Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

A Plea For Help

This is a very sad and important post, and I’m hoping that someone can help.  I am reaching out to my WordPress community to help a family that is in dire need of finding the assistance they need.

I cannot give names, suffice to say, it is part of my extended family that is in shock and they have run into a stone wall with local authorities and government officials regarding what has happened to a family member.  The easiest way for me to do this is to give you the facts as I know them and let you decide if you can help them.

A seven year old child had a tantrum last Thursday.  According to his mother, he became out of control and slapped her.  To be fair to the mother, she was born with a disability that has robbed approximately eighty percent of her eyesight and raising a child under those conditions is difficult at best.

However, instead of calling the child’s grandparents, who have helped raised him and have been giving their daughter money to help cover her expenses, she Baker Acted the boy and he is now in a Behavioral Hospital.

This seven year old child, who I know and have seen grow up, has never exhibited aggressive or hostile behavior when in the presence of his grandparents, the rest of the family, or in school. Evidently, this behavior is new and has occurred since the entry of a new boyfriend into the home environment.  The boyfriend has three children of his own, who he has systematically distributed to other family members to raise since he met the child’s mother.

The grandparents received the news that their grandson was admitted to the Behavioral Crisis Unit by their daughter in a TEXT MESSAGE.  Efforts to call and text her have proved fruitless.  When they drive to the daughter’s home…no one is there.

Hoping to have the child released into the birth father’s custody or their own, the grandparents consulted a lawyer who advised them that they were wasting their time. The birth father had visitation rights, but all custody rights were the mother’s.  Grandparents evidently have no rights whatsoever when concerned for the welfare of their grandchildren.

Multiple calls to the Department of Children and Families also proved fruitless.  They turned a deaf ear and said it was the mother’s right to Baker Act her seven year old and that the Grandparents are not even allowed to be informed of what Institution he is in or have visitation.  They refused to get involved and said that there was no proof that the home environment was the cause of the child’s distress.

If you think things couldn’t get worse, well think again.  The daughter and her boyfriend went to the police last evening and she filed Harassment Charges against her own parents for the multiple messages and texts that they have been sending wanting to know where and how their grandchild is.  The police came to their door last night and said they had a right to arrest them and would do so if they tried to communicate with their daughter again.

These grandparents are besides themselves with grief, worry and hurt.  The whole family is distressed and worried about this little boy.  The father is willing to take custody if the mother doesn’t feel equipped to handle their son.  The grandparents are more than willing to raise their grandson (who spent a large portion of his seven short years on earth in their home with his mother.)

My heart aches for the child, who is now most likely traumatized and feeling abandoned by those he depended on for love, comfort and stability.  My heart bleeds for the Grandparents who are fighting just to see their grandson and their bewilderment at their daughter’s hostility towards them.  They have done nothing but give their daughter and their grandson their love, support and encouragement over the years and this situation is unbearable for them.

If there is anyone reading this who knows of who these grandparents can turn to try to resolve this horrible, horrible situation, please leave me a comment, or e-mail me at dh418@comcast.net.  I know that WordPress has members from all walks of life: lawyers, social workers and psychiatrists who possibly may know of an avenue that the Grandparents have not discovered or authorities are not willing to tell them about.  Even if you’re a blogger who has encountered a similar situation and know of anything that can help this family, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Meanwhile, a seven year old boy will go to bed tonight in a strange place among strangers, when there are loving grandparents looking for him.

With tears in my eyes,

Mary Ellen McMahon

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