I do not know all of the details, but my daughter's bond amount is now $150,000.00. Her recent theft charges are enhanced previous convictions and violation of probabtion. I don't think she will be getting out soon, but I have been wrong before. The irony is that "Boyfriend's" total bond amount is less than $3500.00; $1500 of which is for the charge of Abandon/Endanger Child by Criminal Negligence. HE could be released any day.
Based on what I know, when arrested, "boyfriend" took off running with Kaylee in a carrier, tossed her across front seat of car and attempted a get away. Thankfully the officers on the scene stopped him. At some point he was "tazed." (I must admit that I would get great satisfaction if I could have seen that taser action. Sorry, but it's true.) THANK GOD for the quick actions of the Garland PD - I still get nauseous thinking what would have happened if a high chase pursuit had ensued with Kaylee in front seat, unsecured.
Norm and I have faced a true delimma, and feel that we have made the best decision that we can at this point...
A. We have done what we can: We called Texas, VZ County and Dallas CPS. Written to them as well. Faxed same correspondence to the prosecuting attorney's for both my daughter and "boyfriend." I contacted a local reporter. I emailed Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, an organization that works with Dallas County District Attorney's office and law enforcement. The goal and hope being that someone will tie together the past with the present to help ensure Kaylee is safe. I have not gotten any direct response from any, except the reporter's kind assistant who asked me to "keep them posted" and from a wonderfully compassionate soul at DCAC - I believe she has done what she can to bring the info to anyone she felt could help... in one of her last emails to me she stated (regarding VZC CPS) "unfortunately, I am having a hard time getting a response, too. And I work here!" - apparently one difficulty is that there is no CPS case number. Anyway, in an over-burdened system, a direct reply is not necessary...
The example in the picture likely seems trivial, to anyone unfamiliar with the history dating back to 2007. But this text message here from the other grand-mother just emphasizes the fundamental concern, to us - From the day Landon was born, they have resented our "intrusion" - They see us as adversaries. I suppose they believe we see them the same way, and to a certain degree that may be true.
Specific concerns, based on our history of attempts to work with the other grand-parents (and my daughter and their son) at the very least demonstrate to us a co-dependence and enabling pattern that we feel has and will continue to put Landon and Kaylee at risk.
- In 2007, after arranging for my 2 months pregnant daughter to enter re-hab, they came and picked her up and "took care of her." They refused all efforts to meet with us to discuss the situation or take any other action to ensure the saftey of the child on the way, despite knowledge of the heroin addiction and their son's past history with CPS related to his heroin addiction.
- They supported my daughter and son throughout her pregnancy with Landon. Including bailing them both out of jail - which lead up to Amanda's withdrawal emergency at 8 months preganant.
- Despite the fact that our actions likely saved the life of my daughter and Landon, they resented our involvement of CPS. Once they were included in the CPS Family Safety Plan, which made us all responsible to take legal action to obtain custody if my daughter and their son failed to uphold their responsibilities (stay clean, go to rehab, get a job, create a safe home, etc) - they refused to follow through with us when my daughter and their son continued to use heroin.
- Due to their refusal to cooperate, CPS advised Norm and I to obtain a lawyer and file suit for custody of Landon. We did so and filed suit in the proper jurisdiction: Dallas County - where Landon was born and legally resided. Process servers attempted to serve notice to my daughter and their son at all known addresses, but were unable to locate them. The other grandparents and family stated to us and to law enforcement that they did not know the whereabouts of their son and my daughter.
- After failure to serve them papers, we were advised to not only seek custody, but termination of parental rights. Again, for the same reasons we were unable to serve them papers of amended motion.
- Shortly after a Dallas County hearing in which they failed to appear, despite finally having them served when they went to Dallas County for an appearance concerning a criminal charge, the paternal grandfather appeared on our doorstep with an order granting them temporary custody of Landon! All of the while they had claimed they did not know where their son and my daughter where, after and fully aware that we had filed proper suit in Dallas County, they had retained an attorney, filed an illegal custody suit in Van Zandt County stating that Landon lived with them and attached affidavits written by my daughter and their son stating that they were unfit to care for Landon and wished custody to be granted to the paternal grandparents. In so many ways they perjured themselves. We did not hand Landon over to him, of course - when he called local law enforcement and they came to our home, they agreed we did not have to turn the baby over as we had the same orders issued out of Dallas County.
- Within days, the paternal grandparents had obtained a "writ of mandamus" from Van Zandt County ordering law enforcement to take Landon from us. (Somehow, hmmm, local law enforcement was unable to locate me or Landon until our attorney took the legal steps needed to invalidate the writ.)
- Despite the illegal actions, we agreed to change venue to Van Zandt County and became parties to the suit there. This was an expediency issue, not to mention a financial one, as it was the quickest way to get the case before one judge. The end result was an agreement reached for shared custody of Landon that we have today. Our legal expenses alone where $15,000. I have heard the other grandparents spent $5000. It seems a travesty that $20,000 that could have been invested in college funds for these children, or rehab if and when either my daughter or their son sincerely wanted help, was instead spent the way that it was simply because the other grandparents would not work with us per the terams of the CPS Family Safety Plan.
Other areas of concern are chronicled throughout my blog. Norm and I, based soley on our own experience, do not feel comfortable entering into another legal fray like the last. The current effects on Landon under the custody we share with them now are becoming more and more difficult for Landon, the older he gets. We have no enforcement of the custody that stipulates no unsupervised visits by my daughter and "boyfriend" when Landon is with the other grandparents. If and when they are released from jail, the worry in that regards begins again.
CPS is an overburdened agency - an official safety plan if put in place will again make the family members who enter into it legally responsible for the safety of Kaylee. At this point, we could only consider it if the others had unsupervised visits. We cannot guarantee her safety otherwise. But even then... Really, honestly ... I do not understand why a safety plan rather than flat out termination of my daughter and "boyfriend's" parental rights should even be considered. There are wonderful people who are unable to have children of their own and would rejoice at the opportunity to adopt a 6 month old baby girl. To me a "safety plan" with the goal of re-uniting Kaylee with her parents is an excercise in madness, with the consequences ultimately being tragic. Kaylee is safe right now, but all of the things that could have happened on August 4th when Kaylee was innocently involved in a crime by her parents.
What about future children my daughter chooses to have with "boyfriend"- for all anyone knows, she could be pregnant again. It's a hell of a mess. My heart breaks for all of children of addicts; and for the families who really want to ensure their safety.