Saturday, December 26, 2009
Severance ruling overturned for Boo's case.

It's been so long since I've posted. To be honest, our life has been hell as of late!

We've waited on pins and needles for 8 months to learn what the Court of Appeals would rule (remember, we got a severance ruling back in March and Boo's bio mom appealed the ruling and the case got sent up to the higher court of appeals).

In mid-November, we got very bad news. The Court of Appeals overturned the severance ruling, stating that the state did not provide sufficient evidence that Boo's bio mom would be unable to parent her child in the near future. The fact that Boo had been in foster care for over 16 months, while her bio mom was incarcerated wasn't enough evidence. The problem was that her bio mom got out of prison on parole, spent 90 days in a half-way house, and swore up and down that she was ready to reform and parent her child.

It was also suggested by the Court of Appeals that perhaps CPS hadn't done enough to do an ICPC (Interstate Compact Placement of a Child) transfer of Boo to the state where bio mom was incarcerated, as bio mom requested when she learned her daughter was in the foster care system. They suggested that CPS should've tried to get this other state to find a foster family for Boo when the 3 families that Boo's bio mom suggested didn't meet the ICPC criteria to foster her.

So, what has bio mom been up to these past 8 months as she awaited news of the Court of Appeals ruling? Well we don't know the entire story, but we do know that she quit her job this fall (because she wasn't getting enough hours) without having another job lined up. We do know that she got arrested 4 times for the same misdemeanor crime within the span of 1 month (Oct-Nov)! We learned this week that her parole was revoked and she's currently incarcerated again, this time for at least 6 months. If she doesn't get written up, she'll be eligible for another parole hearing in the summer of 2010.

You'd think that the fact that she got arrested 4 times and is back in prison would be enough to schedule another severance trial, or at least take the pressure of an ICPC transfer off. Apparently not.

Bio mom's lawyer is still fighting to get Boo transferred to this other state, so Boo can have visits with her bio mom in prison and so that bio mom can start working a case plan if/when she's released from prison next summer.

Sadly, after having the severance ruling overturned, CPS and Boo's lawyer seem to be washing their hands of it all. They're not standing in the way of bio mom's lawyer demanding an ICPC transfer. In fact, CPS is starting to draw up the paperwork in anticipation of the new juvenile judge court ordering that ICPC be started, despite the fact that the judge has said he wants to wait to see what bio mom's incarceration status is (it was not known at the last hearing that her parole was indeed revoked).

Boo has been with our family for nearly 2 years. She is nearly 3 years old. She's seen her bio mom twice (two 1-hour supervised visits that were quite traumatic for Boo) since birth. She doesn't know her. Boo has been through hell being uprooted 3 times before reaching us. We've spent months working to get her stabilized! She thinks of us as her family, we're the only family she's ever truly known. She's well bonded to us. She's thriving and happy here. She's safe and well cared for her. We love her, she loves us.

Sadly, there's a good chance she will be removed from our home and sent to another foster family in another state in the hopes that her bio mom will get out of prison and get her life together so she can parent her child. It will take another 6-9 months from her release date to even have a hope of determining how successful she'll be! So, that means Boo will remain in foster care another year and a half!

CPS and Boo's lawyer are no longer thinking of the best interest of this child. Bio mom's lawyer's job is to protect the rights of the bio mother, even at the expense of the best interest of this child, and he's working hard to do just that.

This bio mom has had over 20 years of criminal/substance abuse history. She's been convicted of 40+ criminal charges (2 felony convictions, the rest misdemeanors). She's been incarcerated in prison 3 times now and has violated parole twice now. I've tried really hard not to judge throughout this process, but for goodness sake, at what point is enough enough?! At what point is her child allowed to have stability and permanency without having to wait longer to see if her bio mom is willing/able to change her life?!

What are we to do?!

Well, we've decided to hire an attorney to represent us. We've filed a Motion to Intervene in the hopes that the judge will make us a party to this case and give us legal standing and a voice, since Boo's lawyer is not proving to be much of a voice for her.

Our lawyer is suggesting that we file a Motion to Severance, to launch another severance trial, in the hopes that bio mom's recent incarceration will provide enough grounds to prove that bio mom will not be able to successfully parent her child in the near future!

There's a Status Hearing scheduled for mid-January and we'll learn more then.

In the meantime, we're loosing sleep worrying about things like, what kind of life will Boo lead if she's forced to leave our family and move to another state and another foster family while waiting to see if her bio mom can change her life? What kind of life will she lead if bio mom holds it together long enough to get Boo back but then later returns to her past unsafe way of life? How will Snuggle Bug (and Ornozo and I) cope with loosing her if it comes to that?

And of course, there's the worry of money. We're the only one in this case having to pay legal fees. Our lawyer has told us it'll cost up to $20,000 to launch our own termination trial. Needless to say, we don't have that kind of money! We're hoping to arrange some fundraisers and ask for donations from family and friends to offset some of this cost.

My nightmare has come true and I'm still in shock!

Your prayers would be much appreciated! I'll update when I know more. Sorry for the lack of consistency but our world is in upheaval right now and blogging regularly is no longer a top priority. I hope you all understand!

