Fair Hearing Conference

So today I had to go to the DSS building for a conference regarding my fair hearing to see if I can overturn my indicated charge. I was suppose to be there at 10am and I got there at 9:30 and as I drive up I see the old case worker standing outside and felt sick, truly sick to my stomach. I was scared half to death about running into people I knew, after all I had 10 years with these people not a whole lot of unknowns to me. I waited until 9:55 to go in and I see my attorney sitting there chatting away with three other people.

The receptionist looked at me and said “Hi” and asked if I was all right. I was not sure what to say I mean you know I am here for a fair hearing conference how in the heck do you suppose I am doing. I say nothing though as I feared venom might come out and goodness knows I was not mad at her. My heart raced as I sat down to wait and as I sit I hear my attorney say to the trio “OK there is no way to over turn your indicated charge. If there are bruises then it is extremely hard to over turn that.” My heart sunk what would she say to me, was I hopeless too?

She smiled broadly at me and thanked me for getting the counseling records that the agency did not want to turn over. My nervousness was obvious so she said to me “Look no worries today nothing will be decided we only pick a date today. Do you want the first date or do you want to wait?” I told her I want the nightmare over immediately and she smiled. We say nothing for a minute then she says “You know you are a good Mom right?” I shake my head, heck that is why we are here because apparently I am NOT a good Mom. My attorney laughed and said “Look I read the counseling from day one (2006) until this past July and when you see how far she has come there is just no way you can’t be a diligent Mom. ANYM she was basically feral when she came to you and now she is on a Regents track in school and making friends.” Well that is all fine and good but hey here we are and I am being examined for being negligent.

We meet the judge and he asked if I had an attorney which of course I did she was right there with me. We set a date and my heart raced again because I was so nervous  about the chance it could not work out. I had to push this out of my mind. I had to try to hope. We leave the conference and send an email to N’s worker and the foster parent supervisor letting them know when the fair hearing was scheduled. I had talked to N’s worker last week and her lukewarm response to me asking if I could be a resource if I was cleared had left me mostly scared and lonely. I then remembered N’s Wendy’s worker and let her know the date too, she sent me a simple note:

I’ll be hoping for the best!  I still believe that you are a great match for N.

It felt weird to have someone on my side, someone who actually thought a lot of me and then didn’t run when it got ugly. I have to admit tears were shed someone still believed in me. I sent the worker a thank you for her support as the whole process had left me feeling very alone. She emailed me back immediately:

I am hoping too!  I saw N with you. I’ve been doing this a long time and I can see love when it’s there. I know you are a good mom. I can tell 😉  C* is her custodian, and I will do my best to convince her if you’re cleared soon.
Hoping for all good news ! N needs you!

OK maybe there is reason to hope. The hearing is scheduled for 4/12/16 and that is the birthday of my friend who passed away last year. I hope she will look down and walk with me through this and ultimately get a positive outcome.

4 thoughts on “Fair Hearing Conference

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  1. I will be thinking of you and hoping for a good outcome for you on 4/12. You are definitely a good mom and I hope that they do the right thing at this meeting.

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