This week was disappointing on the legal front. On Tuesday's advisory hearing we expected P's mother to inform the court of her intention to give up her rights and to clear the way for the adoption process. Instead, she denied the states claim and named a potentially new father pressing forward with the case. It's very weird but we had a discussion about what would happen and while we both hoped for the best outcome, I was pretty uncertain about the likelihood of the mother just giving up her rights. All of this was pretty obvious from a strategic point of view, but given her history and her apparently unprepared legal representation I doubt that they actually came up with this plan as part of an official strategy.
Anyway, we knew of this potential fathers name before but we aren't sure if she gave the same name to the court before, or a name similar but slightly altered. If the name is new (either completely or just slightly altered from a previous name), then another round of searching is required for the father, which means at least 30 days until the case can move into adoption, but we can work towards completing the process in a concurrent fashion. In the meantime, P's mother was back in court on Friday for mediation and long story short, her lawyer was not prepared. They were given until Monday to come to some conclusion.
Nothing is certain, but it is unlikely that she would win a case against the state given the disappearances and failures over the past six months. I assume her legal adviser will notify her of this, but who knows what they will come up with. Whether the rights are terminated or she hands them over, the process should be completed soon. Hopefully we will know by midweek the outcome of the court situation with the mother and whether or not another search will begin for the father.
In the meantime Sherri is busy starting up a Heart Gallery (like this) here in Tallahassee and has been putting together material and getting organized. We have been enjoying the political conventions and all the excitement they've been generating. I've been working out pretty hard until this week, but I'll start back on Monday. Class is ramping back up, the department softball team started up this week, and I think Sherri is going to get a membership at the campus gym for the rest of the year.
I don't feel nearly as stressed as before given mynew outlook and strategy this semester. I'm finishing up a summer project now, then I'll spend the remainder of the semester on random papers and building a syllabus for my prelim exams in the spring. I'm hoping to get a lot of work done between now and December because of the situation with P's mother, but I'm not really that concerned yet. We are expecting Sherri's sister this thanksgiving and we don't know yet what we are going to do for Christmas, but it looks like we will probably be staying here for the majority. So far so good this semester.
Hope all is well and healthy. Come back soon and look for updates and more pictures and video from Sherri.