Today was court day for Little Man. TPR hearing. I was running late this morning, wasn't too worried about it because they always start late. Well, I didn't realize that a judge from out of our county was doing court today and she was punctual. Normally that wouldn't matter either because we typically are the last case seen. I ran into a foster parent in the lobby who needed to talk to me. I told her to call me because I was running late.
I stepped out of the elevator to find the GAL standing there. She said we our case was just called and we had to go. Whew, what timing. On time and first, the one time I was running late.
Our case took an hour. I had to get on the stand to talk about my contact with the mother (none since last July but I was the last person to talk with her) and about Little Man's health issues. I don't like going on the stand. I have a tendency to start answering before they have finished their long question. I guess I am impatient....or the question is too long.
In the end TPR was granted on 3 different grounds. Each ground had to be proved and documented. Now we have a waiting period where the mom can file an appeal. Honestly, even if she files an appeal I don't see how she can fight the TPR. She hasn't worked her case plan, visited her child since last June 28th or supported her child.
While waiting for the appeal period to end we will work on finished our update on our adoption homestudy. I have all the medicals and other paperwork but can't get the adoption worker to return my calls. Tomorrow I am heading to Columbia to personally hand her the rest of the documents. Adoptions has to go through the selection process before we can do anything else. If they select us we will then go to our lawyer. If not, we will look for a lawyer to fight. I am not sure if our adoption lawyer would be the best choice for a fight. I hope that we don't have to go there.
Termination of Parental Rights is a huge step. I know that many talk about how it is such a loss for the mother. While I agree I must admit that in this case my feeling is one of celebration and relief. Little Man's mother did not fight for her child. She could have gotten her child back if she had done what was asked of her.
Sitting in court today I realize how little she did. We did more for this child in maintaining our foster certification than what she did to try and gain custody of him. She walked away. To say that I am sad for the mothers loss would not be true. I have had cases where I did feel that way. Where I saw the mothers work and try but just not have the ability to overcome their challenges (most of the times drugs). I have also seen some work hard and get their kids back. But in the case, nothing. Even the visits she made were for her family. They held him, not her.
So today we are celebrating. Little Man is now officially an orphan. Praying that he will soon be ours.