The trial lasted 3 days. It went from Nov 4-8th. I will post this in 3 segments. The first day, the second day and the last day. I can tell you right off it was very stressful. The first day was more stressful then any of the others.
Our day started out the night before. My fiance worked till midnight that night and then we were up by 5:30am so we could be out the door by 6:15am at the latest. We bought some 5 hour energy drinks to be able stay awake and alert. Not those sugar fill things. The little shots. When we got to town we dropped my dog off at a really good doggy daycare for the day. Then we headed to the courthouse. We met up with my lawyer and he prepared us for the coming testimonies. The department got to present their witnesses on the first two days. On the first day The departments supervisor was the first to testify. Then one of the workers that we had had only for a short time. After her was my mother and after her was the psychologist that did the assessment on the children. The next day would be the main worker we had had and as well as the psychologist that did my parental assessment. So here we go.
The supervisor was the first to get on the stand. She was not a supervisor when we first met her. She was a worker and she was the one that came to the house with the police in February of 2008 to take the kids.
The Supervisors testimony. She got up and testified that when she arrived at the house it was a mess, that there was cat and dog urine and feces everywhere and this was the cause of the smell. She attested that the kids were not dressed and were dirty when she arrived. She attested that after the sewer backup that my daughter was still made to stay down in the basement. She said I did not contact anyone for any assistance. She said I moved away from the mental health treatment that they had set up for me. All of this was false. Facts take and twisted and facts removed to make the case look worse then what it was. The truth was there was no cat or dog urine or feces in the house. I am a published dog trainer. I am know for teaching dogs to use a potty pen outside instead of using a yard. I also am known for teaching dogs to throw up in tubs or showers instead of on carpets or beds. Why would I train my dogs to do this yet allow them to get in the house? It makes no sense. As for the cats for 13yrs previous to this I was a foster home and volunteer trainer for rescues. They would not allow a foster home to be in that condition especially since they provide all the food and litter the cats need so are there regularly. Was my house spotless? None. I can be honest. I own a German Shepherd or otherwise known as a German Shedder. I did keep it reasonably clean. But when she arrived to pick up the kids the whole upstairs was filled with all the things from my daughters room, her bathroom, the playroom and so on. So did the house stink? Yup. From the sewer letting go. Proven by the insurance records. I also have hundreds of pictures and videos to prove the usual state of my home. Lived in but clean. As to the kids being dirty and not dressed this was a total lie. They were dressed. The baby was in a onesy and my son had his PJ's still on when they called. I was dressing them when they called and finished getting them ready along with packing a bag when they showed up. My daughter was not even at the house when she showed up. The night the sewer backed up I woke her up and took her upstairs. The next day she was at my mothers. So she never had to be down there after it was discovered. AS for asking for help I had called the LDS Social Services for help because my husbands Aunt worked with them. They offered no assistance on what to do with my husbands temper and trying to make things work or help my daughter. So I did ask for help. I also asked my own church as well. My home teacher knew some of the stuff going on. No support was given to me. As for the mental health treatment there was nothing set up. And I was the one that got it all going within a few months of moving. This small town offered nothing in the way of counseling that I could access because of my Service Dog. The big city I moved to offered so much more in the way of help, therapy and assistance in parenting.
The next person to testify was the worker we had that went behind our backs and got the temporary guardianship order. My lawyer was not to interested in her because it was really a non issue as far as he was concerned.
Then my mother got up and testified. My mother got up and as soon as her mouth opened she was lieing. She was very animated. Loud and moving around a lot. Her first lie was about when my daughter moved in with them. First she attested that my daughter had to walk back and forth through the sewer stuff for days and had to sleep down there still. Then she said that my daughter moved in with them on February 10th. The Insurance records show that the back up happened on the 23rd of February. My daughter moved in with her the very next day the 24th. Then she testified about how she tried to offer assistance to me by taking the kids for the week starting on the 14th. So that my husband and I could have some private time. This can be proven false as well because on the 14th I was at home with the kids and that night I tried to kill myself. When I left the kids were home and in bed. The next day I was in the psych ward in the city 30 minutes away and was there till the next day. So that whole story was made up and can be proven. Then she went on about how it had been so long since she and her husband had parented and that it was a totally different world now and that they took tons of courses that the department advised them to take on parenting. She then went into what programs they have the kids in, all the activities and fun they have and so on. The truth is that 6yrs previous to my kids ending up there she and her husband had kicked the youngest step kid out. So it was not ages since she had had kids. And of course she took all the courses. She had taken a ton of courses about home schooling and parenting when she had the step kids. She was one of the main people to go to on homeschooling while she was abusing the step kids.
