Motion for reconsideration to overturn the adoption

Today was a good day, but it was also a hard one if I’m being honest. I was stressing all day about how this hearing would go today. I was worried that the adoption would be overturned. It wasn’t, but it came really close.

We got onto the zoom call and we were all on. Mary’s lawyer, my lawyer, Mary, the Judge, and myself. The judge opened it up to Mary’s lawyer first. The Judge asked him why we were here today.

Mary’s lawyer explained that we were here because Mary wanted a chance to say a few things. The Judge pointed out that she never filed a formal filing, and asked if the plan was to sign on to zoom the day of the adoption and state her objection. Mary’s lawyer said yes, he also stated that she had wanted him to file motions but he couldn’t do so without knowing why. She wanted him to remove the judge from the case was one of the motions. The judge said she wanted me to recuse myself? The lawyer replied yes. The Judge said ok, I’m not sure why there are no grounds for my to recuse myself but ok.

The judge asked to hear from my lawyer next. He explained that Mary came in two days before the original hearing. Well out of time and objected to the adoption. Then the court ordered a case conference. On the case conference your honor asked for a hair follicle test, and medical records to be released. Mary is still in violation of these court orders, as she never has done these. We set up the times for the mediations and the trial date on that case conference. Then Mary didn’t show for the first mediation. She came to the second mediation and a third and she agreed to the adoption. She emailed the court saying she is withdrawing the objection to the adoption. Then after she signed the agreement she then said she wants to object to the adoption again. The court informed her that she needed to file a formal filing and that she could appear via zoom on the day of the adoption. She was given the wrong time, yes she was. We were all set to do an adoption on that day. However, if she has shown up on that day she would have just stated her objection to the adoption. Without a formal filing would you have not done the adoption? This is what the child wants, and if Mary truly just wants to know this is what Carter wants then your honor can release the transcripts under protective order and have that part read to her by her lawyer.

The judge said that she wanted to give Mary a chance to address the court. Mary said that she didn’t agree to the hair follicle test and that she didn’t know she could file a motion to not have to do that. The judge interrupted as she couldn’t remember ordering that. It took a few minutes and my lawyer reminded her of the situation in which is was ordered and then the judge said. The judge addressed Mary asking her to be in the zoom with the camera on at all times, she said she really needs to see her. This is why zoom is bad, it was good during the pandemic to keep things moving, but it really should be in person now. Things are open now so we really should not be doing zoom. She addressed the lawyer and Mary and I saying, that is for my team that is not your fault. The problem is being turned over on appeal, we could be right back here. I know you are going to be upset when I grant this motion Mr. Walton (my lawyer). My heart sank, I felt the tears start to fill my eyes. How was I ever going to explain to Carter what just happened.

My lawyer addressed the judge again saying that Mary had plenty of chances to make a decision before the adoption hearing. Was it really the place for her to be there that day to say she objected? My lawyer then said not for nothing judge but Mary has been doing her hair, vaping, moving away from the camera, and turning the camera on and off. She has been told to stop and yet she still is doing these things. She doesn’t seem to be respecting these proceedings. Then my lawyer continued let her appeal if she wants. She would have to hire her own lawyer in order to file for appeal, it wouldn’t be provided by the court. The judge nodded her head, and then said ok I’m going to hear from Mary now. I interrupted her and I would like to give her a chance to tell me what she wants to say.

Mary started by saying that she has been blocked from seeing her son at every point and that it’s not right she should be able to see him. The judge asked by whom she was blocked and Mary said not by you judge. The judge asked her if you called the program for therapeutic visitation. She stated that she had three times. That she never gets through and no one ever calls her back. She said the adoption happened and she was trying to call but then she was in the hospital for 10 days. The judge asked her why she was in the hospital. Mary said I don’t know and it’s none of your business. The judge said you don’t know why you were in the hospital. Mary said no I don’t. The judge said that in 10 days no one once told you why you were in the hospital. Mary said no. The Judge said I’m going to deny this motion. I exhaled, and couldn’t believe my ears. The judge continued you are playing games and I find you not creditable, you are going to sit there and not answer my questions. You were in the hospital for 10 days someone must have told you why you were there.

