I want to take this moment to thank all of you that prayed for us and sent positive thoughts our way yesterday! Troy and I both felt your strength, love and concern with us while in court.
And those prayers were heard. We had a successful court appearance!
Now that this little scare is over, I can tell you a little of what happened yesterday.
Out of the blue, the Princess’s bio mother petitioned the court for full custody of her. Not a word has been heard from her in over 2 years and this hit us last month. Because there must be a preponderance of evidence on her part to prove that significant change has occurred regarding the well being of the princess.
She (bio mother) stated in her petition that:
- The princess was in “poor living conditions”
- The Princess did not have “stable living conditions”
- The Custodians (us) did not allow her visitation
Needless to say, these are VERY serious allegations. Troy and I could not for the life of us figure out what on earth could prompt such allegations!
Since the bio has not had any contact whatsoever with the princess in years, we were baffled. And whenever the princess’s safety and well being is in danger, Troy and I go into serious protective mode. We stressed so much and at the same time we tried to prepare for every contingency.
When we stood before the judge, she read off the allegations and for obvious reasons, was quite concerned. The first thing she asked was what involvement has Child Protective Services and/or Social Services done.
She then asked the Bio what was the basis for these serious allegations. And she said…
And I quote….
Bio~ “They (Troy and I) always take the Princess camping!”
Everybody in the courtroom including the Judge~ “Huh?”
Bio~ “And they are always taking her different places! They go to parks all the time!”
Judge~ “Did you say ‘camping’?”
Judge~ “And this is wrong because…?”
Bio~ “It shows that the princess does not have a stable home life!”
Bio~ “Because she doesn’t stay at home. How can she have a stable home life if she is never there?”
Judge~ (to me) “do you leave the child locked in your house and go camping without her?”
Me~ “Um no. And the princess wouldn’t stand for it if we tried!”
Bio~ “They (us) can’t provide a stable home for the princess if they do things with her! She should be at home!”
Judge~ “I am dismissing all the charges”
The above actually was a quote. The rest is a summary.
Bio~ “I can’t even send child support because they are never home”
Everyone in the courtroom~ Another “what?!”
Judge~ “I’m glad you brought that up. You have not paid any child support for this entire time even after being ordered to do so.”
Bio~ “Because they are never home!”
Judge~ (to our attorney") “here are some papers I want you to file and turn into the office out in the lobby.”
Judge ~ (to bio) “We will have that taken care right now”
Bio~ “and they never let me see her!”
Judge~ “there is a clear visitation order in the court files.”
Judge~ (to us) “Have you denied visitations that complied with the court order?”
Me ~ “No"
Judge (to bio)~ “When did this alleged denied of visitation occur?”
Bio~ “Two years ago”
Judge~ “Two years ago? Have you tried again since then?”
Judge (to us) “Did you deny visitation?
Our Attorney~ “No your honor, they did not. We brought a copy of the request and the replies received” Our attorney then reads the emails out loud and gave the copy to the judge.
Judge~ (after reading email) “This shows that you cancelled the visit. They (us) did not deny the visit”
Bio~ “Well, they also always take the princess visiting Diann’s parents and other family members!”
Judge~ “This case is dismissed!”
Of course there was a little bit more but, this was the bulk of it. We were out in 15 minutes.
While the bio was here, did she see the princess? No Did she even bring up seeing the princess in front of the judge? Nope.
And just for the record, Troy and I would publicly like to say that we do not deny the charges that we take the Princess camping any chance we can. We do take her to parks, are involved in her school, include her actively in our business, take her to the high school to help and be part of the botany program, we take her to zoos, we take her to the food bank with us to help bag bread, we take her to church, we do everything with her.
And yes, we do allowed her to spend time with her family (grandparents, uncles and friends). Like we could stop them from being part of her life!
This had to be dealt with first before we could start any other steps regarding the princess’s future.
Okay, I can breath again! Thank you all!