Today I took Baby F to go be with her mom at her court hearing. I wasn't sure what the hearing was for exactly, but knew that some jail time for E was a possible result. I went because I was very curious about the process and also because I wanted to show my support for E and for her to get to be with her baby in case the jail time was immediate.
Like most things governmental, it was hurry up and wait. Well, mostly just waiting. After about an hour of us waiting outside the court room, her court-appointed attorney came out and pulled her aside and chatted with her some. She told us it was about the deal he was going to propose to the prosecutor. Then, about 30 minutes later, he came out, went over some legalese with her, then took her into the court room. They came out a few minutes later and disappeared around a corner as she mouthed something about a blood test. Then I had to leave to go to another appointment.
I was a little disappointed, because I didn't get to go in and find out what the outcome was. I think she's going to do some jail time over the next 3 weekends, but I'm still not really sure what for. I guess it's none of my business.
I'm proud of her for owning up to her mistakes and taking responsibility. I'm sad that she will have this on her record. I know how society looks at people who have criminal records, because I am part of that society. I wish I had spent more time in my life around people like this. I think I would have more compassion. I am getting it now, but the raw humanity of these people smacked me in the face today, and it wasn't pleasant.
People-watching outside this court room was not nearly as fun as people-watching at a mall or airport. These people aren't getting what they want and they're not going anywhere good. They were mostly minorities, wearing desperate faces, every shoulder tensed and every brow furrowed.
I tried to bury my face in the book I'm reading about a guy who made a difference somewhere else in the world (Stones Into Schools, the follow up to Three Cups of Tea- very, very good!), but I couldn't escape the screech-like desire to get out of there.
People are giving us alot of praise and adulation for doing this foster care thing, and I probably would do the same if it was someone else. But, the truth is, we are just a tiny link in the chain. I'm not minimizing the effect we're having on Baby F and E, but there are people who are out there all day long working in the trenches for thousands of people like them. Social workers, police officers, guidance counselors, therapists, court appointed attorneys, court appointed special advocates, and so on and so on. We've got nothing on them. And I am so proud of those of you, my friends, who are in these types of careers.
Though my relatively short experience in my courtside seat left me with a bitter taste in my throat, it was good for me. It was what I needed to snap out of this fluffy-pink induced haze I get into cuddling with Baby F on my comfy couch in my warm, well-decorated home.
If I don't have the stomach to be around people exactly as they are and love and accept them as such, I don't have the heart to help them get someplace better.
Ok- tomorrow I'm going to write something fun or funny, cause this one was depressing, but it's just another part of the journey we're on. Thanks for coming along.