God Watches Over The Children

This blog is for families destroyed by Children and Youth Agencies. To submit your story, send to Godloveschildren@echoes.net

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Heart Broken Grandmother

The Abduction of my grandson by CPS

On July 7th, 2003, my daughter, was arrested because of using illegal drugs. . . My daughter abducted and gang-raped for four days when she was only 12 years old and suffers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, panic disorder and a form of paranoia. Not only did she suffer this incident but is now a victim of CPS, she has lost her children and I have lost my Grandchildren with no hope of them coming home again.

I had notarized, handwritten papers giving me the care of my grandchildren if she was ever unable to care for them and notarized papers giving me guardianship of my grandson , but CPS responded by saying that those papers were not "court papers" and therefore were not legal. I had raised him since his birth (July 26, 2000). I had kept him safe and healthy. Had taken him regularly to his medical appointments and he was up-to-date on his vaccinations. I had called and arranged for him to begin Head Start on his 3rd birthday. His first dental appointment was in September 2003, but by then he was a "ward of the state".

My grandson remained in my home until July 31, 2003. I was preparing to move because my landlord was not repairing the large hole in the ceiling, the swamp cooler (and it was hot) or the water to the kitchen sink. A CPS social worker came to pick him up. I filled his little back pack with a change of clothes in it and he had a special toy to take with him. He had been told that he was going to go see his little brother. My grandson gave me a hug and a kiss and said, "I love you, Maw Maw." "I be back soon!" (He didn't realize that he was being abducted by the state because of reasons that didn't relate to him or to my care of him and that he was not coming back.) It broke my heart to see my precious little boy go in the CPS car. Tears swell up in my eyes, even now, as I write this.

I voluntarily had my fingerprints taken and a DOJ and FBI criminal background check done, my apartment was inspected and declared to be safe and clean by the social worker (Kirsten Cathell) who then proceeded to tell me that my grandson could not be returned to my care because he had "developed emotional disorders"...and she felt that I could not keep his safe because I walked with a cane. He was in six foster homes after removal from my home. During that time he was diagnosed as having post traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety, attachment disorder, anger disorder and an eating disorder. He went back to wearing diapers although he had been potty trained. This had been a perfectly happy, normal healthy little boy while in my care and his pediatrition, Dr. Moore, told me many times that my grandson was lucky to have a grandmother like me.

My grandson suffered so much documented trauma because of his removal from my care, He underwent x-rays to determine why he was vomiting and withholding his bowels as well as neurological tests. The results were "negative". Many times, his little hands had to be pried out of my clothing by the social workers while he cried, "I want you, Maw Maw! I want you!" I was told that if I showed any tears or told him the truth (that I wanted him to come home) my visits would stop. I felt so helpless because my hands were figuratively tied as he screamed for his Maw Maw not leave him. I could hear him calling to me and screaming until he was out of sight.

I was given de-factor parent status, but that status did nothing to help me regain custody of my grandson. My weekly visits went from unsupervised to supervised because my grandson became unmanagable and vomited for a few days after our visits. The social workers saw that as something that I was doing...not that he was very heartbroken because he had been separated from the only person who had been a constant part of his life and who loved and cherished him. This little boy had never had reason to fear me and had total trust in me... That trust was broken because I had let those bad people take him away and I wouldn't take him back home. He survived those heartless cruelties the best way he could.

Our visits which began as unsupervised for one hour a week were changed to supervised then gradually reduced to bi-monthly, then to monthly. After eighteen months, my grandson still cried when it was time for him to leave, hiding under tables or chairs, screaming, "NO! NO! NO!" when he saw the transportation person and he knew they were going to rip him away from me once more.

In July, 2004, he was hospitalized at Arrowhead Regional Hospital for over a week because of a wound on the top of his little foot about the size of two fify cent pieces placed one upon the other that had become so infected he had a drain tube in the wound and IVs in his arm to administer the strong antibiotics. My weekly one hour visit took place at the hospital the day after he had been admitted. I was told by the social worker that I couldn't stay because he was a "ward of the court". I wanted to hold and comfort my little boy and sit by his side to help ease the fear and the pain by my presence, but my hour was up and I had to leave him. My next weekly visit took place on the day he was being released. The doctor showed me how to change the dressings on his wound and told me that my grandson had come very close to having to have his foot amputated. The nurse explained to me that what had made it so hard on him was that he was ALONE, in pain, in a strange place with strangers.