The judge continued and Mary started yelling on zoom but we couldn’t hear her over the judge. If we overturned the adoption you would have to answer harder questions than this. Your son wants this adoption, he has made that clear in so many ways. He made it clear to me the day of the adoption. You have had plenty of time to file a formal filing or set up visitation with your son. That still has not been done. Mary interrupted and said you wouldn’t let me answer your questions you kept interrupting me when I was trying to speak earlier. The Judge said and I apologized to you I was trying to understand what you were talking about with the drug test. I needed reminding of the situation, and I came back to you and apologized and gave you a chance to tell me what you wanted to tell me. The judge then said but you won’t even answer a simple question and I’m going to deny your motion for reconsideration at this time. Mary said f*** you and disconnected the zoom call. The judge said let the record show that Mary cut herself off from zoom, we didn’t disconnect her. The Judge then addressed Mary’s lawyer. I know that you have been assigned as Mary’s Pro bono attorney. You have done a good job, and I thank you for your help. Your client seems to be playing games and won’t answer a simple question. She says she called the program three times, she may have done that today. That program has been in this court during the Covid shut down, maybe they are only in three days a week but I know they are servicing clients. As I have people in the court room using them, they are testifying here as well. It can’t all be everyone else’s fault. I’m sure she loves her son, and I feel bad for her I really do. Mary’s lawyer said well she wanted to be heard and she was.

The judge then addressed me. I’m glad you didn’t tell Carter about this hearing, it would have only caused him more turmoil that he doesn’t need. I then added and it would have likely ruined what little is left of their relationship together, possibly making Carter unwilling to want to do therapy with her. The judge thanked me for adding that as well.

The judge addressed all of us and asked if there was anything further. Mary’s lawyer asked if he could motion to be removed as Mary’s lawyer. We all laughed a little. The judge said so granted, and thanked him again for all he did. We all signed off the zoom call.

This was hard, really hard. At the same time I’m glad it happened this way. For Carter the adoption day is one day he will remember for the rest of his life, not a day his mother tainted by showing up and contesting that adoption at the last minute. This is the way God preserves this day for him. It was a good day, and he has no idea any of this other stuff has been going on. He got to be protected from all of that. For that I thank God. Carter has had so much instability in his short life so far. The adoption was grounding for him, he has been doing really well since it has been finalized. I’m so grateful that it wasn’t overturned, that his peace wasn’t disrupted. This is what we do for our kids though isn’t it. We shield them from problems that they don’t need to worry about. We let them be kids a little longer, let them not have to worry but enjoy their childhood as much as they can. Thank you Lord, for your provision over this whole situation.

Brokenness

Mary called me this morning saying she was coming and everything was going to be okay. She thought our father who lives in CA was here and hurting Carter and I. I told her we were both fine, but she came anyway. I took a picture of Carter who was sleeping. I showed her he was okay. She kept asking if our father was hurting us I said no. I also told her I wouldn’t let that happen.

She started talking about hurting people and it got scary pretty quickly. The cops came out and she went to the hospital.

Mental Illness and drug use is just so bad and damages a persons mind. Mary is not a bad person, she is broken and hurting. I hope she can get the help she needs. Please pray for her, and for healing. Thank you.

Adoption overturned?

So, on Friday I got an email from my lawyer. I had been told that the Judge put a stop to Mary coming on zoom. Turns out that was true but it was because it was during the actual adoption hearing. Apparently someone in the surrogate’s office told Mary and her lawyer that the adoption was happening at 9:30am. Well it was scheduled for 9am. So now we have a hearing for reconsideration on June 10th.

My lawyer thinks that the end result will be the same. He also thinks that the adoption will be overturned and a trial will be scheduled. He also thinks that the adoption will be granted. At what cost to Carter? This means that Carter will have to testify. Carter has been so settled and so happy this past week and a half. There is a lightness to him that wasn’t there before. I’m literally going to have to tell Carter that the adoption was overturned and we have to go to trial because someone made a HUGE mistake. I know the judge has to give it air, because if not it can be turned over on appeal so quickly and easily. Im so tired to this broken system. This was supposed to be done, and yes I expected her to appeal. This is just so much worse.

