Tuesday, January 17, 2012
And here the focus changes. Just as I can't imagine my life without my daughter, I can't imagine my life without my mom, either. But that is what I'm going to have to do. Last week, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. We have yet to learn stage, exact type, prognosis, treatment or palliative plan, or anything, but reality says it's going to be a long, painful year--if we're lucky enough to have a year.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
She hinted as maybe after February 4th, but I won't be telling BabyGirl about it until there's a knock at the door next time.
My poor Sweet Pea was in a foul mood all last week, with lots of shouts of "Nothing EVER goes the way I want it to!" at the smallest disappointment. It's funny though: her acting out was at school this time, rather than at home as it usually happens. At home, aside from minor skirmishes, she's been practically angelic. She expressed her gratitude frequently. After screwing up something (picking up dog poop, not cleaning her breakfast dishes, etc.) rather than throwing a snit, her response was, "You're right. I forgot. I'll take care of it right away."
Was she being especially sweet with us because she was trying to "get back" at Mitzie? Was she worried that if she acted out, would we make an adoption plan and send her on to someone else?
One of the worst parts of being a parent by adoption is never really knowing if certain behaviors are adoption-related or just kid-related. I hate that part.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We texted a bunch of times, BabyGirl sang a Happy Birthday video on my cell phone and we sent it over, Mitzie and BabyGirl have texted back and forth. After a doing this since Thanksgiving when Raoul gave us Mitzie's latest cell phone number, we took the plunge and invited Mitzie and her boyfriend over for dinner. BabyGirl got excited, made plans, cleaned her room (!), created special artwork; Mr. Handsome and I planned a lovely meal. We were all looking forward to seeing them tonight.
And she cancelled this morning for what seems like a reasonable reason. But still.
It's so heartbreaking for BabyGirl.
Her behavior has completely gone to hell and it'll be that way for the next few days as she processes her disappointment and pain. In the quiet moments, we'll get to talking about what's really bothering her, but until then, she's going to be a giant pain as she feels this new pain so acutely. We'll cut her slack because she's got a lot on her emotional plate right now, but we still, nonetheless, have to hold her to behavior standards.
My heart breaks for the both of them: for BabyGirl who feels rejected and betrayed again, for Mitzie who just can't seem to step out of her own pain and disappointment to reach out to the extraordinary girl she helped create.
Hopefully, our rescheduled dinner for next weekend will happen. Fingers crossed.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Because many of the girls simply can't afford buying a decent purse, she's organizing a Small Purse Drive. She will collect small purses that are in good shape and then sell them to the girls for $5.00, or simply give them to the girls if they can't spare $5.00.
Please, start looking in your closets for small purses that haven't seen the light of day in forever and dust them off. Kelly is working out the details as to where to send them, how to make a PayPal donation, etc. so stay tuned.
In the meantime, go read Kelly's blog and dig out those purses to get them ready, ok?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Zora was only 9.25--our last Bouv was 14 when he died--so Zora's death is completely out-of-the-blue. We always said she's the dog against whom all other dogs will be judged, meaning, that while every dog has its own personality, we'll always look back on Zora as the one great, perfect dog for us. Protective without being threatening, dignified, smart, well-behaved, and very well loved, she was a really good dog.
Zora helped Mr. Handsome and me through the loss of our three babies, she watched over BabyGirl as she came and stayed, she kept me safe when Mr. Handsome was on his extended business trips, she provided a quiet presence and dignity. And she kept the backyard free of squirrels.
She will be greatly, greatly missed.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Of course, she hasn't said anything to us either way about it, but Foster Care Woman said she can speak with authority and say that AJ ain't coming home to us.
I'm really disappointed, heartbroken, and heartsick about losing him again. And, truth be told, I'm also really relieved since taking on an emotionally/physically/possibly-mentally damaged 4-year old really wasn't on my list of things to do right now. Of course, if he'd come home, we'd take him into our arms and do our very best for him because that's what parents do; nonetheless, we also know how much work that would take.
