Walking into the courtroom there are two sections. Two sets of wooden benches. Two sides. There is an intentional choice that they unintentionally back you into. If I sit on a bench behind bio mom I must be in favor of reunification. If I sit on a bench behind the department I am clearly an adversary to mom and absolutely opposed to reunification.
There might not be much attention paid to the side I sit on in the moment but I can’t help but feel the weight of the decision as I walk right or I walk left. And I have done both.
I am tempted to sit in the middle and refuse to make a choice many times. I want to just sit criss cross in the middle of the aisles and make a “for the kids stand”. I am not against mom, I am for the kids. I am not with the department, I am for the kids.
I am for their safety and their stability and their rights. I can be supportive of both bio mom and adoption. I can be in the middle. I can love bio mom but know that the kids are not safe in her care. I can encourage bio mom and still advocate against reunification. I can be in the middle.
The middle is a sweet and messy place to be. There is no clear space for us middle people, we find it on our own often against two currents.
It is ok to love the kids more than a side. It is ok to speak up in court to advocate for the best interest of the kids without feeling pushed to choose a side.
If you are in the middle, know that we see you. You are doing a good job protecting those babes and loving people well.
Straddling the line,