The other thing that kills me is that Mary is his abuser, and she will now get to traumatize him again. She has all this power and control. We would never do this to a domestic violence victim. An abused child though? An even more vulnerable person? We will allow that to happen? What has happened to this country? To this justice system?

I know God has a plan, I know God is in control. I just also am so hurt and angry. I love Carter and the idea that I’m going to have to break this news to him… ugh. He keeps going around and praying to God and thanking him for the adoption. Today at church so many people came up to me saying congratulations and “it must be a load off”. It’s just not right now.

I will update after the hearing on the 10th, but I’m pretty sure I already know the outcome. Please pray for Carter’s heart in all of this. Thank you.

Adoption Day

On Wednesday May 18th, 2022, Carter was officially adopted. We arrived at the court build and went inside. When we got there my lawyer pulled me aside to tell me that they gave Mary a zoom link, because she wanted to object. I asked my lawyer if I should tell Carter as it will set him off for sure. The lawyer said I’m going to ask that if she gets on that they will clear the court room including Carter to deal with that matter.

Many friends were there to celebrate with us. I gave a couple of adults a heads up, this way if it happened they could help keep Carter calm.

We got called into the court room. The Judge came in and said that the adoption was moving forward. The Judge explained that we aren’t going to go through all the reasons as to why the adoption is taking place today. That if need be she will add to the record, to make sure it is all documented well. The Judge explained to my lawyer to ask me yes or no questions as my head was probably spinning from all the excitement. We all laughed a little bit. My lawyer started asking me questions. The Judge then said that no one in the back can hear you. She invited everyone to come up to the jury box so that they could hear better, The judge stated that if you all got up to be here their early you deserved to be closer. Everyone moved around so that they could hear. we thanked the Judge. My lawyer asked me a lot of questions and I answered them. Then the Judge addresses Carter. The Judge said you are under oath. Then she said as you sit here today is your bed made at home? Carter as needed yes. The judge asked did you do it? Carter answered yes. The Judge then said to me “You’re getting a great kid.” Then the Judge asked Carter if he wanted to be adopted, and he said yes. The judge asked if he understood the permanency of this? Carter said yes. The Judge said asked if he understood that there is potential things in the future with biological mom? Carter replied “Yes”. The judge asked “Are you okay with that?” Carter said Yes I am. The Judge then pointed to me and said she clear loved you very much. She also said that you have quite a lot of people here as well that love you. The Judge then stated you must not be a rotten kid. Everyone laughed. The Judge asked Carter if there was anything he wanted to say about this or why this is important. He said no. She asked him if he had any thoughts about what he wanted to do in the future. He said Marine biology. The Judge stated that she knew that, someone had mentioned that. She explained that if she didn’t do this that she wanted to do Marine Biology. She asked him if there was anything particular that he liked about that. Carter said yes I like marine life. She said to him that it’s a pleasure to meet you. The Judge then said that there has been a lot of legal stuff going on around this but that’s how it is right. The Judge continued saying even though you had the KLG there was a nuance difference right. The Judge then said that is something that you want right that extra layer. Carter replied Yes. The Judge said that is very understandable. The Judge then said I want to make something of a record here. This case has had a lot of ups and downs. She said she has been with this case since the beginning. She said we were prepared to do whatever we needed to do here today. The Judge continued “We wouldn’t have had a hearing today but if there were any issues we would have discussed it. The Judge then said as a Judge for the last 15 years I deal with children and families. She said that in that there is a purpose, and love, and adventure. She then said that in all her years she has never seen a case where the biological parents don’t love their biological children. She continued saying that sometimes things happen they can’t get their stuff together. Sometimes that is because they don’t have internal fortitude. Sometimes they have issues that aren’t their fault. Sometimes we can blames them oh your not doing things right. The judge continued let me tell you something no one wants to not be well and have a productive life, and I know from this file that this is clearly not about a lack of love. It’s about a lack of ability, and I think it’s important that you understand that. She explained that none of us are perfect no matter what age we are, we have mistakes and regrets but you are here for a reason right. She said that everyone had talked to her about Carter and that he is a wonderful young man, and how smart you are. The judge said I didn’t know how handsome you are but (saying to me) but you gotta watch out for that because that can be trouble. She then said in all seriousness I know you are a wonderful person, and you are going to do great things.

