A New Mission For Grandpa
He Is My Grandson
This hub is being written and published mostly as evidence that Maggie and I want my Grandson to be with us here in Puerto Rico.
Throughout this hub I am going to quote parts of the Missouri Adoption Laws. I hope and pray that the people involved with this process will consider these laws and be just in their decisions and comments. All of the quotes that will be in a headline format come directly from Chapter 453 of Missouri Revised Statutes.
1. The provisions of sections 453.005 to 453.400 shall be construed so as to promote the best interests and welfare of the child in recognition of the entitlement of the child to a permanent and stable home.
Without going into much detail, it came to my attention that my Grandson is in Foster Care in St Charles county of Missouri. He has been placed as a possible adoption case and his case has been handed from the Department of Social Services to a private agency that is called Bringing Families Together. I had been in contact with a social worker there who was trying to work for Eli's return to his Mom. That didn't work out and they started process of trying to find a new home. As the only family member who is willing and able, Lastheart and I feel we need to bring Elijah here to our home in Puerto Rico.
2. The division of family services and all persons involved in the adoptive placement of children as provided in subdivisions (1), (2) and (4) of section 453.014 shall provide for the diligent recruitment of potential adoptive homes that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children in the state for whom adoptive homes are needed.
3. Placement of a child in an adoptive home may not be delayed or denied on the basis of race, color or national origin.
That social worker quit her position after she was supposedly working on paperwork to allow adoption for us. There was confusion at first when this worker thought that Puerto Rico was a third world country. I explained to the best of my ability that Puerto Rico is, in all actuality, very similar to Washington D.C. It is a territory of the United States and all citizens of Puerto Rico are also citizens of the United States.
After she quit, her superior by the name of Angela took over the duties. Through much prayer and guidance, Maggie and I felt that we needed to make a visit to the area. Our priorities were to see Elijah and to show our commitment to adopting my Grandson. We just didn't have the funds to make such a trip so I set up a donation website and help came. I called the Foster Family to tell them we were coming. We had a car, a hotel and a flight.
Two Weeks In St Louis
Playing Sports With ElijahClick thumbnail to view full-size
After a great first visit with Elijah, we decided it would be best to visit Bringing Families Together's office. We couldn't find it so we went to Department of Social Services in St Charles county. Explaining our position, a young man came into the waiting room and tried to help us. It was very unprofessional. First, did we really want all the other people in a social services waiting room hearing our personal business? We found that out more so when a lady from out of the crowd came up to us telling us how she overheard and explaining her problems with the Department of Social Services. He did get us a map to Bringing Families Together.
I was highly suspicious of them after all the battles I had with Department Of Social Services a few years back. We traveled to Bringing Families Together and after asking a mailman the exact location, we went to their door.
We waited in the front room where workers were eating their lunch. Angela finally came out. I explained why we were there. She said she would try to arrange a meeting of the rest of the people involved, but we should have contacted her before coming. I explained that we left messages. She said she never got them and almost acted as if we didn't. I told her I had tried to call and her answering machine still said they were out on Memorial Day Vacation. Since it was now June 12th, I kind of caught her in a lie it seemed. She also seemed quite discriminatory against us. We asked her for information on Elijah's case and she said she couldn't give us any. "How about copies of what has been filed for us to adopt," I asked. She again said no. We then asked if they even had all our information to file for adoption such as address and such. "Oh, I have that," she said. We called her on it again. "You can't, because we haven't given it to anyone." She came out with a regular sheet of notebook paper and asked us to put all our pertinent information.
Not Even A Legal Form!
We left in a frustrated mood. Prayers were lifted to the greatest Judge of all. We went to see Elijah some more.
To The Court
We spent a bit of time seeing some other family members. We also considered all our options on Elijah.
I went to the Missouri laws on adoption and found this:
Petition for permission to adopt, venue, jurisdiction--no denial or delay in placement of child based on residence or domicile--expedited placement, when.
