Today, we had to sit outside of the courtroom and wait for our case to be called. It was quite an interesting scene.
There were lots of cases all being heard at the exact same time in the same court room. I don't understand the logic, but it means that you sit out on hard benches with a bunch of other people. You wonder if somehow they are related to your case or just there for another case. You hear a lot as you wait on the benches.
There was another normal looking couple there. Blonde, young. I figured they were foster parents for another case. But, they kept staring at us. Not just politely checking us out. Staring at us. Like boring holes in us. It was creepy. Patrick's grandma started to become concerned that they were related to our case and they were a surprise witness who would want to take our kids away from us. I told her that they were just paranoid that we were surprises witnesses who wanted to take their kids away from them.
Then, there was a dad who came in from prison. He was handcuffed and wearing a bright orange suit. When he came into the area, a police officer yelled for everyone to get out of the way. He was there for his children's case and had to be escorted in to a side door. Then, he came out and the officer yelled for us to get out of the way. That didn't feel very safe, to say the least.
Then, a younger woman came in for her case. She was talking to her friend about some program that she was being forced to enter. She learned from her friend that you get fed there and can bring a DVD player, but if you want snacks that you have to pay for them with your own money.
This was shocking to the young woman. Pay for your own snacks?
She literally kept saying this over and over. She said, "So, we have to pay for our food with our cash? With our own money? We have to pay for our own snacks?".
When her wise, experienced friend told her that it was true that she would have to pay for her own snacks, she was shocked. She told him that she would get back on her food stamps, but she couldn't even believe that she "had to pay for her food with cash".
While we didn't get the outcome that we wanted, we received quite an education today. The most important lesson I learned was that sometimes you gotta pay for your own food with cash.