Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Static and Court

I can't stand driving J. O.'s truck.  It's big and it smells like a boy.  However, the thing that annoys me the most is the fact that he has an electrical problem he won't fix, so anytime he turns on the blinker or radio it screeches and makes this horrible loud noise.  I am one of those people who can't stand static on the radio or really loud noises, so this drives me crazy.  I am always reminding him when he takes people in his truck to not use the blinker unless absolutely necessary and leave his radio off.  J. O.'s solution is just to turn the radio up so loud that you can barely hear the screeching, but I know it's there.  It literally drives me crazy.

Anyway, so yesterday I was in J. O.'s truck because he had taken my car to have it cleaned out (he can't stand it when it gets too cluttered) and our plan was to meet at court and then we would switch back.  Well, after the first court hearing when I showed up so flustered and mentally unprepared, I have a sort of ritual when I head to court.  I leave way earlier than necessary and I like to listen to music and pray/sing the whole way.  I don't talk on the phone, I don't channel surf on the radio, but I simply turn the radio on and try to get my mind in the right place.  Well, yesterday I wasn't thinking about J. O. and his radio situation.  I got in the truck, turned on the radio and immediately it started sounding like I had a dying cat in the car.  It was awful.  I felt myself getting flustered and tried to turn the radio up louder to drown out the sound but that was just worse.  It was then, I remembered something I heard a long time ago.  I was listening to a CD my MIL gave me and the speaker talked about how at one point in her life she decided she was only going to listen to Christian music in the car.  Nothing else.  Then, she decided that she was only going to listen to speakers or sermons in the car because that was even better than the music.  Nothing else.  Then, one day she realized the best thing would be to turn the radio off and simply talk to God during those moments alone in the car.  

As I thought about that, I turned off the radio and immediately my ears quit bleeding and peace filled me.  I quit being flustered because things weren't going exactly like normal and realized God was giving me that time to spend with Him.  It turns out I am so thankful I did.  Yesterday was just different on a lot of levels.  For one thing, we are not the only foster parents involved.  So, as we are sitting with the other foster parent, who happens to be the bio moms sister, it's just an odd situation.  The mom is across from us in the waiting room and you can cut the tension with a knife.  Not so much with us, but with the sisters.  Then we found out court was backed up by several hours.  Our hearing was at 1:30 and at 3:30 they announced they were breaking for lunch and at 4:00 would begin the afternoons hearings.  However, instead of this stressing me out because of the kids that needed picked up and taken places, it didn't.  I knew I had people who would step in and help out and parents that would come get them and get them ready for bed if necessary.  

What I have never done before though, is sit in the waiting room that long.  During that time I watched 2 young kids come in with handcuffs and shackles on and being escorted by a guard, 3 moms leave in tears and complete heartache on their face, a teenager sitting next to us constantly conferring with her lawyer on what she should say or do in front of the judge and so forth.  It was and is, so heartbreaking.

J. O. was with me this time as well.  He walked in prepared to not like the kids mom, but what happened is what always happens when you spend time around these parents.  He left broken for her.  At one point when she was on the stand and for all practical purposes she was wrong in every way, he just leaned over and whispered how bad he felt for her.  He said, "she's never had a 
mom tell her how to do this or help her out."  

She is a kid herself.  She is a product of the system and she is facing a complete uphill climb on her own.  I think what kills me even more though, is the fact that this is only completely unnatural for us.  For her, it's just a way of life.  This happens and this happens to people like her.  Everyone is out to get her and no one wants to offer any support.  I am not saying I disagree with what was done yesterday.  Not at all.  But I just hate that time and time again there is such incomplete rehabilitation for the mom (I would say dad too if I had ever seen one stick around).  They are beaten down, broken and sent out to do it again.  They have so much static that they can't see, hear or think clearly.  They have no one telling them that life is better with hope, grace and mercy and that every now and then you have to turn down all the trash and noise to hear it.

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