Stacy had to appear in court after a trial period for her adoption. She had lived with her new foster parents for about 3 months. She was glad that she finally could come to court; this was finally the time to get everything off her chest.
The judge was very reserved. The parents acted like they were the perfect match for Stacy and hoped Stacy would not open her mouth. But out of nowhere and to everyone’s surprise, Stacy decided to speak up and interrupt the judge, but not before giving her foster parents one final confident look to make them even more nervous.
Somewhere in New York lived a young girl named Stacy. Stacy had a difficult childhood, bouncing from foster place to foster place. She longed for a permanent place to call home and a family to call her own. But desperate, her hope diminished. The foster homes she was placed in were never quite what she had envisioned.
Stacy’s caseworker, Jim, had watched Stacy bounce from house to house. She always tried to do her best, but it just never seemed to work. Finally, there were only a few foster families left, and the Berkling family was one of them. Jim really thought that family would be the one, but it’s not always as it seems.
The Berkling family seemed perfect at first glance, with two loving foster parents, a foster brother, and a comfortable home. But as time passed, Stacy began to notice strange things about her foster father. His strange behavior was the first sign to Stacy that there was something wrong with this family. She did a little digging and unraveled a big, scary secret.
At first, Stacy didn’t know what to do. She was scared to speak up, but she also knew she didn’t want to stay with this family forever. Luckily for Stacy, her trial period was coming to an end, and she knew they all had to go to court very soon. All Stacy had to do was push through for a couple more days, but it was harder than she thought.
Her foster brother gave her a hard time and would often pick on her, and her foster mother wasn’t as kind as she portrayed. The day of the court hearing was filled with tension for Stacy. She woke up early, her stomach churning with nerves as she got dressed and prepared for the day ahead. She and her foster family had to go to court separately, so Stacy got picked up early by her caseworker, Jim.
As she arrived at the court, she could feel her heart pounding in her chest. Stacy’s eyes darted around the room, taking in the judge, the lawyers, and the other people present. The hearing began, and Stacy’s foster parents spoke first, praising their parenting skills and how much they loved and cared for Stacy. They even showed pictures of the family together and a video of them doing fun activities, trying to persuade the judge that they were the perfect family for her. Stacy listened in silence. She knew that they weren’t the loving family they claimed to be and hoped the judge would see through their lies.
But as the trial went for a break, it became clear to Stacy that the judge was blindsided by their behavior. Later on, Stacy sighed and followed her caseworker quietly back to their seats, but not before giving her foster parents one final confident look to make them even more nervous. She would wait for the perfect moment to interrupt the judge and tell the truth about what really goes on in that family.
Stacy’s caseworker noticed her piercingly looking at her foster parents and tugged on Stacy’s arm. “What’s with that look? Don’t do something you’ll regret later, Stacy. This is a lovely family; you don’t want to screw this up.”
But her counselor had no idea what was going on behind closed doors. The judge proceeded with the trial, and they discussed a lot of things that Stacy didn’t understand. Stacy’s caseworker kept a close eye on Stacy because he suspected that she was about to do something stupid.
The judge was in the middle of a sentence when Stacy suddenly stood up. Her caseworker tried to get her to sit down, but she refused. “I have something to say, and it’s very important.”
The judge was astonished by this rude interruption but let Stacy speak. “This isn’t the lovely family everyone seemed to believe.”
The courtroom fell silent as the judge looked at Stacy with surprise and concern. He paused for a few seconds, and Stacy could see him thinking about the situation. But then the judge finally spoke, and his response wasn’t as Stacy expected.
“Walk with me,” the judge said as he stood up. “Trial is adjourned until our return.”
He looked at Stacy with a very serious look and said, “That was a very serious allegation.”
“I wouldn’t lie to you,” she replied. “I’ll be in serious danger if I were to stay with that family.”
The judge looked even more surprised by her remark. “Danger?” he asked. “Why would you say that?”
The judge was clearly interested in hearing her story, but Stacy was hesitant to share the details. She stood up and ran out of the room. She ran straight past the judge, who tried calling for her to get back, but she ignored him. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she ran through the street.
“I will get them to believe me,” she thought. “All I need is proof.”
And she knew just the place to find it. She hurried home, which was about 2 or three blocks. She knew just where to look and quickly found the evidence she needed. She ran down the stairs, back out the door, and back to the courtroom. Her heart was beating so fast that Stacy feared it would jump out of her chest.
The judge was just telling everyone about Stacy’s disappearance and was shocked to see Stacy had returned. He then turned his gaze to the judge and began telling her story.
“This isn’t the lovely family everyone seemed to believe, and I will tell you why. When I first came to this family, I too was blindsided by their kindness. But that feeling soon faded when I started noticing some strange behavior from my foster father. That man is a bank robber,” Stacy said.
She could hear people gasping and looked at the judge for his response, but his facial expressions gave nothing away.
“That is a serious allegation, Stacy,” the judge reacted. “You said you had proof. Show it to me.”
Stacy walked up to the judge and pulled something from her pocket. It was a crumpled up $100 bill. She handed over the money to the judge and said, “This is from one of his big black bags full of money.”
The judge took the money and gave it to an officer. He mumbled something Stacy couldn’t hear and then turned to face Stacy’s foster father directly.
“Arrest this man,” the judge ordered.
Stacy’s foster father tried to talk himself out of it, but the judge was certain. Stacy’s caseworker suggested she could stay with him for the night until they figured out what to do next. Stacy didn’t mind; she was just happy she would never go back to that family again.
The police investigated Stacy’s allegations, and it turned out she was right. But that wasn’t all; he was brought to justice, and his family was banned from ever fostering again. Stacy was placed with a new family and finally found her forever home.