Devonian Fossil Gorge

mixed tape

Ooh Ooh Child- The Five Stairsteps
TV is Awesome- Fuzzy Machete
Memphis Tennessee- Johnny Rivers
I Wanna be Sedated- The Ramones
Moonage Daydream- David Bowie
Rock N Roll- Velvet Underground
Ever Fallen in Love- Buzzcocks
Hope- Bauhaus
Cherry Bomb- The Runaways
Dream Away Child- Frank Sinatra
Rainbow Connection- Muppets
Ain't no Mountain High Enough
Dancing with Myself- Billy Idol
Into My Arms- Nick Cave
Drums- Johnny Cash
Lucretia My Reflection- Sisters of Mercy
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles
Vlad the Impaler- Gwar
Midnight Radio- Hedwig
pinky and the brain

TPR doc




D.O.B. 8-15-02 )






D.O.B. 12-28-04 )





This matter came before the Court for hearing on the State’s Petition for termination

of parental rights. Present representing the State of Iowa was Assistant Linn County Attorney

Robert Hruska. The children were not present but were represented by attorney and guardian

ad litem Cindy Finley. The children’s mother, Denelle Kaim, was present personally and was

represented by attorney Kara McFadden. The children’s father, Nikita Kaim, was not personally

present but was represented by attorney Henry Keyes. Kelly Morgan was present on behalf of

the Iowa Department of Human Services. The children’s paternal grandparents appeared also.

The State moved to amend the petition to include allegations pursuant to Iowa Code

Section 232.116(1)(f). Hearing no objection, the amendment was allowed.

The matter proceeded to hearing and the Court received testimony and evidence,

including State’s Exhibits 1 and 2, the affidavit prepared by Kelly Morgan which was attached to

the petition, and Mother’s Exhibits A and B. At the close of evidence, the Court indicated that a

written ruling would be provided.


This Court has jurisdiction of Vladimir Kaim and Lucretia Kaim. Vladimir Kaim is

a seven year old child, having been born on August 15, 2002. Lucretia Kaim was born on

December 28, 2004 and is five years old. The children’s interests in these proceedings were

represented by attorney and guardian ad litem Cindy Finley.

 Denelle Kaim and Nikita Kaim were each given due and timely notice of the

proceedings. Nikita is represented by attorney Henry Keyes in the termination action as well

as in the underlying child in need of assistance action. Denelle is represented by attorney Kara

McFadden in the termination action as well as the underlying child in need of assistance action.

The Court has jurisdiction as to the parties in interest.

 Vladimir and Lucretia Kaim are the children of Nikita and Denelle Kaim. This family

first came to the attention of the Department of Human Services in 2003 through a child abuse

assessment that was unfounded. In total, the Kaim family has been the subject of at least nine

child abuse assessments with at least four founded reports for denial of critical care due to either

the condition of the family home, domestic violence or lack of supervision of the children. On

November 15, 2005, police officers were called to the Kaim home because of a domestic

disturbance. The officers went into the home and became concerned for the safety of the children

due to the condition of the home, so the Department of Human Services was called. Police

officer Stone observed and provided the following description in his written report:

“While taking pictures of the residence and

determining the safety of the children I observed cigarette papers on

the floor, small pieces of wood which Nikita advised was from his

son tearing apart a chest that was made of wicker. Clothes were

strewn on the floor and appeared to have not had laundry done in

weeks. Nikita had commented that finances were tight and money

was not there to clean clothes. On the couch was a piece of 2x4

which was unknown where or what it had come from. A piece of

wood that was on the floor was picked up by Lucretia while in

Denelle’s arms. Denelle did not notice what the child had picked up

until mentioned by officers. The piece of wood was later found

thrown on the bed of the parent’s in the next room and was observed

with two rather long nails protruding from it. At any time that could

have poked the child and injured her face or body. The kitchen had

dishes all over the sink. Dirt infested water filled the sink. The high

chair for Lucretia to sit at supper time was caked with dried food and

gnats, cat food and water was on the top of the table as was the cat at

the time of call. The garbage was full and the wall behind it was

gunked with dried liquids and food particles. The stove was caked

with food and between the stove and fridge was a black gunk that

appeared to have been spilled foods and oils. The refrigerator was

full, but had spoiled food and was moldy and dirt infested. It was

apparent that the house had not been picked up in months possible a

year or more. …Nikita and Denelle were unable to stop verbally

arguing in the presence of DHS.”