Children's Services System does not care about a child's fear or pain because they are "protecting" that child from something that is real only in their demented minds. They are the ones who are abusing our children!

The Kirsten Cathell repeatedly told me that she would not return him to my care because “it is in the best interest of the child to be adopted by a young, wealthy family who can give him the things that he NEEDS” and her favorite comment, "It is better to be adopted by a young, wealthy family than to be raised by an elderly relative...” A social worker, David Brown (?), who observed one of the visits, remarked that some children never adjust to being away from their family and in his opinion, my grandson was one of those children. He also could find no fault with my parenting skills and observed the strong bond between my grandson and I.

No matter how much I fought to keep my grandson, the judge, T. Rex Victor, ruled in favor of the social worker in every instance. I attended every hearing except for the first one, which I was told I needn't attend because my "interests would be looked after." (At that time, I wasn't aware of just how unjust and cruel CPS can be.) Then I found out that the court had decided, on the social worker's recommendation, that there was "...no one willing or able" to care for my grandson. I had cared for him for three years and I had kept him safe, providing for his needs.

When I had my grandson in my care and we were near traffic or in the desert where there are rattlesnakes, scorpions, etc. I used a child's safety harness (made by Safety 1st and sold by Wal-Mart) with a leash to keep him safe. When I asked a deputy about it, he told me that he approved of it and there was nothing illegal with using that harness and leash... However, the social worker told me that it may not be against state laws, but it is "against OUR LAWS!" That harness and leash was used against me at the hearings...that I had kept my grandson on a leash "like a dog".

Finding an attorney to take a case involving CPS is nearly impossible if you do not own your home, have a large bank account or own a business. One attorney (Gregory P. Johnson) took my case and when we met at the Juvenile Dependency Court on the day of the hearing, reneged because my case was already lost when he saw that Judge Victor would be hearing the case. I asked the court to appoint me an attorney. But my request was denied.

A year later, the court ordered that an attorney would be appointed for me. That attorney (Ms. Denise Adigun) told me that we might have had a chance if she could have been appointed a year earlier. She told me that the attorneys met with the judge a few minutes prior to each hearing (most people are unaware of that fact) and that the judge had already made up his mind to rule in favor of CPS.

I had written letter after letter to every politician (including President Bush), to every Children's Services office (from the office in Yucca Valley to the State of California) and I got nowhere. Several organizations (such as Through the Looking Glass--Ella Callow, Protection & Advocacy, Inc.--Michelle Uzeta) that I contacted were unable to break through the wall of Children's Services, their attorneys and the "children's" attorneys (who are under the rule of CPS) and each time, were uable to get any cooperation on my behalf. I wrote and called Governor Swartzenegger and I was promised that my complaint would be looked into by that office. Then I would receive a letter from the State Department of Children's Services telling me that I needed to work with the local office and follow the "chain of command".

Through Ms. Callow's efforts, an independant bonding study by a professional group in San Diego was willing to do a four hour bonding study and a one hour courtroom presentation for $400.00 to be paid by myself. But that suggestion was denied by the judge and CPS What were they afraid of? Children's Services did not want anyone outside their System to evaluate the bond between my grandson and myself. The deck is loaded in the CPS favor and the scales of justice are so out of balance that the family's scale is at the top (because we have no weight once our child is a "ward of the court"...and the scale of CPS is at the bottom. There is no chance of an honest and fair hearing in Juvenile Dependancy Court. The privacy issue is to protect the system--not the child.

To protect myself (and to prevent lies being told by the Social Workers, I purchased a video-recorder and taped the visits. I was lucky to have gotten many hours of tape before the judge ordered that I could no longer video-tape the visits. I have made several copies (and they are kept in places other than my home) in case my copy comes up missing. (If Children's Services and the Juvenile Dependancy Courts were doing nothing wrong, there would be no problem with the recordings.)

