Christianity, ICWA, Ethics and the Case of Alexandria P.

So for those who don’t know, the Save Lexi case is well and truly over.   The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear the case and therefore Lexi will remain in the home of her family with her sister.   This is very good news to both the Indian Child Welfare Act and to family preservation in general.

I am doubtful that true justice will be served here because true justice would be some sort of punishment for how long that the Page’s kept her from her true family – but I’d be fine if they would at least lose their foster care license and if Johnston Moore loses some major credibility with this case.

At the earliest mention of this case, which has been quite a bit of time ago, someone posted that Lexi’s father was a sex offender.   I did not allow this comment through and started to dig.   I found nothing.

When the Daily Mail outed the father’s name, both myself and many like me started to search through documents and registries to see if the father’s name was listed on any of them.

He wasn’t.   Not in Utah and not in California.

I was unsure of where this had even come from and it’s been sitting in the back of my mind as I’m poring through things.   It’s come up once in court paperwork – in the Supreme Court brief submitted by the Page’s it was  stated: “Jay E. had been in and out of prison, having been convicted of various firearms and drugs offenses, and of having sexual intercourse with a minor.”

I read this, knowing the names I do now and went back to the registries again.   Convicted would place someone on a sex offender registry.    (That goes even if it’s an 18 year old with a 15 year old girlfriend.   Still on the registry)

Guess what, except for this document and a WND article there is nothing to prove this.   And as WND has shown that they are not finding all the story (as per viewing their story versus the Court of Appeals Documents) then I am believing they got their entire story from the Page’s.    And with this sort of wild accusation that flies just as much as it was during the Sonya Case, I am wondering how much of this is still going back to Jessica Munday.

I am appalled that so many Christians went on this boat and this high horse without fact checking.   I know that Johnston Moore has a place in the Evangelical community but this is insane.    This case to me further has put a nail into HIS credibility.

If you look at the document that the Page’s sent to the US Supreme Court you’ll see a pretty dramatically different story than every other source has – claiming that the tribal placement was lined up after they’d had the child for awhile when in fact the Utah placement was set up before they got her and the little bit about her father being a sex offender.

The story about the placement being last minute was indeed mirroring what Lori Alvino McGill said at a  press conference implying that the tribe had been lax about finding a placement for the child.   When everything had been set up with appropriate planning from all accounts.

I know that many Christians want to go and be pro-adoption in the idea of caring for widows and orphans.    But this case is showing how far someone wants to push to make someone an orphan.   This child should’ve been with her family all the way back in 2013 – not being subjected three years later to an army of media protests.    This.  Should.  Not.  Have.  Happened.

The Page family should’ve cooperated.   They should have done what they were legally, morally and contractually obligated to do – reunite a child with her family.

Johnston Moore and those like him, despite their feelings toward ICWA should not have gotten involved in a situation fraught with so much dishonesty.   He should not have been spreading untruths about this case which so clearly damage the credibility of the case, of the movement and of Christianity.

So who am I slamming here?

  1.  Johnston Moore for getting involved in this case and doing administration job on the Facebook page for a story that was clearly becoming more and more easily disproven by the facts.   This means that either 1.  he was misled in which case he should own up to it and apologize and step away or 2.  He was part of the deception.   Either way, unacceptable behavior for someone at the head of a Christian movement.   Focus on the Family is seriously on an ethics watch list to anyone and everyone as long as you are in any capacity with the organization.
  2. Glenn Beck’s Network and WND – two news sources who could not figure out how to find a balanced story.   My high school journalism teacher would’ve reamed me over the coals for the stories that have come out.    It took me approximately 15 minutes of research to get those court records and find out that the Page’s were blowing hot air with their story.  In these days of nearly instant internet access there is no excuse for this.
  3. The Page family and their church – seriously, under what planet is lying acceptable let alone lying to this extreme extent.   What kind of witness are you bringing out when you not only try to make an orphan out of a child that is not one but also lying to everyone about the hows and the whys.      THEN instead of doing your job you call in cameras, you call in protesters.   You claim that you don’t know where the reporters came from when the call on the Facebook page was for everyone to show up at your house with an address!

    You could’ve sent Troy Dunn away.   You did not choose to do so.   You could’ve chosen to do a great many things to do right by the child you claimed to love and you didn’t.

Yes I am angry.   I am terribly angry.   I am angry that my faith has been used to justify what has occurred here.   I am angry that my faith is being used to justify taking children away from their fathers.   I am angry that the integrity that I have worked so hard to build up on behalf of my faith is crumbled by these kinds of shenanigans.   I’m angry that more and more native people look at Christians as the thieves of their children and judging by WND’s racist comment section, I cannot contradict them.

