The alternate title to this post is C'mon!! Really?!
First and Second: Baby Girl's surgery went awesome and we're home now. Brandon is in Texas with his BioMom and half siblings. It seems to be going well.
Third: I had a little pity party for myself because I am alone with 2 kids for a week with no hope of getting away for "Me time", and I miss my bloggy world- so I got a new computer!!! YAY for an intact keyboard!!
Yesterday was court. It was intended to be the day Mom surrendered her parental rights to Baby 4. Just a couple hours before court, the caseworker calls and lets me know that both my husband and I have to be there to sign the surrender as well. Unfortunately he's away- Thanks for the heads up CW!
Talk of a surrender started because Mom did not want a finding of severe abuse on her record. A finding of severe abuse gives CPS reason to remove any future children at birth. Mom wanted a neglect finding in the case of Baby 4 to protect future children from being automatically placed in foster care. The county said, "Sure we'll give you a neglect finding- as long as you sign an unconditional surrender at the same time". That was the deal, and it is a very good deal because the severe abuse case is rock solid should it go to trial.
First, Mom's lawyer said that they need time to think about which path they wanted to go. Then at the next court date, Mom could not come (not her fault, the court's fault). Yesterday, Mom's lawyer stands up and says they want the neglect finding and conditional surrender. See how sneaky? Wanting the cake and eating it too. Mom wants a continued contact agreement where I would send her pictures twice/year. In reality, pictures are not that big of a deal, but C'MON! You want something? You're the reason we're here. You shouldn't even be offered a deal and now you want more?! There are some legal details that make agreeing to pictures impossible, so the county and judge said she couldn't have a conditional surrender. Her lawyer said that they need more time now to make a decision. Court will be adjourned again. AHHH!
For those of you somewhat familiar with Family court/Foster care procedure- this finding we're talking about it the initial petition that was filed when the child was removed and placed into care. The original charge of abuse/neglect that all our parents face when their child is removed. There has been no finding in that petition in 14 months. I find that ridiculous. Further ridiculous-ness is that if Mom decides not to accept the great deal she was offered today, then we should have gone to trial on the severe abuse not allowed her to dictate what will be happening any further. You had a deal, you didn't like it, so we go to trial. Makes sense to me, and apparently only to me.
THEN Mom's lawyer tells the judge that it's a really long commute for Mom to come to court, so she would like to attend the Permanency hearing in May by phone. Never mind that she gets FREE transportation and literally has nothing else/better to do since she's in a facility setting. Never mind that without her present there can not be a finding made or surrender (conditional or unconditional). Never mind that this whole thing should be about what's best for Baby 4 and not for his abuser. The judge is allowing Mom to attend by phone next month. To that I say, C'mon!! Really?!
So court is the Nothing part. Nothing got done and nothing will get done next time either.
The everything part happened in the lobby before court. Through some accidental word vomit, we (CW and I) found out that Relative Resource had a child removed from her by CPS and adopted several years ago. That seems to me like RR is losing footing in that custody petition.
Foster Care is super frustrating and sad and stupid and worth it- because in such a broken system our kids need at least on person who remembers them through the craziness. When I get totally overwhelmed by the injustice, it pushes me to be the one good part of Foster Care for my son. He'll never have nobody because I stand in his corner. I'm thankful for the chance to be that constant for my babies.