The Judge continued, I have to say this next part and it is hard to hear. You’re parents rights have been terminated, and Shelby will now be your parent. The judge stated that she is entering an order of adoption. I’m very grateful for that judge and her decisions in this matter.

We took pictures with everyone even the judge. It was a great day and we are so happy for the outcome. I will continue to post updates about our journey. While the adoption is final, our story isn’t finished yet.

Rotisserie Chicken Trigger

I really didn’t see this one coming tonight. Not in a million years. Last week Carter wanted a rotisserie chicken, but it wasn’t covered and I didn’t have extra money. So we had to put them back. I picked Carter up from school today and while we were driving home I mentioned I have to stop at the store. I said I need some chicken. Carter got so excited, and I realized he thought I meant the rotisserie chicken. Carter I said I am getting uncooked chicken, as it is covered. Well he just lost it.

He started by saying how mean I was because I wouldn’t get the chicken. I explained again it wasn’t covered and not in our budget. He said it’s $5. You are probating thinking that’s nothing. It may only be $5 but things are tight right now. With the adoption costs and some other things I just don’t have for extra right now.

Then he started yelling at me. I told him that if he continued to yell he’d loose his video game time. He said he didn’t care. Well, he lost his video game time. He started demanding his video game time and going on and on about how he will get it one way or another. I asked him what this was about serval times but he just said the rotisserie chicken.

He had issues for over 2 hours. He refused to leave the room so I could have my therapy session. Stating if he couldn’t have his games then I couldn’t have my therapy. Dinner ended up on the floor. I was at my wits end.

He eventually calmed down and was rational again. According to Carter, Mary would never buy him a rotisserie chicken and when I said no it reminded him of her. Carter said that he remembered all the times she hurt him. He also said he was also worried about the adoption and how Mary is going to react. He is afraid of an issue on the day of (and not I didn’t say anything). This took over 3 hours from start to finish. In the end we were both exhausted.

We talked about how we both could have responded or handled things different. Then we prayed together and also confessing the ways in which we didn’t handle things well. In the end it we worked it out. Who would have thought all this over rotisserie chicken?

Mary’s email taking back the agreement.

Today I got an email from my lawyer. It literally said “I can’t believe I’m forwarding this to you”. Mary signed the consent order and sent an email stating that she no longer objects to the adoption. The county clerk asked her lawyer to have Mary sign it and send it back. Apparently when her lawyer sent it to Mary, she stated she wouldn’t sign it and that she wanted to withdraw from the consent order. I’m not going to lie my heart sank when I read this. I also got pretty upset and angry. You would think I saw this coming, but I didn’t.

I spoke to my lawyer and I asked him what it mean. It said he didn’t know, other than we would be having a trial on the 18th most likely. I asked him if he thought it would be good for me to reach out to Mary. He said yes so I did. I wrote to her telling her that Carter invited friends to his adoption and was looking forward to it. I asked her to consider what she was doing. I expressed how upset Carter would be if it wasn’t happening now, and the negative affect it would have on their relationship. She hasn’t responded, and I didn’t really expect her too.

The county clerk emailed Mary’s lawyer and my lawyer. He stated that at this point the consent order has been signed and processed and the adoption is scheduled to happen on May 18th, based on Mary’s representations to the court the signed consent, her email withdrawing her objection to the adoption, her failure to comply with the court order to get a hair follicle test, and her not showing for case conference with the judge. He said that if Mary wanted to object to the adoption she would need to make a formal signed filling. He stated that they can arrange for Mary and her lawyer to show up virtually on the day of the adoption to express her opposition to the adoption and the Judge will address her position then. He also said that she should file a formal filling before that then.

After I got over my anger and upset about the email. I got sad real sad, as much as this is the right thing. I’d be amiss to not say how hard this must be for Mary. I know she didn’t make the right choices, I know she is sick. It is still also such a hard thing for her I’m sure. Mary is sick and needs help. She is my sister and she really doesn’t like me right now. I can guess as to why she blames me for so much, but I have only ever tried to do right by Carter. Mary is legally loosing her right to her son, regardless of the circumstances that is a very sad and very hard thing. I can only imagine what she is going through right now.