 At the time this incident occurred, Nikita was employed and Denelle was providing

primary care to the children. Denelle and Nikita reported concerns with Vladimir’s behavior and

said that they were begging for help with Vladimir. Denelle said that she could not take care of

the children and do all of the housework. The Department of Human Services arranged with the

family for the children to be placed temporarily with their paternal grandmother while the

parents cleaned the home. Approximately two weeks later, the Department of Human Services

returned to the home and found that the parents had cleaned the home such that it was

determined to be safe for the children to reside there. Two weeks following that, the Department

of Human Services received another report alleging that the home was again unsafe for the

children. The Department immediately sent a social worker out to observe the home, and she

reported that conditions had indeed deteriorated since the children were returned home. She

observed small objects on the floor e.g. pennies, pieces of rattan. She also observed that the

home was very cluttered, with pathways through piles of clothing on the floor. The garbage was

overflowing. The parents were advised as to the cleaning that needed to be done so that the

children could remain in the home and they agreed to complete the task. The Department

completed a child abuse assessment a founded report was placed upon the register for denial of

critical care, lack of appropriate shelter, with both parents responsible. The family agreed to

participate in voluntary services offered by the Department of Human Services, which included

parenting, protective daycare and drop in supervision.

On December 18, 2006, the Department of Human Services received another report

alleging that the children’s home was a health and safety hazard. On that date, Marion Police

officers were called to the family home due to a report of domestic abuse between Nikita and

Denelle. The police officers noted that the children were in close proximity to the domestic

violence and also that the condition of the home created a health and safety hazard for the

children. The police officers contacted the Department of Human Services and social worker

Roberta Hinman was assigned to complete another child abuse assessment. Roberta observed

and reported the following:

“As this worker entered the home’s living room area, I

could not walk in a clear path. There were so many items: i.e.

clothes, toys and food on the floor it was difficult to walk through the

home. The police stated the parents had agreed to have Nick’s

mother, Sandra Green, come to the home to pick up the children for

the weekend to allow the parents time to clean the home…..The

police stated there was cat feces on the floor, as well as very stained

carpet. It appeared the animals did their “daily duty” and it was never

cleaned in the living room and dining room area. The floors had

many objects that a young child could put in their mouth and choke

(small toy parts, batteries, pennies, pins, staples and other small

debris). In the kitchen, there were no clean dishes, there was mold on

the cupboards and in the kitchen sink. Officers opened the

refrigerator and there was moldy food. The refrigerator and kitchen

looked as if they had not been cleaned in a long time. Someone had

made something in a blender, it spilled down the cupboard, and it was

just left there to turn to mold. There was no clean space on the

kitchen counter. The kitchen floor was cluttered, very dirty with

cans, food containers with moldy food in them were on the floor as

well as on top of the stove. There were fruit flies in the kitchen as

well. There was a high chair in the kitchen that was very dirty with

layers of food dried and crusted on it. It seemed the daughter ate in

her high chair, but it was not cleaned each time she ate her meals.

There was also garbage overflowing in several areas of the home

which had a foul smell as if it had not been taken outside for

sometime. The bedrooms were full of items, and I was unsure where

children could even sleep with so much clutter. The clutter was also

piled high, and could fall on small children hurting them. The parents

bedroom door could not be opened as there was so much clutter and

clothes in the room. If there was fire, I am not sure how fast the

parents could get to the children to assist them. The bathroom was

dirty and unsanitary. I am not sure how anyone could be clean after

taking a bath as it looked like no one cleaned the bathroom in months.

I told the parents the home was unfit for children to live in and

needed cleaning before the children could come home. The parents

began to scream at each other for not cleaning. Denelle stated she

works part-time and Nick refuses to clean. Nick does not have

employment. Both parents stood in front of the police, this worker

and the children and screamed at each other.”

 At the time of this incident, Nikita was no longer working and was providing primary

care of the children while Denelle had part time employment. Roberta met with the family and

determined that the children could not remain in the family home until it was cleaned. Roberta

then assisted Nikita and Denelle in developing a plan for the children. Nikita and Denelle

agreed that Vladimir and Lucretia would again stay temporarily with their paternal grandmother,

Sandra Green, while they worked to improve the condition of their home. After completing her

child abuse assessment, Roberta Hinman determined that the allegations of denial of critical care

were accurate and another founded report of child abuse, with Nikita and Denelle as responsible

parties, was placed upon the registry.

Vladimir and Lucretia again returned to their parent’s home by early January of 2007.

