"DADDY ON TV": This broke my heart. During our lunch break, we, the jury, were able to witness some extra activities of the court. They set up a TV and had a video conference for arraignment. I guess it was arraignment or something of that nature. They had four newly arrested in custody. The offenses ranged from hot checks & failure to appear to drugs. One guy in particular was called forward and he showed up on the TV and the judge began asking questions. A young mom was in the back of the courtroom with her 2 year old and she hurried to the front row and I heard her whispering to the baby boy "There's daddy on TV! Do you see daddy on TV?" Ugh...ripped my heart out.
"YOUNG MOM IN SHACKLES": All day today, a young woman in short shorts, flip flops, a tank top and shackles was paraded through the back of the courtroom. She looked like she was drug out of bed...and later in the afternoon we found out that that was exactly what had happened. There was a mini trial of sorts for her. The prosecuting attorney (which happens to be our neighbor) was questioning a really rough looking guy about what this young lady had done. She supposedly had been drug out of bed and shackled because of selling hydrocodone, xanax, and a bunch of other drugs. The judge then asked the man about the kids. There were four of them in question. The judge wanted to know where they were since the mom was in jail. One was in the biological dad's custody; one had already been adopted by another family; and the other two were in the legal custody of the woman's sister. The last two were obviously the man's biological kids and when the judge asked him if he signed over custody he said, "She signed over custody, I don't know if I did or not but they aren't with me." UGH. How stupid? How in the world do you NOT know if you have signed over custody of your kids or not??????
It just breaks my heart. I cannot imagine the thousands of kids that are affected by similar situations like this. Just makes me think longer and harder about foster care adoption. My "momma barracuda" instinct wants to rip the hair out of their heads. Then my "mercy and grace" instinct wants to love them and do what I can to show them the love of Christ.
The agency that we will probably go with is The CALL. http://www.thecallinarkansas.org - Check it out. I was able to go to an introductory meeting in Faulkner County back in June. It really makes you think. Check them out.