Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Low-Down

So, what is really going on? I’m back in court because I didn’t send Migc and Kristen to Chicago for their winter visitation with their dad, but why didn’t I send them?

Let me tell you a little story. We spent a year and well over $15,000 to get a court order to allow us to move Migc and Kristen from Chicago to Kansas. We were granted removal and the issues didn’t stop there.

Migc and Kristen had their first visit to Chicago for Winter Visitation 2007. Their dad played games and things were overall very hard, but the real issue came when we arrived to get the kids. We had exchanged emails regarding when we would pick them up. The last email said I’d be there January 1st at 8am. We drove all day the 31st is blizzard weather, stayed overnight with a friend and showed up at 8am to pick them up. He refused to give them to me. Justin and I both had to work on the 2nd, so we had to get back to Wichita and the kids returned to school on the 3rd. We had to have them at that time. We had to call the police and the police had to come get them from him to give them back to us.

The next trip was Summer 2008. They spent a month in Chicago. On July 3rd, they went to watch fireworks at the lake and he got busy talking to a friend and wouldn’t take Kristen to the bathroom along the lake. Where they were was at least a mile from his apartment. He stayed and talked more than a hour, not allowing her to use the bathroom. They then walked home, again, not allowing her to stop and use the bathroom anywhere. This all took a couple of hours. By the time they got to his apartment, she peed in the elevator. He laughed at her and made her clean her clothes in the bathtub at his apartment. The trauma she endured from this was unreal. Every time she had to use the bathroom and couldn’t walk straight into a bathroom, she would SCREAM! It was the craziest thing. It happened at home, in the car, at the airport, at church, at school, everywhere. I had to put her through counseling to help her overcome it. She still refuses to wear the pants that she wore that day because they make her feel like she’s going to pee her pants. She has the same feeling when in an elevator.

This is also the trip where Migc fell at daycare. Even though he told his dad about the pain in his wrist, two weeks later when he got home, he still had pain and slight swelling in his wrist. I took him to the doctor and he had been walking around with a fractured wrist for about two weeks.

Oh, this is also the trip where their dad refused to tell me before they went in who’s care they would be in while he worked. I had to hire my attorney to get involved. He played games and finally EMAILED me the information while he knew we were on the road and unable to get into our email.

I tried to report all of this to both DCFS in Chicago and SRS in Wichita. Wichita said Chicago had jurisdiction and Chicago said they couldn’t do anything about it because the kids were no longer in danger.

Winter Visitation 2008, it snowed so badly in Chicago that they couldn’t get into the airport for several days, so they only ended up spending about 3 1/2 days there and everything went fine.

Summer Visitation 2009 was a complete nightmare. Kristen had been going through counseling to prepare for the trip and we’d had lots of talks about just making it through. After two weeks of doing nothing outside of his apartment with them and allowing them no freedoms inside or outside, on July 13th, he beat Migc with a shoe. They had been fighting with each other and he would pinch or attempt to pinch them. They would curl up in a ball to avoid it. That day, they had watched Karate Kid and Migc was doing karate moves and after he was asked to stop and didn’t, his dad got a shoe from his closet and beat him with it.

When I found out the next morning, I called DCFS. It took them several days to get out there, then the social worker, who was a fellow Nigerian, laughed and joked with him in front of the kids and dismissed all of it, saying they weren’t in constant danger.

If it had been one issue, I would probably have let it go, but there is a pattern of behavior that I cannot send Migc and Kristen into, so I chose to keep them home.  I didn’t go to the court and request it because I’ve been proactive throughout this entire thing and have been out so much money. My understanding is that he doesn’t pay his attorney, so it’s no big deal to him. I figured I would let him initiate it all this time and I would defend myself without an attorney, or attempt to.

In addition to all of this, the court order says that he is to pay for half of all medical bills and extracurricular activities. Since we have been here, he hasn’t done that and owes me well over $600, so he is in contempt as well.

So, on Monday, I get to start defending my actions. I say start because it’s only the beginning of court proceedings and I’ll be in Chicago again, I’m quite sure! Something else that I’m sure of is that I will do whatever I can to protect my children. I agree that they need time with their dad, but I cannot do that if they are being harmed. My real prayer is that he will take a parenting class and make a determined effort to parent better.

1 comment:

joanneabigail said...

Mandy, all this is beyond awful. I am glad things have worked out to where there won't be a legal battle though.