When we got out of court this past Wednesday, I was in shock. With the primary goal being changed to non-relative adoption...everything changed. Not for me. Not really. But now as I look at these children, a bit more of my heart wants to dream about parenting them forever.
Outside the courtroom, I looked at the babies' lawyer (who I think needs a blog name - let's go with Ms. Remus) and told her that I would like to pick her brain about everything at a later date. I could tell by her posture and response that she was totally OK with that. Later that afternoon I sent her a text asking to touch base with her either via phone or text at her convenience.
Out of the blue this morning she messaged me and said, "Hi. I'll track down the mom's lawyer to see if she's willing to let Russell go."
My jaw dropped. No intro. No niceties. Just straight to...we're going to discuss having Mom surrender her rights.
Based on how the lawyer worded her text, I assumed she meant that they would be splitting up the siblings. I asked her about that. Her response was, "Maybe not. She may lose them both outright."
We went back and forth for just a bit. Apparently there is only one relative now is having a home study done and that relative does not want both children.
I told Ms. Remus that I sincerely appreciate her keeping me in the loop. I KNOW this is foster care. I know a million things could happen. But I told her that when the goal changed, my heart jumped and that I've fallen awfully hard for these amazing children.
I also said, "I know my role. But it will help me stay grounded if I know what's going on - as much as you're comfortable sharing - behind the scenes."
Her response, "No problem. Our role is to put them in the best place. It'd be great to keep these two out of that environment."
I reiterated my stance on relative conservatorship with Russell again. (I say this at every chance because I don't want anyone to forget how horrifically he was hurt. Especially now that you can't see he was starved and all his bones have healed.) I told her, "I fear for Russell's long term safety with any relative. After what everyone was so comfortable ignoring for the first 17 months of his life - I can only imagine his fate if he returns."
The lawyer agreed with me.
And that was that.
Bopper has assured me she'll keep me in the loop. Ms. Remus seems to be comfortable keeping me in the loop. I'm being treated with respect. I believe the kids' best interests are being taken into consideration. It doesn't look like anyone is going to let this case drag out for years and years. This isn't the foster care I'm used to.
The judge tossed out a lot of official dates this week. There is a date set for when all new "findings" have to be submitted. (Or something like that.) There is a date set for determining if they want a jury. The pretrial is set for October 28. And the TPR hearing is set for December 4.
This is one wild roller coaster ride.