The primary goal in the case with Russell and Star was changed late yesterday to non-relative adoption. The secondary goal is relative conservatorship.
My jaw hit the ground!!
Basically....Sylvia (Mom) has worked her case plan. But, in the words of CPS, she has not shown that she can identify things that she would do differently should she get her kids back. Basically, she doesn't have any protective instincts and CPS can tell that.
As of right now, there are NO relatives approved for either child.
Mom gave the names of two more relatives today. I honestly believe that relatives will start crawling out of the woodwork now. However, NONE of them (in my opinion) should even be seriously considered to raise Russell for the rest of his life. So unless they split the children, I don't know how relative conservatorship is going to work.
I'm almost positive that CPS and the lawyer for the children are both in agreement with me on that.
Every relative that was in Russell's life prior to him coming in to Care could have seen how badly he was being starved. They could have seen the black crust that had built up all over his body from never being bathed. And honestly...how does a child get fifteen broken bones and a lacerated liver without anyone in his life knowing how it happened??!!
Still, CPS will be required to do a home study on every relative that Mom presents to the court.
Along with this, even though the goal is no longer reunification (not the primary or the secondary goal), Mom got a new case plan and more services to work. In a way, reunification is not completely ruled out. This makes no sense to me. But it's what they did.
(Note: I feel comfortable sharing these intimate court details because we have open court here in my part of Texas. Any reader sitting next to me today could have heard all these details themselves.)
So...visits continue. Mom will have to attend counseling again I believe and maybe a support group or something. CPS will conduct new home studies. But along with all that, CPS is to start getting their ducks in a row for a trial.
The pretrial is in October. The final hearing is in December.
And this is where I simply can't answer any questions. I don't know if at this trial they will terminate rights. Or if this is just a trial before a TPR hearing. I guess because the goal is now adoption that they will either present a relative that is acceptable to take placement or they will terminate. I've never had a case like this one and Texas, especially my part of it, does things differently.
Bopper (the babies' CPS worker) wasn't at court today. She was out sick. Still, she sent me a text after we got home asking how court went. I told her my jaw was on the floor with the goal change. Interestingly enough, she said that it must have happened late last night because she was unaware of that change.
Bopper assures me that she will keep me in the loop with homestudies being done and all that jazz. I did come out and say, even though I've never been asked, that we would care for these two cherubs as long as the State will let us.
I also sent a text to the babies' lawyer. We've met in person once, spoken on the phone before, and we have communicated via text several times. She's been VERY honest with me thus far and I had caught her on the way out of court to tell her I'd love to pick her brain on this case. She indicated that we could definitely talk later!! My text basically just said that I knew she was swamped and in court today. I said that the goal change really surprised me and I'd love to hear her take on how the case could possibly play out. I asked her to message or call me at her convenience later today or this week. She responded that she would.
So this is where we can all start speculating.
- Will Mom get it together and get her kids back?
- Will one of Mom's relatives get both kids permanently?
- Will they send both babies to a relative on Star's dad's side of the family
(No one on Russell's paternal side can be located at all.)
- Will they split the children and send Star to a relative but plan an adoption for Russell?
But yes, we would adopt these cherubs if it became necessary.
So now...we wait and watch and do a lot of praying.