A few weeks ago, I got an email from the caseworker handling our post-adoption correspondence at the agency we used to adopt Lucky Charm. She asked me to call her when I got a chance regarding a letter she got in the mail from Tiny (Lucky Charm’s birthmom).
I called her as soon as I saw the email, and she relayed the message that Tiny was in jail, and part of the message included a note asking if we would be ok taking custody of Lucky Charm’s biological sister (Gem) who is 15 months old. Back story: when she didn’t place Gem and I was getting all of my feelings out about why I was upset with her decision, we came to an agreement that if she ever ended up in jail she would contact us before Gem would end up in foster care.
The caseworker forwarded me scans of her letter and her contact information. I contacted Mr. Lucky and he said “Yes” immediately that we would take her without a doubt. I then got a prepaid cell phone and set up a prepaid calling account with the jail. (All of this came after I realized that collect calls cannot be accepted on cell phones!)
Communicating with an inmate is not easy. The mail is very slow, and you cannot leave messages. You have to rely on them calling you collect. Tiny called me a few days after she got our phone number. We spoke a bit about Gem and her current living situation and we asked her how she wanted us to proceed. We ended the conversation telling her that we would hire a lawyer to draw up temporary custody papers the following day.
Fast forward to the next day, we called several lawyers for price estimates and finally settled on a lawyer in Alabama (where she is incarcerated) who is familiar with family law, and could verify we were doing everything legally with taking the child out of state, etc.
The papers were drawn up the following day, and faxed and mailed to the jail.
We didn’t get another call from Tiny for approximately 1 week, and the attorney had not received the papers via mail.
TO BE CONTINUED