A homeless couple is fighting in court to keep the Department of Children's Services from taking their baby and placing him with foster parents.
DCS officials made their case Thursday during an emergency hearing at Davidson County juvenile court.
Candice Griffin and Willard McQuistin said they knew when they visited their baby at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital on Wednesday night it might be for the last time.
"I love him with all of my heart. I would swim the deepest ocean for him," McQuistin said.
Four-month-old Jeffrey has been in the hospital his entire life as he battles a variety of medical problems.
Now that he's nearly ready to go home, DCS has gone to court to put the baby in foster care because the couple does not have a permanent home.
"I'm scared that once he goes into custody, we're never going to get him back," Griffin said. "I don't want to lose him. I want to spend Christmas with him. It's his first Christmas."
McQuistin lost his job because he was spending so much time at the hospital with the sick baby. Then, the couple lost the hotel room where they had been staying.
The couple contends they are not really homeless. McQuistin's cousin has a room in her home in Macon County, where the family can stay for now.
"I do agree. If we don't have no place to take him - and we do - but if we didn't, I would say, 'Yes, that's fine, put him in foster care.' And that way he'd be taken care of until we get on our feet," McQuistin said.
However, a juvenile court referee decided in Thursday's hearing that baby Jeffrey should go into a DCS foster home until at least Jan 7.
For now, the couple hopes to get visitation over Christmas. Being with Jeffrey, they said, is the most important thing in their lives.
"I love everything about him. Every time I wake up in the morning, the first thing I want to see is him," McQuistin said.
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:39:52 GMT
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