We drove to the courthouse in separate cars.
We found parking fairly easily.
We walked to the courhouse separately. Juan arrived before me and was standing outside waiting.
We passed through the metal detectors. I managed to forget that my Nano iPod was in my dress-shirt pocket. iPods/mp3 players are not allowed. The detector did not go off.
We headed to the third floor and signed in on arrival. The caseworkers had signed in already.
We scoped out the waiting area. Initially, no parents. They did show up later but (and this was extremely odd) they did not sit together at all. In fact, they sat in different waiting areas.
We found a spot irritatingly close to three teenagers who didn’t seem to understand or care about their particular legal situations.
We waited for three hours while various people entered and exited the CINA (Child in Need of Assistance) suite, all looking busy and purposeful.
We did not get the attention of the new court-appointed attorney/guardian ad litem, the advocate for T and his sisters.
T’s worker let us know that the hearing was about to start.
We sat in the back row.
We watched, at times dumb-founded and annoyed. At other times, scared and angry.
We listened, sometimes to misstatements – other times, to outrageous, over the top statements.
We learned that the parents are still not done with things ordered in May 09.
We listened as the Master and attorneys on all sides agreed to revisit the matter in June, primarily to allow the parents to complete the May 09 items.
We let it sink in. T is going back to his parents. Come Hell or high-water, DSS is going to make that happen. The transition process (4 months? six months?) will likely start in June. T will probably be gone just around his 4th birthday.
We exited the hearing room.
We got in our cars.
I banged my fist on the steering wheel.
I arrived at daycare and gave T an extra-long squeeze and told him I loved him.
We went home.
We read books.
We watched TV.
We went to bed.
We woke up and pressed on.