I am desperately trying not to become jaded by the system. Not to become one of those foster parents and by that I'm not referring to the evil dangerous ones of which I will never be but one of those who are tired of fighting the system.
Our kids deserve better. They deserve to have someone to fight on their behalf. They NEED it.
Oh but It. Is. So. Hard.
Last week we finally learned the (initial) fate of our #16's siblings. I'm told in a text message that court did not go well, that the judge finally ruled on the 14 day hearing (8 weeks later) and with no other rationale the kids were ordered back to the home they were removed from. I do not know this home. I do not know the family. I just know what everyone has described to me. This is not a safe place for "my" kids to be.
There is now nothing that can be done about it (in the natural world). Judge has ruled. Despite whatever evidence there was to remove the judge has decided it wasn't enough. Who knows what the reason was. I wish I could tell you what I have been told about this place. You would be furious. I will tell you that it involves multiple dangerous scenarios in the same house, any one of which would warrant removal in many situations. These kiddos have now lived without any family of their own for 2 months only to be sent back to the place they were "saved" from to begin with. With all of that said, the investigating agency isn't left with much choice.
Now it must escalate far worse than it was in the past to get ANY help to those kids. My guess is that there will be no services - the department can't give the perception of harassing the family now that the judge ordered the removal to be unwarranted (for whatever reason). So if there was drug abuse or domestic violence or mental health issues - all of it can be left unchecked, unsupported, unhealed. The kids would be left amidst it all. If it got slightly worse - maybe they're left outside in the cold for a while, they show up to school dirty and hungry, they start showing up to school irregularly - there won't be anything the department can do? Afterall - it will only go back to the same judge who will do the same thing and send them back. Again. It will have to escalate to violence toward the children. Battered. Bruised. Bloody. Probably multiple times. Much quieter, deep neglect. Even then...
I have been praying for these children since I knew they existed. I've been praying they could be all together, including #16. I've been praying they could come live with us. Am I disappointed? Yes, of course, I wish they could be at our home, all together, one big happy family.
But as foster care goes...
I am not even worried about my feelings. The sadness I thought would be there for "losing" these children has been non-existent or at least greatly dwarfed by the feeling of despair and fear I have for these children. I am genuinely concerned for them. My heart hurts for them.
On paper adoption with us looks better for #16 when the siblings are where they are today. The reality though is that with the judge's ruling as it was the future for baby baby may not be so bright either. There will be pressure. It will be a fight like none other to keep this child safe. I don't even care anymore (well, I suppose I do some) whether they end up with us or not.
I just want to go to sleep at night knowing their safe, loved, and provided for.
I wish that wasn't too much to ask.
It isn't too much for the One who holds the world in his hands. Please join us in praying for these siblings who desperately need miraculous intervention and everyone else in the world who through no fault of their own are victims of injustice. They don't have to stay there...