Saturday, November 30, 2013

Poems By My Daughter: Family Tears & LIfe

Here are some more poems my daughter wrote.  Being able to write poetry has really helped in giving her a voice to release her feelings in all of this.  My thoughts follow each poem.

Family Tears
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it all,
Every time I sit at home or I'm at a mall,
I see both Mothers and Fathers
Walking with their sons and daughters.
I realize that I can't be with my family
I can only be with me.

Every time I close my eyes
I always see Mom and Dad and cry.
I see Little Bro sitting and playing and grin
And I always want to be there with him.
I see the animals playing or being lazy
And my depressed emotions go crazy.

Salty tears running down my cheeks,
I don't care if people think I'm weak.
I miss the place where I belong,
And sadness fills my song.
A monster tore our family apart,
A beast that was and is very smart.

I can only hope I'll be home soon
With Dad and I gazing at the moon
Cuddling with mom while she reads to me
With Little Bro as he talks and screams to me.
All I want to do is sit at home
With mom, knowing that I'm not alone.
WOW this really hit me.  I know she misses us so much when she is not here.  And it really bothers me that Children Services is ok causing all my children this kind of pain.  Especially since there is no reason to keep them from me.  Thank goodness that in a few more months this will all be over for her and she will be home for good.  Hopefully followed quickly by her brothers.
Life isn't ever perfect,
But life is worth it.
Sometimes you are in pain
But your hope shouldn't ever wane.
Even if darkness envelopes your sight
There will always be a ray of light.
People can be good, people can be bad,
Life can be joy, life can be sad.
It doesn't matter your looks,
It doesn't matter if you read books,
It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor,
It doesn't matter if your dreams soar.
It matters what you do now and here,
So that everyone's joy is near.
After all my daughter has endure and realizing the age she is now; this becomes even more powerful for me.  She never has lost hope.  She tells me at least once a day she knows her brothers are coming home.  Can't say when but she knows our family will once again be whole.  She inspires me so much and gives me so much strength even while not realizing it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We Acknowledge What We Want To Acknowledge

This is something I have learned about the majority of workers I have dealt with since this all began.  That they will only acknowledge what they want to.  Everything else does not exist.  Today I heard back from my sons worker.  You would think I would be happy about that.  Communication can't be a bad thing, right?  Wrong.  Lack of acknowledging things and twisting them to suit what you want to be can be very frustrating. 

Originally she asked to have time to go through the file.  I thought that was fair and told her I would email her a week later to see what head way had been made.  In every email I sent though I stated my request for my children to have phone contact and physical contact.  Stating each time that with the b-days and Christmas that they should be allowed to see each other.  Especially since communication was cut between them for no reason.  None.  And even more important my daughter was promised by the workers AND the people who my sons were placed with that contact would NEVER be cut between them.  Then within in a few months that is exactly what they did with no reasoning given.  So over and over I stated my request for them to get a chance to see each other along with phone contact. I also stated in each email my request to have contact as well.  And the previous one my request for pictures.  I emailed a week later like I had stated.  No response.  So two days later I emailed again.  Again no response.  So today I was going to email again(4 days after the last one).This is what I received today:

"To bring you up to speed I have started to familiarize myself with your children’s files but still am nowhere close to having all the information. I can tell you I am scheduled to meet with my supervisor on Dec 16 to discuss a number of cases I have; it will be at this meeting where I will discuss your request for up dated pictures of the boys and telephone contact between the boys and your daughter. After my meeting with I hopefully will have some further answers to provide to you."

That is it.  No mention of anything else.  No mention of my repeated request for contact, no mention of my repeated requests for them to see each other.  Nothing.  No mention of any of the other things I mention either in that email.  This is what it is like to deal with the majority of workers.  And a huge difference in how things seem to be with my daughters new worker.  This is what I received at my last email communication with her(She had not responded to me in about 2 months hence the apology):

