Termination was granted by the judge this morning! T (bio dad) did not contest, so the trial only lasted thirty minutes.
In the days leading up to this trial, I felt suspended and separated from reality. My normal emotional state wasn’t what it normally was (probably a good thing for my poor husband). I didn’t even feel the nervousness that usually creeps in before these big hearings and trials. The excitement that this may be completed today wasn’t existent.
As I sat in the court room and heard the judge pronounce his decision to terminate the parental rights of Jeremiah’s biological parents, tears of joy streamed down my cheeks. A flood of happiness invaded my heart. I could finally say it was over. My own quirky emotional state had returned, and it felt so good.
Then reality stepped in front of me, in the form of Jeremiah’s social worker. She said how hard it was for T to do this. (And, no, I can’t imagine what it would be like.) Now tears of sorrow began to flow. What pain. I just wanted this to be a happy moment, but it wasn’t. Two people were losing their child.
T’s fear was that Jeremiah would grow up thinking that his bio dad didn’t care about him. We stepped outside the court room and reassured bio dad that we would always tell Jeremiah that he was loved very much and that T did his best. We gave him pictures of Jeremiah, and told him that we would continue to send him letters and pictures a few times a year.I am so touched that this man decided to do what’s best for his son. Now I pray that healing can begin for this man who has lost so much.
As for Tam (bio mom), she is still missing from her assisted living home. I pray that she can find peace in her life, and that she can attain comfort in knowing that he is with a family who will love him deeply and will do anything for him.
Two more days! There is a small chance that T (Jeremiah’s biological dad) will not contest the Termination. If this happens, we will not have a two day trial. It will only last an hour. He will also not be able to file an appeal. I just found out that on T’s last child, the appeal took 8 months!!!!!! I DO NOT want to wait 8 months. I don’t want to worry for 8 months.
7 days until Termination! The Parental Termination case will go before a judge on April 11 & 12. The judge will hear testimony stemming from before Jeremiah was taken into custody to what has happened since then. There will be testimonies by Case Workers, expert witnesses, and Justin (my husband) will even get a chance to share what we have experienced with Jeremiah.
This will be vastly different than the Termination hearing for our daughter, Payton, as her bio mom didn’t contest the Termination, so we only sat in court for an hour or two. This will be a hearing lasting two full days.
It will be painful to hear all the evidence presented. Two people have lost so much more than a parent would ever want. Yet, we have to focus on what’s best for Jeremiah. All of those who are involved know that he can’t survive with his bio parents. A very sad situation, but we are so glad that God has given us the opportunity to love him for this long, and hopefully for the rest of his life.
The judge may not make the decision in court on the 12th of April. He has an alloted amount of time to make his ruling, I believe it is about seven days.
If the judge does decide to terminate the parent’s rights, the bio parents can then make an appeal, which would go to the Denver court. The appellate court would decide whether they agree with our county judge’s decision to terminate the parent’s rights. Right now that process is taking a few months. We don’t think Tam (bio mom) will make an appeal, but T (bio dad) most likely will.
If you would like, here are some prayer needs:
Please pray for Jeremiah: that the decision would be in his best interest.
Please pray for us: that we would stay calm and level headed (especially me) during the hearing, as a lot of bogus (false) information will be brought forward.
Please pray for T (bio dad): that he would be at peace with the decision that is made by the judge.
Please pray for Tam (bio mom): when she was on her medication she knew that she couldn’t care for Jeremiah. She was very happy that he was in our home and knew he was loved. She is now missing from her assisted living home and is most likely off her meds. I am sure she is dealing with a plethora of emotions and I can’t imagine how painful it is for her. Please pray that God would release her of her pain and that she may be free.
Whatever else you want to add we would greatly appreciate.
This morning wrapped up the final hearing on whether T (bio dad) should have more time with Jeremiah. Two hours were spent last Monday and one hour today bringing forth opinions on why or why not T should have longer visits with his son. Everyone that works with the Dept. was in agreement that more time with T would not be in Jeremiah’s best interest. Thankfully the Magistrate agreed and denied the request.
Justin has relayed much of what is said in the hearings, as I don’t attend them. The most absurd statements are made during these gatherings. I decided to share some of them.
~ One of the specialists testified that Jeremiah only takes a few steps during his visits. Our perspective: Jeremiah is walking AND running very well.
~ His bio father said, “He (J) is not a kid that wants to be read to.” Our perspective: Jeremiah loves books, and has been looking at them on his own since he was nine months old. He now looks through books while pointing and jabbering. I am sure this has no connection to us reading to him on a daily basis. (Mocking smiley face inserted here.)
~ The word “docile” was used regarding Jeremiah. Our perspective: I just have to laugh, as Jeremiah is anything BUT docile. He is a very active, happy, and emotional child. He is not afraid to make his needs known, usually through a piercing scream. He loves to chase his sister around the house, when he begins attending school we have no doubt he will be the class clown since he is always showing off. Docile? Seriously?
