Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Daisy's first permanency hearing

After much angst about what I should wear today, I finally decided on a nice, but quite casual outfit. I tend to obsess about what I should wear to court each and every single time. It has NEVER mattered what I had on. But I think I obsess about my outfit because it's the only thing I do have control over. It was already in the upper 70's this morning with high humidity. I wanted to be comfortable and not covered in sweat. I also realized this morning that most of the dressy clothes in my closet don't work well with wiggly babies in tow.

I opted on the stroller for Daisy. I knew parking would be rough and I wanted a way to get her to the courtroom easily. If I would have put her in my carrier, I would have definitely ended up hot and uncomfortably sweaty. There's a good chance Daisy would have barfed on me too as that is her M.O.

I decided to NOT show up to the courtroom as early as I typically go. I wanted to meet with Daisy's lawyer but I didn't want to sit around for hours. We got to the waiting area about 25 minutes before the case was to be called. I walked up to the door, peeked my head inside the inner waiting room and made sure that Daisy's case was on the docket. I noticed that Bio Mom and Bio Dad were in the corner of the waiting room but I didn't acknowledge them. I went back outside to the covered waiting area outside the building.

I saw Dude & Dolly's GAL. I wanted to deck him when he came over and coochie-cooed Miss Daisy. I'm not his biggest fan. But I played nice.

I asked both the GAL and another CPS worker if they had seen Daisy's lawyer or even Mr. CW. The GAL said that Daisy's lawyer wasn't there yet and neither one had even heard of Mr. CW before.

So I waited and played with Miss Daisy on my lap.

After awhile I saw both Mr. CW and his supervisor. Mr. CW came out to talk to me. He said that things were going to be close. Said there was about a 50/50 chance Daisy would go back home to Mom. He said all they "had" is the fact that Bio Mom is in denial about Daisy's injuries.

Finally court was called. We all filed into the courtroom. No, I never met Daisy's lawyer. She didn't feel it was necessary to speak with her client's caregiver prior to court. This is typical where I live. The hands off nature of the lawyers concerns me so!

The first thing CPS did was acknowledge to the court that both Bio Mom and Bio Dad have successfully completed all of their services. It was noted that Bio Dad didn't need to take a domestic violence class because after they got the investigation notes together, it was determined he was the victim. (Supposedly Bio Mom threw a frying pan at him sometime I guess.) Bio Mom's lawyer claimed this was the first they ever heard of this. Then the subject was dropped.

The judge then asked CPS about Daisy and how she's doing.

Mr. CW did an OK job of explaining Daisy's recent medical fiascoes. However, an opportunity presented itself so I clarified a few points directly to the judge. He listened intently. It went well. Then the judge asked, "So, will Daisy need brain scans again in the future?"

I was able to reiterate how severe Daisy's injuries are. I said, "According to her neurosurgeon, the next time this happens...and yes, that is a WHEN this happens...not an IF this happens, Daisy won't get another CT scan. She's already been exposed to a lot of radiation. Next time this happens he will order an MRI immediately."

The judge clarified my statements and made a comment about needing future surgeries.

I confirmed that, yes, Daisy will need future surgeries on her head. No child can sustain the types of injuries that she did without needing future care in that area. I made sure he understand at the least, Daisy will need to have her shunts repaired, replaced or removed. Future surgeries are inevitable.

The timing was perfect and I do believe the judge understands the severity of Daisy's injuries.

All the professional players in this case then went about stating what they want to happen.
Bio Mom's lawyer said Daisy needs to go back to Bio Mom.
Bio Dad's lawyer said nothing.
CPS said they want permanent relative conservatorship but there are no relatives.
CPS then said that the concurrent plan is reunification.
Bio Mom's lawyer said again that Daisy needs to go back to her mom.

The judge called everyone up to his bench. I heard nothing. They all bantered back and forth. It was excruciating. I couldn't read anyone's expressions to know what was being said. It went on for what seemed like forever.

Then everyone sat back down and the judge ruled.

Daisy is remaining in foster care for now. There is still just enough uncertainty that the judge is unwilling to give custody to Bio Mom. However, all the players will be meeting soon to discuss a change in the visit schedule. I believe unsupervised, weekend visits will be starting soon.

Mr. CW came out to talk to me and to give me the dates for the next two hearings this summer. (I couldn't hold a baby and take notes at the same time in the courtroom.) He shared that Daisy's lawyer almost complicated things terribly! I don't know why, but I guess she decided that it'd be just peachy to send Daisy home today. However, the domestic violence accusation swung things in CPS's favor. That created just enough speculation on Mom that the judge ruled to keep Daisy in Care.

I'm concerned about unsupervised visits. I don't have a real good personal track record with them. Pumpkin came home from one abused with marks on her and I got accused when I reported it. And Dude and Dolly came home neglected and a drug needle was in their suitcase one time. Daisy won't be able to tell me a THING and no one gives a damn about a crying baby before, during or after visits.

It seriously looks like this case is going to move quickly to reunification with Bio Mom. I'm going to have to take necessary steps to include Bio Mom in Daisy's care. I don't know how that's going to look just yet. I have to wait to hear what CPS has to say about the change in the visit schedule first. We'll go from there.

For now though, we remain a family of seven.


Annie said...

Poor little baby. Poor you.

I was just watching a video from the Child Trauma Center which mentioned among other things that intense crying in a baby is reaction to trauma. I thought of you and Daisy's nighttime wailing.

grkanga said...

Sadness. Recommend not just pictures of Daisy before and after, take video showing her demeanor as well. Video after visit can demonstrate a shell shocked baby....
Hate this.
And can also see she may be returned and in the event of additional trauma how the newspapers will report the Amazement and Surprise on the part of those who supported the reunification. I AM SO VEY SORRY!

Mitzy said...

I'm speechless.

kate said...

Adding my disappointment and condolences. I just don't understand this--any of this.

Kay said...

What a world we live in... Bio Dad, who abused Daisy to the point where she now has brain damage and is blind, is the victim because Bio Mom once threw a frying pan at him......?????? Amazing.

My thoughts and prayers to you and Daisy.

OneSmallWish said...

Biodad is the victim. Right. Got it. Maybe the baby out a gun to his head and told him to shake her or she would shoot. DMS. The ridiculousness makes me want to vomit.

OneSmallWish said...

That was supposed to read "SMH", typing on phone. I really am so disgusted I want to throw up.