Update on grandson Ryan
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!
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.