Just Stop.   All of you.  Stop.

 

 

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The Case of Baby A (AKA Save Lexi)

l am sorry I haven’t been around for a bit, stories had calmed down in the news, the Hodgins gave up their fight for Sonya and I wanted to make sure that she had the peace she deserves.   As I have heard nothing about her, I’m going to assume that she is living the life of a typical child with her family outside the limelight.

Congratulations Sonya!

Then the wagons started to circle around another case and as the names (Lori Alvino McGill being one of them and Johnston Moore being another) seemed familiar I went to look for it.

THEN as something else seemed familiar, I looked back a few years.

Choctaw Father Thwarted by Foster Couple

This was the story that had come up.  I remembered this story and reread the facts and then went to the Court of Appeals documentation right here.   Bear in mind that the story referenced above was from 2014 so that has been going on for at LEAST the two years that the public relations people are talking about.

The claim is that she was placed in the home and now she’s going to family she doesn’t know and is being pulled from the only home she has ever known.  In fact, it is so cruel that they couldn’t tell her she was leaving.   Or their other children that she was leaving.   (I have a VERY difficult time believing this and I’ll show you why)

First myth to bust is that the Choctaw nation just now stepped up to address issues with the child.   The Choctaw knew of this case from the get go.   Here is what was stated in the COA document:

” The tribe consented to the girl’s placement with a non-Indian foster family to facilitate efforts to reunify the girl with her father.”

and

“After reunification efforts failed, the father, the tribe, and the Department of Children and Family Services (Department) recommended that the girl be placed in Utah with a non-Indian couple who are extended family of the father.”

This was within a year.   The Pages were at no time pre adoptive parents nor was adoption in the cards for them.   To further prove this, I give you the following statement from the COA document.   “By the time Alexandria was placed with the P.s in December 2011, her extended family in Utah, the R.s, were aware of dependency proceeding and had spoken to representatives of the tribe about their interest in adopting Alexandria. The tribe agreed to initial foster placement with the P.s because it was close to father at a time when he was working on reunification. If reunification services were terminated, the tribe recommended placement with the R.s in Utah.”

Does this sound like a family that just showed up out of nowhere?   Does this sound like the situation should have been a shock to them?   The system was working as it was supposed to do.    When reunification failed (for a multitude of reasons) then the child was to be placed with a tribal approved extended family member in Utah who were more then willing to take on the child.

In addition as also stated in the Court documents:  “The Department consistently reminded the P.s that Alexandria is an Indian child subject to the ICWA placement preferences. At some point after father’s reunification efforts failed, the P.s decided they wanted to adopt Alexandria. They discussed the issue with the Department social worker, who advised them that the tribe had selected the R.s as the planned adoptive placement.”

Now lest you say “but they were strangers to her,” this is also stated in the court documents, “The R.s expressed their interest in adopting Alexandria as early as October 2011. They were initially told that to avoid confusing Alexandria, they should not contact her while father attempted to reunify. If reunification efforts failed, they were the tribe’s first choice for adoption. The family has approval for Alexandria to be placed with them under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). The R.s first visited Alexandria shortly after the court terminated father’s reunification services. Since then, they video chat with Alexandria about twice a week and have had multiple in-person visits in Los Angeles. The P.s refer to the R.s as family from Utah. At one point, when Alexandria asked if she was going to Utah, the P.s responded that they did not know for sure, but it was possible.” – so no, her family has not been a stranger to her and there have been visits even through all of the upheaval that the Page’s have put her through.   Granted, at the time what was also testified was:  “Russell and Summer P. testified that before and following a recent visit by the R.s, most likely in June 2013, Alexandria was upset and said she did not want to visit with the R.s and did not like it when they came to visit. Russell P. acknowledged that the change in Alexandria’s feelings coincided with the birth of a new baby in the P. family and a transition to a new therapist for Alexandria.”   (All of this took place when she was three and she has had visits and Skype calls ever since.)

Does this sound like a situation where the foster parents did not know what was going to happen or how the system was supposed to work?