At least one thing is good: living the life of open adoption (BabyGirl and her daddy are at her first-mommy's family reunion this afternoon) has given us plenty of opportunity to hold two conflicting emotions at the same time!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Peggy's sentencing was today. Judge Brown sentenced her to two
years of probation in which she must pay: $68 in state fees,
$60 victim's fund fees, $960 court supervision fees, $728 in
court costs, and $650 in attorney's fees. She must continue
her employment. She was sentenced to 1 year in the
Washtenaw County Jail (credit one day served). She may serve
the sentence over a period of thirty weekends and if she does
so, the balance of her sentence will be suspended. She must
also serve either 80 or 180 hours of community service (I am
not sure which number the judge said) which will entail her
telling various groups about what she did and the repercussions
of her actions. If she violates any term of the probation she
could face prison time.
For the first time since I have been following this case, I actually
heard Peggy speak. She said that her parental rights had been
terminated (the way she described it, the termination of her
parental rights had been an "unselfish act of love" for her
children--as if it had been her idea). She said she had ended
her relationship from AJ's father. She is taking parenting/anger
management classes and volunteers at the Hope Center . She
cried openly when describing what she had done to AJ and to
the relationship with her children generally. I gathered that
there was, on her part, some expectation of no jail time. She
explained to the judge that if she were jailed, she would lose
her job as (I think) assistant manager at White Castle and
"she would be right back in the same bad situation as before."
Apparently Peggy’s attorney stated that jail time was not
warranted because there were no “serious or permanent
injuries” involved. The prosecutor then rebutted this with a
reading of AJ's injuries aloud in court: acute and chronic subdural
hematomas consistent with shaking, broken ribs ([the injuries]
2 weeks old at the time of treatment), pelvic fracture ([the
injuries] about 10 days old at the time of treatment), a broken
arm--a total of 8 broken bones altogether which a doctor
described as being like "torture". A couple of people in the
courtroom actually gasped when the list of injuries was read.
I think this played a big part in the judge's decision NOT to
waive jail time. The prosecutor said that AJ was in therapy
and didn’t want to talk about his mommy.
This matter seems over for a while—I am not sure if Peggy
will ever be able to have her parental rights reinstated. I
think it’s safe to say that if she screws up probation, she
probably won’t. I am sorry you guys didn’t get AJ, but
let’s just hope Peggy’s mother stays healthy long enough
to raise the kids.
I asked specifically if grandma stated she was going to adopt them, but haven't heard back yet.
"I heard she released her parental rights as well. She said her mother was going to adopt the kids…I hope you can file a competing party petition if that’s the case."
But she didn't say "as well" to what!
Grandma is taking the kids to South Carolina on a vacation/family reunion tomorrow so that should give us time to figure out the competing party petition thing--if that's what we want to do.
I just wish there was some resolution to this whole thing already. I'm tired.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
At least ONE thing in our lives is settled! My tummy is unknotting just the weensiest bit. Of course, that is no promise of continued employment, but at least the company won't get pieced out.
Now, only one more major thing to be settled. Next Wednesday. I hope. I hope something happens either way. I know how I'd like it to end, with AJ coming home to us, but any closure will be welcome at this point. I'm getting a little frayed around the edges and Rescue Remedy just ain't taking the edge off anymore.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Peggy's sentencing is June 17, and I still don't know any more details on to what she made her plea.
The CPS worker said, based on a meeting she was in yesterday, that she thinks the grandma is going to keep AJ. Sigh.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
LawyerFriend wasn't able to hear anything yesterday in court since it was all at the judge's bench and they had the sound machine on. He did learn that Peggy is to be in Family Court tomorrow on the paternity issue.
Thank you for all your good thoughts, prayers, and support.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Peggy's Facebook for the first postponement day was, "Is Saying God Thank You 4 All You Did 4 Me 2Day.."
Grandma's was, "is very sad today.... :(" followed by "and it just keeps getting better..." the next day--she has a wonderful capacity for irony and that's how I read this second update.
We've been out of town and I haven't heard from LawyerFriend on what actually went down.