I hope for Carter’s sake that she will not file a formal filling. That she will let the adoption go through. I hope one day they can have a great relationship. I hope that one day we can be sisters. I miss her, I miss my sister. I will keep you updated. Hopefully we will have an adoption next week.

Mother’s Day Trauma

Today is a day to celebrate for a lot of people. It also is a hard day, one with mixed emotions. Mother’s and Father’s Day are the hardest for Carter. I think more than any other holiday. He is constantly reminded that the people who are supposed to be his mother and father aren’t, at least not to him.

It’s a few days before the adoption, and we should be celebrating that I am his legally going to be his mother. That doesn’t change the fact that his biological parents, aren’t who he lives with. It is a deep hole, that I hope heals one day.

I’ve learned to not push anything for the day, we take it easy. Don’t do too much, low expectations. Also staying home and relaxing is the best. Carter has a lot of emotional stuff that always seems to come up on these days. It’s just wise to make space for it. At least in our case.

Today the big thing he has been struggling with is the idea that something must be wrong with him that Mary couldn’t get healthy in order to get him back. He feels like maybe he’s not worth it. I of course said he is worth it and that’s why I am fighting so hard for him. That its nothing he did that she is sick. The reality is he just doesn’t feel like that is true. Hopefully with time he will heal. Either way I’ll be here with him day in and day out. I pray that God will continue to heal his heart and place Godly men in his life to pour into him.

Adoption date set!!!

We had mediation for the third time last week. When it was over we had an agreement. We were waiting on Mary to sign the paperwork. We had a scheduled case conference today. Mary signed the agreement and sent an email stating she is withdrawing her objection to the adoption.

This means that on May 18th and 9am, Carter will be adopted!!! We are so excited and happy about this. We celebrated tonight and had a good time doing it so. God made a way today and we are so grateful to him.

I’d be a miss to say that we didn’t talk about the sadness of it too. Carter and I talked about at length how we hope that Mary gets the help she needs and is able to turn her life around. Carter feels like this will never happen. He said if she couldn’t do it to get me back she probably never will. I asked him to hold out hope and keep an open mind. We would love it if she did and was a bigger apart of our lives. He promised he’d try.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned to accept with taking care of Carter. He is reminded of Mary often and that brings mixed feelings. So things like holidays, birthdays, special events, vacations… they all remind him of Mary. It is hard for him and it makes him sad and angry and other things too. I’ve tried to teach him to acknowledge it and say it. He has improved on this. Just the other week we were with friends and their kid. Their son was acting up kinda being bratty but he was overtired and being rude to their parents. Carter turned to me and said he was triggered by his behavior. I asked in what way. He said because what I wouldn’t give to have a mother and a father and a normal family life. Then he said it also makes me feel guilty for the way I treat you sometimes. We talked it out, and he felt a little lighter not having to carry it alone.

Kinship is complicated… when I called my dad to tell him about the ruling, he said how did Mary seem is she okay? While I appreciate that he is worried about her, he has a relationship with her. My dad often says he’s glad I have Carter and it’s the right call, but doesn’t celebrate it with us. I think he struggles with feeling torn because Mary is his daughter. He is also afraid of what she will do and how she will react to things. Even in telling others our news it is mixed reactions. That is okay, I have learned to expect and accept it.

A lot of people say Carter is so lucky to have you and he is such a good kid. He is really he is. He also has a lot of trauma and hard things to deal with. What people don’t know is that he sleep walks and has nightmares almost every night. He is 15, but emotionally only 10 and that is hard for him. He is so scared I’ll leave him and not come home and he constantly reminds me he’s here. If he thinks I’ve been gone too long he will call worried I left him, because he’s been left before. He struggles with telling the truth because if he messed up he didn’t know what reaction he would get from Mary and that scared him. He really longs for a dad and cries about it often. He has some great males in his life. He is just really wants a dad of his own. He has anxiety and bites the inside of his mouth when he gets upset. He needs lots of hugs and told I love you serval times. If he makes a mistake he wants a hug and told he is loved or he can’t relax. He is so afraid even now that my love is conditional. This is something I’m hoping with time gets better. He gets jealous if I give my time to the dog or someone on the phone, because he is worried he will be put on the back burner. He is also very generous, kind, and loyal. He hates to see anyone upset. He loves to draw and write. He loves to play video games and needs very strict limits and boundaries. He would even tell you he like the boundaries even though he doesn’t like all that it entails. This is kinship… I’m sure it’s similar to other families. This is our family, our journey.