However, Roberta Hinman remained concerned regarding the children’s safety given the number

of child abuse assessments completed regarding the same issue and due to the fact that the

parents were continuing to struggle with maintaining the cleanliness of their home. Additionally,

Roberta identified issues regarding Denelle’s mental health and Nikita’s physical health as issues

which needed to be addressed to assure the safety and welfare of the children. As a result of her

concerns regarding ongoing safety of the children, Roberta initiated a child in need of assistance

petition for Vladimir and Lucretia.

At hearing held on April 27, 2007, all parties stipulated that Vladimir and Lucretia should

be adjudicated to be children in need of assistance pursuant to Iowa Code Sections 232.2(6)

(c)(2), (6)(g) and (6)(n). The Court was informed at that hearing that due to domestic abuse

charges, the parents were no longer residing together. Denelle was residing with friends and

Nikita remained in the family home with the children. Nikita and Denelle continued, however,

to share care of the children. Pending disposition, the Court ordered that the parents should not

be together with the children unless they were in a public place or supervised by a neutral third

party. The Court also ordered mental health evaluations for both parents. The parents were

working with a number of services, including parenting instruction, drop in supervision, referrals

for domestic violence counseling, mental health evaluations and individual counseling, and

daycare services, in effort to prevent the need to remove the children from the parent’s care.

On May 22, 2007, while dispositional hearing was pending, Denelle was at the family

residence to return the children to their father. Denelle and Nikita began arguing and failed to

notice when Vladimir, who was then aged four, walked away from their home. Vladimir was

located approximately four blocks from home, at a busy intersection, by Marion Police Officers.

The police contacted the Department of Human Services and social worker Cathy Razavi was

assigned to complete a child abuse assessment. Just a few days prior to this incident, Vladimir

was found, alone and unsupervised at the public library. On that earlier occasion, Vladimir had

again left the family home unnoticed and walked several blocks on his own. When Cathy Razavi

arrived at the Kaim home, she observed and reported the following:

“While in the home I was able to observe the home to be

filthy, cluttered with clothing, paper, boxes, and hangers strewn all

over the floor. I was able to identify that food was sitting out on

the countertops. I observed macaroni in a bowl that was hardened

and appeared to be several days old. There was dirty dishes on the

countertops and table. There was food particles on the carpet. The

carpet was filthy. After standing in one place and then stepping to

another, I could feel my shoes sticking to the floor. The home was

extremely warm with small insects identified. There was no clean

surface to prepare food. I observed straight pins on the floor. The

back door contained a piece of broken plexiglass that was attempted

to be sealed with caulk. The home has a front door that had boxes in

front of it. I was able to note that the kitchen trash was overflowing

and spilling over on the floor. The home reeked of stale garbage and

dirty diapers. The condition of the home did not meet even the lowest

level of safety for two and four year old children. Outside the side

door, there was a trash bag ripped open with food and diapers seeping

out. It had attracted approximately a dozen flies. The front exit has

no stairs to walk out.”

The Department of Human Services determined that the children could no longer be

safely maintained in their parent’s care and an order to remove the children from parental

custody was requested. That order was granted and the children were placed in foster family

care pending disposition.

Nikita and Denelle had earlier requested that Vladimir be evaluated for Asperger’s

syndrome, as they believed that his behavior supported that diagnosis. In addition to the

parent’s difficulty with maintaining supervision of Vladimir, his behavior was becoming more

aggressive. Dr. Sinda Eggerman completed an evaluation in May of 2007. Dr. Eggerman

concluded that Vladimir’s problems were primarily environmental in nature. She concluded

that, if Vladimir was in a more consistent and positive environment, he would not be showing

the symptoms that he showed, except for his language delay. She recommended that Vladimir

participate in individual therapy.

 Dispositional hearing was held on May 31, 2007 and June 6, 2007. Dispositional order

was entered on June 12, 2007 and the Court ordered that the children remain in foster family care

due to the condition of the family home, the volatile nature of the parents’ relationship, and the

parents’ difficulty in providing the children with adequate supervision. Additionally, Denelle

and Nikita were about to be evicted and had no immediate plan for housing. Denelle and Nikita

decided that they wanted to resume living together as soon as they could locate housing.

Denelle and Nikita were each required to complete a mental health evaluation and follow

through with recommended treatment. Nikita’s evaluation was completed by Dr. Ronald Nelson

on September 17, 2007. Dr. Nelson noted that Nikita had a past diagnosis of post traumatic

stress disorder, related to early childhood abuse. However, Dr. Nelson found no significant

symptoms of that condition at the time of the evaluation. Dr. Nelson reported that Nikita was of

average intelligence, cognitively intact and presently free of any marked emotional disturbance.

