We arrived in Beaumont at 2 am and got up bright and early to be at the courthouse at 8 am. I'm still tired thinking about it. So as we are sitting outside the courtroom waiting for it to begin, up walks the CASA supervisor from A's case. She came over and said hi and asked why we were there. When we told her, she said "I was just assigned this case yesterday and I was hoping someone had contacted you". She was surprised that we knew about it immediately but was happy we were involved. She went to speak with the attorney to let her know that we were there and interested. We waited a few minutes longer and then we saw our CASA volunteer walk up. She was amazing during A's case and was there for this case as well. We had gone into this with no agency help so it was nice to see some familiar faces to help us along. As we were standing in the hallway talking about the case and what to expect, grandma walks up (bio dads mom). I recognized her instantly although I had only met her once almost 4 years ago. She did not recognize me. I was not surprised.
We entered the courtroom and the anxiousness of the unknown washed over me just as it had every time we were there for A. Our case was the 2nd one called. The attorney announced that the parents were not "available" to be in court but that we were the adoptive parents of her sibling and interested in placement. She also reminded the judge that the sibling (A) case took place in his court and the parental rights had been terminated. Depending on the reasoning behind the termination, this case may be handled as an "aggravated case". She also let him know that we had since moved away and that we were reopening our home for this child if that's the direction they were going. CASA then stepped in to tell the judge that A was doing well and that she had kept up with us over the years.
Not much happened after that. The little girl will remain with the current foster family and we patiently wait for a letter to let us know the next meeting. Since parents are not directly involved, we will have a group meeting with CPS and grandma to discuss next steps for this little girl. We spoke with grandma briefly outside the courtroom. She said that she was grateful that A was doing so well and understood why we were there.
We left with as much knowledge as we came in with. Not much. I should have known not to have any expectations of this initial hearing. He heard everyone and then a plan will be made. This is the hardest part of everything. The waiting. The unknown. The hardest part of fostering is not having control and then ONE DAY your life changes forever. It's also the most rewarding in some cases.
I'll continue to update as I gain information. Please continue to pray for everyone involved...especially the judge and CPS case workers to make a decision that is best for this little girl and patience for me and Chase!