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.