Update on grandson Ryan

moodyblue(8)April 2, 2008

Evening of 12th March

Just so much going on - mainly legal problems, we may have to go further than we hoped financially and will probably end up at the next 2 day trial later in April. The last judge ordered a "lawyer" for the children before the JDR which is supposedly to be tomorrow. No lawyer has seen the children up to now, but this evening at this very late date a lawyer got in touch with the foster care mum at 8.00 p.m to see if he could go over and interview the children. Richard already in bed and Ryan on the way.

The F.mum was furious. He then wanted to see the children before they went to school tomorrow morning, and Ryan is on the bus @ 7:30 am. - not a good idea. Then he wanted to go to the school and pull him out of class for an interview, so that he could go to the JDR at 2:30 with some information. She let him know how put out she was that this is happening at such a late date, and told him that this proves the children are not properly represented. She agreed to keep him home from school until after he visited with them at 8:30 am, the morning of the Court JDR. She would not let him walk all over her. He then phoned back and had a telephone interview with Sharon which lasted a while - I guess this was an afterthought for face sake, but I was happy when she told me, because I thought he would get more of an idea of how the children are dealing with this. Apparently, she gave it to him about how Ryan has been suffering and how she felt that before this case, she would also not agree to siblings being separated, but with these children, she honestly believes that it would be in Ryan's best interest to live in a family stable family home like we can offer him and especially because of the way he talks about us and how his face lights up when we call etc. and a lot of other reasons.

In the meantime the mother is messing up big time and through positive cocaine tests has been dis-allowed visitations with the kids which were also screwed up cos she did not show up half the time, and so much more. Ah well, all I can say is the Fat Lady is Not Singing yet!!!

Morning of 14th March

I should explain here that because the children were not represented at such a late date, we thought it was impossible for a lawyer to reach them as we were only hours to flying from Comox to Edmonton. We cancelled our fligh and the next minute got a call from our lawyer saying that it was going ahead. We were shocked, and though penalized for cancelling our flight, we would have re booked and hoped to get the same seats back. But our lawyer, said he did not think it was necessary and he would be there representing us and that we could join in via a conference call. That is why I was able to go to Sharon's on Victoria, th evening before our proposed flight. The JDR conference call was a disaster in both our opinions. A waste of time and money. I cannot imagine what would have happened if we had attended in person like we had anticipated.

Another "different" judge - we have seen four altogether, a "different" lawyer standing in for Renee and the "un-charming" lawyer for the kids. We soon got used to everyone's voices. They changed to a different system as audio was bad - still was hard to hear even the the new one. It sounds like we were definitely outsiders and whether they had all be in cahoots, I do not know. The children's lawyer was gross and I felt was rude about us. He said what on earth were the grandparents doing here, there is a privacy issue here and they have no right. We were flabbergasted and just let him go on. He obviously had not read affidavits or had no idea of our involvement in the case. It was hard not to say anything because I was so angry. I did defend myself at one point when I think the judge was talking (really a no-no) but who the hell am I to know at first, the different voice's of the judge and the "Ar**Ho**" children's judge. I told them we already know everything that is going on we have been part of the case from the beginning. But it really was all about "mom", At one point we heard, mom is poor and does not have the money to pursue things herself. (As if we were loaded, and this is not causing any financial stress on us). I guess to have to see these things through you have to be very rich or very poor, the people in the middle don't get a chance to defend or go for their rights. it seems! NOT RIGHT!

Anyway it was all about mom and everyone seemed so "endearing" towards her, we thought and looking at getting the children back to her as soon as possible. They were against separation of the siblings as they are sooooo close and Richard is so cute and it would be a terrible ordeal for mum to have to go all the way to another province to visit her son. Somehow, nobody has been getting useful information from the foster mum - or they do not want to deal with it. The foster mum told us, that she does not think they are close at all and that she truly believes it would be in Ryan's best interest to be with us. (usually, she is all for keeping siblings together) The only thing that was accomplished on our part, which was a suggestion of Alan's from the last trial was to have the children assessed as to what damage this may be doing or have done to them. So this group of people decided to have the children assessed, to see what affect a separation would do to them. I butted in and said, we would like the children assessed to see what damage has already been done to them because of the upheaval and lifestyle they had been leading before this trial, with the drugs, violence, non attendance at school etc. as well as the apprehension itself. So then the Judge ordered a more thorough psychological assessment. I then said, that I would like to see the foster mother involved in the assessment to give the psychologist a heads up on what she sees on a daily basis. The children's and Rene's lawyer and the case worker did not think this was necessary, but the judge agreed that she should be included in reaching an assessment on the children.

