I'm trying really hard to pray for S's parents.
It's easy to pray for her mother. To pray that she continues on the path she has started. To pray that she feels support and encouragement from God and from those around her. To pray that the parts of her case plan that are out of her hands are resolved quickly. To pray for her healing and her spirit and her grief. To pray that her path to reunification may be smoothed. I can see S's mother working so hard to be the parent that S deserves and I want her to succeed, so it's easy to focus on the good things she's doing and thank God for them and to ask Him to help her with the rest of the steps.
It's hard to pray for S's father. In the last 6 months, he has had 1 visit with his daughter, because there was only one that fell during the brief time he was out of prison. He's out again now and will have another visit with her in a few days. So I am trying to pray for him and it is so, so hard. Although I can intellectually imagine that he also has grief at having lost her, I don't see it. What I see is an angry man insisting that nothing is his fault. (According to him, S's first caseworker was out to get him. Right. Her concerns with him as a placement had nothing to do with his history of arrests for violent behavior, the pending criminal charges on him, or his refusal to ask the "friend" with whom he was living to submit to a drug screen and background check.) I see a man who wants to play with this little girl, not parent her. I know that God sees more than I do -- that it is not my place to judge him -- but I am struggling to translate that knowledge into prayer for him. It's not that I don't want him to be the parent S deserves -- it's that I don't see him trying and it's hard to pray for his success at something he's not trying to do.