SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — An emotional vigil was held Wednesday night for Lexi, the 6-year-old girl taken from her foster family in Santa Clarita two days ago.
Lexi is part Native American, and the courts decided she should be raised by relatives who are also Native American. The girl was sent to live in Utah with family members related to the Native American family member but only by marriage.
The Page family of Santa Clarita is working with a high-powered attorney in Washington, D.C., hoping to get the law changed.
KCAL9’s Tom Wait attended the emotional vigil. Dozens of neighbors and some strangers attended to lend their support.
“At the end of the day, it’s a hole. And it’s a big hole,” said dad Rusty Page describing the past two days.
But through song and prayer, supporters of the Page family are showing they are not giving up. The people gathered say Lexi will not be forgotten. The images of the little girl stripped from the parents she’s known for most of her life is burned into their minds.
Right now, the Pages don’t know where Lexi is.
“It’s extremely painful,” said former foster mom Summer Page, “and extremely sad.”
Wait asked Rusty what he thought was going through Lexi’s mind right now.
“I try not to think too hard about that,” he said, “but I know it’s a sorrowful time, a time of wanting to call mommy and daddy and not being allowed. We’ve reached out and have been unsuccessful in hearing back.”
Wait asked if he believes the girl has even made it to Utah.
“No idea,” he said.
Lexi was taken from her foster parents after a three-year court battle. Lexi is part of the Choctaw nation, which gives her Utah family a legal claim to adopt her under a law passed in 1978 called the Indian Child Welfare Act. Choctaw Nation says the Pages made this worse by dragging this out through the court system.
The Pages say the law is an abuse of power, and they will keep fighting in state and federal court if they have to.
“People ask how I explain this to my kids. I can’t, I can’t fathom it. I can’t make sense of it; it’s not reality.”
The Pages and the assembled crowd wanted to emphasize they’re not lashing out at anyone; they just want Lexi home.