I imagine it was the feeling a Mother gets when they hand your baby to you immediately after giving birth. When Caseworker #3 handed me the six photos I instantly felt love and began crying. There in the picture was the baby face of my Stella. My one year old Stella with a bowl haircut and her classic smirk.
Behind it was a six month old Sarah. She had her angry face on. She was clearly not pleased to be doing whatever it was that moment captured.
The evidence labels, yellowed, are on the back. The photos were hole punched to affix them to the file folder. By some miracle, the eight year old photos were still attached and Caseworker #3 brought them for us to keep.
Then the tears turned to sadness that the only baby photo my kids have is from a file documenting their abuse. That 8 years later, the file is still their source of history. I known these photos are more than most kids in foster care get so I'm not complaining but I'm outraged for all kids in this situation.
What an amazing gift we were given tonight.