I'm almost too emotionally drained to write this. I'm a little bit concerned I'll leave out something important. But here goes my attempt anyway...
When I got into the building, I headed straight for the bathroom, where I ran into BM. I said, "hi," quietly, and kept moving. Then when I was sitting outside of court, waiting to go in, she came and sat down across from me; she was crying a little bit. She said a few things, the same things she keeps saying every time I see her at court ("I'm a terrible mom," "I wish I'd done better," etc. I'm sure it's all very sincere in the moment, but her continued actions never show that she really means what she says). I didn't have much to say, although she did ask me if there was anyway we could do a "temporary guardianship" until she is ready to get him back, and I replied that the court would not do that. She nodded, and a minute or two later got up and disappeared again. I went back to reading my book.
A few minutes later she came over again, sobbing almost hysterically. She said she'd just gotten off the phone with her mom, and that they both thought it would be a good idea for her to terminate her rights voluntarily. She was very upset, but kept saying she wanted to do what was best for her son. I moved across to sit next to her, gave her a hug, and talked with her a few minutes. She begged me to always take care of him, and to tell him that she loves him, and I told her what I tell all our birth parents that I get the chance to: "We would never tell him that you gave him up or didn't want him; we will tell him that you loved him enough to do what was best for him." She also wanted to know if she could have a "goodbye visit," to which I said of course we'd do that.
She never did calm down. And she still didn't have an attorney. The public defender's office got a hold of the PD who was assigned to her, and he was out of the building, but was in the area and was on his way over. To his credit, he showed up about 2 minutes after we got into court. I was pretty impressed.
When we got into court, the judge tried to talk her into calming down. She told him she wanted to terminate voluntarily, and he advised her to wait until she had an attorney before she started talking - we were on the record at that point. Her attorney showed up about that point, the judge asked them to step out of the court, find a room, and talk while they went through everything with BD.
BD terminated voluntarily. The judge had to go through a ton of questions to make sure he knew what he was doing and everything, and a couple of questions made me worry! But BD got through it, and I was pretty impressed with how calm and composed he remained throughout. I had written him a letter and put together a little photo book with photos from each month Liam has been with us, so when the judge dismissed him from court, I handed that to him. I had been kind of hoping I would get to talk with him, but since they were calling BM and her attorney back in, we all had to stay put. His mom was there though, so I was glad he had her for support.
BM's attorney told the judge he wasn't comfortable letting her voluntarily terminate today, because of how distraught she was (I understand that to a certain extent, but also thought it was kind of silly, since anyone making that decision is going to be understandably upset!). Anyway, it sounds like her attorney did tell her that she needs to do voluntary, so hopefully between him and her mom, she won't change her mind before the next hearing.
It has been an emotionally draining day. Now I'm looking forward to a quiet evening snuggling with hubby in front of a movie with pizza and a glass of wine :-)