"Sooo Sorry!!
 Wish I could let you know all the icky stuff that’s been preventing me from answering my e-mails.  I will reframe it by saying that I was 100% confident that things were going well and that you didn’t “need” me for a while.  I’m very glad that the visits are going so well and that she is becoming involved in the community and making friends in your city.  That is perfect and wonderful transitioning!"
See the difference.  She got to know the file and seriously read it.  She then met with me and saw me and my partner for what we really are and saw the situation for what it really was.  She went on to answer all my questions and discussed ways for handling some issues I brought up.  She also talked about things we are doing to prepare for my daughter moving home and for the PGO to be thrown out or ended.  So far I am being pleasantly surprised with just how open and helpful that my daughters worker is being.  I wish we had had a worker like that from the beginning.  My children would have been home long ago and the PGO would have never happened.
So my response back to my sons workers was reminding her of my other requests, letting her know that I am disappointed in how long this was taking to get contact happening when it should never have been cut in the first place.  I gave her the contact number to my community support worker and her name and let her know I had signed a release for her to talk to her.  I also told her that my daughters worker was trying to contact her and she should also get a hold of her as well. I told her I would email her again in 2 days to see what came of those phone calls.  Then I reminded her that it is the holidays and it is suppose to be about families and that my children should at the very least(like I had stated multiple times before) be able to see each other and visit each other during those holidays. 
I am so sick of how long this is taking.  It has been 3 yrs since I last saw my sons.  4 yrs since they had last all been together with me for a holiday.  I hope our Christmas miracle will happen this Christmas and that we will all be reunited, even if it is just for a visit for now.  Please keep us in your thoughts that our Christmas miracle will happen.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Edmonton Journal Reveals Just How Dangerous Foster Care Is In Alberta

I was in shock today when I logged onto the internet and saw this newspaper article:

Fatal Care: Foster care tragedies cloaked in secrecy

"They suffocated in bed, committed suicide, succumbed to disease — 145 Alberta children died in foster care since 1999, and the government hasn’t told you"

I read through the article and cried as I read the what the Edmonton Journal was reporting after a 4 year legal battle after the journal submitted a request to obtained the internal death records through a freedom of information request submitted by the Journal in 2009. 

In the Journals own words: "The Alberta government has dramatically under-reported the number of child welfare deaths over the past decade, undermining public accountability and thwarting efforts at prevention and reform.

A six-month Edmonton Journal-Calgary Herald investigation found 145 foster children have died since 1999, nearly triple the 56 deaths revealed in government annual reports over the same period."

I knew it was bad in Alberta and in Canada over all but I had no idea it was this bad.  The public really needs to open their eyes and see the problem that is the CPS industry in Alberta.  I am not saying it should be abolished.  I am saying that it needs serious reform, the privacy laws lifted so that no one can hide behind them.  Obviously the children are not protected by it.  These children paid with their lives for it. 

We as a province and a nation need to stand up.  Not just those who have had to deal with CPS but everyone.  We need to fight to protect these children from the system itself until changes are made. 

Some people have wondered why I worry so much for my children.  THIS IS WHY.  My children went through more horrendous physical and mental torture the moment they went into care.  Even to this day my sons psychological needs are not being met and I can't say either way if their other needs are.  Please share the link above as much as you can.  The time for sticking our heads in the sand has ended.  Nothing can change without everyone standing together and fighting for change. 

And please keep my children in your hearts and mind that they will be safe till they return home.

UPDATE: Wildrose Calls For Debate In Deaths Of Alberta Children In Care

The emergency debate was rejected

CTV Edmonton: Defending Child Intervention System  -
the best in Canada? Really? That is why a known child abuser was given my children to abuse at her leisure? To starve so that a 2yr old was 10 pounds underweight? Who threaten me with never seeing my children again if I ever took them to a doctor or police again? WOW, Then Canada and Alberta need a ton more work to reform it. If it was their kids that died in these ways or tortured in these ways they would be screaming for reform.

Questioning Foster Care 'Should Not Be Allowed' Says Association Head -If they are doing everything right then why would they have a problem with people questioning them about what is happening to children in the care of the province? Only abusers thrive in secrecy. The survivors and their families want and need a voice if this is ever to be fix in any way.

Restrictive Law Silences Grieving Parents - Even in death in this province parents can not speak their child's name

Living, Dying in the Shadows - The stories of some of the children who died in care.

The Story of One Alberta Foster Child We Wanted To Tell You But Can't - The story of one of the babies who died in government care.

Dear Mister Hancock - A letter from Velvet Martin, mother of deceased Samantha Martin who is one of the victims of government care and cover-ups, to Mister Hancock.  Very raw and very well stated.

Return To Map Of The Blog Page

Monday, November 18, 2013

Your Are 15 Today

WOW has this year flown by.  Last year at this time we were not even allowed to talk to you on a phone.  This year we got to have you here earlier in the month to celebrate your b-day.  And next year you will be permanently home with the PGO close to being thrown out or ended. 

Pictures of my daughters 15th b-day at home 

Sadly things seem to be in reverse for you and your brothers.  Last year you got to talk to them, see them, exchange gifts and so on.  This year you have had the contact cut at no choice from you.  Breaking the promise you were given.  Hopefully this new worker that they have will be working hard to correct the abuse and wrongs that have been done to all of you and help you to have contact with them.  And hopefully in the next year we will all be together permanently once again.