The transition was supposed to take place in April 2013 and was agreed upon by ALL parties as stated in the COA document, “As ordered by the court on April 12, 2013, the Department arranged a conference call to discuss a transition plan in anticipation of a possible court order directing placement with the R.s. The call lasted 90 minutes and included the P.s in Los Angeles; the R.s from Utah; Ruth Polcino, Alexandria’s therapist at United American Indian Involvement; Polcino’s supervisor, Jennifer Lingenfelter; Alexandria’s attorney, Kerri Anderson; Department social worker Roberta Javier, as well as two other Department employees. The participants agreed on a transition plan that involved a relatively short transition, with both families meeting for breakfast or at a park, explaining to Alexandria that she is going to with the R.s, who are family who love Alexandria very much and will take good care of her. The P.s would reassure Alexandria that they love her and will always be a part of her family.”    This is why I don’t believe that the courts told them to hide the truth from this child.   Because these plans were put in place all the way back in 2013.

From there, the foster parents have kept this in court up until now.   And now they are calling out that this is the “Only home she has ever known” and implying to the media that she is going to perfect strangers that will traumatize her forever.

From there, the comments have been fast and fierce and like in the Veronica case some of the most racist are coming out of the woodwork.

What is more disturbing was the handover yesterday.   Troy Dunn and MULTIPLES of television cameras and protesters all around the family.   Johnston Moore (who I referred to in previous entries – An Open Letter to Focus On the Family and iCareAboutOrphans Regarding Orphan Care and Multiple Organizations: One Purpose as two of them is the Save Lexi moderator and has further pulled me away from any support of Focus on the Family until they cut all ties with him.   He put out the home address on Facebook and encourage protesters to come to the home of this foster child.

Troy Dunn – referred to on a previous occasion – And Now Troy Dunn? – has also inserted himself into several other cases.   He was told to stop filming and that it was illegal and yet he continues to do it.

THEN on a hunch I did a search.   There is a website in process – yesterday I didn’t get screenshots but here it is today now that they have a horrific handover picture for the banner (similar to the Save Veronica Rose site)

Here is the start of it.

saveourlexi

Like I said, they did at least get a good shot here.   And they didn’t put her face up but that is still a foster child who is supposed to be protected UNDER THE LAW.   Her privacy is supposed to be sacred.

A little whois search on godaddy revealed some answers but brought more questions.

saveourlexiinfo

I whited out the phone numbers but I didn’t the address because here is the super strange thing about that address.   (and the registration date on it was Sunday March 20, 2016)   This address goes not to an office building but to a virtual office building.

Executive Suites in Oklahoma City – also this is where Kendall Sykes has an office on the same block.   Nothing about this organization at all.

Who is funding this?   Can someone bring that up because I’m getting a strong sense of deja vu.   Also no sign of whoever this Heather Parker is.   It’s odd.

Whether or not Jessica Munday is involved is waiting to be seen but with all the other players including Lisa Morris (You Will Know Them By Their Fruits: Why I Don’t Believe the CAICW is a Christian Organization) as well as several others, I am not surprised if she helped to orchestrate some of this but no proof.

And then, the person who is speaking for the child’s best interest according to herself?   Lori Alvino McGill – Lori Alvino McGill – A “Rising Star” Falling Rapidly – the woman who herself drunk posted a link accusing Dusten Brown of using several names and calling both Veronica and her older sister “illegitimate spawn”.

At this point, thankfully this child is on her way back to Utah with her family.    Unfortunately though, the trauma she experienced with the way that the foster parents and others chose to handle this transition is problematic.   Whether or not the foster parents are being used or decided to go ahead and choose to ally themselves with the forces that they did, it is not something I feel good about.

Save Lexi?   Save our Lexi?   After the display yesterday and seeing how that transition was handled I’m not sure that she needs to be saved from her family.   Because that video was horrendous.    If these foster parents still keep their resource license when this is over I really really want to know why.

Spin it Again Part 2

So in the days since the final order was signed, relieving John and Sonya of DCS control, there was a freedom to release certain documents.

The first set of documents were these:

10384803_812857158752252_6139702142445408162_n 11041721_812847575419877_5088451803134379906_n11026091_812857165418918_4737824181343621787_n

These debunked the whole theory that Sonya’s grandmother was unapproved to take her and that DCS had any plans to allow her to be adopted.

So reunification was the goal.   In fact, although in the letter for Sonya, it was said.

DCSReccomendation

The DCS paperwork has a totally different story.   Namely that they were not even aware that the Hodgins had filed to adopt Sonya until several months later.

13807_812845552086746_5796678124008327628_n

In fact, a May 2014 post on Bring Sonya Home claims this:

permanancy

Provide permanency or deny it?   Restraining orders, backdoor filings against DCS, wanting to force her back into foster care.   How is this providing her permanency?   Meanwhile although all of this evidence is speaking for itself as to who was holding up permanency for this child, so many still will not believe this.   They claim that documents are being “Cherry picked” with no actual documents to back this up.

