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January – Anna May He born (automatically became U.S. citizen). Had respiratory distress at birth, which required 11 days in NICU of hospital (huge hospital bill). Mr. He questioned whether Anna May was his child, and had blood tests done which proved paternity. At this point, the Hes had no job, no way to pay hospital bill, were borrowing money to live on. Their friend, Mrs. Chun (who worked for the adoption agency), suggested they think about temporary foster care. They went to see Mrs. Sarah Cloud, at the Juvenile Court, who recommended 90 days of foster care to give them time to get financially stable.|
February – Mr. & Mrs. He agreed to a 90 day period of foster care. Mrs. Chun arranged for Anna May to go to the home of the Bakers, and Mr. & Mrs. He visited her there every week, bringing diapers, toys, and baby clothing for Anna May. At one point, they tried to give $300 to the Bakers to care for the baby, but the Bakers said they couldn’t legally take the money.
April/May – Mr. & Mrs. He applied for and received a passport of Anna May, because it was their intention for her to return to China. They began looking for someone who could take the baby back to China, where she could be cared for by family there. They couldn’t find anyone to take the baby to China, and were still in poor financial position, and couldn’t decide what to do about the baby. The 90 day period was coming to an end. Although they wanted to take the baby back, they still had no income, no health insurance, no way to support the baby.
June – the Hes and Bakers met with attorney Ken Weaver, who explained that custody of Anna May would go to the Bakers for a period of at least one year. He told the Hes that they would retain some, but not all, of their parental rights. For instance, the Bakers would make the everyday decisions for the medical care and daily care of Anna May. The Hes were concerned about being able to still see Anna May on a regular basis, and they were assured they would have weekly visitation rights. For these meetings, and for later court appearances, Mrs. He depended on a translator, which was often her husband. On the day that they actually signed the court order, Mrs. He was openly sobbing. The interpreter explained to her the basic meaning of the court order, but did not translate it word by word. It was clear to Mrs. He, however, that this was a temporary custody – the word “temporary” was spoken in both Chinese and English.
The Hes continued to visit their daughter every week, bringing food, toys, diapers, and clothing for the baby. Within a few months, the Hes regretted their decision, and decided they wanted Anna May back. Mr. He went to the Juvenile Court employee, Mrs. Sarah Cloud, to ask advice about how to regain custody of Anna May. Mrs. Cloud directed them to the appropriate court official, and advised them to hire an attorney.