I am so very proud of you.  I have learned so much about you in this past year.  I have learned that even after all my mother did to break you down, you in fact turned it around to make yourself stronger.  You have more strength then I did at your age.  After all your grandmother did to brainwash you into hating me instead you opened your heart and have shown that you not only love me but adore your new little brother and your new step dad too. 

You are a young lady who has an incredibly caring heart.  Especially after all the abuse, injustices done against you, you still want to help others.  You still want to be an inspiration to others.  You want to give other kids a voice where they don't have any.  You don't want to see any one else suffer.  This is so amazing to me. 

Then add to that your desire to write and be a vet.  You have a career path all planned out.  At 15 that is amazing.  You know what colleges you want to go to, you know what you need to get in, your already publishing some of your writing on here and it is amazing. 

I know part of you is still hurting.  I know part of you is still scared.  Scared of failure because you learned the smallest mistake meant the worst punishments imaginable, rejection or even death threats.  I know you are worried about doing or saying the wrong thing to people and them turning their backs on you.  I can promise you that the people that are worth having in your life will not do that.  And when we had your party and you told your friends that you could talk to me about anything, you have no idea how honored and proud of you I was.  I am so glad you have over came that fear of saying or doing the wrong thing with us and have learned that we will always be here and will always love you.  That tells me that these fears do not control you.  That you can over come them too.

I am so very proud of you.  I know you go through so much at school with the bullying and my hope is that once you move home you will more easily be able to be accepted and make friends.  You have grown into such a beautiful young woman inside and out and I am so proud that you are my daughter.  Happy birthday sweetheart.

Messages from your caring fans from all over the world along with right here at home:

"Sending her love and good thoughts. I've been following your journey with your kids and I admire both your strength and her strength. I do hope you can spend her birthday with her and that it is a wonderful day!"

"Have a wonderful birthday! Hope you have the best day ever! You are one strong woman and I know you will be whatever you choose to be! And you may post our names! Love The Stewart."

"You are fabulous! You are the best big sister to ALL your brothers. You are loving and caring and feisty and smart and clever! You give a voice to children and teens who are going through horrible times.  My birthday wish for you is that you gain happiness, peace, love and healing, and move towards and through a wonderful life!"

"Celebrate yourself! No matter what others do, they can't make you someone you aren't. YOU ARE WHO YOU WANT TO BE! Let them go, and choose your path..."

"Happy Birthday! High school years suck for most ( and more for others) this too will pass and in 3 years, hopefully less, you will be where YOU choose to be. Happy Birthday! Stay strong!"

"Happy Birthday. 15 is a great age. I've known you since you were just a little girl. I have always been impressed with your sweet demeanor and how smart you are. Lots of love."

"Happy birthday! I have read some of you poetry and am very impressed. You have a brilliant talent, young lady!  Keep doing what you do. You are an inspiration to many people, no doubt. Keep reading, keep writing, keep sharing love with others. Keep learning, keep exploring, keep growing into a strong young woman. Keep striving to help others to find their courage.  And again, happy birthday!"

"You may be unaware just how many other victims that you are bringing hope to and allowing them an outlet to eventually find their voice too. Thanks for being an inspiration. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!"

"Happy Birthday, and thank you, in advance, for doing what is fearless and bold. It is because of you, our children, why we are protecting you and your a perfect world"

"I'd like to send you a big hug, and tell you that you are an amazing young woman. I know that you like to write, and I'm very happy for you finding a creative outlet, for letting me and others get to know your wonderful self through your poems. You are here for great things! You are here for success, for love, for happiness. Please keep writing, keep showing the world the amazing young woman you are, keep showing yourself the incredible human being you're becoming, keep making yourself proud. Happy birthday!!"

"Happy birthday. You're an amazing person and an inspiration to us all. Have the best day and keep writing. Stay strong sweets x"

"Let me first wish you a very Happy Birthday and lots of love and strength for your 15th year
Your bravery astounds me. Heaven knows that a lot of people would, and have, given up under far less but your sense of composure and determination is an inspiration. Your story is a part of you and I think that, although you should never have been through what you have, you have acquired a strength and understanding that is beyond your years as a result.
Talking and writing about what has happened to you is so very important. For yourself, to receive validation of your feelings, to vent your frustrations and anger but also to show that most damage is done behind a curtain of silence. With the strength and support to speak out and say "no more!", you will give others courage to face their abusers, confront their internal demons and move forward in a healthier, happier way.
As I said, an inspiration; So, again, Happy Birthday. You are indeed a remarkable young lady and I am sure will become an exceptional adult. Have a wonderful day and know that, even from many miles away, your story and spirit has indelibly changed the outlook of one woman."