One of these posted only yesterday on Bring Sonya Home.

TinaPermanancyPlacement

Ignoring the documents that perfectly explained WHY this had occurred, in fact explaining why ASFA doesn’t apply to this case.

More supporter commentary – in fact, it’s very much a push on the subject of justification of wrongdoing by the nanny as opposed to condemning her actions.

1669727_1031527696876135_5966023464573261627_o 11025677_10206248990933701_5148163557480674071_o

Brenda Harms in particular will have her own series devoted to her soon.   She puts out blatant lies and posts the absolutely nastiest stuff on twitter.  All while she is SUPPOSED to be looking after children at a daycare in Iowa.

And yesterday came the notice that appeal has been filed.

What is there to appeal?

Multiple courts have ruled that John McCaul did NOT abandon Sonya.
Multiple courts have ruled (as late as last year) that the Hodgins do not have standing to terminate John’s rights or adopt Sonya.
DCS is officially off the case so John has control now.

John should not have to fight these people for his daughter.   Sonya should not have to worry about leaving her family because these people don’t want to respect her wishes.

That is the bottom line.

Why Foster to Adopt Parents Should NOT Fear the Sonya McCaul Case and Why Biological Parents Should

The mass hysteria started before and in the last 24 hours has gotten worse, including with Calvin King (author of the infamous “I Am Sonya” article that was published last year).

There actually was a comment stating something to the effect of foster parents running away from this.

They shouldn’t.   Here is why.

Let’s go to the beginning of the case – if you look at the Omaha World article, you will find that there was not an allegation of abuse or neglect.   NONE.   Yet, John McCaul still had his daughter taken into state custody – this was after he called the police and told them that they wouldn’t give his daughter back.  He sent someone after her as he was instructed and STILL the state took her into their custody.

(As a side note, right now I don’t want to argue the right or wrong of the baby-sitter taking Sonya out of state.   Whether or not you agree with his parenting choice it is HIS PARENTING CHOICE.   It was not neglect, it was not abandonment.  Naivete maybe but that is not something you should loose your child over.)

In April of 2006, Kim Hodgin called DCS on Joy Gunn, claiming an unsafe home.   Joy Gunn had been the emergency placement while they were sorting the custody arrangements out.   (DCS has since admitted they knew of the prevailing custody order in Nebraska but chose not to pursue it further.   This does need some investigating.)   In July Kim and David Hodgins decided to file to terminate the parental rights of both John and his ex wife.

The Hodgins alleged abandonment and claimed that THEY had custody of the child.  (This was a lie, they had placement but at this point DCS had custody.)   DCS had been preparing to send the child BACK to Nebraska with her grandmother Phyllis McCaul.

In October, Phyllis filed a motion to intervene, to take her granddaughter home with her.

Keep in mind with all of this, the charges on John were filed in April 2006 and the indictment wasn’t until later.   The Hodgins did NOT know what the sentence was.   They did not know that John McCaul was going to stay in jail.   He was not sentenced until January 2007 with the reduction in October.

The attempt at adoption was filed BEFORE the sentencing and the “adoption” was finalized AFTER the sentencing reduction – in 2008, they won the right to adopt Sonya.   This was immediately appealed and instead of waiting on the appeal, they pushed the adoption through.

The termination had been filed based on abandonment.   The judge ruled that Sonya had NOT BEEN ABANDONED but instead decided to terminate due to the lengthy prison sentence that had already been reduced.    The prison sentence reduction had nothing to do with winning the appeal.   The reason the appeal was won was a lack of due process.   The Constitution is NOT a technicality guys.  Head up.

In March 2007, the mother’s rights were terminated.   The key thing to realize on this date as well is that DCS OPPOSED the termination of the parental rights of both John and his ex wife.   They did not believe this was in Sonya’s best interests.  In fact, they were still pursuing reunification as the primary goal.

The adoption was not allowed to stand, in fact it was overturned and annulled in 2009.  Which means that the Hodgins had not been her adoptive parents ever according to the law.

They attempted several more times, most recently in the last year.   They have not succeeded any of these times.

So what do we learn here?

Note that DCS did NOT file the termination.   In fact, they opposed it.   Nevertheless, the Kim and David Hodgins pushed through anyway.    When you are pursuing a foster to adopt situation, there is a reason the heartbreaking checks and balances are in place it is for YOUR PROTECTION and for the protection of the child.

A majority of the foster parents that wish to adopt stay ethical and within the law.   The Hodgins did not.   They filed to terminate John McCaul’s parental rights over the objections of DCS.  They did everything possible to stop reunification for EIGHT YEARS.   THEN they made this young girl into a media side show, bringing up all sorts of people who want to kidnap her, etc…   They also broke their contract with DCS and yet believe they could have another shot.

