Losing my child - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 45 Old 01-21-2008, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted previously in Health & Healing (if I remember correctly) about my parents taking my DC from me. To recap: I'm a single mother living with my parents and my 2 year old DC. They called CPS on me, to hurt me (my mother has a history of physical and mental abuse, particularly vindictive nasty things), and clearly lied to the worker (because there is no other reason for it) and now I don't have custody of my DC for about another 9 months (it was for a year minimum) - that would be assuming I do everything they say. This was despite the fact that I did everything the caseworker originally asked me to do. I called my best friend who advised me to get my senses together and fight it instead of giving up. I found out that the court date to make the custody transfer official was one of two days (apparently they didn't need me there because I signed papers - which I signed because I thought I had no choice), so I called the caseworker every day until then. She never returned my phone calls - I still have not seen her or heard from her since. My family continues to treat me as if I am some horrible, abusive person (making sure the door to my room is open if DC is in here, not letting DC sleep with me, tonight I had to argue for 5 minutes before my father let me take DC into the store alone)....they KNOW I'm not abusive, and they don't care. They're just abusing me instead. The irony of this is that my own mother was/is physically abusive (occasionally) and regularly emotionally abusive. And on top of that, they're not only feeding DC cow's milk products (we are vegan), but tonight they gave him the veggies out of a beef veggie stew claiming that it's okay because it's "just the veggies" - as if all traces of beef disappear or something. I have no idea what other meat products my child is getting. They are also disposable diapering DC - despite the fact that I wash the cloth ones and have them there and fresh, etc. They told me, when the caseworker first told me about the custody transfer, that my parental decisions would be respected. Apparently they were lying (or just decided not to stick with it). I'm scared to find out if DC has been vaccinated at all...I honestly don't even know if they'd do that behind my back or not.

This whole situation makes me sick, and makes me want to give up. As it stands, I'm moving out of this house as soon as I have the money together. I'm moving out without my DC...because I have no choice. At this point it's save my own sanity and see my DC a little bit less, or just plain go crazy and be abused continuously every day.

Part of me wants to move with my best friend to where she lives (halfway across the country) and start over new, and pretend I just don't have a child. It's going to be hard enough explaining to friends why my DC doesn't live with me. Only two of my friends know the situation...and it took me several months to even open up to them.

I'm just lost, and had to get this out. I'm about ready to give up, start over and hope to numb myself to my child so it doesn't hurt as much. I'm losing him anyways.

ETA: I'm pretty furious right now. My dad just came in with DC to give me night night kisses (which they only do about 3 out of 5 times - the rest they bypass me and don't even tell me they're putting him to bed) and I told him to f off, that it didn't matter anyways since DC's not mine anymore and he told me not to act like that, for DC's sake. I admit, I shouldn't have done that to DC, but where does he get the idea that I can't do that, when he can steal my child from me and not think about what it's doing to DC?
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#2 of 45 Old 01-21-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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Oh my goodness, mama!!! I'm so sorry! I don't even know what to say other than I'm sorry and will be praying for you and your DC!
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#3 of 45 Old 01-21-2008, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you so much, it really means a lot that other people care.
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#4 of 45 Old 01-21-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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Please don't give up, your baby needs you. It's hard, but you have to believe that the truth will come out and these toxic people will not prevail. Do you have a lawyer? You need someone on your side to help you fight for your dc. I wish I had better advice, but I couldn't read and not post.
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#5 of 45 Old 01-21-2008, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't even know where to begin to fight this. I can't afford a lawyer, don't know if I can or how to obtain a free one, who to call in the first place. I'm stuck, and just don't know. And right now it feels like it doesn't matter what I do, that it'll never work. It's felt like that since the custody thing after I did do what they said.
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#6 of 45 Old 01-21-2008, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not to mention, DC's nursing has cut down considerably, and I'm almost positive moving out will cause DC to wean completely (something that I'm sure would not happen if we were together). That breaks my heart too, on top of everything else.
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#7 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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This sounds just awful and I am so sorry you are going through this.
I would agree that you should not give up. Your child needs to know that you fought for him and never gave up. I believe this will matter to him someday.
Do you have resources for a lawyer? At least a consultation so you can get a game plan? Here is my 2 cents, for what it's worth:
I wouldn't move across the country no matter how tempting it is. I would get whatever you can afford as close to your DC as possible. At a minimum you should be allowed supervised visitation. That shouldn't have to be your parents. It should be able to be a court-assigned person. Get your own life together and your own place, even if it's just a small room somewhere but it's yours. Be the person you want to be and the role model you want for your DC. See your DC every single chance you get and ignore your parents if you have to when they are present. Just be distant and pleasant but don't let them win by reacting to them. Your child needs to know over and over how important he is to you. Focus your energy on him. You can always come here or call a friend later to vent about your parents. Do whatever you have to do to meet the requirements to have your DC back in the 9 months and be ready to fight if you have to.
Try to let the diapers and meat and stuff go for now. I agree that it is incredibly disrespectful. But you can't control it, so focus on what you CAN control and know that once you have your DC back you will be able to raise him with your values and choices.
Good luck.
Don't mean to sound preachy... and I can't begin to imagine how hard this is for you and your DC.
Take care.
ps Just saw your last 2 posts: I think you can find links to free legal aid online... try googling. Or maybe someone here will know.
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#8 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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Very sorry sweety. You must get a video camera, the smallest one you can afford, hide it in the house in different places, in your dear son's room, in the kitchen, in many places.

