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Heidi,

 

I've been following this story with Madison ever since she first came to you at 2 1/2.....just saw this and will certainly keep this situation in my prayers!  Let us know what happens.....this little girl sure needs some stability in her life which you have given her over the last 5 years....


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Sorry for the late update and thank you all for the prayers.  I'm SOOOOOOOO frustrated with this process.  So they set a trial date of Sept. 9th and when the law guardian interjected the judge agreed to a pretrial hearing on Aug. 14th to discuss schools.  He couldn't really understand and didn't want to take the time to understand why BIL was ok for her to continue in the school she was in if it wasn't in his school district.  1 1/2 years ago her mother moved out of BIL's district to this one and BIL made it work even though it was about 20 min. from him.  That was doable.  The new school is 1 hour 15 min. away and that just isn't going to work.  Her mother got yelled at about moving and that she didn't have the right to do that when they had joint custody but the most the judge did for now was to tell her she had to provide all transportation to and from because she is the one that chose to move.  I couldn't believe she got away with it again!  This is the 7th move she has made since Madison was 2 1/2 and i'm 100% certain it won't be the last.  BIL is beyond frustrated and feels so defeated.  He has been volunteering in the school at least once a week and her mother hasn't even gone to a parent teacher conference!  Why does she always get her way.  Her aunt, which is really her cousin, told me that she couldn't find a place closer that they could afford.  I said well then she should get a job because that is the way everybody else affords to pay their rent.  BIL isn't perfect but he does take care of Madison.  He is wrong for letting her mother get under his skin and she so knows how to push his buttons but her mother seems to be made of teflon.  Doesn't it say anything to the judge that on BIL's side is her mother, stepfather, me and even the new husbands sister?  The only one on her the mother's side is this aunt that Madison didn't meet until last summer!  Her mother has cut out all family on both sides at this point.  When does it stop?  Found out today that Madison is now swimming in the creek with her 10 year old sister!  Really?  Alone with no adult.  What about her mother not giving her a bath or feeding her properly.  This morning when BIL got her at 8 she of course hadn't had breakfast and told BIL her mother never gives her lunch.  It just tears me up and makes me so angry.  The system is so broken.  CPS has been in 10 times and done nothing.  Her oldest daughter is deaf an has been in school with no hearing aids and nothing.  It is just so wrong.  There was just a case here a few towns over where a mother had mental issues, they sent her away  she came back they reunited her with her kids and this week she killed them and herself.  Everybody scratches their head and wonders how this could possibly happen and I am not surprised at all.  It is so sad.  Madison is one of the lucky ones because we have been fighting for her for years, what about the kids nobody looks out for.  

 

On a good note I got to bring Madison home tonight.  Dad will come in the am and we'll enjoy some time in the pool.  I have missed her so much.  I was busy with her this afternoon so that is why I couldn't respond.  Just please keep her in your prayers.

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What a terrible situation,  I hope things work out for all of you.


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2016 Blissed Millie!
"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give".
Kahlil Gibran

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Just a thought. Teachers are mandatory reporters of child abuse and child endangerment. We ended up getting custody of my husband's daughter after her teacher reported a conversation my stepdaughter had with her (yes, we did encourage the child to talk to her teacher about what was going on!!). The teachers at the school already had some idea things weren't good with the home life at mom's house. Anyway, after the talk with the teacher, the teacher called CPS and that started the ball rolling in a way we hadn't had going for us before. Would Madison be old enough to handle talking to a teacher if she were in danger? Most kids don't know they should talk to someone of authority.

The school has called CPS on the oldest child's neglect.  She is deaf had no hearing aids and she also has scoliosis.  It was so bad that she could have died because her heart had shifted so much, I forget the degrees but she was critical.  She had surgery this past fall.  Her mother always had an excuse why she missed an appointment and they bought it hook line and sinker.   Her mother is banned because she "overstepped her boundaries" by going to school and trying to get help for her granddaughter.  There is also a case against the mother by her mother trying to get visitation rights for the other two girls.  My BIL would never keep her from Madison and allows her to see her on "his" time.  

