These memories are hard, and are going to come in small chunks. It was a very traumatic time, and the memories still anger me. It was my first inside experience with our judicial system. It was during this period that I developed the conviction that we don't have a justice system, we have a court system, and there is a huge difference.
The case to terminate parental rights took over a year. We'd have a day or two in court here, and then a month later another day. The court's attorney was a political appointee and not very bright. That's the kind characterization. Birth Mom had a court appointed attorney, who was going through the motions. Dad hired an attorney from the largest county in the state. He had previously worked representing the county in these cases, but had burned out on it and entered private practice. He knew all the ins and outs, and for him, it was a game. He was running circles around the county attorney, who was clueless.
He started by sending Daughter a subpoena for every court date. Daughter was about 5. She couldn't put together complete sentences. She was in no way a reliable witness. Every court date, I'd have to drag her over there to sit at the court house all day. He never called her to testify, and the county attorney was so dumb she never thought to have the judge rule that Daughter was not competent to testify and end the subpoenas. So once a month or so I'd drag Daughter over to the court house and try to keep her entertained and quiet all day. Once a month or so Daughter would be forced to see all the people who has abused her, and would regress for the next several weeks as a result. Once a month or so the system would traumatize her one more time.