Agreement made!

So today we had mediation again. Following the last mediation that was two weeks ago. Mary was supposed to call a number to set up therapeutic visitation with Carter. Everyone showed up, and well it didn’t start off great to be honest.

Mary said she wasn’t able to get a hold of anyone, and she said that she couldn’t set up therapeutic visitation yet. It kinda felt like this was going to be a huge issue. Mary went on to explain that we maybe should have another mediation when this was set up. My lawyer explained that we didn’t need it to be already completely set up in order to make an agreement. Mary said she wanted to it set up before the agreement, and again said maybe we should have another mediation. The mediator stepped in and said that we already had three mediations for this and that we really only should have had one. She said she stretched it to try and help resolve this issue but that if it wasn’t resolved today then it would go back to the judge. Mary then interrupted and said it was only two mediations scheduled. The mediator said the first one you didn’t show up to. Mary then said I didn’t just not show up. The mediator then said anyway, so do we need to do break out rooms? She asked Mary’s lawyer and he said he’d do a breakout room with her. Mary said that she just was concerned that if she couldn’t use the one place for therapy that she’d be stuck and that I wouldn’t agree. My lawyer then suggested that we put something in there about other options. Mary then said that she also has an issue with the drug test. She called Labcorp and she needs a script in order to get a blood test. She can’t just walk in, and that the doctor said they wouldn’t write her a script for something they don’t do in their office. Mary said her doctors office only does urine tests, and they don’t do blood work. The mediator asked did you ask if they will write you a script for blood work. Mary said she did and they said no. My lawyer said that maybe she needs to find a different Doctor because he’s in another case where this is something the one parents does regularly. Mary stated that her doctors office just won’t do it. My lawyer said it’s not a requirement unless the therapist thinks that she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol when she goes to visitation with Carter. Mary said that she really doesn’t know how the drug test is going to work. She said that she needs it hammered out before she will sign anything. That the blood test is a real issue. It was explained that she needs to find a doctor who will write her a script for a blood drug test. She said ok.

Then we started talking about the agreement. When it got to the part about the program Mary got really upset. The mediator said okay so Mary and Carter will attend therapeutic visitation with the program we outlined or another agreed upon therapist. Mary said no way I can’t trust that my sister will agree to anything. She can’t be the one to decide if the therapist meets her standard. The mediator explain that I would have complete care for Carter and it would be unreasonable for me not to have a say. Mary said no I don’t like that word agree, because my sister won’t agree.

At this point my lawyer said, I think maybe we should just let Mary go in front of the judge next week. We are wasting my clients time and money. All these things we agreed to last time and we were just waiting to give her time to set things up. Now everything we previously agreed upon she seems to be fighting. She didn’t want a hair follicle test so we agreed to a blood drug test. We said she only had to do a drug test if the therapist thinks it is required, instead of before she can even start seeing him. We are now fighting over my Client being able to agree to a therapist if the other program doesn’t work. She can explain to the judge that she hasn’t done any of the things the judge ordered her to do. Mary hasn’t gotten a drug test and she hasn’t released her medical files regarding her treatment. I think maybe we should just let Judge Sonny decide this next week at our case conference.

Mary said she’d agree to the adoption she just didn’t like the word agree when it came to me. Mary said she’ll never agree I can’t sign that. I said then put it as Carter’s therapist agrees. I trust him, and I’m fine with that. Mary said ok.

In the end what was ultimately agreed upon was that Mary would agree to the adoption and she would still be able to see Carter, starting first in a therapeutic setting. Now we are still waiting on the signed agreement before I tell Carter about this. It was at the end of business close, so I don’t expect to hear until tomorrow. I’ll write an update here when I do.