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Can't you send a letter (just like you wrote here) to the judge?  Anyone?  I've thought I've heard of that before, maybe your BIL's attorney will know?  BEST WISHES TO YOU ALL and especially Madison (she is lucky to have you in her life!).  XOXOXO

Tried that too last year.  My letter got returned unread by the judge.  I go to almost every hearing and I did get fed up 3 times ago I asked to address the court.  He allowed me to state what I had to say.  He admonished the mother again and told us what else we had to file in order to get more immediate action.  BIL had filed violations but the next step is an enforcement request.  Finally after almost a year of hell they finally reached a new agreement.  Nothing much was changed and in fact I think it was to our benefit.  That was when they took out the first right of refusal so that if BIL got called in for Overtime and it was his regular scheduled day of visitation then he could now give her to me and didn't have to give her back to her mother.  Pickup time was changed by 30 min. and BIL would have agreed to that without going to court.  The only other thing that changed was they spelled out the specific dates he would have his visitation based on his work schedule.  It was based on his work schedule but not by dates.  Now there is no question when it is is time.  Her mother of course still can't get that right either.  Nothing seems to work.  BIL can't afford a lawyer either and they won't give him a free attorney.  He doesn't have two nickles to rub together but works full time.  He pays her mother child support based on overtime, even if he doesn't get the overtime.  Her mother doesn't work and lives off child support from 2 girls.  The one girl she doesn't know who the father is. 

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I'm sorry Heidi.  The system is so overwhelmed with cases that children suffer because of it.  It seems that case workers are spread so thin that only the children that are suffering from extreme abuse get any attention...........as we see by the deaths in the paper.... some obviously fall completely through the cracks. I tend to think our society has become somewhat hardened by the amount of violence we hear about being inflicted on children   then when we see neglect....unless it is near starvation....we are not nearly alarmed enough.

 

I am not sure judges and social workers even realize the devastating affects that neglect have on a child's life.  From what I have seen it can be more emotionally harmful than physical abuse.

 

In the long term.....we need more, better trained and better paid social workers. It makes no sense that the people that are entrusted to look out for the welfare of children to be paid so little compared to other degreed professionals. We need to make sure that only the best, most qualified people are in those positions and then pay them well enough to stay.

 

In the short term we need to bombard every level of government with letters to work towards the appropriate safeguards....Madison and every other child in the world deserves it.


Cheri Blevins

2009 Millie ~ Quiltazoid equipped

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Cheri you are 100% correct!  I sit in court and remind myself that the judge hears this all day long and there are worse cases out there.  It just hurts so bad to see her have to live like this and I do everything I possibly can to make things better for her.  I don't bash her mom to her at all.  The only time I say something is when her mother is letting her do something that will harm her.  Like yesterday she told me Mommy said it was ok to swim in the creek with just thunder as long as there was no lightening!  I told her the saying goes, "Where there is thunder there is lightening" and that she should always go inside to be safe.  I have to believe on some level her mom loves her but as a mother and caregiver she sucks!  It is easy to give into your kids and let them not take a bath because they don't want to or to eat nothing but junk but that is not being a parent.  I don't know how a mother can not make sure her child is nourished, clean and gets the right amount of rest.  BIL takes very good care of Madison on all those counts.  He isn't super good at putting his foot down with her but I think every parent struggles with that.  He is also not good about not getting into it with her mother.  He just needs to learn to walk away and not engage.  He is so fed up with the courts not doing anything and penalizing him because he works for a living.  It is all true and I can't argue against that but he doesn't help himself when he looks like the bad guy Madison's mother portray's to the court.  Her mother moved away and in my mind she gave up her parenting time, he shouldn't have to.  He would have to get before and after care on the 2 or 3 days he worked during the school year, usually only 2 days because he also works weekend days, but a lot of working parents do that.  Madison shouldn't have to move all the time and change schools all the time.  This will be her 3rd school and she is only going into 2nd grade.  It just isn't fair.  I have no say what so ever.  I would love the judge to not listen to he said/she said but that just isn't the way it works.  I know my BIL could even cut me off and then I'd never see her.  That terrifies me.  I don't think he would ever do that to me, even if I don't always agree with him.  Her mother would never let me in her life unless I went on her side and made stuff up.  I would never recommend her for the job because I think she stinks at it.  She is not a mother, she just pretends to be!  She is in it for the child support so she doesn't have to work.  Sadly that doesn't benefit Madison.