Dr. Nelson also reported that Nikita’s test results indicated that Nikita had a tendency to over

control anger to the point that it is expressed in either passive-aggressive manners and/or verbal

outbursts of aggression. Dr. Nelson stated concerns regarding Nikita’s marital situation because

of the level of anger, verbal and even physical aggression. However, Dr. Nelson recommended

that Nikita participate in individual therapy focusing on anger issues and personality issues prior

to relationship therapy.

Denelle’s evaluation was completed on August 21, 2007 by Dr. Paul Eggerman. Dr.

Eggerman’s diagnosis included personality disorder with borderline features, and depressive

disorder, in remission. Dr. Eggerman found no current symptoms of depression, and noted that

Denelle reported that her depression symptoms were seasonal, and that she took medication in

the fall and winter. Dr. Eggerman noted that Denelle had superior intellectual functioning and at

least some superficial social skills. His biggest concern was Denelle’s relationship with Nikita

and that she might not be entirely realistic in terms of how she assesses that relationship. Dr.

Eggerman recommended relationship therapy and individual therapy for Denelle.

By August of 2007, Denelle and Nikita had obtained a new residence and both were

working. Although their new home was also somewhat messy, it was not the health and safety

hazard that their previous residence was. Denelle and Nikita maintained regular visitation with

the children and the visitation progressed to semi-supervised visitation in the fall of 2007. Nikita

and Denelle participated in individual and couples counseling. However, their relationship

continued to be unstable. In November of 2007, police were called to their home due to a report

of domestic disturbance. Nikita and Denelle repeatedly engaged in loud verbal arguments which

were witnessed by others, including the children. The couple decided to separate, then to

reunite. The visitation was returned to fully supervised status. However, when Nikita began to

participate in therapy with Virgil Gooding, the couple’s relationship began to improve. Mr.

Gooding recommended that the couple continue in intensive therapy for a long time to develop a

healthy relationship. In a report filed with the Court in January of 2008, the Department of

Human Services recommended that efforts toward family reunification continue.

On May 30, 2008, Vladimir and Lucretia began a trial home placement with their

parents. As part of the plan for the trial home placement, the Department of Human Services

arranged for protective daycare for the children. Denelle and Nikita were living together and

maintaining suitable housing. Denelle was employed, working at two part time jobs. Nikita was

not working. In home parenting services and drop in supervision was also provided to the


On August 17, 2008, Vladimir was found on the median of Highway 100 in Marion.

Police officers were called, and recognizing Vladimir from earlier incidents, they went to the

parent’s home. When they arrived, Nikita refused to allow the police officers into the home

without a warrant. He told the police officers that the home was not in order. Nikita told police

officers that he was cooking and hadn’t noticed that Vladimir was gone. Denelle told police

officers that they noticed Vladimir was not in the house when it was time to sit down for dinner.

Denelle left the house to look for Vladimir as the police were returning him to the home. After

Vladimir was returned to his parents, Nikita called him a “fucking retard” and a “piece of shit”.

 The Department of Human Services was contacted and child abuse assessor Roberta

Fuchs came to the home. She observed old food on the floor, clothes all over the floor, garbage

in the living room and kitchen, dirty dishes and old food on the kitchen table and counters.

Roberta told the parents that the home needed to be cleaned for the children to be safe, but she

did not remove the children from the home.

 Within two weeks of Roberta’s contact, the family home continued to be a health and

safety hazard. To assist the family in maintaining the children, Kelly Morgan, the Department of

Human Services case manager assigned to work with this family, and Eric Lehman, the in home

service provider, went to the Kaim’s home to help them clean. They observed cigarette butts in

the children’s room. They observed cat feces throughout the apartment. Nikita and Denelle told

them they had taken six or seven cats to the humane shelter, but planned to keep the four

remaining in their home. The home was cluttered and generally unclean. After helping to get the

home cleaned up, Kelly Morgan advised Nikita and Denelle that they needed to maintain the

home in that condition for the trial home placement to continue.

Throughout the trial home placement, Denelle and Nikita continued to have serious

difficulties with their relationship. They blamed each other for the condition of the home and the

problems with supervision of the children. Denelle accused Nikita of playing video games all

day when he should be cleaning up the home. Nikita accused Denelle of spending all of her time

on the computer when she was home, rather than helping with household chores. Neither parent

took responsibility for the condition of the home and the need to supervise the children. Their

conflicts over these issues led to frequent arguments. On August 25, 2008, the police were again

called to their home due to a domestic disturbance. Nikita and Denelle agreed to return to

couples counseling.

