster care adventure, I’ve tried to have a hands-off mentality.  I truly believe that God will give us the forever child that we are meant to have and I don’t want to intervene and mess things up.  Lately though, I’ve been really stressed about the way that they have been treating Little Miss.  She has become nothing more than a number to some higher ups and they have been pushing for something that any sane person can see is a bad idea.  I’m not just talking about sending her to birth parents that I don’t like.  It’s much worse than that.  And to make matters worse, the people who are supposed to advocate for her either didn’t care or were being silenced.  So, after much prayer and a phone call from gotandem with a verse I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for 2 weeks, I felt like I was supposed to speak up for her.

That brings us to today when I found myself in court, terrified at the prospect of speaking to the judge but feeling like I had no choice.  For those of you who have never been to family court, let me tell you it’s chaotic.  Well, today was my only experience with it so maybe it’s not normally that bad.  But today at least, court was chaotic.  There were all these backroom deals going on and negotiating and the judge calling everyone back to a little room to talk about what each party wanted.  Fortunately, we have a great agency and an awesome caseworker who stayed with me the whole time and advocated for Little Miss to all the big players.  The actual hearing only lasted maybe 10 minutes but we were there for 2 ½ hours.  In the end, they decided against what they were planning… for now at least.  We have another court date in April and I think we’ll know more about the long term then but we have gained some powerful allies who plan to fight for her to stay in our family.

So, I learned that family court is chaotic and long and confusing… and sad.  It’s sad because no matter who wins, there is always a loser.  There is someone on the wrong end of the verdict who has to come to grips with the fact they are running out of chances and there really is no one else to blame but themselves.  Even worse is when there are kids that lose.  Little Miss has 4 half siblings that lost big today.  They went woke up this morning in kinship care (staying with a relative) and tonight they are foster children.  There was screaming and crying and this feeling like their world was falling apart because really it was. 

I remember the day they brought Little Miss to me.  She was dirty and hurt, confused and terrified with a vacant look in her eyes.  She cried for hours before she finally fell asleep.  She didn’t speak for about two weeks.   She was traumatized more than her little mind could process.  She’s a completely different child these days.  The fear is gone for her but it is escalating for the others.  So, tonight when I prayed with Little Miss, we thanked God for keeping her safe in our home but we said an extra prayer for her brothers and sisters.  Tonight I know there is some other foster mom trying to help 4 other kids believe that there is still hope.  I pray God gives her the right words to say.  Tonight, I pray that those children can find peace when they close their eyes.  I’m still praying for a perfect ending for Little Miss’s story but tonight I’m praying for 4 new foster children.  Please join me in that.