If you find that your parents are being abusive to him (aka have proof) take it to the nearest attorney, or to DHS. Show them what is happening.

Put the camera in your room too, so that when your dear child comes to your room, anyone can see what is your parents response.

Lastly, please do get a job if you don't have one. Rent a small apartment where you can go to if you need to do so. Also, perhaps they will let you take ds there sometimes (especially when it is convenient to them).

Show your case worker and the judge that you can stand up and care for yourself, that you can feed your son (even with the help of food stamps).

Take beautiful photos of your son and hang them in your apartmenet, so when you are there you can see him every moment.

If you ever had a history of drugs or alcohol, or depression, get help, attend weekly, monthly meetings to get support. Help other people.

See a doctor (hopefully one not connected to this case) and get a physical.

Build a case showing that you can be responsible and care for your child long term.

When the time comes to go to court, you will have something better to show than your parents complaining against you for munching off of them, or not cleaning your room. The judge will give your son back. And while I agree you need an attorney, it is very expensive. Get a job to pay for this.

Pray that your son will be okay until you have your day in court.

HUGS!

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#9 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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PS...

While your parents aren't being kind to you, I am so glad that your son is not in foster care where you could not see him every day. That would be awful.

Do your work, do your best. hugs!

Vegetarian Hindu, mother to L,P and R. 
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#10 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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OMG, your situation is terrible! How could your parents do that to you? You might want to read more at some of these websites:

Please look at this one first!



http://www.squidoo.com/fightcps



http://familyrightsassociation.com/info/help/index.html

I hope these help...please don't give up on your DC, your baby needs you, and you do need to get away from your parents. I can't imagine what you are going through...

Circ doesn't work! Stop the violence of circumcison. Had another UP/UC/HB in August!
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#11 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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Please tell me where you are so I can help you. PM me an e-mail. Iam a case manager who works with kids and CPS and know some "tricks" and "loopholes". I am so sorry, Mama. We are here and we will help.
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#12 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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I'm sorry. It seems like you and your child are in a very tough spot. I'm just not understanding, though. Are you living with them? But your parents are doing the parenting? I think I'm missing something.
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#13 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Sending you hugs and prayers for you and your dc. I hope, somehow, the situation is clarified and you regain custody of your child.

M
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#14 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
I'm sorry. It seems like you and your child are in a very tough spot. I'm just not understanding, though. Are you living with them? But your parents are doing the parenting? I think I'm missing something.
I'm living with them, and they won't let me do the parenting, thanks to the screwed up custody situation I don't have the legal option to parent my child without their "permission."
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#15 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all, it REALLY helps that people are understanding and caring. I'm going to do some more looking into it tomorrow and see what can be done. Thank you again.
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#16 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 05:28 AM
 
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Wow, your situation sounds so hard. Try to be kind to yourself as much as you can. I hope that some of the other moms here can help you out with advise like they've helped me.
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#17 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 05:40 AM
 
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I don't have any answers, just sending you hugs and hope.

hang in there, mama.

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#18 of 45 Old 01-22-2008, 11:00 AM
 
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First Momma, , I am so glad you posted here, these women have a wealth of knowledge and we will all help you as much as we can. I am so very sorry this is happening to you and your ds. I have no experience with CPS so I cannot help at all with that. I just wanted to sent you strength and ask that you continue to fight for your ds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MyHeartInOz View Post
I'm living with them, and they won't let me do the parenting, thanks to the screwed up custody situation I don't have the legal option to parent my child without their "permission."
Can you clarify what the actual custody is? I may have missed it, if I did I apologize.

