Recovering addict says she will fight for daughter after CPS says no to family friend

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 27, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 28 at 12:19 PM

NEW CANEY, Texas – A mother is prepared to fight over who will keep her newborn.

Nicole Ellis knows she can’t keep Brooklyn because she’s an addict.

“Methamphetamines and pain pills,” admitted Ellis who tested positive for drugs before delivery.

Ellis and her own mother had a plan before Brooklyn was born. They were going to give custody of her baby girl to Lanora Purvis.

“I wanna help mom get on her feet get well and give her hope,” said Purvis with a smile.

Purvis knows a thing or two about hope.

She’s the founder of an outreach based in New Caney called Heaven’s Army of Resources and Recreation Center. The non-profit organization specialized in helping with drug addiction and parenting.

Child Protective Services said no.

“It just baffles me how they said no to her,” Ellis explained to KHOU 11 News.

Even with a pile of recommendation letters from mayors and chiefs of police, Purvis said that CPS said no because she has three convictions for driving while intoxicated on her record.

The most recent was nearly five years ago.

“I haven’t touched alcohol since Oct. 14, 2009,” said Purvis.

Purvis said that day changed her life.

She has since cleaned up her act, become a grandmother and even helps rehabilitate parents to get their children back from CPS.

“We help anyone and everyone that comes to us,” explained Purvis. “I rescue girls from human trafficking and you’re gonna tell me I can’t take care of a little baby.”

CPS doesn’t have custody of Brooklyn, but wouldn’t recommend Lanora because of her record and the fact that she’s not family.

It was a devastating blow for Ellis, who already has three children spread out among family members.

“I’m like this is it,” said Ellis. “I’m going back or end up dead or in prison.”

Baby Brooklyn is expected to be released from the hospital on Monday. CPS will likely put her in foster care because no family members can take her.

Purvis hasn’t given up. She plans to plead her case to a judge to help Brooklyn and her mother.

In the meantime, she will keep the nursery ready.

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