When I shared my healthy lunch with My grandson near the end of our visit, the judge ordered (at the bidding of the social worker) that I could no longer share my lunch with him because I was "bribing him with food." How can you "bribe" someone with food if they are not hungry. When I took a small individual serving packet of Gerber fruit juice gummies for my grandson's treat, I was told that I could no longer give him "candy". No matter what I requested, the judge did not rule in my favor...always ruling in favor of the social worker. After nearly a year and a half later, at the last hearing that Judge Victor presided over, the judge made the statement that in his observations (to cover his butt), I was not too disabled to care for a child. I used a cane to walk because of an accident nearly thirty years prior. The entire time, the social worker had made that her main reason for not returning my grandson to my care...that I could not "run" after an active child to keep him safe. I had kept him safe for three years!

The many gifts that I purchased or made for him never went with him to the next foster home. Those were gifts for grandson--not for the foster home. When he was moved to the transition (adoptive) home, nothing was moved with him...no toys, no clothes, no shoes, no watches, etc. This is cruel and wicked practice and takes away every feeling of being able to hold onto anything permanently. (The adoptive mother had to fight to get his photo album that contained photos of him as a baby and the rest of his biological family.) Foster homes which keep a foster child's personal gifts, clothing, etc. are stealing that child's belongings and are helping the System to break all bonds with the biological family.

The adoptive mother said that the adoption services people did not want her to see my grandson when she saw his picture...saying that he had too many problems and was older than the child she was looking for, but God kept drawing her attention back to his photo and she told them that she wanted to see THAT LITTLE BOY. I am sure that God made sure that he would be placed in a Christian home so he would be raised with traditional Christian values as I would have done.

Somehow my grandson had come up with the idea that Maw Maw didn't want him because he was "A BAD BOY" which was as far from the truth as you can get. (I was prevented from telling him that I wanted him to come home and I was trying to get him back. Threatened by Kirsten Cathell that if I said "anything" like that, my visits would stop, I was afraid to say anything to him about it. Not once was he told the reason he could not come home. My grandson coped as best he could under the circumstances. He has since been adopted. I have had one visit with Robby and his new parents once over a year ago. At least my grandson doesn't have to fear "the white car" (county car) anymore. He was so afraid of the social workers and their vehicles.

My grandson is a very special little boy and did not deserve to have his life torn to shreds by a cruel and inhumane system. I am still his grandmother and I would like to be able to speak with my grandson on the telephone once a week and visit with him one day a month. I would not do anything to harm my grandson. He has suffered too much already at the hands of a CRUEL and UNJUST system...not at the hands of his biological family.

When I think of what he went through during his months as a "ward of the court" where his "family was the State of California", I want to scream, but more than that, I want to do what I can to have the system investigated, not by one of their own, but by an INDEPENDANT and HONEST agency which is not afraid of threats of law suits.

Everytime anyone from the media begins to take notice, they suddenly vanish, never to be heard from again by the victims of the cruel CPS. I believe that the media is threatened with a law suit so they become afraid and don't mention that they were interested in the problems that are facing today's low-income families.

Is there no one who is not afraid of threats who will investigate the TRUE STORY of CPS and it's corruption and evil?

Written by Leya Smith
Twentynine Palms, CA
April 18, 2006

I give my permission to have my grandson's story used to bring a close to a corrupt system which legally kidnaps our children without proof of abuse or neglect and which removes children who are NOT in immenent danger.


Blogger Jared said...

I to have had the exact same terror inflicted on my children. I mean exactly , as if some one wrote it for my children. 1,2,& 3. My 3 year old is named Julieanna Willis. She went thru the most pain and I also have the abuse by CPS documented. They made so many mistacks and slipped up in court that they made sure that my appeal would be denied because they would all go down. I did a search on all the judges that heard my case and they all have had profesional neglieance/legal malpractice suits filed against them. But all were dismissed and records were destroyed. Contra Costa County the golden triangle for stealing children. Feel free to contact me we need to get you and me and all who have it documented and we go to the capital of cali and stand on those steps untill we are heard. I am will, who else is down with me?

Jared Willis Holyimage2003@yahoo.com

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not had this happen to me but as a Mother and GrandMother I would be more then willing to stand with you at the capital on this matter. I am also the cousin of one of the Attorneys listed (Denise Adigun) this is the first I have heard of this case.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lady Skinner 760-699-5933

6:35 PM  

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