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Tomorrow is the start of a scary week…

Yes, tomorrow is a really scary day around here. Tomorrow is day one (of we don’t know how many) of the jury trial for Zoe’s birthmom to try to take away her rights, better known in the Foster care system as TPR (Terminating Parental Rights). Zoe has been with us since she was two days old, she is now 16 months old. We are the only moms she has ever known, even though she sometimes has her court appointed visit with her birthmom once a week for 2 hours (or until mom has had enough). I really have been putting this whole thing out of my head because it’s just too difficult to process.

I want to soothe my soul and say to myself, “Of course the jury will TPR, of course they will” But we don’t know that…and it’s that which is too painful to think about. Zoe has been a tremendously difficult baby, nothing like her brother. She had colic for the first 6-7 months of her life, cried 6 hours straight, ate every 1.5 hours and to this day continues to be a rather spirited child. We have made huge strides. But she quite honestly was the baby that made us see just how a horrible thing like shaken baby could happen. Because had we not been educated, patient people with a solid sense of restraint you could see where there is a slippery slope between being at your wits end and tired to shaking a baby. NOT that I condone it in any way but rather I understand how it happens in some cases. I still think it is horribly wrong.

I have had this tiny kernel of doubt in my head that says maybe she has been difficult, harder to bond with because she is not going to stay with us. And then I quickly stop  myself from thinking that because I am afraid that just by thinking it I will make it so…I have no doubt in my mind that Zoe would be dead had she been in her birth home when she was an infant.

Carter and Zoe are bonded, they are tight. They ask about each other (Zoe can’t talk yet but she motions to his empty car seat etc) and ask about each other when they are not together. They take each other snacks and milk…they share…and they fight. I worry not only for my relationship and my sanity if Zoe is reunited with her mother but for my legal son. I get sad thinking of the possibility of it and then I get angry.

I get angry that someone elses parental right can trump mine. That someone elses parental right can trump my sons right to his sister and to happiness.

Tomorrow I will go to court and sit outside of a closed courtroom, one that I am not privy to because it is family court. When Carters birthmom’s rights were terminated she didn’t even cry. She didn’t get mad…nothing. I will completely fall apart if things do not work out with this case.

I let myself think about the scariness for a bit before I turn it off as best I can. And I imagine what Zoe’s life would be like without us, back with her. I imagine her not eating well. Not getting the same attention. Not getting the same chances and opportunities in life. NOT getting the chance to reach her full potential. I don’t know how I would go on without her…not knowing how she would be doing, if she was warm, safe or with a full belly. And now I am crying because I am thinking for a minute of that possibility.

Mom has made some improvements and it’s really a matter of perspective regarding what someone, namely a jury, thinks is enough to be fit to parent. Turns out your parental rights are  your most protected of all civil rights. I really wish I could go to bed with enough faith in the judicial and childrens court system to say I knew for sure what would happen. But I don’t have that faith in the system.

Just last week we got an email from our new caseworker, she is leaving the department. In two years we have had 7 caseworkers. It is really a sad messed up system. And I really just want to be done with this part of it all. I never really felt a sigh of relief in knowing that Carter is officially ours because things are unfinished with Zoe. Our family is not complete without her. I could go on and on…bottom line is I don’t know what will happen but I know what I NEED to have happen.

Please think positive thoughts for us this week.

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