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Heidi, I always keep Maddison in prayer.. I just wish I'd read all the posts yesterday.

 

It's too bad the school can't take picts of the dirty condition Maddison arrives at school.  I know it would bother Maddison, so won't consider asking about doing it.  I know it would only make you more sick than before, to see them.

 

I don't know about our local schools, but do know that Many up in Raleigh and Durham provide breakfasts for the kids that don't get them at home.

 

I think Maddison talking to her teacher is a terrific idea.. I will pray it will make a difference.

 

It makes me angry and I hurt for her the way the courts put terrible things aside, and barely give the mom a slap on the hand.. more a finger slap, I'd say.  She's the kind I wish the courts would insist on an hysterectiomy for.  It's the only way she will learn.. and I wonder when the next baby will be born to her..  Isn't she with the 4th guy that you know of now?

 

Anyway,  I'm glad at least once, something has gone her/your side..

 

Hugs to you and to her.

God Bless,

 

Rita

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As heartbreaking as the facts are, the courts try to keep both parents engaged in up-bringing and only if there is proven danger to the child will a child be removed completely and placed solely with one parent. Usually proven drug use, sexual or physical abuse, or monumental neglect resulting in illness are the situations where a parent can be given sole custody. And even then, the non-custodial will still get visitation and over-nights. Maddie's mom is neglectful and so self-centered as to be thoughtless, which will never cause her to lose custody, as wrenching as that thought is. If the other situations can be proved pertaining to her at home, then your son has a case. It's hard to prove that a move farther away is detrimental to Maddie's life. Keep plugging along, help your son when you can, and please don't let it consume you and break your heart. Easily said, I know.

I'm hoping this can be resolved in Maddie's favor. I'm glad I'm not the one who must make the decision.

 

 

My friend at work has a similar issue with her grandson and daughter. The GS has been removed from his mom's custody and temporarily placed with my friend and her DH many times in his seven years due to drug addiction and homelessness. The mom wants/needs the Social Security benefits she gets from her deceased boyfriend (the child's father) to support her habit. When the money comes in she's gone in a flash and only shows up when she's used it all. The police are very familiar with her and she's been jailed many times for drug use and shoplifting. My friend hired a lawyer to try for custody and believe it or not, was advised to "buy" her grandson. She offered her daughter $2000 to relinquish custody and when she was desperate enough she went for it. Are you as stunned as I was? They still had to apply and be approved by CPS to get permanent custody ( which took 6 months) but eventually they were able to keep their grandson permanently. The daughter comes to visit occasionally and her GS will always know she's his mom. But he's so much better off. My friend isn't rich and had to get a loan to "buy" their own flesh and blood. Yikes!


Linda Rech

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Linda I'd like to say I'm shocked by your friends situation but I'm not.  The system stinks and these kids have to go through way more than they should.  This is my brother-inlaw's daughter (not sons).  Madison has been moved 7 times in 5 years and her poor sister's even more.  This was actually the longest time in between moves, 1 1/2 years.  In NY you have to prove that it has to be proven that it isn't in the child's best interest and the law guardian is actually on BIL's court this time.  He volunteers in the school and works with Madison to get homework done.  Her mother doesn't read with her or do any homework with her.  Her 14 year old sister is actually the one that signs off in her journal.  Her mother has no interest in school stuff.  If BIL had primary then he could make sure she did well in school and her mother could have visitation.  Nobody is trying to take that away as long as Madison is safe.  I'm not sure swimming alone in a creek with no adults is safe in my mind.  Will they get involved only when there is an accident.  This past week her mother told her it was ok to be in the creek with thunder.  Scares me to know what kids can get into without parental guidance.  I can't change who her mother is but I do have to make sure she is safe.  I hate the dirty but I like that better than mental or physical abuse.  I just wish her mother would be a mother.  

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