By Jeremy Loudenback and John Kelly, The Chronicle of Social Change, April 16, 2020
This week was supposed to be a triumphant one for a Northern California mother of two, a 39-year-old home health aide. Soon after a long-scheduled court date at the Sonoma County Hall of Justice this week, she imagined she would soon be able to gather her 1-year-old daughter in her arms at last and end what has been the most terrifying experience of her life: the seven months her toddler has spent in foster care.
Instead, in the upended world of the coronavirus pandemic, the wrenching family separation has dragged on, and the mother is still waiting for Sonoma County child welfare authorities and the juvenile court to allow her to welcome her daughter home.
“It breaks my heart that I can’t see my child right now,” the mother said. “I can’t hold her. I can’t comfort her when she’s getting frustrated.”