Memo: A Foster Family’s Brave Day in Court

Memo: A Foster Family’s Brave Day in Court

- in Top News, Editorial

IMG_0017-e1426778505352By Diane Ponist, The Next Family

You know that huge deep breath that you’re finally able to take after being stressed out for so long? The never-ending battle with negative finally subsides and you begin to see the light?

All I can say is, it was about time for something to be going our way!

My wife and “George” were subpoenaed to testify about George’s experiences in his bio home. This was fantastic news; finally George would be getting his day in court, a chance to let everyone know what he had been telling us all along. My wife would be at court to support George.

That court day, the baby of the house’s case would be heard first. This was once a no problem case. The plan was always adoption; we knew this when she was placed in our home. Then without warning the bio started holding visits here and there, showing a little concern. So we thought “here we go again, another case to drag on.” But this time things absolutely went as planned and the goal change for adoption is set in three months. Holy cow! At last our tables are turning for the better.

Later that day (yes the same day!) George’s case was heard. My wife accompanied George to court as planned, but they had George enter the courtroom alone. Kristin was baffled.  If she wasn’t allowed in there, why was she subpoenaed?  But apparently, George opened up very well, testifying to everything that happened to him before he came to us. He is amazing; this boy has such strength in that tiny little body! Brave doesn’t even begin to describe what he is.

Then the doors opened and my wife was called in. She took the stand, and as she was being sworn in, the defendant entered. Her heart hit the floor upon seeing him- in shackles and prison jumpsuit.  She was never once warned that he would be in the courtroom at the same time. We were advised that her and George’s testimonies would be recorded and played later for the accused and his legal counsel.

Kristin was questioned and cross examined. She had to overcome a huge fear by facing the defendant, but she spoke up for that little boy. We believe George saw her in a new light because of what she did for him that day, and that he knows we would do anything – no matter how scary it might be – to protect him.

Later that night I thanked my wife as the emotion of the entire day poured out of her. I have never been so proud of her as I was in that moment. Everything before this seems small compared to what she did in that courtroom, giving George proof that, with us, he has a family on his side. That night, George looked me in the eye and said “I’m going to stay here, ok.” I kissed my son and replied, “I know.”

Neither of us could stop smiling.



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