"You must be a very strong young woman, because every adversity in life makes us stronger. You've been through a lot and you've turned out to be so wonderful and loving. I see big things in your future. Your story can help so many. I wish you a very happy birthday!"

"  'Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.'  - Albert Einstein

Every time you stand up to things like teenage bullying, you are setting that example. It helps others to find their own voice. That is a very powerful thing! You go girl! Happy Birthday!! You're a special girl who is very loved!"

"Happy upcoming 15th birthday young lady...So sorry for the abuse you got. Keep up writing and expressing yourself because the world does listen even when you think it isn't."

"Happy birthday, a brave and strong young woman. "

"Happy birthday - have a wonderful time with your family - may this be the first of many many more xxx"

"Happy Birthday Young lady. You are an excellent writer, continue with what you do best in everything you do- keep it up xoxo"

"Happy 15th birthday sweetie I hope you have a great day on your day, keep your head up and keep up your writing. You have talent and don't stop because of others. Happy Birthday! Mary"

"Happy Birthday Continue writing the poems it does help other people"

Map To The Blog Page

Friday, November 15, 2013

Another New Worker For My Sons

Finally I got a hold of my sons new worker.  I have not updated much on them because I have been trying to just get one of them to contact me.  As you have read in their b-day posts I emailed both the worker that first was in charge of their file when they moved to the new city and their supervisor many times with no response.  Which meant no place to mail off gifts.  My daughter even attempted emailing them to hopefully be allowed to at least talk to her brothers on their birthday.  Of course no response was ever given to her. 

Finally I emailed the supervisor(I think the 3rd or 4th time) and said that if I did not hear from her within 2 business days that I would then contact her superior.  I sent that email on a Sunday figuring if I was going to hear back it would be on a Monday.  No worker has ever emailed me on a weekend.  Well I heard back that same evening.  She let me know that their worker resigned.  And no one could inform me of this in all the months I was repeatedly emailing?  Of course not.  She then stated that since my daughter was not in my custody and she was PGO, and since there was nothing in my sons file about contact with me, that she would not discuss contact between them with me but would contact my daughters worker.  I had informed her in my emails that my daughters new worker had a plan in place for my daughter to return home by the summer and the PGO ended but she would not budge.  I refused to give up so emailed her again explaining that the previous workers had cut contact between my sons and I with no court order.  That I had the emails to prove that they even refused email contact with me after the trial verdict.  She ignored all messages till the day she was leaving on a month long holiday.  Then she emailed me that afternoon giving me the contact information of the worker who would have my sons file till the end of October(10 or so days) and that they would have a new worker after that.  No mention of the next workers contact information and no mention of anything I had asked or stated in the previous emails.  I should be used to having my questions ignored and my concerns treated like they are unimportant.  But it still frustrates me.

I finally got the name of the new worker.  I sent her an email detailing several things along with how my file was badly mishandled, how my children were tortured physically and mentally while under kinship care and how there was obvious bias in the handling of my file.  I was polite but to the point.  I didn't get a reply back so I sent another one two days later.  I did hear back from that email.  The new worker was polite.  She let me know she had not yet gone over the file. That she had just recently filled the position.  So very politely asked me for time to read the file and then asked that once she did that if we could then meet.  Very understandable request.  So I replied back.  I thanked her for getting back to me, let her know that I thought her request fair.  I went into a little more detail on how the system failed my family and put them at risk and how that is now finally coming to light.  I let her know that I would contact her in one week to see what head way she had made.  I made it very clear(politely) that I was not going away and would do anything and everything needed to bring all my children home where they belong.  I also let her know that distance might be an issue when it comes to a meeting(there city is 6-8 hours from where we reside) but if that was what had to happen for my sons to come home we would arrange it.

I have not heard back but I figure she will respond when I email her next week.  I am hoping that this worker will be more helpful in allowing visits between my daughter and her brothers but also in allowing contact between my sons and I and their new little brother. 

Last year I never thought my daughter would be in a position to be moving home and the PGO dropped.  I am hoping this next coming year will have just as much and more positive things happening.  It would be wonderful if my sons could be home in the coming new year.  My Christmas wish for this year?  Having my whole family together(even if it is just for a visit to start the process of transitioning my sons home).  I know it is a long shot but I am hoping that we can have our first visit during the Christmas holidays while my daughter is here so we can all get a family picture together.  It has been way too many years since we have all been together.  Keep us in your thoughts that this Christmas miracle will happen for all of us.

Map To The Blog Page