Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Day of the PJO Judicial Review Trial

WOW  I must say I am proud of myself.  Don't often say that about me.  But I survived day one and I can truly say I have a new respect for the amount of work Lawyers have to do for stuff like this.  I felt so overwhelmed in there.  Doug says I seemed calm but I was completely terrified the entire time.  I made a ton of technical mistakes.  The judge and the departments lawyers I will say were very patient with me about it though. 

The first witness they were able to veto most of the history.  So all the abuse my kids suffered while in my mothers home prior to the PGO didn't get on the record.  I had a feeling that would happen.  So we were hopeful but prepared for it.  So no shock.  The lawyers did give me one thing on that loss though.  They did state to the judge they were willing to concede on my desire to see my sons and that I have always been willing and desiring my sons home.  So that was point one for us.  Some of the major abuse and trauma that my sons had happen and that Isabeau went through did get on the record though and the condition of one of the children upon leaving my mothers home was also put on the record as well.  The lead caseworker did also admit that the children were removed for sever reasons that came to light by things they noticed, community members coming forewarned with what they saw and my own kids statements when interviewed.  They also stated that as soon as they fully realized what was happening in the home that the children were removed.  He also went on to stated that what they had thought that home was like was not at all what was really happening.  So some of their trauma did end up on the record.  And in so doing my hope is the family who has them will see that what my children were enduring in that home for a long period of time was way worse then what they thought.  They were not there but I hope it will get back to them.  Regardless of what the out come to this trial my sons need more then just regular counseling.  They need intense trauma based therapy that will help them deal with what happened so as not to have life long issues.

The second witness was the Child psychologist that Isabeau saw while in my mothers care and who also was a part of noticing the inconsistences of what my mother had been stating about Isabeau.  I was not allowed to question her at all about Isabeau prior to her returning home.  The judges ruling was that Isabeau was not a part of this trial other then to show how fit my home is, at least till she testifies.  But I was allowed to call her as an expert.  The judge was confused at first why I was asking general questions like the symptoms of trauma in a child from the ages of 6-12.  I read off the symptoms and then had her verify each one.  The judge then as me why I thought this would be relevant and I told him two very important reasons.  The first was that other witnesses will be attesting to symptoms and behaviors of my children that will show that they have sever trauma and possible PTSD.  The second was, and yes I did state this to the judge.  That win or lose I wanted this all known so that hopefully the workers and couple who have them will realize my children went through sever trauma that needs to be address and in so knowing that get them the therapy they need to ensure that what happened in that home does not destroy the rest of their precious lives.  The judge allowed me to continue.  So I then asked her what the possible out come could be for a child that endures sever trauma where it is not only not acknowledge but completely ignored.  She listed things like sever addictions, relationship issues, tons of really scary things but the biggest worry for me was that their risk of suicide or self harm.  She did attest to Isabeau having PTSD and still thinks she might have very mild ADHD.  But she also attested to Isabeau seeming to be very happy and confident when she saw her again in my care suffering from some anxiety when she saw her last summer but personally I think that was to be expected with such a huge change in her life by moving home and to a much bigger city and school.  She did not yet have her confidence back at that time.  So I at least was able to get the importance of the trauma on the record as well.

The next was the doctor that saw my sons after removal of the children from my mothers care and also saw them again a year later.  She attested to the marks and condition that were on them upon removal from my mom and then the concerns about certain things that were still apparent a year later.  All important in showing that what they had endure there was a lot worse then anyone had been willing to admit which again goes to showing the trauma.

The last witness was the social worker who had my sons file when my daughter and I got back in touch.  She attested to behaviors of one of my sons that the foster parents had been recording.  She attested to My daughter getting in touch with me, the refusal of contact when I requested it for my sons and I.  She also attested to the withholding of my sons gifts though at first she tried to state she gave them too them.  But had to change that later based on evidence.  She also had to attest to never getting my kids any counseling the entire time they were in her caseload regardless of what behaviors my kids were showing.  She also attested to not reviewing the records other then to just glance over them when she got them to find out if they had any diagnoses or not.  She attested to allowing visits between Isabeau and I but tried to deny knowledge at first of ongoing visits that following summer and later changed that to her suddenly recalling that they did occur.  She did attest that both she and the family who have my sons did promise Isabeau that contact would never be cut and she said that was one of the reasons she choose them.  Was because they had told her they would not cut her out of their lives.  Lastly she attested to no knowledge of contact being cut between Isabeau and her brothers.

So a lot that didn't get said.  A lot that got covered up or left by the way side but also a lot of big things that did get on the record.  A lot of very important information that needed to finally be set straight was corrected.  Hopefully as the days go by and more information comes to light minds will be changed about me and the truth of the kind of person I really am, the truth of the type of loving mom I am and how much I truly love my children and how much I am willing to fight for what is in their best interest will be realized.  Win or lose this case will hopefully change my sons lives for the better and they will finally get the real treatment they need to have the best life possible.

Tomorrow the first witness is the case worker who saw my file and me for who I really was and returned Isabeau home to us will be taking the stand.  The next person will be my first community support person, then my daughter and then my current community support person.  These witness will help show who I am, now that we have covered what my sons have gone through.  The journey continues.

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  1. Good stuff. Sounds like a lot of really important stuff got on the record.

    Do the department lawyers get to cross-examine?

    I do hope you get some sleep tonight. Eat healthy, get your protein in and stay hydrated.



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