As most of our friends and family knows this coming week on June 18th at 9 AM we have court. Not just any court date but *the* court date. So here's the scoop:
My husband has a daughter from his first marriage; his daughter (Kate) has lived with him and I since she was 1. The birth mom had sporadic visitation by choice (Not b/c of us or the courts) Right before Kate was to turn 3 the BM picked her up for a visitation. It wasn't the BM's weekend but it was a holiday weekend (Memorial day) and since the BM had canceled the last 2 visits we thought it would be nice for Kate to get to see her. Long story short she didn't bring Kate home. We fought her in court and finally we got Kate back. This time though she had a set visitation schedule. It wasn't a particularly nasty battle in court, but she lied a lot. But Frank and I decided to keep things as civil as possible. She still did not keep her visitation schedule, she always said she was too sick to take care of Kate. (she told us on 3 separate times she was having a hysterectomy and I can't tell you how many times her car broke down) About 6 years ago or so, she stopped calling or attempting to visit Kate. She was just gone and we had no clue where or why.
After she was gone for a few years Kate's sisters father and step-mom got in touch with us. We were thrilled that Kate would get the chance to have a relationship with her sister. From them we discovered our suspicions that the BM had moved to Florida were indeed correct, and that she still maintained visitation with Kate's sister.
Flash forward to last year. The BM started to pull some stunts with the younger sister and her father some what akin to how she played with Kate and us. Kate got really nervous because the BM kept making comments to the younger sister that she would get Kate and Jesse (Kate's older brother w/ different dad) for Christmas. Somehow Tracy got a hold of Kate's email (although admittedly it is not like we were attempting to hide) She sent Kate a forward about God, and then a few days later an invite to be her friend on face-book. Kate was really upset. No personal letters, no attempts to call all of this time finally culminated.
Kate came to my husband and I and told us she wanted me to adopt her. So we got a lawyer and that is what we are doing. The original court date was in May, but the BM showed up and said she doesn't want her parental rights terminated. Um...hello? Where were you when Kate needed help with her homework, or advice about her friends? Where were you when Kate fell off her bike and scraped up her knee? What about when she celebrated her birthdays and Christmas? And now you want to come play mother to MY daughter? No. It doesn't work that way. You don't get to walk away from a 7 year old and come back when when you want. Anyhow she showed up and made no attempt to speak to Kate, or ask to see her or call her...NOTHING. Do I think for one second she's fighting because she loves Kate? Honestly, I don't. I would never tell that to Kate, but she is fighting because she hates me. This is an attempt to hurt my husband and I. Not a mother attempting to gain redemption.
So next week is the second court date (they granted a continuance so that the BM could obtain a lawyer). I'm anxious to get this over with, she is coming up from Florida and assuming she got a lawyer will be there that day. Kate is scared about what the BM may do and has requested support from friends and family.
So please support her with your prayers and thoughts!