Whatever is going to happen, those babies need stability to know they are in their forever homes--either Grandma's or ours. This is getting more and more awful as each month grinds on. As more time passes, Peggy has more time to "demonstrate" that she's making improvements in her life; unfortunately, she's making the same "improvements" she said she was going to make at the time we lost AJ. I half have it in mind to just call the prosecutor's office and tell them just where I stand, but I don't know if that would be helpful for the babies or for us. I'll have to ask LawyerFriend his opinion on that idea...
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
I'm asking--begging--for any and all prayers/karma/blessing/good thoughts go to the prosecutor's office that they have sufficient evidence to mount a solid case against her, that they conduct themselves with integrity, and that they follow both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.
Monday, April 06, 2009
I was remembering watching you be born, the slow-pokey doctors not coming even though we'd told them a number of times that you were on your way. How my bff, a nurse-midwife, had pulled on her gloves and was getting ready to catch you because you were coming whether or not the doctors were. I remember feeling small and vulnerable witnessing the miracle of your birth. I remember all that beautiful black hair and your incredible set of lungs as you took your first breath and let out your first yell.
I remember the honor of having a sleep-over with you at the hospital since Peggy didn't want to stay and I didn't want you to have to be alone. We wore our Family Jammies--these goofy South African/Keedo flannel jammies with wild animals all over them. Mr. Handsome and BabyGirl were wearing theirs at home while we wore ours at the hospital that night. I didn't sleep much because I kept waking to check on you.
In the morning, the rest of the family came to collect us and take us home. You didn't have to move into our house to move into our hearts. You were always there and you will always be.
Happy Birthday, Little Man. We love you and we miss you.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Unfortunately, the judge was out that day and it has been postponed until May.
Next Wednesday, 4/8, she's scheduled to return to civil court for a pretrial hearing on the felony child abuse charges. My LawyerFriend has volunteered to attend for us.
LawyerFriend, using his keen sense of snorting things out, also discovered that Peggy was in court on ANOTHER issue on 3/15, responding to a charge of driving with a suspended license. Turns out that event was in January 2008 and were finally coming to trial. $150 fine and she's back on the street. Well, she apparently never got off the street despite having a suspended license. What irks me is that she was driving illegally when she had custody of the kids.
And, lastly, I learned that while AJ will turn four on 4/6, the little brother will turn one on 4/11. Her felony pretrial trial is snuggled right between their birthdays.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
After accepting it, I got to thinking. I sent an email yesterday, not via FB, asking if she intended to do that and to please let me know since the Grandma I friended didn't have a photo or any other details beyond the most basics.
When I hadn't heard anything by this morning, I sent another email saying that there was another Grandma out there with a photo and wall posts and evidence of activity that led me to know this other person was really her. I de-friended (un-friended?) the photo-less Grandma. If it turns out the photo-less Grandma is her also, we can look at re-friending.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
According to my trusty google search, a pretrial hearing is "a meeting with the judge that happens before trial, if the parties have not come to an agreement by that point. Usually, the judge tries to get a sense of how the trial will come out and nudge the parties to compromise along those lines." Another site says, "Your lawyer and the DA are trying to see if this case should go to trial or plea bargain out."
While I hope my lawyer/friend/spy finds a job of his own as quickly as possible, I sure hope he's free that day. It would be interesting to be there, just staring her down and giving her the evil eye.
AJ turns 4 on April 6th, three days after BabyGirl turns 8, and three days before his own mother faces the judge for beating the living daylights out of him. BabyGirl's birthday will always be intertwined with AJ's, since we just scored a perfect parking space at Zingerman's for a post-preschool celebratory 4th birthday lunch with Grandma and Grandpa when Peggy called to say she was at the hospital in labor.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Oh Grandma, I'm so sorry for such a big misunderstanding. No, we are not trying to "swoop and snatch" and I did contact CPS, but certainly not to "inquire" about the case. I have respected your wish for privacy. I hope I also made it clear to you, though, that we were going to do what we had to do to let CPS know that we were interested in adopting him/them IF Peggy's rights were terminated and IF you opted not to parent. I think I've explained our fear that he/they could be thrown into the System and we'd never have the opportunity to bring him/them home, if that was what was needed.
