You may wonder how with four placements and almost a year and a half of fostering, I had yet to go court as a foster parent. Well, two of our placements were so brief that either we didn't get to any court dates we felt we should attend. With Pterodactyl, B did go to court, but I stayed home and just heard secondhand.
But with B having a new job and wanting to avoid time off for a little while, and with the complexity of Cricket's case, I wanted to go this time. Even though it was likely nothing big would happen, as the court date crept closer, I thought about it a lot. I was a bundle of nerves. How can I attend court and it not be extremely awkward with the bio parents? Doesn't it make it look like we're against them, or clucking our tongues at their mistakes? When I got there, CPS people were in the hallway chatting and gossiping. Can I just go in that official-looking courtroom? Are they waiting for a reason? Finally I asked and was assured I could just go in, where I found just Cricket's mom waiting by herself at that moment.
Thankfully, small talk with Cricket's mom was positive, and it reassured me that we have a pretty good relationship so far. Small talk with her dad was more limited for time, and I'm less sure of where we stand, but I hope I came off as friendly and non-threatening.
It was an intense experience for me emotionally, just because I can't help but imagine myself in the shoes of everyone there and what they're going through. I felt drained and shaky afterward, and I didn't have to do anything, and nothing significant changed for us! I am glad I went, though I might send B the next time, or try to go together.
So, we keep on keeping on. There's nothing in the works for Cricket to move anywhere, but as I know, that could always change, even before the next court date. I continue to pray for a miracle for Cricket and her sister to be together, especially after hearing how her sister is struggling and how she connects it back to missing Cricket. We will see.