Friday, August 21, 2009

Why I haven't Blogged as Promised

So, really quickly, I ran the San Francisco Marathon on July 26th. I met my time goal of 5 hours (finished in 4:53). That is an hour and three minutes faster than last year!

I had to drive myself to and from the race because the husband had left that morning for a business trip to Wisconsin for a week.

A few hours after returning home, my husband's ex-wife, who had a weekend visitation with my three stepsons, brought back only 2 boys out of 3. She told me she was keeping the third. I was so confused and tired and delirious (Jeez, I had just run a marathon!) and I couldn't believe what she was saying and that she was pulling this crud while husband was away (in retrospect, I realize this was done intentionally). I frantically ran to the filing cabinet and started looking through 12 years worth of court paperwork pertaining to the custody orders.

Shoot! There was no signed order from 8 years ago when my husband got custody of that stepson. We have orders for the other two boys, but not the third.

To make a VERY long, complicated and frustrating story short, there never was an order created from when the hubby got custody of stepson #3. The judge ruled in his favor, and the minutes from that hearing state such, but we need an order to get my son back!

Of course, I went to the courthouse the very next day and started getting the ball rolling on what we needed to do to get that order. I had hubby Fed-Ex Overnight the paperwork and immediately filed it to get an order.

That was almost 4 weeks ago. The order still has not been signed.

Meanwhile, my family is in a state of chaos because one of our members has been missing for 4 weeks. Everywhere we go, I order 6 of everything. I cook too much dinner. I cut treats into 4 pieces - one for each child - and then have one left over. And I'm not the only one. My 8-year-old woke up in the middle of the night last night crying because he misses his brother.

I have been raising this boy since he was 3 years old. He is my son. Maybe not biologically, but I potty-trained him. I got up with him in the middle of the night when he had nightmares about dinosaurs. I taught him how to ride a bike. I don't see my 3 stepsons any differently than I see my own son. They are my kids!

My husband's ex is vindictive, spiteful, irresponsible, and uses every opportunity to trash my husband and I to the boy. She tells him we don't care about him. She tells him we don't love him. She tells him that his half-brother is not his "real" brother. I miss my son every minute of every day. I can't sleep. I can't focus at work. I worry about him constantly.

I sure as heck have not had any motivation whatsoever to BLOG.

I have sent the info about the case to every person I know to try and get help. People have called and asked for the order to get signed ASAP. We have called and left messages repeatedly. My husband has waited at the courthouse for hours in a suit trying to get answers. Nothing works.

Meanwhile, the ex suddenly decided (after 11 years of not caring) that she suddenly needs all three boys by her side. She has filed for custody of all of them, plus child support. The court date is in October. I despair of getting the order signed to get #3 back before that date. And then maybe the judge will decide to just let her keep him. And then why not the other 2, just to keep the three of them together? I am SO scared.

I hate family court. I hate the staff. I hate the paperwork and the confusing forms and the fact that nobody wants to help you when you go there to get help. I hate the judge who has not signed the order.

I don't know her personally, but I hate her none the less.

I know that they get dozens of stacks of paperwork a week and that we are just a number on a piece of paper to them. But this is my child! He is being kept away from his home and his family on a legal loophole - a mere technicality - and we are helpless to do anything about it! This feeling of powerlessness is so demoralizing.

I thought the people at the courthouse were supposed to be public servants. I thought it was their job to help people. All the information they need is right there in the building. All it takes is a minute for a judge to read a form and sign it. But these people just don't care. They don't return phone calls. They will get to it when they get to it, and it is just too bad for us.

I am tempted to go to law school just so I can be more empowered in the future.

If you are still reading this, it must mean you are very bored, or a very good friend. Thank you for taking the time.

I hope to get my son back soon, and get life back to normal so I can start BLOGGING again.