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9:12 PM

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Dawnelle said...

I am just sick reading your post. When possible, update your blog. We have court the same day next month- I"ll be thinking of you that day for sure. I just cannot BELIEVE this situation. What state are you in again?

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

This makes me ill and I pray and ask for a miracle that this all gets turned around. What was the judge thinking?! He wasn't. And how selfish is this mother who is not thinking of her child at all. So selfish. I believe hiring a lawyer is the right thing. I would put a pay pal fundraiser on your blog asking for help. This is so sad but I and many others are praying and asking the Lord for a miracle on behalf of Boo and the family. Many hugs and keep me posted.

At 1:22 AM, Blogger Kelli said...

oh sweetie .... this makes me sick. we will be praying for every aspect of this, and trusting God will the meantime, just do what you are doing.You are giving

Boo the best home possible every day.Do not lt anyone take that thought away from you/

At 5:44 AM, Blogger Nadine said...

This is heartbreaking. For Boo, for your family, for what it means for other kids in the system. It makes me angry and sad. You are in my thoughts!

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Kellie said...

I am just so disgusted and so sorry that this is happening to your family. I'll be praying for you all and checking back often hoping for some sort of good news in Boo's case.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Sally said...

oh wow. I'm sick that your family is going through this right now. Poor Boo -- this is so not fair to her. I'm praying that bio mom has time to think in prison and comes to the realization that she's being selfish and that she needs to think of Boo's best interest. Please, God, help bio mom do what's right for Boo!!

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

What a nightmare. CPS sure can bungle things up, huh? Don't lose hope.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Momma Bean said...

My heart is just breaking for you and your family. We had to hire an attorney and file for termination on our own with our now 8yo. Boo is so fortunate to have you both fighting on her behalf. Hang in there and know that you are thought of often.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Jacquie said...

Oh my goodness, why do some people have to make this so hard for you all.

Boo is so fortunate to have you guys on her side, I pray all those concerned sit back and realize that leaving her where she needs to be is what is best for her.

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous superpaige said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! So NOT fair.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

We'll keep praying, asking God to intervene in this earthly decision process. Please keep us updated and let us know how to lift all of you in prayer

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

oh that is just awful!! Has the judge even LOOKED at this whole case file? With all of her arrests and incarcerations how could he even think overturning the severance would be the right decision!? I'm so mad and frustrated for you all, and especially Boo - the people who should be looking out for her best interests aren't (except you and Oronzo of course). I can't believe her lawyer isn't fighting for her to stay with you...can you request a different lawyer for Boo instead of having to hire one yourselves?

Please know you guys are all in my prayers...this whole situation...and Boo...I can't imagine...

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Magi said...

And people wonder why domestic adoption is such a mess. Anyone in hteir right mind would know that this is not in the best interest of the child. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I've wondered how things were with you and am sorry to hear that this is where they are right now. I hope it changes for the better soon.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Thalia said...

I'm so sorry this is happening. I will continue to hope for a better process for your family soon, and the right outcome.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Oh hon. I'm so sorry that things are so difficult for you all. I hope that the courts remember this tiny little girl's feelings when they consider what is best for all involved...

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Renee said...

Just stopped by to say Hi. I am so sorry that this is happening to y'all. I'll be praying.

At 7:49 AM, Blogger GiBee said...

Ugh... so sorry to hear this. I'll be adding you to my prayer list!!!

At 8:10 PM, Blogger MommaofMany said...

Life in the system...and they wonder why so many folks are reluctant to adopt children out of foster care. I will pray that the judge sees reality and allows her to stay and grants the Severance. I have seen several foster care adoption miracles this year. Take heart and lay the situation before Jesus Christ, the Father of the fatherless and Defender of the helpless.

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Mama 2 Ladybug said...

I'm SO sorry to hear this. We have our TPR trial in January, our FD has been with us for 17 months and is 2 yrs old. We're pretty nervous and are trying to think positive thoughts. I pray all will work out for your family, soon.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Leah W said...

i'm sick to my stomach. hang in there. she isn't gone yet.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Hi- I am a new reader of your blog and I am just stunned by this post. What in the world are they thinking?!?!
I will be praying for your precious little Boo - that God will intervene on her behalf and that you will all get the miracle you need.
Keep us posted.

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not followed your blog for awhile but I am sadden by these developments. I have adopted 3 girls from foster care and had to go through a severance trial.

Please get the opinion of a bonding and attachment specialist. She is at that age where a disruption of care would bring on attachment issues. You don't want that for her at all. I think you have a good case but you need good people behind you.

They need to be reminded that the best interest of the child should be their main concern. Remind them everyday if you need to. Don't be afraid to stir things up.

Good luck!


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Baby Bug's 2nd birthday
I'm home from surgery!
Going into surgery tomorrow morning.
Slowly moving forward with Boo's adoption.
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Grilled Sweet Pepper ...
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Salad Edition)
My life as a SAHM.
Potty mouth
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Appetizers & Snacks E...
A small step forward in Boo's case.

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