Other issues of concern during the trial home placement included the cleanliness of the

children, Vladimir’s increasing aggression, and the family’s financial stability. Daycare and

school personnel reported that the children were not clean and that they were not dressed

appropriately. Vladimir came to school without underwear or with dirty underwear on. Vladimir

became upset with his mother because she would not read to him and he either hit or squeezed

the family’s pet guinea pig, which died the next day. After this incident, Nikita called Vladimir

a murderer and compared him to Jeffrey Dahmer. The family planned a funeral for the guinea

pig, which Vladimir would not be allowed to attend. Vladimir also threatened to kill Lucretia,

resulting in the parents having Lucretia sleep in the living room rather than in the room shared

with Vladimir. In general, the children did not follow their parent’s directions. They were prone

to tantruming when things do not go their way and their parents continued to have difficulty in

managing and modifying this behavior. Nikita continued to be unemployed and the family was

without sufficient income to meet basic needs. Their utility bills went unpaid. The family also

reported concerns regarding having enough food. Despite all these issues, the Department of

Human Services continued to support the children’s placement with the parents and continued to

work with the parents to remedy the issues which caused the children to continue to be at risk of

harm so as to prevent another removal of these children from parental care.

On October 27, 2008, Kelly Morgan and Cindy Finley, the children’s attorney, had a

scheduled appointment to meet with the family at their home. Cindy Finley arrived on time and

was let into the home by the children. Cindy called out several times, trying to locate an adult in

the home, but received no response. After about twenty five minutes, Kelly Morgan arrived at

the home. Kelly instructed Vladimir to go upstairs and get his dad, which Vladimir did. Nikita

then came downstairs and apologized to Kelly and Cindy, saying that he was upstairs cleaning.

Nikita stated that Denelle left for work and did not set the door alarms as she should have. Kelly

talked to Nikita about the fact that while he was upstairs, the children were totally unsupervised

downstairs for at least a half an hour. Kelly informed Nikita that she was ending the trial home

placement and she made arrangements for the children to be returned to foster family care.

Initially, following the children’s return to foster family care, Nikita and Denelle planned

to continue to live together and work to have the children returned to their care together.

However, by early December 2008, Nikita moved from the family home to Clinton, where he

resided with a brother. Nikita reported to the Department that the home where he was staying

would not be appropriate for the children. Denelle remained in the family apartment. She was

able to get financial assistance from her father to maintain the home. Denelle agreed to

participate in individual counseling, domestic violence counseling and parenting and she has

done so.

 Denelle had difficulty getting the home cleaned, but by late January of 2009, after

enlisting the help of friends, she had made considerable progress and Denelle’s visitation with

the children returned to the home. Since then, Nick Dusil, the service provider supervising the

visitation, testified that the condition of the home is regressing, although it is not currently

unsafe. The most recent concerns noted by Nick included the presence of chemicals in an area

accessible to the children and Lucretia finding and taking back to her foster home a blanket

soaked with cat urine. Nick also has ongoing concerns regarding Denelle’s ability to supervise

both of the children at the level they require. He testified that his supervision of the visitation

continues to be necessary to assure that the children are safe.

Denelle has also continued to have financial issues. Heat to her apartment was shut off

just prior to the beginning of this hearing, when she failed to make a payment. Denelle has other

unpaid utility bills. Denelle has continued to be marginally employed. Denelle has been offered

assistance with budgeting and money management, but she has declined that service.

 Nikita has since moved to Virginia, and has had no in person contact with the children

since Christmas of 2008. He is not participating in any of the services offered by the Department

of Human Services. Although the parents are not currently having in person contact, Denelle

reports that Nikita continues to harass her via telephone and the internet. Denelle states that it is

her intent to obtain a divorce from Nikita. Nikita testified that he is not in a position to take care

of his children. It is also his opinion that Denelle is also unable to take care of the children.

Nikita testified in support of termination of parental rights and placement for adoption. It is his

hope that the children would be placed with paternal relatives.

Denelle testified that she is ready to resume care of the children. Denelle testified to her

belief that, now that Nikita is no longer living with her, she will be able to maintain the house,

supervise the children and provide them with adequate food, clothing and shelter. However, in

assessing Denelle’s ability to meet the basic needs of her children, even absent the stress of her

relationship with Nikita, the Court comes to a different conclusion. Denelle has a several year

history of being unable to maintain a safe and sanitary home for her children. While the

dynamics of the relationship between Nikita and Denelle contributed to that situation, Nikita’s

absence does not necessarily remedy the situation. Even after Nikita moved away, Denelle was

unable to get her home cleaned up. With assistance of friends to tell her what to do, she was able

to do so at the end of January so that visitation with the children could occur in the family home.

