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Court is in the morning.

I filled out our court report tonight. It is an awkward document to fill out because it asks innocuous questions like: “how has the child adjusted to the new home, and are the expectations of the foster family being met?”

And so I try my best to answer in a way that would sound good being read aloud by the judge in court. (No pressure, right?)

And it all goes fine and dandy until the last two questions.

“What are your feelings regarding the Department’s current plan?”

Well, the department’s current plan is reunification.

Let’s see. How do I feel about a child that I have loved and cared for for 5 months being taken out of my arms and placed with bio parent that has either been abusive or negligent in some capacity?

Hmmm. Not good really.

But that is not my part to play. The sad woman who wants to scream “please don’t take my baby away!”

That’s the role of bio mom. She is the real mom. And she’s the one that had her child taken.

I am the foster mom. On the scale of Z’s development — I’m way up there on the scale. When it comes to the development of Z’s case, I know I’m right there on the bottom.

And so the ink flows … “We will support reunification if that’s what the court decides …”

I lie.

Well, I quasi lie.

I mean, it’s not really a lie. I will go along with their plan. I will kiss his little head good-bye and ball my eyes out forever when it’s time for him to go. I’ll likely stay up at night worrying. I’ll likely just about die from missing him.

But I will do it. I’ll “support” the plan.

And then the open-ended question:

“is there anything else case/child specific you want the court to consider.”

Heck yes, there is.

“This child has been given a second chance at life — don’t screw it up.”

“Please please please please please let him stay. Don’t send him to an unsafe home!”

These are things I feel, but don’t write.

Instead, I tell the court that Z deserves permanency. He deserves to be safe, and loved, and stable. And that he deserves permanency as soon as possible … Whether that’s with bio family or an adoptive placement.
It is a strange thing to hold a kid ao tight in your heart, but keep your hands wide open to whatever the court decides.