We feel we have gone back to the beginning. Do not feel that we have any rights anymore. Nothing came up about future visits of Ryan to us, which we thought it was all about this too. We feel we have no rights again.

Because of the children's assessment which they will reckon will take time, the lawyers are all meeting again 31st March to make a new trial date which had been booked for two days end of April. It is so exasperating. We were very angry and upset after that meeting. We were dismissed early so they could have some time with "Mom" These drug addicts are very clever!!

I had not felt like talking to anyone since the phone conference. I guess I needed a little time.

.......................and by the way, this little telephone session and lawyers getting together for trial dates, incidentals etc is $3,235.00. If we had actually flown to Edmonton it would have been an extra $1000.00. Fortunately the lawyer quoted us a lot less for this and our attending this JDR and he has discounted us and given it to us at his quoted price. That was nice of him, so the final is down to $1,761.00. Another sad thing about this is that we did not get to see Ryan!

Alan wants to stop it right now, The lawyer suggested that we hang in till the assessment is out on the kids. I shrug my shoulders, I just do not know!!!! Actually, financially we cannot go on to the full trial again. After a week

We keep in touch with F.mum and she wants me to go ahead "without" counsel. She has even offered to be a witness, or for Bill, the lawyer if it went any further with him. (financially it cannot though, with Bill)

The thing is, we are reasonably happy with the way things are for now and not putting Ryan under any pressure with regards to him possibly feeling guilty about leaving his mother and brother (because of guilt bestowed on him by mother), As long as we still have visits from him summer and Christmas and that we have some reasonable say in his wellbeing. But I felt this was lost after our last fracarse (sp). and as you know I feel I am back to the beginning. What a waste of time and money, if that is so. Anyway Sharon wants me to carry on without counsel. As Judge and Lawyers are getting together again to make arrangements for the next two-day trial dates. It was scheduled in April, but needs to be postponed until children have had their phsychological assessment! I have not told Alan what f.mum has suggested, but that is one of the things I want to talk to Andrew, my son in law, about. Alan feels we cannot go on any more without remortgaging the house. Neither of us want that either. So in limbo at the moment. Spoke to Ryan on Monday, he seemed very withdrawn again.

F.care mum believes for him, he needs to be with us and should not be punished because of Richard, exactly our thoughts all along. She says he is quiet, often times he and everyone else are trying to get away from Richard - he actuall inflicts bodily harm to them attacking him with nasty scratches to face and arms.

alan and I have seen the results. Richard as Sharon has informed the CAse worker "now" is not even ready for Kindergarten, has requested speech therapy for him and also told her about his soiling and wetting his pants. He will be five years in a few months. (speech therapy granted) He does not seem retarded, he is a smart little devil other than this, he actually answers back to them like a teenager which flabbergasts them. Anyway, he is all that I said from the beginning a behavioural problem, which I know I could never have dealt with at my age. It's funny that Sharon said the case worker still thinks that I may turn around and take both children (sorry, often when I say "I", I mean "we"! The case worker also thinks that Renee's sister, the police officer could take both of them. Caseworker is out to lunch and really is slowing down the whole process.

In the meantime because of positive Cocaine test, children have had their visits stopped, yet they are still trying to get the kids to go back to "mom" even the worker said that there are some bad people around Rene's home right now. Sharon also said that she does not believe that Ryan should be long term in a foster, she feel he needs his own place and to really belong.

As I say, it is not over until the fat lady sings!

Thanks again to all who have been so kind and supportive. It really is much appreciated you allowing me to vent!

March 31st.

We had to terminate legal counsel for finacial reasons, that was sad, but he did one last thing for us yesterday and went to court for a docet date which means judge and lawyers get together to set a new trial date. He also let them know that we would be self represented from now on, so we are continuing with this alone. There is another JDR which we will attend by telephone in July then hopefully the final trial, is set fro 14th and 15th August.

Sorry this is so long, dont worry if you do not have the time to read it.


