Monday, March 14, 2011

did kafka write this story?

It was court day today for Reign and her mom and all the support people with our official notices to appear. 8:30am sharp in the city to the north. I was awake at 5. Well, I didn't really get much sleep in any case.

Into the ribbed tights, the acceptable suit, the nice little boots, the sterling pendant. Cup of very strong tea, long journey through the forests under the dawn light.

In the corridors of justice we waited. And waited. And waited. I said hello to the paternal grandmother and the birth father. I hugged Reign's mom, I chatted with other support people. I watched the social workers gather, each holding reams of paper.

At last Eddiethepublicdefender darted from the stairwell into the room. Reams of paper in his arms too. He came directly to me and said "have you heard, we have a settlement". Ever skeptical I asked what the terms were, what was given, what was taken. As he started to tell me--Reign would go into state custody, but maybe someday her mom could have her, wasn't that nice, and the state would no longer charge the mother with starving her child, and...
As he started to tell me, as I was about to say something...well, I was so tempted to swear, but I am a ladylike soul--the CPS lady across from us said "Eddie, Eddie, we don't have a deal".

Consternation on the lawyer's face, confusion everywhere. Does this sound familar? Are we in some careful Noh play? Or perhaps it is a novel by Kafka?

The attorney for the birthfather stomped by saying to the father and his mother "I am shocked to even see you here, why are you here?" Heidi said "my granddaughter's life is on the line, why wouldn't I be here?"

And I looked at my midwife friend beside me and said "something is very wrong here; there is evil in this hall now".

She looked at me and did not disagree.

Into the courtroom for ceremonial announcements of who we were. Lawyer bluster. Confusion.

Afterwards I spoke with one of the CPS lawyers who informed me that they had grave concern over the mother's mental state and her ability to care for her baby and she needed to prove her ability. I said "I saw her and her baby daily during the first month and I have no doubts. It's a bit hard for her to demonstrate her mothering without a baby to mother." I said "don't you people realize there is a baby with a whole vast family and everyone is hurting now?"

He told me I was being unreasonably argumentative.

So there are more hearings to come. gut feeling? Reign is in state hands and due to be adopted. She will not know the story of how we fought for her. Her mother was poor, her mother was young, her mother was without shelter.

Those are crimes in our system. How can you fight that?

But yes, I'm still fighting.

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Blogger am said...

Reign and her mother continue to have that network of fierce love you spoke of earlier. Sending all my love to the growing family whose love Reign surely feels and will continue to feel.

"Almost everything you do will feel insignificant, but it is important that you do it." (Gandhi)

9:07 PM, March 14, 2011  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

True, at some level the fierce love around Reign will be part of her forever. And her mother just wrote something about the beautiful world and the starry skies and the beautiful people in it, for which she is forever grateful.
In the afternoon my midwife friend and I walked along the waterfront and talked with seagulls, and had a cup of coffee at a little bakery/coffee shop, where I also had a cookie shaped as a white sheep, feeding my inner four year old, much to my midwife friend's amusement. There are sweet moments. We go on.

10:29 PM, March 14, 2011  
Blogger Sandra said...

I have read Reign's story. I wonder how many of these stories unfold everyday and I never know? There is a fine line between protecting a child and abusing the parent.

5:57 AM, March 17, 2011  
Anonymous marly said...

I knew that I did not want to hear the next step! It is indeed Kafkaesque. I do not understand how this works when the grandparents as well as the parents wish to be involved.

1:08 PM, March 23, 2011  
Blogger Lucy said...

So sorry it's so heavy to bear.

Am I very cynical or wide of the mark in thinking that very new little white babies up for adoption are rather sought after?

6:43 AM, March 25, 2011  
Blogger Lucy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:43 AM, March 25, 2011  
Blogger Lucy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:44 AM, March 25, 2011  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

Lucy, yes, you are right. Not too cynical. There is in fact an adoptive family waiting. Meanwhile the actual grandmothers and the mother and the father are struggling through such a strange and impossible system. The grandmothers have no standing in court; the father has very little, and the mother is too trusting.
But she says when she saw Reign a couple days ago Reign laughed.

11:43 AM, March 25, 2011  
Blogger Anil P said...

Sad to read the account.

Can't the State let time do its thing, for haven't we heard of how children will redeem parents if given half a chance, and of how bonds grow stronger even if they've to survive a stumble or two!

9:32 AM, April 07, 2011  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

I'm definitely with Sandra on this. It just seems so very out of balance.

10:12 PM, April 08, 2011  

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