4/14/22 Court Mediation

Court mediation is hard and time consuming. This one was scheduled at 11am. Which meant I couldn’t really go into work and by the time it would be over I couldn’t go in later either. Sometimes I get frustrated with this, right now I don’t have sick days. So if I don’t go in then I’m not getting paid.

Also, Carter has been so sick lately. He had a stomach bug, then bronchitis, then another stomach bug, and now a ear infection/sinus infection. He was so sick with the stomach bug I had to take off, as his fever hit 103. I had to take him to the ER because he couldn’t keep the Tylenol down. So it really has been a stressful 5 weeks of sickness.

Anyway, I have to tell you some cool things before I talk about the mediation. Carter loves Karate I told him he could try it for 6 months. After the 6 months I explained we’d have to give it up until September when I’ll be making more money. I had to tell the Karate place as well, it’s in the agreement. However, when we told the Karate place, they literally gave him a scholarship and he can just help out after Karate each time, so he is doing something for it. That was a huge weight off my shoulders. Carter hasn’t been able to do these sort of things before. So while he understood we couldn’t afford it, it was so generous that gave him a scholarship to him until Mid September.

Then the morning of the court mediation, I was stressed out. Carter really wanted to get breakfast at this local place but I didn’t really want to spend the money. Anyway, we ended going for breakfast. They brought the bill and I put my cash on it. Then the owner came over and took the bill and said this one is on me. I was like what?! Again another little way God was showing me that he is providing for us.

Anyway, I dropped Carter off at school, and took the dog to the vet for a follow up. My poor dog had a huge tumor on his toe and had to have it removed the week before. So this was just a follow up and a bandage change. They had to take his toe poor thing. He is doing well though.

So we get on mediation and to my surprise Mary is on for mediation along with her lawyer. My lawyer and I get online together. The thing with Mary is every time we get to court she denies she has a drug problem, even though it’s documented. Anyway, she says she will agree to the adoption if she can still have visitation. I say that is fine, we can keep the same arrangement as now. Obviously if things go well and Mary and Carter rebuild their relationship, then we can talk about having unsupervised time. I made it clear though that for unsupervised she has to be stable, and she has to do a blood draw to show she isn’t on drugs. She pushed against that. Saying she isn’t on drugs and never has been and that I was lying about it. The mediator goes into a breakout room with Mary and her lawyer. They come back and Mary is still denying that she is on drugs. I’ve never had a drug problem. I told the mediator that she literally tested positive on the last court ordered drug test and that she texted me she was on drugs. Mary said no such thing ever happened. At which point my lawyer stated a screen shot of the text message was included in discovery. My lawyer then read it out where she admits to being on drugs. At this point the mediator explains to Mary that they need to whole truth in order to be able to mediate these things. The mediator then said that my concerns for her drug use was valid and that I was being reasonable. Mary then said okay.

Then we started talking about therapeutic visitation which Mary and Carter would start out with. Mary said that we lied in court to her and that the therapeutic visitation was very expensive. I explained that we all had agreed that Mary and Carter needed therapeutic visitation. So we had it written in the court order a specific way so that she could fill out the paperwork to get a grant so she wouldn’t have to pay for the visitation. Mary then said she couldn’t figure it out and that no one would help her. Mary then stated that I only told her at the guardianship hearing that she could go anywhere for the visitation (mind you that was almost a year ago). I explained I had told her that in December of 2020, the guardianship hearing was in April of 2021. I explained that I still wasn’t picky as to where they went to therapy as long as they did it and talked to Carter’s therapist. Also, let me know if there was anything that happened that upset Carter so I could be aware. Mary got mad at this, she doesn’t have a right to know what I talk about with Carter. My lawyer said that she is just looking for an overview of how the visit went so that I can best support Carter at home. Mary eventually agreed to this. She has a time frame to call a place that they set her up with to do the visitation. The mediator explained to Mary that she was going to have to do her own research in the process of applying for financial aide on her part.

Now she has been given that time to get everything set up. We meet again for mediation on April 28th. They were more accommodating to my schedule so I’ll only have to take off work a little early that day. Hopefully she will just agree to mediation and we will sign and then we will have an adoption hearing on May 18th. I’ll let you know how the next mediation goes. Stay tuned.