Oh were to begin with how this all came to be…….
Little man is my first cousin. He has an older sister and brother. His father left shortly after he was born and his mother left him and his siblings in the middle of the night in a trailer park they were living in. She went up North to be with the father. The kids were taken into custody in October 2010. D and I originally took all 3 of the kids in for a while. This was difficult and we had many issues with the system and the case manager. The oldest started acting out and we just couldn’t handle the three little kids and him all at the same time. The oldest was able to be placed with some friends and things seemed to be working better.
I honestly believe the case manager was a b!tch and had it out for us from day one. We had so many problems getting services for the kids and getting any answers from her. We were lied to many times and in June of 2011 we were told they were sending the kids up north to be with the father. The father has not been able to keep a job, stay clean and sober, or keep a roof over his head, or provide for his family for as long as I have known of him. I had only met him a handful of times. This is still the case today. So I was shocked to hear that they were going to send the kids up to be with him. It didn’t matter what we said about how unstable he was and how could they do this, we got nothing but BS answers. The goal of the case was reunification. So the kids were taken back into custody in June 2011 to be sent up to the father.
In November 2011 we found out that the kids were never sent up north due to the fact that the father failed another home study and couldn’t keep a job. WOW – big surprise. The kids were placed in a group home not far from us. We were never contacted and told any of this when it happened in June. We found this out from my grandmother in November. I contacted the case manager and come to find out there was a new case manager. She said the first case manager screwed a bunch of stuff up and was fired. I asked about the kids and was told that the first case manager lied about us and said we didn’t have any interest in the kids and didn’t want them. Amazing that these are the people that are supposed to be fighting for these kids! We decided at that point to not get involved and move the kids around again since they were still trying to return the kids to the father. We did start overnight visits and weekend visits with them very regularly. We have them for all the holidays and birthdays and what not as well as a few times a month just to be with the family. We have been doing this ever since November 2011.
So in February 2013 I get contacted by a GAL (Guardian Ad Litem). This is a separate agency that is supposed to fight for the kids, not the parents. I was told that they are going to court to change the goal of the case from reunification to adoption and if I would be willing to adopt the kids. After talking to D about all of this and everything that we have been through over the past years we really didn’t feel good about dealing with the system again. We just finished dealing with the D&C and this was not something we wanted to get involved with and we didn’t have intentions on adopting children.
I called the GAL and told him we would not be interested in adopting the 3 kids. He asked if we would be interested in any of them. I asked if he meant they would separate them and I was told yes and that it was unrealistic to think they could find placement for all three together. After much discussion we decided that it might work out if we took in Little Man. He and Baby J were the same age and it seemed like something we could handle. We don’t have the means to take on 4 kids and it just wasn’t something we were really willing to do. So we informed the GAL of this and he said ok. Later I was talking to a friend and she said she would be willing to adopt the little girl and then my cousin from up north called and said she would be willing to adopt the older boy. We all contacted the GAL and informed him of this and we were told that he would contact the case manager to process everyone. Oh and they are now on their 4th case manager and 2nd case manager supervisor at this time. The GAL was happy that the kids would stay in the family and we were all happy to move forward with everything.
Fast forward to today – I am going to court to fight to keep little man in our house! After going through a home study, finger prints and background checks, the GAL’s office has decided they do not want to split up the kids and I need to take little man back to the group home to be with his siblings. WTF?? Are you serious?? I am told that they want to wait for the complete termination of parental rights and put the kids up for adoption as a sibling group. There is no one within our family who is able to take on all 3 kids but we can keep them in the family if we separate them but at least they would stay in our family. We want these kids to stay in the family. Evidently that is not good enough for the GAL now and they want them to go up for adoption outside our family. I just really don’t get it. So once again we are playing games and screwing with these kids lives.
This of course is the shorter condensed version of all of this and this might be the reason that it seems as though we are not over thrilled about all of this. We are happy to have little man but so pissed to have to deal with the political BS that goes along with it. The mother has signed over her rights but the father is still fighting to keep his. Oh and the father was just released from jail yesterday because he got into a fight and stabbed a guy 3 times. Nice right!! So we go to court today to see if we can keep little man in our home. Then we go to court next weds to see if they will allow us to have complete custody of him until he is ready to adopt. So right now it is all a crap shoot and it is completely up to the judge. If things go badly I will have to take little man back to the group home tonight. Not something I want to do so let’s hope the judge has a brain in his head and will do what is right for these kids. This would be devastating to us and baby J as well as little man.
After sitting in the system for 2 ½ years don’t you think these kids deserve a shot at a normal home life?