Sunday, August 12, 2012

Court Part III

Here is the rest of the story continued from Part I and Part II.

As I write this, we have had the news for four days that ALISA is free now.  After all of these court proceedings, the judge signed the order for her fathers rights to be terminated.  Now, we just wait for twenty-some-odd days more to see if her dad, Y, appeals the decision.  Considering he did not stay for the trial, I don't really see that happening, but we never know.

After Alisa's (so GLAD I don't have to remember to not spell out her whole name!) testimony, there were seven other witnesses that took the stand, including me- but more on that later.  The first two witnesses were DFCS workers, one of which had known Y since he was 10!  So she gave a brief history of what his early life had been like.  Knowing some of his personal details, and also seeing how C's family was during the proceedings, really made us feel like we were dropped into the lives of these three wonderful children at just the right time.  A time where the cycles of poverty, fatherless-ness, addiction, and family violence were about to be repeated with our children. 
I would be remiss to not point out a thought that David had during this time.  Exodus 20:4-6, generational "curses" or more modernly, your family's junk that somehow affects you even into adulthood, seem to be passed down to the 3rd and 4th generations.  For example, our children are 3rd generation orphans/ foster children on both C's and Y's side; they have hearing impairments, 3rd generation; and then there is the poverty issue that most likely goes back at least 4 generations.  HOWEVER, the good things, those in their family line who did love the Lord, these could be 1000s of people!  Thousands of generations of good qualities that can overcome all the things that our children will struggle with over the years to come!
This has been such a comfort to us lately, and most likely will be over the years when we struggle with things we do not understand- trials and behaviors, rearing their ugly heads in adolescence, adulthood, or even next week, that may have come from their old life.

Back to the hearing.  After the DFCS workers gave their testimony, Brandy took the stand.  Brandy has been as constant as anyone could be for the children.  She works with a ministry that coaches parents, transports foster children, provides training for parents trying to get their children back.  Her goal is reunification with birth parents.  So to have her say wonderful things about me and David, and recommend us over the birth father was such a blessing.  She also is super detail oriented and her notes were subpenaed. So all Y's acting out during visits, or his giving our allergic children their allergens- on purpose!- was all well documented and brought up during court.

The hearing was very one sided and mostly went as follows:  The DFCS attorney would question a witness (one of which was called to further the point that Y's parental rights should be terminated).  Then opposing counsel- which turned out to be an oxymoron because they all recommended rights be terminated during their closing arguments!- could question the witness.  This turned out to be great though, because anything the DFCS attorney missed the GAL would drive home; and anything the two of them missed, Alisa's other attorney would then be sure to bring up.

The whole experience was very "pro-us getting the kids", but it was EXHAUSTING.  I gave my testimony last at the request of the GAL, who had questioned me earlier in the month.  Thankfully, it was just the GAL who asked me questions.  I was a fumbling witness, saying things like "mmmhmmm" instead of a clear "yes" and being asked to answer clearly for the court reporter!  But no matter, I didn't feel by that point that anything rested on my shoulders that would determine Alisa's fate.  I talked about how much we love them, and yes, we could provide for them, etc. 
That was it, so we went home to our questioning kids!  Well, mainly Alisa had a ton of questions.  What I thought would be a huge relief of a day after the events of the morning had turned into "oh, now we have all this other stuff to deal with" by the evening.  I was absolutely worn out from it all! 

But more on all that, I leave you with a couple family pics that I am FINALLY able to post :)


R.A. said...

YAY! YAY! God is SO good! He was SO good to give you these sweet babies...and to give them you! YAY!!

Buddy and Maurine said...

Amen! He has been so good to us that we cannot tell it all!!

Artsy Fartsy said...

Love following your blog! I am so happy for you and David, Eryn! Love you girl!