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Originally Posted by MyHeartInOz View Post
Thanks to all, it REALLY helps that people are understanding and caring. I'm going to do some more looking into it tomorrow and see what can be done. Thank you again.
Please follow up with the mommas who have offered you help, and please keep us posted.
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#19 of 45 Old 01-23-2008, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you clarify what the actual custody is? I may have missed it, if I did I apologize.
Temporary custody, for a minimum of a year. I was told that I was "lucky" to be allowed to even live in the same house as DC. I don't get it.
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#20 of 45 Old 01-23-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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I hope you're able to get custody of your little one soon.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#21 of 45 Old 01-23-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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Try to get your parents back on your side, enroll in a training program or college and set out to make your life what you want it to be.
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#22 of 45 Old 01-24-2008, 01:18 AM
 
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I mean this quite gently -- something does not seem quite right with the story.

Usually grandparents, however squirrelly or awful, don't want the responsibility of raising grandchildren. It's a lot of work, they've done their turn, and it's not something they'll pick up unless they feel they must. Whatever their concerns, it appears that the legal and social services people agree with them. Your talk of picking up and moving suggests to me that maybe they are seeing, among other things, a lack of maturity and commitment that you want to see in a parent. No matter how hard this is for you, your child comes first. Keep in mind that it's probably very difficult for them to have you there, too. Unless it's in the agreement, they're not required to let you live there. I wonder if they and the legal people have decided it would be in your child's best interest -- and maybe yours -- to have you nearby.

I would follow the advice of some other posters here -- find a job, and find a counselor who can help you work with your parents and the legal system to get you to the point where they feel you can be trusted to have your child back.

Nursing and vegan may be important, but part of adult life and parenting is recognizing and accepting that there will be times when things just are not going to go your way, and that so long as no one will be seriously hurt, you have to let things go. I'd have loved to have bf'd, too, but a prior surgery made it impossible. My daughter came to no harm. Your child will survive the beef particles. The more important thing is doing whatever you must do to work with everyone and win back the right to care for your child.

Good luck --
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#23 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 05:31 AM
 
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What is it that CPS says you have to do to get your child back?

As much as it may hurt to hear this, you ARE lucky to have your child in the same house as you and get to see him every day. I say that from personal experience.

How long was the temporary custody order that you signed? At least in this state, after 90 days, they have to go to court to take it any further. Have you been to court? Once your child is in someone else's custody for a year, they can move to terminate your parental rights.

If you signed a voluntary custody agreement, there should be a provision that says you can revoke it at any time, and at that point they either return your child to your custody, or it will be taken into court. If you can't afford an attorney, they will provide one for you the day of your hearing. (Again, speaking only for my state; things may be different where you live.)

I would suggest, if you move to revoke, that you be prepared to move out of the house into your own place. That's actually the caseworker's job - to help you do that. If the caseworker isn't helping you, ask for her supervisor. If the supervisor doesn't help, ask for THEIR supervisor.

You have to show them that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get your child back.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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#24 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 05:55 AM
 
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Oh, good luck mama, Unfortunately, they are right when they say that you're lucky to be in the same house as your DC. My mom wasn't, and when she got her youngest two boys back, the foster parents had given the 13-m/o a lump the size of a golf ball on the side of his head, bruises, and a diaper rash so bad they thought it would SCAR.

That's the ugly part about CPS that no one likes to talk about-- they take kids away from perfectly loving and able parents to pad out their claims that they don't have enough money all the time.

You have to fight it as much as possible, but you have to play nice-- smile sweetly while they stab you in the back, but get it on recording.

Do what the PP said, RECORD everything, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, and DON'T SIGN ANYTHING ELSE that you don't read first. If they tell you you HAVE to sign this that or the other thing and you're not comfortable, sign UNDER DURESS on the line, then your name under it. You should be able to get a lawyer assigned to you, you have to fill out a lot of paperwork, but if you're low income, they generally have to. Be careful about the lawyer though, some of them are completely unscrupulous. Also, someone above mentioned it, but DON"T let your DC be in custody for a whole year if you can help it. You have to fight and document and fight some more. They can terminate your parental rights after something like 13 or 15 months in someone else's custody. It's hard, it gutwrenching, and COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS that you have to do so much just to get your kid back, hopefully not permanently damaged, but is the unfortunate truth.

