Thursday, February 28, 2008

C'est La Vie - Deux

Today, we had our big day in court where I was all ready to relinquish my parental rights and become the official legal guardian of my daughter Rachel. As you may have guessed, and correctly so, things did not go so well and I did not get permanent guardianship of said child. Now mind you, this is no reflection on me, but is saying volumes about the court. It would seem certain things were left out of the evaluation by her school psychologist and really, it was only one piece of data. Since they had been in possession of said documents, oh for I don't know, 2 months, you would think they would have found that there was missing data. I knew it wasn't there when I read it in December. It was a number. Her IQ. I tried explaining to the judge that her function is so low that they can't measure IQ by standardized tests. I also gently tried to point out that she could see said child's level of function with her own eyes since she was seated and squirming in the chair right next to me but she would hear none of that from me. Nope. After all, I am the one trying to "take" control of said child's life. She wanted an "expert" to testify to the level of impairment. I was miffed and feeling dismissed. There were sidebars with the attorneys and lots of whispering and talk of adjournment. On my part, I rolled my eyes A LOT and mouthed OMG ten times to her social worker. I don't know for sure when it happened, but at some point the judge look thoroughly bored with the whole thing:

Here is a picture of the judge caught napping
(I found one of a sleeping kangaroo but it looked dead)

It wasn't as though I was unprepared for these shenanigans. The warning came in the mail on January 28th. I submit into evidence the following subpoena:

Damn. After 18 years, I find that Rachel, who I thought was pretty seriously afflicted, was really only an "Alleged Person With A Disability". She and I had to attend court at the "Mental Division Courtroom". Gosh, that sounds so insensitive. I have never been one to suffer hurt feelings from labels and names; these things are really only adjectives that should hold special meaning. For example, it means nothing to me if you tell me someone is autistic. You can be anywhere on the map with autism from the lowest to the highest functioning person. It speaks volumes if you tell me someone has autism AND is subsequently profoundly retarded. It is politically incorrect to say someone is retarded; we must call them mentally impaired which again needs more descriptives to get the meaning.

 I guess it makes sense then that you would take the aforementioned alleged individual with a disability to the MENTAL Courtroom. It was only alluding to the mental impairment and not a reflection of the people that work there after all-though I still have my suspicions.

It was a wee bit exciting and simultaneously annoying: sort of like a boring episode of Boston Legal (even though I've never seen a boring one).  I was ever so slightly bent out of shape and took this out of my purse to amuse both myself and the alleged individual with a disability.

In addition to collecting yarn, I collect all kinds of hand creams and lotions. It's a nurse thing. It just struck me as ludicrous that this is what I would select from my humongous handbag to bring out in a court of law. Mental though it was. A fitting end to a fitting day. Stay tuned for part three for if you paid attention in the beginning and weren't snoring by this point, you know we were adjourned and have to go back to listen to expert testimony.  I'm smuggling a recorder in for that one.


Willowtree said...

Okay, here's what I got from this post:

1) It's ok for you to have control of her affairs when she's young and vulnerable, but not when she's old and vulnerable.

2) No wonder the courts can't get anything right, those numbnuts don't even understand English!! She is not an alleged individual! She is an individual with an alleged Development Disability for fuck's sake!

Good luck.

Rudee said...

Why yes WT, you'd be correct on both counts. On item #1, they are deciding if it is OK for me to make all of her decisions from what she gets to eat to how I spend "her" money. I am not Mom any more, just an employee. THANK GOD. At least now, I can just punch out and go home when my shift is over.

As for item 2: yes, yes and yes. Welcome to the Mental Division Courtroom.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Oh, my god, that sounds frustrating as HELL. I don't know how you managed to get through without saying something that got you tossed in jail for contempt.

What kind of a sound do kangaroos make? WT? Maybe you could make a CD and play it the next time you're in her court. You know, insult her in a way she'll never understand.

Rudee said...

OK-didn't want to describe the judge too much since our case isn't settled. When it is RC, I will let you know what she USED to do for a living. You will not BELIEVE it. Somehow I think her prior career may be none the worse for her having moved on to law.