Then I got to thinking about when I was pregnant with Bart. We had suffered a couple miscarriages over the past few years before his conception. Initially I didn't want to tell anyone I was pregnant in case we lost the baby again. Then I decided that prayers were better and the only way anyone could pray for me and the baby was to know I was pregnant. So we told.
My faith is super important to me. So I do covet all your prayers.
Please know though...I'm not exactly praying for the outcome everyone thinks I should be praying for here. I'm praying for safety and for the best interests of the cherubs' to be taken into consideration. I do NOT know the whole story.
I'll spill though...
Remember Dude and Dolly?
Remember the characters in their story?
I'll refresh for those that don't know....
Dude and Dolly: children I cared for in my home for 27 months. I loved them fiercely. We intervened in their case. Their mother walked out on them from the very beginning. Their father has basically been touring all the jailing facilities where he lives since he was 17 years old.
Grandma N: Dude and Dolly's paternal grandmother. She was older - but not too old to care for these cherubs. However, she did not do a single thing to get to know her grandchildren when they came in to Care. She didn't call them - or even CPS - to see how the kids were doing. She didn't recognize holidays or birthdays with the kids. She totally acted like she did not care about these kids at all. After the State started flying the children to Dallas to see her once a month, she continued to ignore and neglect them during visits. A drug needle even ended up in their suitcase after one of these visits. (Grandma N doesn't use. But several of her adult children do!!!)
Great Grandma P: maternal great grandmother. GGP cared for Dude, Dolly and their mother a lot prior to the cherubs coming in to Care. I believe GGP is the one that called the hotline on their mother that resulted in the cherubs coming to my home back in 2011. She never, ever wanted the cherubs to live with Gma N. But she is in her mid-70s and couldn't take custody of the kids. And as the case progressed, because she was against the kids going to Dallas, CPS did everything they could to limit her contact with the cherubs.
Dude and Dolly mean the world to me. I was devastated when they were sent to live with Gma N. (We were given less than five hours to say goodbye.) You'll have to go through the archives to get the whole story though. Just know, right or wrong, they were MY kids. I wasn't trying to steal them from their bio family. We would have had an open adoption. There were just so many negative things about life in Gma N's home that we legitimately worried for their long-term safety! CPS had an agenda though. Family is always best even when there are obvious signs it's not.
THE MIND-BLOWING NEWS:
GGP called me Thursday afternoon. It seems that Grandma N has cancer and has said something about wanting to put Dude and Dolly back in foster care.
That's it. That's really all I know. And I can't do much with that information.
I immediately started Facebook stalking again. Everything GGP told me matches up with small statements made by family members.
GGP doesn't know where the kids are though or who is caring for them. She doesn't even know if Gma N is still hospitalized or not. She is just very worried about their safety and she wants them to come back to our home as opposed to being cared for by any of Gma N's adult children.
I'll try to now answer the questions that are sure to come about.
- No. I can't call the hotline or ask for a welfare check. I don't know anything official. I only have the word of GGP who lives down here - 10+ hours away from Dallas. No one knows where the kids are anyway so I have nothing official I could tell an investigator.
- Yes. GGP could call the hotline. She actually should. She is a blood relative and her story would be taken much more seriously by CPS. However, it could come across as a feud between maternal and paternal sides. So unless GGP got more official information, she's almost as limited as I am.
- GGP has several grandchildren and children that live in the Dallas area. She's trying to contact them to see if any of them can get her more information about Dude and Dolly. She's also trying to get a phone number for Gma N so she can talk to her directly.
- I believe the actual CPS case on Dude and Dolly closed out this past January. They are no longer being monitored by CPS. Rights were never terminated though so Gma N only has PMC (permanent managing conservatorship). If the kids came back into foster care, anything could happen. I bet they'd even offer Mom a case plan again.
- Because the case closed in their home county, if the cherubs did come back in to foster care, it's likely that a new case would be opened in Dallas County. No one can tell me for sure if their prior history would be a factor at all. I think the ONLY way we'd get a phone call for these kids is if someone in their family told CPS about us AND no one in the family wanted to take them officially. We would qualify as fictive-kin. We're also a licensed foster family with room in our license to take them. But CPS would have to have a reason to move them from Dallas County. Under no circumstances would we "trump" any family that would pass a home study if it came to that. We would only be considered over a brand new foster family (strangers).
- Even if Gma N is in the hospital - and even if the cherubs are simply being passed around from one family member to another - that doesn't mean that CPS would get involved. Someone would have to prove that they are being abused or neglected. Stable, loving, permanency is not a CPS requirement.
- Dude and Dolly's bio dad is back in prison again. He's eligible for parole next summer. He is not a candidate for custody at all!!
- Dude and Dolly's bio mom is living in Houston. She hasn't seen Dude and Dolly for a long, long time. She doesn't even know where they are or how to get ahold of them. (Confirmed by both GGP and several FB statuses on Bio Mom's page.) Bio Mom gave birth to Baby Zippy around 2 years ago (a half-sibling). He lives with Bio Mom's sister. Bio Mom also has another baby boy that she does have custody of though.
I have to be very careful though. I can't get in the middle of this. Because everything is still pretty much speculation, anything *I* say or do looks like I'm trying to get the kids back. And that wouldn't be looked on favorably by CPS at all. Because family always trumps foster.
We have room in our home and in our license for them. And yes, we'd adopt all four (Dolly, Dude, Russell, and Star) if that's where the cases ended up.
But for now...all I can do is pray.
Of course I'm praying the cherubs come back to me. But then I stop myself and I reframe this. And then I pray that their best interests are taken into consideration. I want what really is best for them to happen! If they've got safe and loving family in Dallas now - it is best for them to stay with that safe and loving family. In my heart of hearts I know that. But if they aren't safe...if they are being neglected or abused...I want them home with me.
I'm waiting for GGP to get more information. I've told her she should call the hotline. But other than that, all I can do is wait.