My Little Ray of Sunshine

My life is always so busy even I have trouble keeping up!  By the time the weekend rolls around I am booked for family outings, shopping for groceries, or hanging out at the ranch with my girlfriend.  Drama seems to find me, however, and so I share it with you all–good, bad, funny, sad–it’s what living life is all about.

Today  I want to share how life has taken  a decided turn for the better.

I write often about my beloved DriDri. Since she came to live with us at four days old she has been a ray of sunshine in our lives.  The first time I held her in my arms a piece of my heart fell into place that I never even knew I was missing.  I love that child as if I had given birth to her myself.

We have been through many emotional ups and downs since that day. You have shared with me many of those roller-coaster rides. Today, though, is a happy day. Today I am hoping that we may finally be getting off that roller coaster and may actually get to leave the amusement park for good.

My younger daughter applied for emergency custody of DriDri back in November. We were told we didn’t get it and so we were not sure we would go through with the rest of the custody proceedings. We were terrified that if we did not win we would never see DriDri again. The risk was huge and there was no guarantee we would win because we are not biologically related to DriDri.

Last week my mother-in-law informed my daughter that she had a court appearance last Thursday about the custody. I took the day off and we went to court together. We were prepared to ask for a continuance because my daughter had decided she wanted to speak with an attorney to try and see if they could give her an idea of what her chances of winning were and would it be worth pursuing.

We arrived at court and a young woman introduced herself to my daughter as the CPS worker for the court and asked her to step outside of the courtroom with her. She proceeded to tell us very matter-of-factly that she would be awarded temporary custody today and that depending on what the judge said the case would be continued to give my daughter time to serve the custodial parent with papers.

We were gobsmacked. Totally and completely shocked. We walked back into the court room holding hands, afraid that this was not going to be true and we were going to actually be crushed when the judge made her ruling. But the worker was correct and the judge continued the hearing for 30 days to give us time to serve DriDri’s mom. And she also told us in no uncertain terms was her mother to be allowed anything but supervised visits until then and that it was actually up to my daughter if they were to be allowed at all.

Wow…  The validation alone was worth all the stress and heart ache.  So we made appointments with a few lawyers in the area to see what they thought how good our chances were to gain permanent custody. One of these lawyers happens to be my mother in law’s neighbor. He is a crack attorney and very expensive–we couldn’t even begin to afford him but he also advised the paralegal who did the paperwork for us and he was familiar with the case so we figured why not get his take as well. He was extremely impressed with my daughter and the fact that at 22 years old she was willing to put herself through this for the sake of this little girl who was no blood to her at all.

This past Thursday this attorney’s secretary called my daughter and informed her that he did not understand why we had not had DriDri all this time. Apparently the emergency custody orders HAD BEEN GRANTED back in NOVEMBER when we filed for them!  What. The. Hell.

There was a small packet of papers stapled together that were different from all the other paperwork. I had noticed them but had not read them myself and frankly we had never looked at the papers since our paralegal assured us she had walked the paperwork into court herself and waited to see what the judge would say so she could let us know right away whether or not we had gotten custody.  That small packet of papers?  Yeah. That was the custody orders. So either this person, this paralegal, who professes herself to be an expert at filing custody cases is a total moron or she did not actually handle the case herself like she told us she would. Needless to say my daughter was furious!!  she called this woman up and proceeded to rake her over the coals so badly the woman hung up on her…

And then the miracle happened. The lawyer that we can’t afford. The man who thought my daughter was so amazing? he called her personally yesterday to tell her he will be at her side in court next month to help her with the hearing. And if it does go all the way to a trial he will represent her AT NO COST!!! Just writing those words gets me all choked up. I cried when she told me what he said. This is huge and with him by her side I don’t see any way my daughter can lose this case. Which means my little ray of sunshine will be with us forever and never has to leave us again.

There are still no guarantees of course. But our chances of winning just went up by like 110%!!

So for now she is home . She is very happy to be here and laughs all day long. Her cry of delight when her Popi comes home from work melts my heart and I look forward to coming home every day myself to her giggles and hugs. Life is good. Life is very, very good!

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