Little Sweet Pea had a permanency review hearing this week. It was quite a surprise, actually, because it had been canceled the week before. The caseworker said she didn't know why. Then she called last minute and said, I need you at the courthouse for a hearing for Sweet Pea's brothers, just so the courts can see Sweet Pea, as they must every 6 months, since hear hearing was canceled. You can leave right after they see her. No need to stay. So, off Sweet Pea and I went to the courthouse. A caseworker called me into the hallway to talk before the boys' hearing. Two prison guards came walking by with a cuffed and shackled inmate in an orange jumpsuit. I didn't think twice as this happens on a regular basis in the courthouse. But then, my mouth about hit the floor when I realized it was Sweet Pea's bio father! He looked at me and out of my shock and nervousness I blurted out "Hi, (his name)". He said "Hi." Then walked away, then must have realized who I was and stopped, turned around and did a double take at me, then Sweet Pea. The guards pulled him away. I didn't understand why he was there. The caseworker said, "I was trying to shield you from him. Why did you say hi?" I said, "Well, I'm obviously going to be in the courtroom with him anyway, so what's the difference?" So, we go in to courtroom, no one dismisses me. Bio Dad not in there. I sit through court for the brothers. Everyone gets up to leave. Judge says, where's everyone going? Sweet Pea has a review hearing. Everyone says, no. It was canceled last week. We don't have anything on our agenda for her hearing. Judge said inmate dad is here, everyone's here, we're having a hearing. Recess. We go outside...Sweet Pea's caseworker called off that day, so her supervisor was filling in. Knew nothing about her case. Agency attorney on vacation-sub attorney filling in. Knows nothing about her case. So, they both sit me down and do a 2 minute grill down on me of the case. I tell them Dad is criminal with serious charges against him and I don't want to be in courtroom for him to focus his angst onto me. They agree, and I sit outside and wait. Court starts. 5 minutes later, prison guard opens door and says they are bringing bio dad out and do I want to leave the room so I don't have to encounter him. Yes. I leave room. Go to different waiting room. Wait 15 minutes. No one gets me. I go back to courtroom. It's empty. No one bothered to tell me what happened after hearing. I go up the stairs, and Sweet Pea's GAL is coming down. He stops me and says that Bio Dad asked to see Sweet Pea for a visit during hearing that day. GAL told him no. I said that's good cause he's only ever seen her twice and not since she was 2 months old. Never requested another visit, and has aggravated circumstances granted against him. Hearing was fast, he said. Nothing changed. Termination of parental rights scheduled in near future. So, that was my crazy, unexpected permanency review hearing. Never plan for a straight simple route in your foster adoption journey. There are many bumps, twists, and turns along the road.
Blessings, my dear readers,
The Queen Mama