Monday, May 14, 2007

Sister news

Well, color me wrong. I did see my sister and she is still, indeed, alive. As it turns out, it was *NOT* DUI for which my sister was arrested, but she had been drinking. Here's what happened after this:

The DCFS became involved in the case because she left the 3 children at home alone asleep, minutes before her ex was due home. Therefore, the DCFS will not allow her to be alone with her children -- and thankfully so. In order to not have had to put the kids into foster care, they were allowed to stay with her and their dad, if the dad wouldn't leave her alone with them. You'd think this would make him happy, but noooooooooooo -- he was put out that he had to be "inconvenienced" by having to take the kids places, etc. So, he left her alone with the kids. He left her alone with them the last time just minutes after meeting with the DCFS caseworker, during which time he refused to go to anger management counseling, saying that he was not the one with the problem...SHE was. So, I urged my sister to report that she'd been left alone. And she did. And that resulted in the caseworker calling me to ask if I could come get the children!! I told people this would happen, but the people directly involved wouldn't believe me....

The dad wouldn't agree to let them go out of state (especially not to me, the person he hates most in our family), so they called my mom, asking if she could come up to stay with them until a safety plan is no longer needed. There was a meeting set up between my mom, sister and the caseworker for when my mom got up there, so I decided to join them. I learned that the dad had been spanking the children for crying, and telling my sister that if she didn't spank them when they cried, HE would do it worse. He also had been going through her purse, her cell phone, etc., and when she told him not to, he shoved her against the wall. I suggested at the meeting that, since my sister really didn't want to be with him, and he was no longer on the 'safetey plan', she didn't have to live with him. I also learned that he's at least 3 months behind on his mortgage, so that the mortgage company is calling him many times per day, so I don't know where they'd have been living soon, anyway!

I helped get her moved, and went with her to court to apply for an emergency restraining order to keep him away from the kids -- she already had one herself. This came about because he "stalked" us the night we moved her out. We stayed in a hotel in the area, because I knew he'd come looking, and I also had my mom and sister hide their vehicles in different locations. I was in my hubby's car, which I knew he had never seen, so that's the one we left in the hotel lot. Sure enough, we saw him driving through the parking lot, so I made my sister report it to the police. The next day we went for the restraining order.

DCFS is requiring her to attend alcohol counseling 3 x per week, attend AA, and she'll also be required to attend domestic violence counseling at some point. My oldest niece will also receive counseling and be taken to Alateen or Alatot, depending on the age requirements. The caseworker visits 4 x per week, and my sister has gotten a job on the Alzheimer's floor of a nursing home, doing activities with the patients there. She looks markedly better and healthier than she did when I saw her last. She claims to enjoy her job, though she's not crazy about the people doing the counseling. This is because the first night she attended, the person doing her counseling was saying how much she hated her job, how she was looking for something else, and asked my sister if she knew of any job openings!!! So, I can't say that I blame her for that one.

This weekend we drove up to visit mom and sister, and it was a big improvement over the last time I was there, in terms of her appearance and the way the apartment was put together. Clearly some kind of progress is being made, for what it's worth. Today was the hearing for the permanent restraining order for the kids. I am disappointed but not terribly surprised that, not only was she not given a restraining order for the kids, they REVOKED the one she has for herself. I haven't gotten to speak directly to my mom or sister since they left that message, but I'm guessing that it was revoked because she moved back in with him. Can't say as I blame the judge -- she made her bed... Trouble is, her bed is the kids' bed, too. Though I did tell her face to face, eye to eye when I was there before that I would sue for custody of the kids if she does anything to endanger their safety -- mental, spiritual, or physical -- EVER again. She hung her head a bit and said "I understand".

So, there you have it. Time will tell in this case. Accountability is an excellent thing.

No comments: