Obviously, I can't go in to too many details. But, court went well and the Judge was THRILLED that Lil J was represented by his foster parent. I guess even though foster parents are entitled to be there, most do not show up, some only submit a letter, some just leave it up to the case worker.
The mom's attorney was going to use this court date to ask to have him moved, so you know DAMN sure I was going to be there.
I submitted a letter and attached some pics and the judge was impressed that I put so much thought into the letter and liked that I included photos.
The letter included any issues that Lil J had when he first arrived and how we were working on those issues. I also included things like what he does during the day, that he is a joy, gets along with my 14 yr old, transition is going well, and if the case went to adoption that we would LOVE to have him as a legal family member.
I knew there was a possiblilty that I would not be allowed in the courtroom for long, maybe just to make a statement. But, I was allowed in there for the whole 6.5 minuite "hearing" - I will explain in a minute.
Some funny/awkward/bizzare things happened today.
1 - I got there about an hour early, the court house is about an hour away and with morning traffic it could take MUCH longer, so I gave myself plenty of time.
I pull into a parking space and hear a knock on my window.......it is his mother!!! Holy crap, how do I not talk to her for the next hour. I start to freak out. Yes, I have met the mother before, yada yada yada, but I did not want to be in conversation with her until court. I said hello, etc and then when she looked away for a second, I pretended to answer my phone. Yeah, I know, bad - but whatever. She told me she had to find her attorney and I took that chance to move my car around the corner lol.
I had to move my car anyway because the spot I was in was only a 1 hour spot, and I knew we would be in there for more than that and I did not want to have to leave to feed the meter. Plus, I did not want her to come out and start chatting with me.
2 - There are several cases scheduled at the same time, so I knew it was possible that we would have to wait a while. So, all of a sudden, the mother comes up to me and the caseworker and says, "yeah, um - just got a phone call. I have to leave. I have an emergency that I have to take care of" Now, mind you - she has no car, and would need to walk to the train station and get a train. The trains are not like a subway, so she could be waiting for a while for the next train. Also - she lives about 3-4 hours by train from the court house.
So, whatever was so important, she LEFT!!!!! But, get this, she tells us this, but does not tell her attorney. So, when we were finally called in, the attorney had no idea she was not coming back.
What the Hell!!!???? But, the judge is apparently very pro-parent, so he marked her as absent with an excuse. Because she was there at the court time.
I don't know, maybe it is just me - but I would NOT have left. Expecially since your only mode of transportation is a train that you do not even have a schedule for. If you had a car, maybe. Or maybe if you were not so far away. But, also - if it was a TRUE emergency, wouldn't you have told your attorney first????
So, because mom could not object to me being in the room, I was there for the whole thing.
Again, the Judge was happy that I was there, asked a few questions that the law guardian brought up, etc. Seriously, I spoke for about 30 seconds total. But, I am glad that I had the written statement :)
Next court date is um, my due date.....so I guess I will have to miss that one unless I deliver way early.
Oh - and the attorney did ask for the case to be moved and the judge said, OK, I will put the request in the file and will address it at another time.
So, overalll, it was a good day.