Good luck, mama! You're in my prayers.
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#25 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Mama, what you need is a heart full of pissed-off. They had no right to do that to you and your ds, it's just sick. Now that the court has made it's decision, there's nothing you can do but go along and do everything they say. Just make sure you read all the fine print, and if there's any doubt in your mind about what they're asking for or what's going to happen, ask. They have to answer everything, they can't do stuff to you that you don't understand. Just be polite and persistent- keep asking, what do I need to do to get my son back? How can I show the court that I'm the best parent for him? And get a lawyer if there's any way you possibly can

Let that fire of anger burn low and strong in your heart- they took your son, and you have more strength, more integrity, more heart for your child, than they do. You're his mother and you love him forever- better and stronger than anyone in the whole world. It's no different than if it was a disease that took him, or war, or a flood, or a pack of wolves. Slave mothers didn't give up their kids when they were sold away- they started walking as soon as they went free, looking for their lost children. It's no different for you- it just feels like it because you might be afraid people are going to secretly believe you aren't sharing the [I]real[I reason they gave custody to your parents. It makes you so much more alone than someone who, say, has a child battling with cancer. That's why you have to remember that this isn't your fault, no matter what anyone else thinks. Just concentrate on doing everything you can to get him back- Some day, he will know that's the way it was, and no matter what the outcome of all this, it will make all the difference.

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#26 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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Just came back to reread the original post, because I missed the part about there being a court date.

You should have been sent an order from the court to appear. Who told you you didn't need to be there? It has to be served on you; and there should be a record of the proof of service from whoever served the paperwork that is in your court file. All you have to do is go down to the courthouse and request to see the file to see if someone filed a proof of service. It's not the caseworker's job to tell you when court is (though she should), especially if it was the first court date for your case. If you live in the same house as your parents and your child, wouldn't you have known when it was because they would have had to go to court?

If you weren't served and thus didn't know the court date, I'd suggest visiting Legal Aid and having them help you file a motion for an emergency hearing based on that fact. Just call the Family Court desk at the courthouse, tell them you qualify for Legal Aid for your CPS case, and they should have the information for you. I can imagine that if you didn't show up for the initial hearing, that looked - to the court - like you didn't care about your child.

If your case has gone to court, your child should have been assigned a CASA and/or a Guardian ad Litem. And this person should have been in touch with you by now. They also should have had at least one visit with your child by now.

There should also be a follow up date in court, and I don't understand how the next court hearing could be 9 months from now. I'm pretty sure that the case has to be updated with the court about every 6 months.

It's important to know exactly what it is that CPS wants you to do to get your child back. Just because your parents are saying one thing (what were the initial allegations? what are they basing opening the case on?), if there are services that you need to engage in to get your child back, good reports from service providers are what you need to get your child back.

And, unfortunately, if you are saying to your parents that you don't want to give your child good night kisses, whether or not that's directed at your parents and not your child, they can report that to the caseworker and/or the Guardian ad Litem, and comments like that can be used against you.

It's kind of hard to help without knowing some of the bigger details. If you can fill us in on the details, I'm sure some of us would be happy to offer more suggestions.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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#27 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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Just playing devils advocate here for further clarification.

I tracked down your previous post to get history. In it you mentioned you are bipolar and this makes you get into fights with your mom with your yelling and slamming things so severely she has to call the police to settle you.

In that post and this one you mention a desire to leave you son adn pretend he doesn't exist. You also tell us that when he came in to say good night you refused to say it and IN FRONT of him said he wasn't your child anymore.

YOu are living at home because living elsewhere is not good for your bipolar. You have no job and left on a vacation while this was going to court.

Based on what I am seeing and my experiences with another single bipolar mom (so I saw the swings etc), I can understand their concerns for your son.

In your first post you said your parents are mostly good but your mom and you fight. In this one you make it sound like they are raging child abusers. I just don't see it as some conspiracy between your parents, the social worker the judge etc to tak your child. Fromt he sounds of it they want you to be in your child's life which is why they hve let you stay in the home, but they feel for your son's best interest your parents are the legal guardians.

Have you been taking and responding to your meds? do you see a therapist regularily? These are 2 vital parts of dealing with bipolar, if you have been than your therapist can testify on your behalf in court.