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malmason(9, Houston TX)

Pauline, I will always make the time to read your story with Ryan. I am sorry you are going through such a harsh roller coaster. During those gardianship/adoption process, you just gotta endure what is going on. Please remember you and Alan are doing the right thing, and you are doing your best. I will keep praying for you all.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 3:28PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Oh, Pauline, what a passel of shirking-responsibility paper pushers. All you can do is your best. And you are level headed and you're not going to do anything foolish. (That's more than many folks could say.)
One thing, though, get names and phone numbers of the judge, his/her secretary, and whoever might be in ultimate charge of court dockets. Don't at a distance count on a single person to do their job, but check for the redundency that's in the system. Contact the case working monthly ....just to check in and make sure that nothing has gone wrong. If it's like here, the case worker can count that as a contact (and accumulating contacts re cases is one of the things that they are supposed to do.)
If someone sends you a letter, send them a letter back acknowledging the letter. Keep detailed records from here on out. Ask questions by email and by snail mail as well as by phone.
Best luck to you. You all deserve a good outcome.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 3:49PM
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Good luck Pauline. I've been reading your updates, and you've been through a lot already. Try to keep in contact with everyone you're allowed to and hopefully you can get more people on your side.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 5:25PM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Dear Pauline,
I'm always glad to read your updates about Ryan. I only wish you had better news. It must be very frustrating for you. But at least for now, Ryan is safe with a responsible Foster Parent and know that you love him. If mom is in her addiction, she won't be able to get the kids back. Keep your hopes up.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 5:43PM
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The one thing that frustrates me the most about the whole social services system is that the assumption is always there that "mom" is best for the child - no matter what! That is SO not true. It is obvious in your case that mom is not only not the best option, but the worst; but why can't the legal people see that? I pray that your story has a happy ending, and soon, so that this little boy does not suffer long-term damage from being bounced around by the legal system. Hang in there.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:20AM
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Rose nutty, I think that it's been more about keeping the kids together since the "mother" (and I only refer to her as that because she gave birth) is the one that has said so. Had the "mother" said in the beginning that they could take their grandson, this would be over; for him anyway.

The problem is, the "mother" is being a vindictive b*tch and trying to call the shots, telling them that either they take both kids or none. I've said it from day one, if she actually cared about her kids, she would have split them up a long time ago.

Unfortunately Pauline, I know all too well how expensive these things are as I have my own thing going on that I've spent $15,000 on already. We go for mediation on Monday. I'm prepared to do what I have to do, just as you were.

I wish you luck. Thankfully you have the F mum behind you. I don't doubt that she will play a big part in this.

Best thing I can tell you in addition to what was suggested is to make sure you are organized. It is so hard to figure out how to file the paperwork, which you need to carry and what you don't. I will be going through my stuff in a few minutes to make sure I have the most needed stuff on me Monday and the bulk in the car in another holder.

I don't know if it would work for you, but do you remember when I posted about the binders I had for my dad's cancer? I had a tote bag with a thin binder that had plastic sheets inside. I was able to put all similar papers together in the plastic sheets.

Good luck. We're all rooting for you. It should not be this hard to get custody of your own flesh and blood. I hope Ryan is able to be saved in time before his spirit is gone.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 9:56AM
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Pauline-------This is all so very sad for poor little Ryan.-----

I'm a little puzzled-----I think I was in the midle of my surgery when you posted all the details but I've been trying to read everything and catch up---

I just have one question ---How is Ryan related to you? I heard you mention a SIL but that would mean Ryan's mom is your daughter--

Who are Ryan's parents??

I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this when your home would be the best place for Ryan.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 10:55AM
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Ryans father is her son.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 4:35PM
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Thanks Roselvr------I thought that was the relationship ---

I must have misread something about a son-in-law

What a sad situation-----I have a friend with a similar problem but they all live in the same area which makes it a little easier to deal with----My friend's son now has custody of the little boy but my friend does most of the caregiving.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 10:08AM
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Great support - thank you all, it is very much appreciated.

MALMASON, thank you your kind words are much appreciated.

ANN, thank you for all your helpful advice. I do not know if I can get in touch with the Judge, though, I would like to, believe me. My former lawyer is sending the whole file back to me. I have received another helpful letter from him laying some recommendations out to me and finishing off with

"I wish you well with your applications. I believe they are well supported and I would be making the same types of applications if my grandchild was at risk.
Please contact me to let me know of the outcome".

Ann you gave me some really good advice which reminds me to constantly be in touch with the authorities etc. In fact I am going to communicate with the case worker on Monday. She certainly has taken on a lot of power and I know does not believe in separating the siblings, but we do get along and is quite easy to talk to. The foster mum though has become a friend and we can discuss things amongst ourselves which we do not share with the case worker, and we are in touch with each other more than once a week. I do have contact information for all the other lawyers, who now are obliged to include us in all notifications. I already have a very large file of my own and have been diligent in saving all e-mails and printing when relevent, infact anything to do with the case, Our huge affidavit, as well as our police records, home study report and anything that we have from the ministries, and our lawyer.