However, after that clean up, Nick Dusil testified that the condition of the home has regressed.

This is the same pattern of behavior which led to the removal of the children. Denelle does not

recognize health and safety hazards on her own and has not shown the ability to consistently

address health and safety issues without supervision. She has continued to have difficulty

supervising both children.

 Denelle clearly focuses on Nikita as the source of the family’s problems. While Nikita

certainly bears significant responsibility for the conditions of the home, the lack of supervision

and attention to the children, and the dysfunctional relationship between him and Denelle,

Denelle also bears responsibility for those things. Both Nikita and Denelle were, at times, the

responsible for initiating the incidents of physical and verbal aggression that occurred between

them. Both Denelle and Nikita had the ability to take care of basic household duties, but both

chose not to, and then chose to point the finger at the other. Both Denelle and Nikita were

responsible for incidents where the children were not adequately supervised. Denelle’s lack of

insight as to her responsibility for the children’s care and her belief that without Nikita in the

home, the safety issues for these children have been eliminated, is very concerning.

Vladimir and Lucretia each have special needs. They both have speech deficits. Vladimir

may have some form of autism. The children require a higher than average level of structure and

supervision. The children are bonded to their mother and have shown the ability to bond to

others. The lack of permanency for these children contributes to their behavioral issues.

Clearly, neither of these children could be placed with either parent without remaining a

child in need of assistance. Nikita acknowledges that he is not able to meet the children’s basic

needs and that he cannot resume care of the children. Nikita has not maintained consistent

contact with the children. Nikita has not shown that he has addressed his own adult issues, which

would assist him in being able to resume care of the children. Nikita and Denelle’s relationship

has included both physical and verbal aggression and both Nikita and Denelle have been the

aggressor in these incidents. Denelle clearly would like to have a continuing relationship with

the children. Unfortunately, she is not currently able to provide for their basic needs and that is

very unlikely to change in the near future. Denelle has not demonstrated the ability to maintain

safe, clean housing without supervision and assistance. She has not consistently demonstrated

the ability to supervise the children. Lucretia and Vladimir require more consistency and

structure than average and neither parent is able to provide this.

Vladimir and Lucretia are adoptable children. They are young and personable. The

children each have behavioral and emotional difficulties and require a heightened degree of

structure and supervision. The children clearly are in need of permanent placement, a sense of

security and consistent, effective parenting.


Having fully reviewed the evidence and having entered findings of fact, the Court finds

that the State has met its burden of proof in establishing that statutory grounds for termination of

the parental rights of both Nikita and Denelle exist in this case pursuant to Iowa Code Sections

232.116 (1)(d) and (f). Further, the Court finds that the State has met its burden of proof in

establishing that statutory grounds for termination of parental rights of the Nikita Kaim exists in

this case pursuant to Iowa Code Sections 232.116(1)(a).

The Court, having found that the State has established statutory grounds to support

its contention that the parents’ rights should be terminated, must now consider whether the

termination would be in the best interests of these children. Iowa Code sections 232.116(2) and

232.116(3). The Court must base its decision on each parent’s history, not just their promises

at trial. The Court must make a determination as to what the future most likely holds for these

children if returned to the care of a parent.

The best evidence for this determination is the parent’s past performance because that

performance may indicate the quality of future care they are capable of giving. In re: J.K. and

J.K. 495 NW 2d 108 (Iowa 1993), citing In re M.M. 483 NW 2d 812, 814 (Iowa 1992).

unlikely that a child would be safe or have their basic needs met on a long-term basis if placed in

the care of either their mother or either father. Nikita has abandoned his children. He has not

demonstrated the ability to meet their basic needs. He has a history of inadequate supervision of

the children and has not demonstrated that this has improved. Nikita is not able to provide the

children with suitable housing and was not able to progress to unsupervised visitation. Denelle

continues to voice a strong commitment to her children and to resuming their care. However,

Denelle has not demonstrated the ability to meet the children’s basic needs on a consistent,

everyday basis. Denelle has not been able to provide the children with safe, clean housing and

has not been able to progress to unsupervised visitation. Denelle has a history of inadequate

supervision of the children and has not demonstrated sufficient improvement such that the

children could be returned to her care. Lucretia and Vladimir are special needs children and

require above average structure, supervision and parenting skills. Neither parent has

demonstrated the ability to provide this to the children. Based on the parent’s actions, and

sometimes lack of action, during the course of the child in need of assistance proceedings, the

Court finds that neither parent is likely to be ready to resume care of these children in the

reasonably near future. The Court finds that termination of parental rights is in the best interests

of these children.

