I got a call from the caseworker on Friday night. Our first hearing is next Friday (the 15th). And it looks like there is going to be trouble. A family member has indicated that they would like custody of the Little Guy. Now, sometimes this is a good thing. But I don't think it's the case in this situation.
So I will fight -- tooth and nail -- to have him stay here. Last night I was VERY upset about the whole thing. There's not much we can do. It's all up to the judge. We can present our side of the story, and show the successes he has made. We can show why living with this family member would not be in his best interest (they have another child there with significant needs, and have needs of their own). But inevitably, it all comes down to the judge's decision.
Today has been a little better. I am bracing for whatever might happen. I've been through this kind of thing before. It's the name of the game. But it's never fun. At this point, I'm not fighting for myself as much as I'm fighting for him. After all, if he leaves, life will return to a less chaotic state here. I will have more time with my husband and daughter. I can work more and go out with less planning. But that's not the option I'd prefer. I'd prefer to have my life the more chaotic and stressful with him in it, knowing that we are doing the most that can be done.
In the meantime, I am furious with a system that makes it possible for one little piece of DNA to mean more than effort. I am upset that these family members weren't interested five months ago, but now that it looks like the Little Guy may not come back, they're feeling a sense of "responsibility" to step up to the plate, even if it's not in his best interest.
Now, if I were this family member, I'd want to know that I had tried, too. I would feel guilty if I didn't. Similarly, if I don't fight this fight as hard as I can now, I will surely have regrets.
So this will be a busy week. Monday is the Little Guy's first day back at preschool. I also have his monthly review, which should be especially interesting this time around as we prepare for court. The person who is supposed to represent his best interests should be there. Funny, he's never met the Little Guy. How is he going to know what is in his best interests? Monday is also the first day of gymnastics AND Betty's first JV game for cheerleading. Tuesday I have two appointments and work. Wednesday is mild -- just a morning meeting and delivering the fundraiser hoagies. Thursday I start my Bible Study (Beth Moore -- yay!), Betty has another game, and I work. It's also the first night of Survivor. Yay again! Then we have court on Friday.
One foot in front of the other....