Not.  Going.  To.  Happen.

Legitimate, ethical foster parents shouldn’t worry that this will happen to them but biological parents should.

Notice, no charge filed, no allegations of abuse or neglect yet it still took John McCaul this much time to get his daughter back.   Law enforcement would not help, instead accusing him of abandonment.   This is what parents should fear.

NOT an illegal adoption getting overturned.

Congratulations Sonya McCaul!

celebrate

Today we celebrate.   We celebrate that Sonya McCaul is no longer a foster child, no longer in DCS custody, instead as soon as the order is finalized, she is in full custody of her father.    The person that she loves with all her heart.   The daddy that has fought for her since this nightmare began.   The father that has protected her privacy.

Someone asked earlier how I could defend this case with a “career criminal” ethically.

It’s easy for me.   First is the fact that the truth has rarely come out of the Hodgins camp – there is one blog in particular that seems to put out the nastiest unsupported rumors and yet supported by those who claim to be Christians.   This is inexcusable.    At the first amount of dishonesty people should’ve stepped back.   Case in point?  Timelines, restraining order, transition, etc…

The blog in particular?  It brings to mind so much of what was going on during the Veronica case where one man in particular that is employed in IT by Trio took great joy in  finding anyone with the name of Dusten Brown, even if the spelling wasn’t alike and attributing all wrongdoing to Veronica’s birth father.

Then there were the so called admissions gleefully published by Bonnie Cleaveland.   Why haven’t I addressed them?

Because they have no bearing.   The questions were written to trip John McCaul up during the defamation case and as he had not gone to a deposition due to a certain amount of miscommunication between attorneys.   The judge granted that those questions all be answered yes and put into evidence.   Contrary to what Dr. Cleaveland says, these were  NOT answered by John McCaul himself.   In addition, these were only to be used in the defamation case – incidentally which can be refiled at the very least against Trio Solutions and Jessica Munday.

These sorts of things and the encouragment of people to lie and stalk make me very disinclined to support them.   I should never have heard of Sonya’s case.   EVER.   Period.   She has a right to privacy.    A right that the Hodgins violated by putting her on THREE national television shows.  Incidentally also breaking the law as well as the contract that they signed.

What else broke the contract?   Filing to terminate John’s rights and to adopt Sonya.   Had this been a typical foster to adopt case with all of the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed this would not have happened.    BUT this wasn’t, this was two people attempting to circumvent the law.

Finally though is the scripture 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:  (Again, The Message, as I LOVE the language used)  9-11 Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.

John McCaul has cleaned up his life.   The last arrest was NOT a violent crime but rather one of what I would say more or less was carelessness.   You may not agree with his parenting choices but parenting choices are NOT a reason to loose parental rights over.   I have every respect that this man against odds that would have defeated many STILL GOT HIS DAUGHTER BACK.

Guess what?  Paul was a murderer.   Let’s be plain and simple there.   And you know what else?   God used him mightily.    He wrote the scriptures that you would use to condemn John McCaul.

Sonya loves her daddy.   Sonya wants to stay with her daddy.   He has been under constant scrutiny and still managed to rise above it and to protect her privacy, something the Hodgins can’t be bothered doing.    In the end, I can’t support people who again and again have been proven to lie.

In the end though, today is about Sonya McCaul!   Strong Sonya, Brave Sonya and today HAPPY SONYA!

Congratulations Girl, make new memories with your family!

A Holiday Wish

Imagine if you will, being a child with a seemingly normal childhood in a small town.   You are homeschooled, you live at home, have a generally carefree life.

Then at the age of 9, you find out that you are adopted.   That after all this time of your parents telling you that you were born to them, you were adopted.    Then you go to school, sometime after your world is turned upside down, but they assure you that they are your family, despite being adopted.

Then sometime later you find out that you weren’t adopted at all, in fact, the adoption was overturned before your parents told you that you were adopted.   You find out that in fact you had a birth family that was fighting to get you back and had been fighting to get you back for most of your life.     You are returned to them and slowly find out more about your past, that your grandmothers wanted you, that you had cousins, brothers, sisters, a mother and a father, all of whom wanted you.   That you were and are loved beyond measure.

You find that you missed knowing one grandmother during this time, she had passed on from cancer.   You had missed knowing and learning from her because someone had been fighting your family in order to keep you.

