Can you believe it? Another problem to delay the adoption of our 22-month-old foster child, Lil Bit. Those of you that follow Foster2Forever on Facebook already have heard. For the rest of you…
Last Tuesday afternoon, I was at work concentrating on compiling an annual equipment order, when the alarm on my phone sounded. As I glanced down, I began to panic — a court hearing for Lil Bit in 10 minutes!!!! I quickly shut everything down in my office, and raced to my car to get to the court house about 15 minutes away.
I get there at 1:35 p.m. (without getting a speeding ticket – a blessing if you know my driving record). I find the court docket posted and see Lil Bit’s name third on the schedule; however, next to his name a handwritten note “not on CPS list.” I grab the first attorney I see and ask him if that means his case won’t be heard. His reply, “Not necessarily. This case with the same note is going before the judge.”
I’m not sure what to do. I glance in the court room at another case being heard and don’t see the back of anyone’s head that I recognize. I take an overdue potty break, and as I slip out of the restroom, the attorney I spoke with pointed at the court room and said, “Your case.”
I rush into the court room and sit next to my attorney (where did he come from?). The caseworker supervisor for the State of Texas has already been sworn in. She testifies that Lil Bit is doing well and that his case has been transferred to the State’s Adoption Unit. However, once the attorney ad litem begins cross-examining her, the answer has been changed to “the case has been transferred but has not been accepted by the Adoption Unit.”
As caseworker supervisor leaves the stand, my attorney turns to me and asks, “Do you want to testify?” My reply is a simple “no!”
However, my attorney does use the opportunity to request that we be named Joint Managing Conservators with the State of Texas. The judge rules that and schedules the next hearing for the end of August.
Afterward in the hall, my attorney tells me what really happened in the court room. “They had the wrong kid’s name on the second page of the paperwork, and the Adoption Unit rejected it.”
Yesterday, I received Lil Bit’s correct Final Order of Termination of parental rights, so he is now “officially” recognized as an orphan.
His case can now be accepted and processed by the Adoption Unit. After that, all we will need is for INS to issue Lil Bit’s certificate of citizenship so we can finalize his adoption. In short, we are waiting on the U.S. Government – isn’t that just dandy?
We are hoping that we can adopt him before the August court date if his U. S. citizenship is certified by then. However, we do want to wait until after his second birthday in mid-August so that he will be eligible for subsidies, such as medical insurance, given his delays and health issues.
So will we adopt our Lil Bit in August??? Only the good Lord knows…
“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)