Saturday, May 12, 2012

Last year's story cont.

So, now time to explain it all (part IV-- conclusion)

I left off w/ the risk assessments that I thought were not the most fairest of things in the world.  So, we went through assessments, interviews, more interviews, interviewing of the kids, our professionals, our neighbors, our friends, the parents of the kids I watch, etc.  Went through the detective questioning and all this other stuff.  The hardest part is our not having control of the situation.  We couldn't rush it along.  We couldn't make her finish on time.  We were stuck in this holding pattern.  Our travel dates were postponed back in April.  That was just hurtful.  I know everything happens for a reason but seriously, that one was hard to swallow.  Waiting was hard.

All we could do was wait.  Once they are done w/ you, then the 2 separate counties have to meet and go over their findings.  That is what happened yesterday.  They had to go over the evidence, the facts, and all we could do is wait, hope and pray that they would come to the truth.  And, they did.  For that, I am forever grateful.  However, I can't say I appreciate what this process did to our kids or our family.

All I did was tell my kids to tell the truth when they were interviewed.  However, telling an FAS/RAD kid to tell the truth is really just useless as their reality is distorted.  In addition, I have children who were indeed abused BEFORE they came to live with us.  You see where this could all easily get mixed up.  We were walking on eggshells.  Trying to explain what happens in THIS family.  Not stuff they've heard about other families or stuff that happened in Russia. Just what happens in our family.  period.  I'll give you an example.  They asked Max:  " Do you ever get tied up?"  Max said "Oh, yes, we get tied up all the time!"  Interviewer:  Really?!  Max:  " Yes, my brothers & I tie each other up & see who can bust out like Superman."  Interviewer:  "NO, do your parents ever tie you up."  Max:  "no, that would be stupid."  Though I must say Max is usually the one tying his brothers up.  They do this when they played pirates too.  Innocent play but can be misconstrued for sure.  An interviewer has to be aware of a child's mindset, issues, etc. in order for truth to be found.

Now, we had two sets of interviewers from two different counties.  My kids & I liked the demeanor of the second lady better.  She wasn't as harsh, seemed to listen to what we had to say, let us explain things, etc.  She thoroughly checked us out & did not jump to conclusions ahead of time.  I honestly believe the first caseworker had her mind made up that day when she walked in the door.  And that's hard b/c you really don't feel like you can trust that person.  Our world was turned upside down, inside out.  As some of you I'm sure are already aware, when you have PI children who have multiple issues from their past life, it can be beyond hard to get them over a traumatic event.  One of the interviewers even said to me "well, they must hear that from parents."  She was referring the kids being taken away.  I said absolutely not.  Some of them experienced it before!  One of my daughters has a friend at school that was recently taken away.  So they know it can and does happen.  But to infer I said that...URGHH.  It was extremely hard during the investigations to remain calm.  It really was. When you are being accused of something terrible that is totally untrue, it is really hard to not want to lose control or patience with the ones accusing you.  You want to shout & scream from the rooftops...but I did nothing wrong.  My kids are happy, well-adusted, and well loved.  But, you can't.

During this whole time, while the investigation is going on, you feel ,like you are walking on eggshells.  Feel every little thing you do is going to be judged. We tended to watch what the kids wore to school more.  Usually, I'm just proud that they dress themselves.  I could care less if they match or if they have holes in the jeans from climbing the trees or falling off their bike.  If that's what they want to wear & that's who they are, let them be.  however, we were afraid that they'd show up at the school and judge the kids for what they wore or something of that nature.  We were having the kids pick up around the house more often.  And I'm sorry, that's just not the way to live.  But, when you feel like you're under the microscope,  you do what you need to do.  We took Nik's drawings down.  You know, the "Stephen King" type drawings that he loves to do.  I'm sure they would have read something into those.  We felt like this weight had been dragging us down.  The kids grades all dropped.  ALL my kids grades dropped during this period.  None of us slept for the first two weeks this was happening.  Our kids were a mess, we were a mess, etc. That first weekend, we didn't have our heads glued on straight.  It was like you were living someone else's life.  It was tough.  Really tough.  We had to write to immigration and tell them we were being investigated.  You must disclose that.  All of us were working feverishly to get things cleared up.

When we got news that it was found to be unsubstantiated, it was so freeing.  It felt wonderful.  My kids could finally have a sense of relief.  And boy did they ever.  Since talking about this, I have been confronted by many, many families who were also falsely accused.  Most of them had adoptive children.  Some did not.  I was shocked when a highway patrolman told me how is was accused years ago.  I was stunned when friends and neighbors told me their stories.  It hurt to know it was that widespread.  I found out from CPS though, anyone can say anything and under law they must investigate.  It's true.  Even if a kid from school makes up a story.  So, I can make up some outlandish claim about anyone on here & they'd have to investigate it.  Doesn't matter if the source is disturbed or has issues, they must investigate.  Doesn't matter the age of the source, they must investigate the claim.  Now, I understand to a point.  They look really hard for bruises when they do these investigations.  When first interviewed alone at school, my kids told me they were looking for bruises all over them.  Bojan told me she didn't really seem to believe him when he told her that he was born that way...missing one leg.  What?!  I was also told "gee, your kids sure do have a lot of bug bites."  Umm, we live by the woods, surrounded by a creek & it's mosquito season.  In addition, they play outside all the time.  2 have eczema and react horribly to bites.  Point is, sometimes kids are just kids.  They play, they fall, they get hurt, they recover, & they do it all over again.  There is a big difference between that and abuse.  I never ever thought we would ever be accused of anything.  Yet, we were blindsided.  Could we find out who did this to us?  Yes.  There are ways to find out.  Will we?  No.  We want this behind us.  Want to live our lives, want to get our kids fully recovered from this traumatizing event and want to get our other children home.  We have a wonderful summer coming up & we want to enjoy it.  Plus, we feel the truth speaks for itself.  

Reason I wanted to share all this is because I know for a fact we are not the only ones this has happened to.  I wanted you all to know what has been going on here.  Want you to know how we handled our investigation.  Want  you to know how the kids handled it.  Wanted you to know how we recovered from it all.  Want you to know that we decided we couldn't afford a lawyer.  We decided that early on.  We were hoping & praying with all our might that the truth would prevail and would be enough.  So, throughout the process, we told all our kids to please tell the truth.  That is all we wanted from them.  It is obvious they are loved here.  At least to me anyways.  though last night you would not have thought that from Alex.  Apparently I am the most awful mom ever b/c ALL his friends have cell phones and he doesn't!  In 3rd grade, mind you.  He argued the entire way home.  Sometimes, we may not be the best parents in the world.  But I can tell you w/out a doubt we love our kids unconditionally & would never do anything to hurt them.  I think that was proven here lately though I don't think it needed to be.  I just have one more thing to say. I honestly can not say thank you enough for the people that have supported us during this dark time.  It was wonderful to see the outpouring of support and emotion.   Prayers were coming our way and it was reassuring.  Just wanted to say thank you.  Now, this topic is completely finished.  CPS did their job.   There are indeed true cases of abuse out there.  And though we all hate that this happened, it just means there are folks out there looking at the well-being of the kids.  More to come but not on this.  This concludes what happened to us that I've been silent about all these months.  Truth prevailed and that's all that counts. 

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