 “A court must reasonably limit the time for parents to be in a position to assume care

of their children because patience with parents can soon translate into intolerable hardship for

the children.” In Re A.Y.H., 508 N.W.2d 92, 96 (Iowa Ct. App 1996). “The crucial days of

childhood cannot be suspended while parents experiment with ways to face up to their own

problems. “ In Re D.A., 506 N.W.2d 478,479 (Iowa Ct. App. 1993). “At some point, the rights

and needs of the children rise above the rights and needs of the parents.” In Re J.L.W., 570

N.W.2d 778, 781 (Iowa Ct. App. 1997).

Thus, it is the decision of the Court that the children’s need for permanency, security,

safety, physical and intellectual health dictates that it is in their best interests to have parental

rights terminated.


That the parental rights existing between the minor children, Vladimir and Lucretia

Kaim, and their father, Nikita Kaim, be hereby TERMINATED.

Each of these parent’s past performance causes the Court to believe that it is very

That the parental rights existing between the minor children, Vladimir Kaim and Lucretia

Kaim, and their mother, Denelle Kaim, be hereby terminated.


That custody and guardianship of Vladimir and Lucretia is placed with the Iowa

Department of Human Services for purposes of continued placement according to the prior

orders of this Court and for preadoptive placement. The Department of Human Services is

ordered to prepare an amended case permanency plan within thirty days of the date of this

order setting out the change to termination of parental rights and preadoptive placement for the

children. Further, the Department of Human Services shall prepare a case progress report, which

shall come on for written progress report review by this Court on May 3, 2010. Counsel for the

parties shall be served copies of said report five days prior to the date set for review.

Further, the parties are hereby notified that an aggrieved party may appeal this order.

Appeal of this order by an aggrieved party must be taken pursuant to Iowa Rule of Appellate

Procedure 6.5(2), which requires that the notice of appeal must be filed within fifteen days of the

entry of this order and that a petition on appeal must be filed within fifteen days thereafter.

Clerk to notify.

Dated this 9th day of March, 2010.



Associate Juvenile Judge

Sixth Judicial District of Iowa
Devonian Fossil Gorge


Just got done watching an episode of Medium where it turned out that a crazy infertile woman had killed pregnant women and was raising the babies as her own. I was thinking of Jess, and at the very end, when the father was reunited with the child he'd never seen, the song "Ooh Child" played. It made me feel hopeful. 
Lately, I keep wondering how they're going to react when Vlad starts dissecting road kill.
victoria sewing


Writing a post for the LSG HOOD thread, I was reminded of this quote and went and hunted it down on IMDB, and decided to post it here because I keep coming back to it.

Special Agent Seeley Booth: Well, it means, Bones, that you know, you can love a lot of people in this world, but there's only one person you love the most.

Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: But how do you know which person you love the most when you're confused by chemical messages traveling throughout your limbic system?

Special Agent Seeley Booth: You just do.

Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: ...What if you let that person get away?

Special Agent Seeley Booth: That person's not going anywhere.

So does that mean that the person who doesn't go away or at least that you keep coming back to is the one?
Devonian Fossil Gorge


