I’m going to start from the beginning, and it’s a long story, so if you don’t feel like reading it all go ahead and skip to the end.
Five years ago my cousin had twins. She couldn’t take care of them and they were placed in foster care. They were eventually adopted by the foster parents. In August of 2003, 13 months after the twins were born she had a son. She named him Isaiah. I was at the hospital the day she had him. I changed his first diaper and fed him his first bottle. I fell in love. When he was four months old she found herself without a place to live. She asked me to take him in. At the time she said it could be for “a few weeks, months, years… I don’t know.” Honestly I was prepared then to raise him for life. However, because of the open case with the twins at the time DCFS got involved. In spite of the fact that his father (who’s name was not even on the birth certificate) had been recently released from jail after a conviction for WILLFUL harm to a child, the social worker told me to turn Isaiah over to his father. In fact the social worker said he didn’t want a white woman raising a black child and that if I didn’t give the child to the father willingly he would give the man my home address. Out of concern for the safety of the rest of my family and frankly unaware of my options at the time, I complied. I have prayed for Isaiah constantly for the last five years. I have worried about his safety and how his life would turn out.
Fast forward to Saturday night. My mom received a call from my aunt saying that Isaiah had been removed from the home he had been living in due to abuse. I immediately started contemplating what I would do if they asked me to take him in. There really wasn’t ever any doubt. In any event, yesterday I received a call from my cousin saying that DCFS wanted my contact information and details about my home and who lives with me. She asked if I would take him in. Obviously I said yes. There is still plenty of question as to what the court will decide to do. If you know anything about the children’s courts they don’t always make a lot of sense. I volunteered to meet my cousin at the court for a hearing today in part to be a support to her but also to try to get a moment with the social worker in hopes that I can convince her that I would provide a more stable and loving environment that the other option. That other possibility is actually placing him back in the same home he was removed from, which to you and me might seem an obviously poor option but as I said, with the children’s courts you really never know.
I left the house at 7 am, got to court at 8:30, only to find out that I needed cash for parking. I turned around and got cash at a nearby gas station and got back and into the court by 9. I proceeded to wait until 11:45 or so before they called our case. Upon entering the court room the judge essentially took roll, had a sidebar with the attorneys and continued the case, with no further discussion, to January 22. When we left, the attorney for my cousin said that we should get me interviewed by DCFS asap and to get that moving today. When we called them they said they couldn't do anything until I was LiveScanned and that we had to go to Torrance to do that. They said it would only take a few minutes, so we went. It took over two hours. Then I headed back to work. It should have been about an hour drive. It took three. I called work and found out that the updates I had given my coworker throughout the day had not been relayed to my boss! I left her a message, but I never made it to work. I hope I have a job in the morning!