I called the general CPS number and was passed to FosterCareWorker; whether or not she is working with you, I don't know nor did she indicate either way. I gave a general explanation of the situation--asking no questions about the case, only what
we should do if an out-of-family placement became necessary. I did not use
your names and, as far as I knew, she didn't know of the case. She said that to present anyone's name to the court, they need to be licensed foster parents because IF parental rights are terminated and IF "the grandma" chooses not parent, he/they will be placed immediately with other foster parents from the pool and it would be very, very difficult--if not impossible--to move him/them here at a later point. I don't know why she would have said that I was inquiring about the situation because that is absolutely not the case.
I am doing my best to respect your privacy as much as possible. I'm not going to the public hearings. I'm not questioning friends who work in the court system. I'm not emailing you everyday. I do understand that this is difficult for your family, but please understand that this is difficult for my family, too. We have never stopped loving AJ, we have never stopped considering him the missing part of our family--as BabyGirl said, "since he left, there's been a hole in our hearts." When you told me that Peggy had been beating him to the point of potential brain damage, neural hematomas, and multiple broken bones, it was nearly as painful as when the judge initially found Peggy to not be an "imminent threat" and ordered him returned. No, my family may not be facing potential jail time, but we have our own kind of hell over all this, too.
I am on your side on this, whether or not it feels like it right now. I absolutely defer to you when it comes to this situation, something I've tried to make clear to our CPS contact. But I was also not going to miss the opportunity to potentially bring our little boy home simply because I didn't make a phone call to ask for some general information. Again, I am sorry for the misunderstanding.
.I haven't heard anything back from her yet.
.And then there's the matter of Peggy's most recent court date, the pretrial hearing in criminal court on February 24. Much to my surprise, Peggy opted not to admit and plead guilty to the charges, she's opted to have a jury trial. Apparently, she thinks she can beat the charges (awful pun intended). I have not heard if that trial has a start-date yet; nonetheless, she has a return to juvenile court to divulge AJ's real father's name or provide a list of potential fathers on March 27.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
A friend will be attending Peggy's preliminary trial on Tuesday to take notes and report back.
I also learned that the man she identified as AJ's father, has been proven by DNA to not be the father. This is the man who told her she "owed" him another baby because she "gave away this one." This is the man who denied paternity all along. This is the man who had an infant daughter with another woman the same time AJ was born. Well, at least that's one piece of the puzzle that we won't have to deal with.
We begin our foster care licensing procedures on Tuesday night. We're both really mixed-up as to what we want to have the end result to be. Is the older daughter--the one who is abusive to AJ after watching it happen for so long and the one, frankly, I never liked from Day One--a deal-breaker if the kids are kept as a package? What about the father of the little one? He says he wants him, but does he or is he posturing? What if Chrysler goes bankrupt on Tuesday when they have to talk to the government again, and what if Mr. Handsome loses our only source of income? What then? What if AJ is damaged beyond repair? Are we really willing to take on that challenge? Are we really willing to take on both boys? A damaged 3.75-year-old and an infant? At our ages? What are we, nuts?
What we do know is that we won't be allowed to make any choices or get any more information unless we've jumped through the foster care hoops. So we fill out the paperwork, get fingerprinted, and submit all kinds of legal documents, and we jump.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
We agreed to consider considering adopting our son should he become available for adoption. There are so many questions about how much damage has been done to him. The grandma told me it was a borderline torture situation. I'm 45, my husband is about to be 48. Are we able to take on a potentially severely damaged little boy? My husband--the only income earner--works for Chrysler and who knows how long that will be around? Is it fair to our daughter to take on this challenge? I'm sure, if a child were born to us with all these potential complications, we'd love him and raise him to the best of our abilities--but he wasn't born to us. We do have a choice. I don't know if voicing my concerns and hesitency is politically correct or not, but they're mine and they're valid.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
She'd been on my mind and heart lately so I emailed a very generic message: "You've been on my mind, I hope all is well with you and yours."
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
"Let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again."
Our mighty dream is back. My brown child can see other brown children playing with their puppy on the White House lawn. America's children will see a black man as president and it'll be no big deal. Our children will remember being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night because this is That Important; when they're older they'll understand its importance.