453.010. 1. Any person desiring to adopt another person as his or her child shall petition the juvenile division of the circuit court of the county in which:
(1) The person seeking to adopt resides;
(2) The child sought to be adopted was born;
(3) The child is located at the time of the filing of the petition; or
(4) Either birth person resides.
To the St Charles Courthouse we went. The lady who came to the counter said we couldn't file anything because there is already a case. Hmmmm, doesn't sound like that in what is written above. She also had the gall to say that Maggie doesn't have a Social Security number. I guess she is prejudice against Puerto Ricans. Just to set the record straight, she does have a Social Security number and we should have been able to file for adoption.
The lady told us we should get an attorney. I asked if there was legal aid available and she said no. How do poor people get defended in court in St Charles county I wondered? The woman lied to us and showed discrimination.
2. A petition to adopt shall not be dismissed or denied on the grounds that the petitioner is not domiciled or does not reside in any of the venues set forth in subdivision (2), (3) or (4) of subsection 1 of this section.
3. If the person sought to be adopted is a child who is under the prior and continuing jurisdiction of a court pursuant to the provision of chapter 211, RSMo, any person desiring to adopt such person as his or her child shall petition the juvenile division of the circuit court which has jurisdiction over the child for permission to adopt such person as his or her child. Upon receipt of a motion from the petitioner and consent of the receiving court, the juvenile division of the circuit court which has jurisdiction over the child may transfer jurisdiction to the juvenile division of a circuit court within any of the alternative venues set forth in subsection 1 of this section.
4. If the petitioner has a spouse living and competent to join in the petition, such spouse may join therein, and in such case the adoption shall be by them jointly. If such a spouse does not join the petition the court in its discretion may, after a hearing, order such joinder, and if such order is not complied with may dismiss the petition.
We left in frustration again, but we did go to see Elijah who was going to meet with his counselor that afternoon.
We met with the counselor and Elijah. She showed us all that they were working on. We left that meeting feeling very satisfied.
She feels that Elijah would be well taken care of by us. The Foster parents think Eli needs his Pawpaw and Maggie. Many other people would agree.
5. Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, a court, as defined in this section, shall hear such petition in a timely fashion. A court or any child-placing agency shall not deny or delay the placement of a child for adoption when an approved family is available, regardless of the approved family's residence or domicile. The court shall expedite the placement of a child for adoption pursuant to subsection 3 of this section.
We would have properly filed a petition if the person in the courthouse would have allowed us to. This is why I write this. If Elijah is adopted to anyone else at all, I will scream foul. I will scream prejudice and I will scream and scream. Please allow Elijah to be with his Pawpaw and Abuelita (Grandma in Spanish).
It was getting close for the time for us to come back to Puerto Rico.
We decided a last meeting at the St Louis Zoo would be a great plan. My oldest son (Eli's Uncle) and my Granddaughter (Eli's Cousin) also would come. Here are pictures of our day at the zoo:
At The St Louis ZooClick thumbnail to view full-size
Puerto Rico or Elsewhere
Should Elijah Be With Pawpaw and Maggie?
It was very hard saying goodbye to Elijah, my Son and Granddaughter. Eli wanted Maggie and I to come to his house and when I told him we had to come back to Puerto Rico, he clammed up. I told him we would see each other soon and I would call often. I just spoke with him earlier tonight.
The hugs came and tears fell.
It is hard, but I pray Elijah will soon be in Puerto Rico.
Will you all pray too? Please pray for God's Will first and foremost. Pray for Elijah's safety and health, and pray for him to be with his Pawpaw and Maggie.
We are leaving the donation site open. We may have to go back; there is a court hearing in August. We may have to get an attorney. Anyone who feels the call to help, be it in prayers or financially or both, we greatly appreciate you.
To Angela, Bringing Families Together, and all others involved in working for the best for Elijah, he would be best with us. Our love for him is immense.
Here are our goodbye pictures and a video we made.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
We love you Elijah!
© G.L. Boudonck
© 2013 Greg Boudonck