Friday, January 31, 2014

Looks like February promises to be a crazy month...

Spoke with Lil Sis's CW yesterday and, when we go to court in a couple weeks, they plan to ask for a finding that "active efforts to reunite have failed". Getting this ruling from the court will start the process of terminating her mother's parental rights (tpr).

Apparently, the prison officials say that she has a minimum of two years left to serve. Naturally, they don't feel it's in Lil Sis's best interest to make her wait that long in hopes that her mother, whom she has no memory of, will be able to get it together.

While I agree that this decision is in Lil Sis's best interest (though it is a bittersweet victory), it adds stress to me because, at the court hearing, they plan to ask me whether I want to adopt her or not. I'm reeling a little bit right now, because I have a lot of things I'm juggling. I've been having to focus on things on a day by day basis, without looking too far getting put on the spot to make a decision like this right now is tough.

The pressure & time constraint on this actually comes from the tribe. They will want her in a pre-adoptive placement ASAP. So, after the hearing, if I were to say "no", they'd start staffing right away & move her as a (low) legal risk pre-adoptive placement. That's how it worked with my other daughter...and why she moved in supposedly for adoption but was there for over 3 years (!) prior to it actually happening.

I feel like I'm being put in the same situation that I was a year ago. Either I agree or the sisters lose each other. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't want to adopt Lil Sis. I'm genuinely afraid that I can't pass the adoption homestudy because of my financial situation. However, if I can just pass the damn Bar Exam, things will be better. So, send prayers, positive thoughts, burn incense, whatever you've got...but I take it the last week of February & I have to pass this thing.

In any event, I've gotten some good advice from other foster parents that say, since a "no" is a one way door, I can tell them that I am willing to adopt. Then, the girls stay together & I can try to work things out while they are going through the frustratingly slow tpr process. If, at some point in the future, it becomes clear that I cannot possibly give her a forever home, I can notify the tribe to locate another placement. So, I think that will be the route I take.

Also happening in February...
       Wasband's day in court.

Sounds like a straight to DVD movie, doesn't it?

We gave him an extra month. He STILL hasn't paid any support or any of the money owed to me that I had to pay for debts that he was supposed to get in the divorce. As of today, Child Support Services says that he is $42,450.29 behind in support. I cannot fathom what gets into people's heads to make them think it's a good idea to ignore the judge. He's still got a few weeks to come up with something. If he doesn't, though, she may very well throw him in jail for his contempt of court

As far as I'm aware, he also hasn't taken the parenting class required before he gets visitation, so I guess he won't be seeing the kids anytime soon, either. Of course, he also hasn't responded to the proposed agreement for visitation schedule, either. So, I guess he's in no hurry to see them.

I will hate to have to explain all of this to our children. However, there's nothing I can do. Whatever happens is the consequences of his own actions. He's grown & he makes his own choices. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Still alive...just busy...

Sorry I haven't blogged lately, folks (or answered emails checking up on me). I'm locked away studying, but I will get updates when I can.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Best Damn Ex-Wife In The World

My best friend always says that she & I are the "best damn ex-wives any man could ask for". Thinking about it, I think she's right. We try to keep peace & don't argue with our exes. We've gone out of our way to make it easy for them to keep relationships with their children. After all, it's about what's best for the kids. We don't interfere in their new relationships. Basically, we try to live & let live.

So, since I leave the Wasband alone & have actually made sacrifices so that he can see the children, it is sometimes difficult to resist the urge to defend myself when I'm being accused of things. It has been said that Wasband's financial troubles are my fault, because I take all of his money. It has been said that I am trying to have him thrown in jail. I have been accused of keeping the children from him and interfering in their relationship. I was even told once by his extended family that they had been told that he was having financial trouble because he was paying for private school for all the kids. Only problem with that theory was the fact that the kids were in public school. Besides that, he had already stopped paying child support by that point, so I have no idea where his money was going, but it wasn't to me or the kids.

As for the complaints that I am trying to throw him in jail, that's an oversimplification. Yes, the judge has told him that she may throw him in jail for contempt. However, that is not me doing terrible things to him. He had court roses to do something. He didn't do it. The judge warned him. He still hasn't done it. If he doesn't, he may well go to jail.

His attorney has asked us to postpone the courtdate that is set for the 17th. According to the attorney, Wasband hasn't been working (which is not what he told me or the kids), but it supposed to start a job. He says he can pay the amount that judge told him to pay to avoid arrest in 2 weeks. So, I gave permission to postpone.

Now, before people start blowing up my inbox with reasons that they think I'm being an enabler, let me explain my thinking. If we have court the 17th, he will, without a doubt, go to jail & there would absolutely be no child support payment for the foreseeable future. 

However, letting him postpone gives a minute chance that there could be a payment coming. In all honesty, I need the money so, if there is even a slight chance of getting the help, I don't want to close that off. So, pragmatically speaking, I'd rather keep the chance of getting something open a bit longer because, if he still doesn't man up, then the outcome will be the same in the end, whether it happens the 17th or next month. 

Interestingly, the day after I confirmed with the attorney that we could postpone he hearing, I received an interesting call on my cell phone. It was from an investigation company, looking for Wasband's truck. Apparently, in looking for him, they found my information & weren't aware that we were divorced. They said that, if they were not able to locate the vehicle to take possession I it, Wasband may be charged for the theft of it. Of course, I don't have any way to know where it is, but it does make me wonder why he hasn't been paying for it.

I had been told that Wasband's girlfriend was driving him to work, the presumption being they were down to one vehicle. Now they clearly aren't going to have that one. 

The house we had bought has now been foreclosed on. The truck he took from me when we started getting divorced is now getting repossed. So, everything we worked hard for for a decade is gone with the wind in such a short time. It definitely makes me wonder where all the money he makes goes, since he doesn't appear to have been paying any support or bills--other than rent & utilities, presumably. 

I've been told disturbing things about what he is rumored to be doing with the money. As a mother, it does worry me, especially if he may start visitation with them. However, I know most of what has been said about me is patently false. So, I try to keep perspective & hope for the best. We'll take it one day at a time. We shall see if he is committed enough to actually follow through with his required classes & child support payment, especially in light of his potential lack of vehicle.