Your “other parents” in the other state?  You missed them but you loved the new life with people who were just like you.   But they had told you what to say when you called them the night after you went to live with your father.   What you didn’t know is that they recorded what you said.   They also kept all of your belongings in the house in another state.

Five months later, as you are in counseling as you are adjusting well, you find out from a teacher that they played this phone call on national television.   Your voice is all over CNN, then the Today Show, then The View.  Your teacher asked about it and your friends overheard.    You were embarrassed horribly by what was said and what was done, so you inform your lawyer that you didn’t want to see them again, ever.    You told her you wanted this to stop and you wanted your things.

Still, they didn’t listen to you.   Your “other parents” by this point felt that they were going to “save you” putting up a national campaign, using a PR firm to say horrible things about your parents, calling on stars and going on national television again.

Every holiday has been marred by some sort of media from your so called “other parents” and now you don’t want to see them again and while you are embracing your family and love each and every one of them, they continue to fight your father, continue to put your pictures on the paper and try to put you on television once more.

What would you do?   Would you still want to see the “other parents?”   I ask you this, I want you to see it from that perspective.

Because this is a real scenario.   This is a real child.   Her name is Sonya and my wish is that she can have a Christmas with her God given family that is normal without a media story coming out on Christmas eve or Christmas Day.   I wish that maybe she can live a normal life without media interference.

Don’t say she’s brainwashed.  Please try to see her perspective.

JM & The Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families

athenapaeonia

Johnston “John” Moore has been making the rounds on some adoptee / pro-ethical adoption blogs to try and clear up his name and image, which were likely heavily tarnished after his appearance on Dr. Phil’s Oct 18, 2012 episode about the “Baby Veronica” case.

In case anyone missed it, here is the episode. John first appears at around the 18:30 mark and it snowballs from there.

On October 13th he made these comments on Ethical Christian Adoption’s blog post An Open Letter to Focus On the Family and iCareAboutOrphans Regarding Orphan Care here

johnstonemoorecomments

His second post is particularly disingenuous.

Really one need only watch his Dr Phil appearance to see what a raging bigot he is. At one point he holds up a picture of one of his adopted sons and angrily exclaims over how inappropriate it is that a child like that is being protected by the…

View original post 903 more words

Spin Doctoring

So let’s look further into the lies on the Sonya McCaul case shall we?  Especially as Twitter has become a bit of a confusing place to move through – not that you should be getting facts from social media but the story has kept changing so many times it’s very difficult to start going through it.

First off, if you ever let your children leave the state with a caregiver and they refuse to return them, heads up, this is what according to the Hodgins and their supporters constitutes abandonment.  I just thought I would mention this as the case because that is where it starts.

If you have not read, the Hodgins have once more been denied the right to Terminate the parental rights of John McCaul and they are now seeking preadoptive placement and working on overturning Judge Jackson’s ruling to send the case to Nebraska where it belongs.

To be blunt they are pitting the ASFA against UCCJEA – which seems like a crazy choice to have to make, but frankly I don’t believe that the thought of the consequences of this have really occurred to them.

This whole beginning of the case is splitting an assorted and crazy amount of hairs.  The child was abandoned in Tennessee by her nanny.   The child was abandoned in Tennessee by her father.   Why didn’t her father come to get her if he was that concerned, etc…

John McCaul was threatened with arrest if he went to Tennessee.    There has yet to be a single denial of this threat among the supporters, but according to the Hodgins supporters he should have not followed police orders and come to get his daughter anyway.

This is a man who was familiar with how the law worked and had been out of trouble for a number of years at this point – he had no desire to get himself arrested again which would not have done Sonya any good whatsoever.   So he did what he had the right to do as the custodial parent.    He sent his mother and best friend to get his daughter.

Now let’s break this down.   If you follow police orders and send a representative to get your daughter in compliance with those orders and as is your right, DCS will be contacted so that your daughter cannot come home.

Let us start with Omaha World – the report that was the most unbiased.

OmahaWorldTiming

So let’s review.   She was declared a ward of the state on October 5, 2005.    The Hodgins took over as faux kinship placement in April 3, 2006.

But let’s go back to what is said on Bring Sonya Home in the FAQ’s.

Coming to TN

Still keeping somewhat the same on the timeline.

Now Kim’s Letter to the Governor.
SonyaComing gov.  letter

Now, the child was not declared a ward of the state in August 2005 when Kim declared she was baby sitting Sonya.    In fact, she was still supposed to have been in the care of her nanny.   So unless there was a plan in place to keep Sonya there at that point, why would she be babysitting her then?

