Today was not a very productive day. That's okay, after a busy and stressful week.
This week I completed the hours for my externship with the juvenile court judge. She is wonderful, passionate, and amazing. She is changing the court system for foster children under three, having success (while working herself like crazy), and proving many people wrong. Baby Court is now over a year old and word is spreading. Permanency planning occurs at four months; get your act together. Parents better be progressing and CPS better be doing their job! For those parents who can't or won't step up, the kids are moving to adoption. I have seen several cases where babies are legally free in six to nine months. I have also seen cases where babies are moving back with their parents (albeit still monitored) in less than a year. We know both options are necessary in our world today. The good news is that the decision is now on baby time, not adult time.
Last night I picked up both Sweets and Lil Sis. Their dad offered last weekend to allow Lil Sis to go see the maternal family she had been placed with while in foster care. This is the first time he has let her see them since Christmas. She has asked me almost every time she saw me this summer when I would take her too. I'm glad he followed through after he brought it up last weekend.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get to their place until about 7:30pm to pick them up. We really needed to eat dinner, so I opted to go out before driving the 40 miles home. May went to a friend's house for an overnight birthday party, so five kids under ten and I went to Ol:ve G@rden for dinner. It was a sight (about made the hostess fall over), but the kids were really pretty good. Everyone had been warned and was on their best behavior, plus they were hungry! We had a great waiter and left for home after 9pm.
It was a late night. Lil Sis needed some reassuring at bedtime, but she slept well. BB was up early this morning, so today was another long day. I dropped Sweets and Lil Sis off before 9am; they are staying until I pick them up for church tomorrow morning.
Buddy, BB, Precious and I spent some time chilling at a friend's house this morning. It is another foster family, so we always feel welcome and I don't worry about what the kids might do. When it was time to leave, the van's battery was dead. We jumped it and made it home, a fairly lengthy drive. Due to the long drive to allow it to charge and the fact that I have a charger/starter at home, I didn't worry.
Unfortunately, when it was time to pick up May, dead battery shows off again. It was REALLY dead. It wouldn't charge at all, nor did the starter have enough juice. Luckily, my car that I drive to work did jump it.
We picked up May (leaving the car running) and then went to the store where I bought the battery. When they pulled the battery out, the sides were bulging! So thankful we didn't have a worse problem than not starting! Over an hour later the replacement (upgrade) was finally finished (apparently ours got delayed out of order - not fun with two cranky little kids).
It's been a long day and I really didn't accomplish anything I planned, but it was nice to relax this morning. It was also nice to not get stranded in no man's land with a battery about to explode.
Tomorrow is another day. After church, we'll see how much I can get done with six kids before the two girls have to go home.... Did I mention school starts this week?