Monday, March 16, 2009
Contested Termination Trial begins- prayers would be most welcome!
So, tomorrow the contested termination trial for Boo's case begins in the afternoon. I am testifying within the second hour of the trial.
I'm nervous and scared. I'm nervous about being on the stand, facing Boo's mom, knowing that I'm praying that we get to keep her. I feel compassion for this woman, knowing she's had a hard life, but I still want her daughter to become our daughter. Such conflicting emotions there.
I'm scared about what the final outcome of this trial will bring. So much is at stake. The fate of this precious little girl rests in the hands of one man, the judge. What will he decide?
Boo has been with us for a 13 months now. We love her as if she was our own. We know that legally she is not but that hasn't stopped us from loving her and welcoming her into our family. That hasn't stopped our 4 year old son from considering her his little sister. That hasn't stopped her from believing that we are her Mommy and Daddy and that Snuggle Bug is her big brother and that all the extended family and friends that support us love her nearly as much as we do.
Boo has been in the system as a foster child for 20 1/2 months now. I want her to be done being a foster child. I want her just to be our daughter and to start living a "normal" life.
Please, all you prayer warriors, please say prayers for our family these next 3 days. And if you don't mind spreading the word and asking for even more prayers, I'd sure appreciate it.
I'll try to post updates as I can, so stop back.
Thank you for all of your on-going support! It's meant a lot to us!
I survived the first day of court, but barely. I entered the courtroom at the appropriate time and the judge asked all those called to be witnesses to stand and be sworn in as a group. I stood up and got sworn in. Then he told all of us but the first witness to leave the courtroom and remain out until it was our turn. I was second to last to testify so I had to sit out until the last hour and a half.
Finally I was called to testify. The state attorney asked me a lot of questions about how long Boo has been with us, what our family was like, what challenges we'd experience after Boo arrived and how we'd tried to work through those challenges, if we'd fostered in the past, if we understood our role as foster parents in relation to reunification efforts, and how committed we were to Boo (would we adopt her)?
I answered all the questions honestly and thoroughly. Then the judge surprised me by asking me to explain the relationship between Boo and Snuggle Bug and I explained how they've gotten to be quite close, that they were nearly inseparable, how Boo followed Snuggle Bug everywhere, how she imitated him, and how if they were apart they each asked constantly where the other one was. I admitted that they had normal sibling squabbles but overall they placed quite nicely together.
The judge then asked me if Snuggle Bug referred to Boo as his little sister. I explained that we had been careful not to refer to Boo as Snuggle Bug's little sister in front of him, knowing that she was a foster child and that the initial goal was reunification and she might be leaving. But over time Snuggle Bug took it upon himself to start calling her his little sister and that he believed her to be his little sister.
So, the only two questions the judge asked me was to get a better idea of how she related to our son and our family. I found that somewhat promising.
At the end of court, Boo's mom approached me with tears in her eyes and thanked me for taking care of her little girl. She said it broke her heart to hear all that Boo had been through before getting to our family and how it affected her. She said she was glad that we were willing to take such good care of her. I teared up a bit myself at that and explained that we loved Boo and only wanted what was best for her and then I was called away to talk to the CPS worker.
Tomorrow is a full day of trial. It's draining, listening to all of the history of this case coming out. I'm not looking forward to another 7 hours of it. I just want it over! I'm sick to my stomach at what the final result will be. This judge is hard to read.
Keep those prayers coming, please!