Now the letter from the professionals, also on the Bring Sonya Home Website:

ProfessionalTimeline

So now instead of being foster parents since she was 21 months old, they claim since she was as year old.     And then they claim that the birth father was successful in overturning the adoption because of a sentence reduction.

Heads up, they filed for termination of parental rights before he was indicted on firearms charges and the reduction in sentence took place a FULL YEAR before they terminated John McCaul’s rights.  In addition, the original argument was that John McCaul had abandoned his daughter.    This is a word thrown around on social media among supporters while kidnapping is one commonly responded to with “Show me the charges.”

As per Court of Appeals, John McCaul did NOT abandon his daughter.

AbandonmentdisprovedCOA
Now the restraining order filed in 2012.

ROtimeline1 ROTimeline2

First off, they claimed that Sonya had been living with them continuously since she was 13 months of age.   She was 21 months of age when she was placed with the Hodgins as a resource placement.      They also mention here that the reunification process was starting.    This is SIGNED by David Hodgins as a legal document.

Compare that to these statements on the Bring Sonya Home Website.

TransitionBSH

Which way is it?    They knew that the reunification process was beginning but yet this is the face they put out to the public.

Now let’s address contact for a moment.

contact

— This is from the Bring Sonya Home Website

Contact2

– From the Bring Sonya Home Facebook Page (note the location stamp – for those who still want to say that the Hodgins are not running the page)

THEN from Kim Hodgins’s OWN WORDS in her “Letter to the Governor”

Contact3

Now this came out last week.

BSH10-12 Contact Question BSH10-12 contact

Everything is John McCaul’s fault.   Not the Hodgins’s – even though Kim herself admitted in the letter to the governor that the media attention is why DCS cut contact off.

Much like so much of the rumors of this case from the Hodgins’s camp, the stories keep changing and getting more and more tragic for the foster parents – so why should we believe them?   How long was Sonya in their care?   Was she in their care in August and Joy Gunn was lying or was she where she was supposed to be this whole time?

This case is every parent’s worst nightmare, going around UCCJEA would mean that an abusive parent can leave the jurisdiction with the child and keep them.   Consider that for a moment.

Part 2 of SpinDoctoring will be Supporter Spin, which is in actuality a very entertaining prospect.

An Open Letter to Focus On the Family and iCareAboutOrphans Regarding Orphan Care

I write this with a heavy heart after doing a lot of research.

I have always used Focus on the Family as a resource for so many things and had share articles with many of the Christian community at large.

But while doing research into the ethical adoption movement, I have realized that you like many others, are falling desperately short.    Like many Christians, you are talking a terrific game about caring for orphans, but when looking into the speakers you have brought to speak for you, I was stunned and horrified.

The name that horrified me was Johnston Moore, of the group “Home Forever” which has become quite the name in orphan care with their push for adoptive parents for foster children.    On the surface this sounds like an amazing scriptural idea, until you start doing research into what measures he wants to implement.

Moore is one of a group of outspoken critics against the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).   This is an act that many in the adoption reform movement would like to see extended to all children.   The family placement preferences in the end are better for children who are not forced to loose their identities and culture.    In addition, in a private adoption case, both father and mother signing off in front of a judge with full knowledge of what they are doing is in the end, the best way of securing permanency for the children without the long court battles and disruption in the lives of children.

Instead of pushing to make sure that family is involved, Moore has involved himself in FOUR  ICWA cases wanting to deny children permanency with their natural families.   In the case of Veronica Brown (Capobianco), he ignored the numerous ethics violations that were at the start of this case and even the dishonesty of the adoptive parents and biological mother in favor of using this case to overturn ICWA.   A majority of the misinformation that was sent out about this case was through a public relations firm headed by Jessica Munday.     I only bring this up because instead of distancing himself from the case when the lies came out into the open, he decided instead to found an organization with Jessica Munday and Lisa Morris (who runs the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare, a group considered by many natives to be a racist hate group, indeed, a group with its own ethical questions to answer) called the Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children and Families.    In short, this group has thankfully done nothing since the Veronica case except to renew its nonprofit status, but there he stands with two people with questionable ethics.

In the same case, he celebrated the removal of a child who had been with her family for TWO YEARS and had no memory of the adoptive family.    For all his calling for permanency and Christian orphan care, he helped fight to take a native child from her CHRISTIAN parents and send her to an atheist family.   He had also gone on the Dr. Phil show with them to  commiserate and to speak out on the evils of ICWA.   Now, I am not saying the law is perfect, but I DO believe that many of the standards are common sense and ethics.