The saddest part of it is that during his visits with his bio father, he is docile. Those who have seen in him in both our home and at the visits testify that he is a completely different child there versus here.
Thank God we only have a little over a month until the Termination trial.
The Termination trial has been postponed. I imagine it is all a lesson in patience. I am trying not to go down to the Dept. and ring somebody by their skinny little neck. Those horror stories still exist of other children who have it much worse than Jeremiah, and I must remind myself that it could be more unpleasant. This thought process doesn’t seem to make it any easier.
Yesterday and today were the days that were supposed to decide Jeremiah’s future. We were ready for this to be over. Jeremiah will continue to see his bio parents until the date of the next Termination.
This all happened because of ICWA, and someone who was new at their job dropping the ball. I understand being new at your job and not knowing what to do in each step of the process, but where was the Supervisor? The one who meets with them to make sure everything is covered?
ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) must be covered in EVERY case. This means that every bio parent must be asked if they have any Indian heritage. If the answer is no, nothing needs to be done. If the answer is yes, documents must be sent to the tribe in which the parent is affiliated. The tribe first checks to see if any family member has been registered with them. If no one in the family has been registered, it ends there. If a family member has been registered, the tribe can then decide if they want custody of the child. Even if they have never known the child in any capacity, they can still take custody.
In Jeremiah’s case no one asked the bio mom if she had any affiliation with an Indian tribe. That is, up until less than two weeks before the Termination hearing. While in a meeting with all associated with the case, the state representative asked Tam (bio mom) if she had any Indian affiliation. She said yes, and the whole room dropped like a dead weight. Everyone knew what this meant. At best, it would hold everything up. At worst, the Indian tribe would seek custody.
The reason that it is so important that ICWA be covered is because they have more power than you would believe. They have caused cases to start over from the beginning. We don’t want to start over again.
The Judge did have the option to go ahead with the hearing and then wait to hear what ICWA responded with, but he chose not to go on with the hearing. So, now we wait, and pray, and trust that God will take care of Jeremiah, and that He will give us strength until the end.
TPR – Termination of Parental Rights has been set. We will go before a Judge, and he will decide whether or not to terminate Jeremiah’s biological parent’s rights. The hearing will be on January 11&12. Not close by any stretch of the imagination, but it come quickly with the holidays to be celebrated between now and then.
Please continue to pray that God will work in Jeremiah’s favor, that all those involved would see the truth and what needs to be done. Many of the Workers agree that T (Jeremiah’s bio father) is not capable of parenting Jeremiah, but their goal is still reunification up until the Termination hearing. In fact, as idiotic as it might be, I heard those very words this morning. A Worker said, “We need to work to reunify T and Jeremiah.” Personally, I am over it. Get it done already, he CANNOT parent. Period.
Here is a perfect example. T failed to show up at the last visit he was supposed to have with Jeremiah, it has been 4 weeks since Jeremiah has seen T. Today I arrived at the visit one hour before it was supposed to start. We sat in the car in the parking lot, Jeremiah played, we laughed, we played Peek-A-Boo, we were having a good time…. that is until T walked by Jeremiah’s window as he was traversing the parking lot. Jeremiah immediately started whining and then crying. I was so mad. I quickly got out, took him out of his car seat and headed in the doors. I was a Mama bear who was out for bear. I had two goals in mind as I headed inside. One, was to show them how Jeremiah was acting. Second, was to start the visit as soon as possible so that Jeremiah didn’t have to endure any more agony.
The Visit Supervisor said that Jeremiah was very “dull” during the visit. I asked if it was the normal “dullness,” and she said it was much “duller” than normal. If anyone knows Jeremiah, he’s anything but dull when put in front of a bunch of toys, or even just hanging out at home.
BUT we have the Termination date, we have a lot of praying to do, and we are very happy to see light at the end of the tunnel. =)
The process has begun for terminating Jeremiah’s bio parent’s rights. After the parent’s rights are terminated in a case, the child is available for adoption.
First the Dept. has to find reason that the biological parents are unable to care for the child. They give the parents more than adequate support in this process.
Second, the Case Worker decides whether to start the termination proceedings.
Third, once the Case Worker has decided there is adequate cause to terminate, they meet with a team of Workers at the Dept. This team looks at everything that has been done to reunite the parents and child. If they find that there are more than enough issues keeping the parents from being able to care for the child, they agree that their rights should be terminated. This then leaves the child available for adoption.
The Case Worker then submits a request for a Termination Trial to the county attorney’s office. It will take them an average of two weeks (or so I’ve heard) to then get a date set with the court. It takes a few months for the courts to have a spot for a termination trial.
We don’t know the date of the trial yet, but there will be one. It will most likely be in a few months.
Jeremiah might have visits until the day of the trial. This is usually what happens, but the whole case is not going as “usual.” I believe it’s because we have a God that doesn’t have to follow society’s rules.