Friday, August 28, 2015

December 4th is a TPR trial

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.


Foster Mom - R said...

How many other children does Bio Mom have? Is it just Star and Russell? Have you interacted much with Bio Mom at court? Did she interact with her kids while there?

Cherub Mamma said...

Bio Mom has three children total. All three have different fathers. When Russell came in to Care, the oldest child (age 3 - blog name Violet) was placed with an aunt. Since that time, Violet has moved in with her biological dad and his wife.

There is NO CPS case on Violet. However, if Sylvia were to try and take Violet home with her, a case would most likely be opened. However, CPS controls nothing over Violet now and Violet has no contact with Russell or Star.

Bio Mom NEVER wants to interact with me. I'm sure it's a language barrier issue as Mom speaks little to no English and I speak almost no Spanish. I've tried speaking with Mom. It seems that she understands some of the things I say. But she never even wants to take advantage of the visit monitor who would be able to serve as a translator for us during drop-off and pick-up. So, I've given up speaking with Sylvia at all.

As for how Mom interacts with her's hard to describe. Mom seems pleasant. She acts like she wants to be with her kids. But, to use court this week as an example, she didn't even hold Russell once the entire time we were there. She held Star on her lap some - even during the hearing. But Russell was with an aunt prior to court for a little bit and with me the rest of the time. The court hearing a couple months ago - she held Russell and didn't interact with Star at all. And following visits, Mom literally passes the kids to me as fast as she can and leaves the building with barely a goodbye. She's not rude. She smiles. She tells them goodbye. But it's like she's hardly bothered by leaving her kids at all. It's so unlike any other bio parent interactions I've ever seen.

Nothing about this case seems "normal" to me.

Anonymous said...

As always, thank you and your family. Fingers crossed. Does lawyer have any idea how long TPR trial will take? I ask because I know one that was strung out over 13 months and what gets said about NYC TPR trials is appalling as it sounds like they are never finished because judges get changed. Have there been other TPR trials in your part of Texas? Any idea what to expect?

G said...

As much as I hate that "this isn't the foster care [you're] used to", I'm glad that it appears to be happening in this case.

Is the relative that only wants one child on Star's father's side? Or is it more of a "I'll take the neurotypical one"? You probably don't know the answer to that.

Praying for you and with you that this case continues to care about the children's actual best interests!

Cherub Mamma said...

There were two relatives as of court on Wednesday. Now there's only one. I'll believe that when I hear the same thing from CPS though. According to the lawyer, the one relative left is from the maternal side of the family. And since they only want one child, I'm 99.9% sure it's Star that they want. I know that makes CPS angry. (I'm praying they don't split the siblings.)

As for how long the TPR trial could last? I have NO CLUE. I did mention to the lawyer that I was surprised how fast this was going. She was quick to point out that trial dates can be extended.

And yes, there are TPR trials down here every now and then. But I've never been a part of one. I have no idea how this is all going to play out or what to expect. That's why I'm begging for Ms. Remus and Bopper to keep me in the loop!