Three other young girls have been featured on the Home Forever Facebook page, Dee, Elle and a young Choctaw child.    Dee was sent to live with her aunt and her biological brother.   Elle was sent to live with her aunt and uncle and the young Choctaw child should have been sent from California to Utah to live with HER father’s family.   All three of these children were foster care cases, with an entirely different set of case law than the Veronica case would be, and in most of their states they would be placed with the family regardless of ICWA, at least in theory (and specifically in Elle’s case that was going to happen) but yet Moore has only focused on the ICWA, as if because of native status their families were not a good idea to take care of them.    In fact, the young Choctaw child had not even been with the foster family for a year when the foster family requested de facto parent status as a way to get around reunification with her family.

With this, I come to a white child that has been prominently featured on Moore’s site, in fact, prominently featured in the national news, Sonya McCaul.

If you do not know the story, I will give it to you in a nutshell.   Sonya was removed under questionable circumstances from her father as a toddler – her baby sitter took her to Tennessee and refused to return her.   From there, instead of being sent back to Nebraska, she was sent into foster care with Kim and David Hodgins who tried five times to circumvent the law and adopt her.   They succeeded once but the adoption was overturned less than a year later because it was ruled that her father’s parental rights could not be terminated.  (The father had been put in jail, but the grandmother was about to get placement when they filed for the first time to terminate her father’s parental rights)    The father’s life had long been straightened out, his stint in prison was due to being literally in a vehicle with the wrong person who didn’t secure their gun properly.

Instead of waiting for the courts to do their thing, they tried to create an orphan in need of adoption by going around the Tennessee court system.    They even put up a restraining order AGAINST DCS when they were going to remove Sonya because they weren’t cooperating with the reunification process.   The courts had enough of this in January and just abruptly removed her which was when Moore got involved, calling out that HER rights had been violated, but instead of putting the blame where it belonged (the court documents have come out more and more supporting this) on the foster parents, he put it on Sonya’s family, the one that had been fighting for her since day one.     He has been silent on this of recent times, but nothing going back and saying that he was wrong and that this case wasn’t what it seemed from the start.

Every case on his Facebook site, these foster parents are fighting biological families for their CHILDREN.    He does not share successful reunion stories, only successful adoptions.   One such case was “Little Johnny” who was returned to HIS great grandparents.    Instead of encouraging the family to work with “Johnny’s” family to get to know his God given family, he encouraged prayer that the child was to stay.   In short, the only permanency that Johnston Moore believes in is the permanency of an adoptive family.   A biological family is nothing more than an obstacle for him.

Sometimes foster care is a necessity, sometimes it is a short term necessity, sometimes it does sadly, have to involve terminating parental rights and other times an adoption.   Adoption however is NOT the long term answer to a short term problem.   In fact, fighting the reunification process opens children up to more instability as they are fought over between their families and legal strangers.   Adoption is also not the first answer to jump to when things are wrong, adoption involves a loss for the child and termination of parental rights is a serious step that needs to be approached with extreme caution.   Followed by that, a child’s fit relatives should have the ability to care for a child from their own families, thus keeping a child’s God given identity intact.

Does God make mistakes?  I know your answer is NO.   Undoubtedly it is no.  But the attitude of Moore and many like him that seem to push creating orphans for the sake of caring for them because God ordained it, to me, screams of men knowing better than God does as to what family a child belongs.   God places children in families for a reason.    As Christians we need to support family preservation wherever it is possible and then care for the children when families are unable or unwilling to care for them

As Christians we should NOT be supporting dishonesty to steal children.  We should not support those that are thwarting the law and we should not be using those who outspokenly support both to push a cause we support.

Because of the use of Johnston Moore as an ongoing spokesperson for the orphan care movement that is solidly pushed, I no longer feel like Focus on the Family is supporting the values of honesty and integrity that they are purported to support.  I urge you to look into his support of unethical adoptions and to join many of us in a push for greater ethics in adoptions.   That is true orphan care.

One Year Closer…..

Adoptive Couple Vs Baby Girl

The problem with adoptive parents is that they don’t ‘get’ the problem. I went into this journey having no experience in adoption with no adopted family members and having no thoughts of adopting. I was ‘adoption stupid’ so to speak. And in such a short amount of time, I’ve learned so much. Then again, I was open to where it would take me. I didn’t walk into this with any expectations as many on one side of the table or the other often do. Most walk into adoption as either the ‘giver’ or the ‘wanter’ and bring their expectations and experiences with them. I, having none and no wish list or expectations from it, was open to go where ever that path took me. In that way, I believe I’ve seen so much honesty from the whole experience, more even than those who are part of an adoption in some ways.

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