Then she went into how healthy the kids are now compared to how they were. The first one she started with was my youngest. She said that he stank when he arrived and was paranoid about eating. Screaming till he was fed. Said that he was overly clingy then and that he had spots all over his body. The truth is that those spots appeared 2 weeks after the kids were taken. And I was the one that complained during a visit with them to social services about the spots. AS for his screaming for food he was still adjusting to formula after being on breast milk. I had had a few months reserve in the freezer that I had pumped when I stopped breast feeding him. It ran out the middle of February. He didn't like the formula so there was that adjustment going on. As for clingy of course he was. He stayed with me all the time. Even sleeping in his crib that was right up against the side of my bed. So he went from being with me all the time to suddenly no mommy except for visits at 5 months old. Then she started to say that he is now hyperactive and has been diagnosed as ADHD. He just turned 3 by the trial. They can not diagnose a child that young as ADHD. And when we had him for overnights and for visits there was no sign of this hyperactive personality she was attesting too. He learned quickly and concentrated on things very well for his age. His only issue was always needing his security blanket and not being potty trained yet. He was a typical 3yr old with the energy of one.
Then she moved onto my oldest son who just turned 6. She attested that when he came to live with them he could not talk. That he could only bark like a dog. That he would have 2 hour long temper tantrums, was aggressive to others. All of this was untrue. When my oldest son was born he swallowed a lot of the maconium. This caused him to not be able to make any sounds for the first month of his life. After that he had a hard time learning sounds. He could talk he just had a speech impediment. So you had to work with him on repeating words. The only time he would bark was when he was pretending to be a dog and this was when he would play with our dogs. As for two hour temper tantrums this worries me. He never did that at my home and I have never witnessed anything like described during any visit. He was the typical child. When he would do something wrong he would get a time out. The first part of the time out he would be angry and verbalize that like most children do. half way through it would stop and he would be saying sorry mommy and so on. His time outs were always 1 minute per year of age. So 3 minutes when he was 3 and now he is 6 so 6 minutes. If he was throwing temper tantrums that bad or that long I would want to know what my mother and her husband were doing so that it lasted for that long. As for violence he had never shown any violence. Maybe a shove here or there at his brother when arguing over a toy but that would be it. I highly doubt her description of this behaviour.
Then she moved on to how she says he is now. He has had to redo kindergarten. She says he does not retain information. That she can't remember names of people he meets, that he can't remember numbers or letters, that he has no concentration or patience for doing written work of any sorts but that he loves puzzles and is good at them. That he gets angry very easily and that he can never sit still. The truth is my mother is lazy when it comes to working with my oldest son. The summer of 09 she kept trying to convince me he was color blind so that she had a reason that he didn't know colors or letters or numbers. He couldn't even print his name. I doubted this diagnoses just like I doubt all of them she comes up with. So I worked with him. All it took was us working with him on visits and with in 2 visits he could print his name(though sometimes some of the letters were upside down or backwards). We worked on him with his colors and with in a few weeks he knew all the primary colors and many others. We started to work on his letters and numbers with him more this year and have noticed that the only time he gets frustrated is when he has to read the letter or print it. Same with numbers. So I started using techniques for kids that have dyslexia. He was picking it up fast this fall till the visits stopped. I begged for them to have him tested for dyslexia. I have had it my entire life and he shows all the same symptoms. He has a great attention span for all other actives. He is not hyper active at all. He does have a lot of energy but only what is normal for his age and he easily takes direction. Sadly I am seeing the same in my youngest when it comes to not being taught the basics. My youngest is 3 and he has no idea the names of most every day animals let alone the sounds they make. He has no idea about colors or the ABC's or any of those things. This is not because he is ADHD. This is because he has not been worked with. We were spending 30 minutes of each visit at home working with him on these things and also working with my older son on the things he needs worked with.