Josh tells me that worrying is praying for what I don't want, but I still worry. Well, more like visualize possible outcomes, see which ones make sense, which ones are just silly, then change what I can and accept what I can live with.
Lately, I'm feeling like the kids are okay, for now. I'm assuming they're with Jess, or will be going there at the end of the school year, and that seriously, spending a few years in Disneyworld is not exactly the average kid's worst nightmare. That's not the problem- it's that they're not allowed any contact with me. I know them, I know they've asked, I know they've been told something. I hope the separation and trauma has all been blamed on CPS, for their sake- because in the long run, for them, it's going to be easier to hate Jami and Cindy for not letting them see their Mommy anymore. If Jess and Sandy are making the choice, then either they can tell the truth "You can't see your Mommy because we hate her." and see how that flies, or make up lies about Mommy not wanting them, being a bad person, being dead, whatever. 
The more I think about it though,  I miss my Mom so much everyday. If I found out that she was alive and well and that someone had made me go through losing her and all that pain for their own selfish reasons....I would have a very hard time forgiving that person, but I think Josh would make me want to try, after listening to me bitch about the douchebags for awhile. 
I think about what directions my life is going. I have a key to a church. Seriously. I do a lot around there. Helped with the teens last week, we went around the pond and picked up garbage. Then Sunday, I helped with spring cleaning inside, 2 of us wiped off all the tables and chairs in the Community room and the classrooms.  I don't like being in the center of attention, but I know I'm appreciated, I make a difference. So, I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep that up. 
Also, it's been almost 10 months, I still don't know what's going on with this, but I could end up with him. He's going to be a minister. He's such an amazing person, he does so much for the church & the community, and puts so much into his job, I would not be the slightest bit surprised if he got nominated for the 40 under 40 award.  He doesn't even call attention to a lot of the stuff that he does, there's times I just know about it because we talk about what we did that day, or what our plans/schedule is like coming up. 
So, how are Vlad and Lucy going to feel if they're kept away from me for years, and they grow up and find me and my life is really amazing? Not working at Disneyworld, no, but doing a lot to make a difference in people's lives, make the world a better place. What if I'm a much better person than Jess? How are they going to feel? Not that I'm willing to be BSC to avoid having them feel betrayed by Jess's BSC, just trying to figure out if there's a way that this can turn out good for them.
me b&w

More Mother's Day

My Mom's cousin Diane wrote me a long message. Her beliefs seem pretty similar to mine, she's been to Unity services, is friends with a Unity minister- and my Mom talked to her daughter about Jehovah's Witnesses, and that clicked for her, she studied, and got baptized, and Diane wasn't thrilled at first, but she said " I see how happy she is, how she has grown from a scared, broken little girl  to a confident beautiful woman, walking her own spiritual path. For that I am grateful." and that is exactly what I needed to hear from my Mom, coming from her cousin who is in pretty much the same situation, just  details reversed- and on Mother's Day, which is sort of the anniversary of my Mom's death.

I don't remember ever meeting Diane, she lived so far away, I just remember my Mom talking about her, and I'm not sure what made me start thinking about her earlier today, or make the effort to find her on facebook- but I am feeling like my Mom wanted me to get that message, to know that she's grateful that I've found my own spiritual path and that I'm happy, that she's not mad at me for not following in her footsteps exactly, that the important thing isn't which path you take but that it feels right for you. I feel like I have her blessing.
me b&w

Mother's Day

Last year, I dreaded Mother's Day, considered just getting out of bed long enough to get drunk enough to go back to sleep...But I'd been thinking about checking out Unity, and had a dream where I went to Unity and saw my kids during brunch afterwards (and this was before I'd ever been to Unity and had no clue that they had brunch.) It felt like a sneak preview dream, and I think the message was that going to Unity would put me on the path that would eventually lead me back to my kids.
So, I went, and cried pretty much the whole time. Reverend Brenda talked about bad mommy moments, and what makes a perfect mom, and that no one is perfect, but we all have good qualities. Then the men got up to sing a song for the mothers, and there was this one guy who was really cute, but he was sitting with this hot redhead, so I started wondering if they'd be up for a 3-way, then remembered we were in church, and it probably was inappropriate to even ask. After the service, a bunch of people talked to me, and it just seemed so accepting, like coming home.  
This year, I made 7-layer brownies last night, and got to Unity early to help Pat & Jim Healy in the kitchen. During the service, there was part where the 12-women class lit candles. I lit an orange candle for Ruth, who represents zeal, and a pink candle for Mary of Nazareth who is associated with pure love, and also for my Mom and Grandma. I still miss my Mom and my kids, but in the past year I've become part of this community and that's awesome. 
The cute guy wasn't there today though. He went to spend Mother's Day with his mom in Lincoln, NE, but we talked about what all was going on for today's service when we were hanging out on Friday night.  Except for the new members ceremony, this is the first time I've had to speak during a service, and I think I would have been more nervous if he'd been there- but knowing he does way more all the time helped me stay calm.
ETA: Earlier, I'd been thinking about my Mom's cousin Diane, and when Auntie Pat mentioned Diane in her Mother's Day post on facebook, I went looking for Diane in Pat's friend list, sent her a friend request, she added me. Looking through her photos, it's so obvious she's Mom's cousin, strong family resemblance, and she said how special Mom was and how much she misses her.  Diane lived far away, so I've only met her maybe a couple times, and that was when I was little, so I don't know her other than that she was close to my Mom, and I'm excited about getting to know her--- and feeling like even though Mother's Day is a sad day for me, maybe each Mother's Day someone special is going to come into my life, or back into my life.