Our son who has been involved but in the background, we believe will be more visual on our lawyer's recommendation as he is the birth father. Even though his job as a tree faller makes it impractical for him to parent Ryan, he has made affidavit to the fact that he wants and trusts his parents to do this. Thanks again.

ATHENAINWI, thank you so much. Very appreciated.

KATHY, thanks again dear friend for your kind words.

ROSE NUTTY, you are so right, so many people believe that. If she has not changed in the last seven months the children have been in foster care, what are the chances. Obviously the children being apprended had made no difference to her. Though she says they are her life.
Thanks for your encouragement, much appreciated.

ROSELVR, thank you so much for your response. Firstly I want to wish you the very best in your own legal matters too. Yes, cost is phenominal. I think we are up to $20,000, but not had the final account yet, there may be a little left from the original retainer. This would have cost us easily another $10,000 if we had retained counsel for the next JDR and trial, I am sure! Anyway, in the end I trust it will not be a complete waste of money, if only to do with the knowledge that Ryan knows we were there and stood up for him, but I am hoping for a little more than that.

Roselvr, I need to organize my files like you, I am sure that will be a big help. Similarly, I have one with everything and then another one with the important material I need at the time. When you talk about a binder with plastic sheets, are they attached to the binder so that it really is in book form and they keep the pages clean, or is this something where you can grab the material easily when you need it, sorry I am not sure I understand?

Your last sentence is so true, and we hope and pray too.
Thank you so very much.

ZEFFY, Just an explanation here. Sorry for any confusion. I refer to my son-in-law a lot because he is a lawyer in Vancouver. Though he practices corporate law, he has still been helpful to us, though he does not profess to know a lot about family law. He was thinking we had no rights as grandparents, where in actual fact that is not the case when the children are in a foster home, grandparents and extended family also, do have rights! In our case there are obstacles.

Anyway Florence thanks for your response, you are very kind. I do hope it turns out like your friend's situation, that would be great. Situation seems almost the same, it is, where we as grandparents come from, our grandson is important like theirs, unfortunately we have two extra things to deal with, the issue of the half sibling who is years apart in age and the geography, two provinces apart.:SIGH

All of you have been great and supportive and I will keep you updated.

Roselvr, good luck to. I will be thinking of you on Monday.

Florence, lovely to have you back in full force and "walking" around your garden. Hope you have a great season and your daughter comes on in leaps and bounds too!

Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 1:18AM
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I've linked to the sheet protectors below. They are see through pages with binder tabs, I usually go to Staples and buy a box of a hundred. The ones I use are the 1st and I also have the business card ones, so that I can keep all of the various cards related to the case together. This just makes it all so much easier as the original documents don't need to have holes punched in them to fit in the binder, you just slip it in the see through sheet.

The binder has worked for me so far. The only thing it is not good for are the legal sized papers, which I don't have a lot of.

If you are using Outlook Express for email, you might want to make sure you back it up because if your computer crashes, it's hard to recover emails from Outlook Express. I installed Mozilla Thunderbird on my laptop yesterday, it's like the old Netscape email and should be easier to recover if I have to. I'm going to have to fire up my dad's computer this weekend to get all of his emails out of Outlook Express. Hopefully I have time.

I think I've said it before in one of your other posts but this very well could be me and my kids had something happened to me. Ryan would be my son and her other son would be my daughter. I posted before about my daughters issues, the ADHD & ODD. I would not expect my son's family to take both of my kids, nor would I expect my daughters family to take them both. I'm sure the kids would survive and that both families would make sure both of my kids talked and saw each other on a regular basis. Once the mother is unable to be there for both kids, it really needs to be about the kids and placing them in the best homes for each kid. It was my decision to have 2 children not fathered by the same man & this is how it is. The law really needs to state things like this as it is so common these days.

There really shouldn't be any question of where they go. Usually the 1st choice is the father, so the boys would be split up anyway. With my son, his father was not in his life much, so his mother or aunt would have taken my son, just like you are. Ryan obviously has a relationship with you, he belongs with you.

Hopefully the F mum will make someone see this is affecting him. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Avery sheet protectors

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 8:04AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Pauline, I wish you the best possible outcome. You deserve happiness from all of this.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 8:29AM
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