She next started on my daughter. Said when she came to stay with them she was withdrawn and scared of people, that she would pee her pants at school and began acting out my the first summer by peeing in her closet. Said she had no friends and was not allowed to do any school activities. Said her grades were bad and she was failing and that she had missed a ton of school while in my care and that all changed. The truth is my daughter did have some issues but basically the opposite my mother stated. She was not withdrawn. We were actually dealing with issues of her bullying other children. Twice she kicked another child for no reason so as a punishment I required her to write an apology and also give up one of her favorite toys to that child so that she could see if she put her hands on another child in a violent manner then she would lose something dear to her. She was not scared of people and was no way withdrawn. In fact in her report cards it tells of how popular and chatty she is and that she needs to learn to do her school work more instead of wanting to chat with her neighbouring student. I have no idea what she means about her peeing her pants at school. Never happened in my care and if it happened in my mothers I would want to know what was going on at home to cause that. As for the peeing in the closet again I have no idea what they are talking about but if she was then what was going on in that house at that time. She had been living with my mother for several months by then. As for friends she had tons of friends. I have many pictures of her with her friends at the house, the large b-day parties I would throw for her. Activities we had her in were swimming, a skating club and also sparks. So she had activities she was in. As for missing school her report cards that I have show that she missed less school when she was with me then she has had since she moved in with my mother. My kids are more often sick now then not. And this worries me. They were rarely sick when they lived with me.
She then moved on to visits. Saying they rarely happened though she has always made her home available and always begged me to come over or call. She said once they went camping and I showed up at the camp site on a few occasions and told the kids i was not there to see them but to see her husband. Supposedly I talked to him for a while and then left without saying anything to my kids though my mother testifies that they were begging me to see them. This in fact never happened. I don't drive. My mother testified that I showed up alone and the only way to get there was to drive. I have never had a license. So that right there shows the extent she is lieing.
Then she stated that on all the visits the youngest would scream and cry saying No Mommy No Mommy. He never said those words to me. And only on 3 visits did he cry. And that was the visits surrounding the supervision order. Prior to the announcement of the supervision order there were no issues and once it was removed from the table this behaviour stopped. Which led me to figure that he was being made to be scared. Within minutes though of being with us he stopped crying and we have video that shows this. He would be happy and laughing and playing the whole time with no issues. Again pictures and video prove this.
Then she went on to her lies about the phone calls the thanksgiving visit and so on that I have explain in previous posts. Then she went into her spiel about how much she loves me and has always been so concerned about me. How she has always had an open door policy with me and has always helped me when ever I need it. That she has always been worried about my mental health and my ability to make up these stories and seriously believe them(hmm I guess the step kids have the same mental issues too since they can back up so much of it). She said she always wished that I would get well enough to parent but knew that would never happen and knew that I was a danger to any child and that for the sake of the kids mental and physical well being they should stay with her. That they get physically ill 3-4 days prior to me picking them up and have terrible nightmares for days after. That I have been violent since I was young but present as normal.
I sat there the entire time and just stared at her with a straight face. I did not look away. I wanted her to see that I had over come her control over me even while she was doing her best to destroy me and ensure I lost my kids. I didn't break till I was alone with friends after court let out and then I cried and shook. At this point in the trial I seriously felt that my mother might win with all the lies. I felt it was her last means to hurt me and she was doing all she could.
My lawyer tried to question her on her past but the departments lawyer stopped it and the judge backed her up. He stated that this was not about my mothers fitness or history of being a parent but whether I was fit to parent and whether the kids would do better in my homes or if would affect them badly mentally. So nothing was allowed to be submitted of all she had done prior to children. Not her record, nothing. So there was no way for him to see how she can brainwash kids to say and do anything. Or how she could convince professionals or anything. A huge part of my case was destroy in those few words.
Right now I have a huge headache and this is already fairly long. I would put the children's assessors testimony in the next post so I can have a break.
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