Friday, December 05, 2008

No, Your Honor.

You just don't really know someone until you've seen them in court. I've been in court several times...recently, mostly with foster kids. You see whether they're good liars then as a foster parent. You pretty much know what the truth is, and you know when they're lying to the judge. You get to see what they look like when they're lying to the face of an authority figure. That comes in handy.

Yesterday, I got to see our birth mom in action. I'll do an entry on her soon, and I'll call her "Sylvia". This woman was magnificent. She cried at the right time, she said the right things, and most importantly she meant it all, and there was no act being put on. She made it clear to the judge that she would not let the tribe have this child. If we were not to adopt this child, then she would take her home and do the best she could. You can be sure that if that were to happen, we would do whatever we could to help her. We love her almost as much as Amanda.

Once again, the tribe literally phoned it in. You know, if they care about this child so much, why don't they show up in person like the rest of us have to? I have to make special arrangements at work for each of these things they inflict on us. I took a week of my precious vacation time for the birth, to which the tribe did not bother to send a representative and about which they really didn't seem to care beyond noting their legal obligation to make objections about us adopting. Which, of course, made my vacation time basically misery. I'm still trying to recover from that one.

Our lawyer was surprised they bothered to show up. Apparently this was unusual. "Sylvia" wasn't surprised, nor were The Wife or me. There is SOMEONE in that tribe that, we think, has it in for "Sylvia" because of her two children that were placed with family members in Montana years ago. There is a very good story behind why each of those two children were conceived, and it's not my place to divulge that information here, even anonymously. Suffice it to say that I don't know whether the tribe has knowledge of any details there. Either they don't, or they're the most heartless people I've run across in my life...and that's saying something.

I said "our" lawyer in that last paragraph because I think of him that way. He's actually "Sylvia's" lawyer, but we're paying for his considerable expertise in this particular area of the law. An example: he was actually able to get the judge talking about a particular MN law, and work in the fact that he personally had written an amendment to that very law. He has no right to anonymity, so I will say that his name is Mark Fiddler, and his web site can be seen at He specializes in ICWA in particular and adoption in general. He's the best in MN in this area, he came highly recommended to us from MULTIPLE sources, and he's a very decent man, and I have the utmost faith that if this thing can break our way, he'll make it happen. The way he performed in front of the judge said enough for me. He's expensive, but not as expensive as some lawyers. If you REALLY care about what you want, you don't worry about money anyway. For our part, we're technically going without representation. Unlike our government and many individuals I could name personally, we don't believe in promising payment we can't deliver, and the one lawyer is going to be expensive enough, thank you very much.

Pray for us. We've fallen so totally head-over-heels for Amanda that we can't go back now, no matter how much it costs. Mark told us he already knew what the tribe would say after their 20-day delay, and he already was composing in his head what his response would be. He wouldn't need to charge us much for that because he's written many similar letters to judges.

We can't let ourselves think too much about the possibility of failure. I've seen how part-black children are treated by kids from "the rez". Granted, it was back in the 80s...but it can't have changed THAT much since then, and it was HORRENDOUS. Racist Indians (and by no means are they all racist, but enough of them are that it's a problem) hate blacks even more than they hate "whitey", and that's SAYING something.

So pray for us. Pray especially for Amanda. Pray that whatever happens, God will watch over this precious little girl and make sure that even if it's not our place to parent her, at least she ends up in a loving home that treats her right. She deserves no less.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home