The most concerning thing I have heard though is how much you long to have the single pre-baby life back, and want to run away and pretend he doesn't exist. The fact that you are so willing to toss him aside like that tells me that the courts made the right decision. I can not see how you could go on vacation and just accept things, I would be making calls and pounding the pavement to make sure I got my child back. NOt gong on vacation. They have had custody now for a couple months, but you have sat there and let them, you have not gone out and gotten a job, lined up a lawyer(there is legal aide offices everywhere), even calling around and asking if a lawyer would work pro bono for you. If it is truely a case made on falsehoods like you say then I am sure there is a lawyer out their willing to take it on for free, but you have to do your part.

WHat the courts see is a mother who has clearly given up on her child, not one fighting tooth and nail to get him back.

If what you are saying is true than I am very sorry you are being put throuh this, but I have a feeling there is way more to this story than you are revealing, that indicate why the courts moved forward so quickly.

Brandy Single momma to A(11), C(10), H(6) and I(2)
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#28 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
I mean this quite gently -- something does not seem quite right with the story.

Usually grandparents, however squirrelly or awful, don't want the responsibility of raising grandchildren. It's a lot of work, they've done their turn, and it's not something they'll pick up unless they feel they must. Whatever their concerns, it appears that the legal and social services people agree with them. Your talk of picking up and moving suggests to me that maybe they are seeing, among other things, a lack of maturity and commitment that you want to see in a parent. No matter how hard this is for you, your child comes first. Keep in mind that it's probably very difficult for them to have you there, too. Unless it's in the agreement, they're not required to let you live there. I wonder if they and the legal people have decided it would be in your child's best interest -- and maybe yours -- to have you nearby.

I would follow the advice of some other posters here -- find a job, and find a counselor who can help you work with your parents and the legal system to get you to the point where they feel you can be trusted to have your child back.

Nursing and vegan may be important, but part of adult life and parenting is recognizing and accepting that there will be times when things just are not going to go your way, and that so long as no one will be seriously hurt, you have to let things go. I'd have loved to have bf'd, too, but a prior surgery made it impossible. My daughter came to no harm. Your child will survive the beef particles. The more important thing is doing whatever you must do to work with everyone and win back the right to care for your child.

Good luck --
There absolutely is no reason for this. My parents have always been very vindictive, particularly my mother. It's been several years since I really felt like she was my mother (the exception being the first few weeks after DC was born).

I would never actually pick up and move halfway across the country (otherwise I already would have), it just sometimes feels like doing that, and leaving everything behind, would be the only thing to keep me sane. But common sense tells me that wouldn't happen, and I could never leave DC like that.

I do have a job, though. I've had a job for several months. And before that I was watching children...the only reason why I ended up getting a "real" job was because the mother didn't need me anymore once she put her children in school and I couldn't find someone who was close enough, okay with me taking DC and paying me a decent amount (seriously, all the offers I got were like $100 a week for 45 hours a week - not gonna happen lol).

The vegan (etc) thing bothers me not just because of the risks I feel DC is being put at by the various changes in DC's diet (and other things) they've made, but also because they told me that my parenting decisions - so long as they weren't harming DC - would be respected. And clearly they have not been respected. Vaxing is the only thing that, so far, they may have respected. But I don't even know for sure.
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#29 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AlwaysByMySide View Post
What is it that CPS says you have to do to get your child back?

As much as it may hurt to hear this, you ARE lucky to have your child in the same house as you and get to see him every day. I say that from personal experience.

How long was the temporary custody order that you signed? At least in this state, after 90 days, they have to go to court to take it any further. Have you been to court? Once your child is in someone else's custody for a year, they can move to terminate your parental rights.

If you signed a voluntary custody agreement, there should be a provision that says you can revoke it at any time, and at that point they either return your child to your custody, or it will be taken into court. If you can't afford an attorney, they will provide one for you the day of your hearing. (Again, speaking only for my state; things may be different where you live.)

I would suggest, if you move to revoke, that you be prepared to move out of the house into your own place. That's actually the caseworker's job - to help you do that. If the caseworker isn't helping you, ask for her supervisor. If the supervisor doesn't help, ask for THEIR supervisor.

You have to show them that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get your child back.
I'm actually planning to move out before I start fighting it. That way I can show that I've been doing my end of things. I'll look into the CPS stuff with my state.
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#30 of 45 Old 01-26-2008, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again, everyone. I'll have to read the last two later, I've got to go run some errands before closing time. Thank you everyone!
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