Saturday, May 31, 2008

Our Hearing

Well folks I have not written because I am still exhausted and

Dave did in incredible job or organzing everything and we had
exhibits A-HH. Here is a quick run down.

1. The night before the hearing Dr. KS (our kids psychologist that they see every week) scored the teachers ABAS
II and called to tell us that they were statisically invalid. The
reason was that there were too many "I am guessing" answers. AS you
will recall in Janauary the boys we were told that were denied
services SOLELY based on their teachers ABAS II tests. So Dr.KS believes that the ABAS II that they did for the CVRC is
probably statistically invalid. when we got into court we asked to
see the entire ABAS II instead of just the final scored page. We were
denied that by the CVRC citin "confidentiality" reasons. In addition,
they say that they do not have the RSP teacher(Mrs. D's) ABASII that
she filled out for both of the boys. Here is the kicker. Mrs. D hand
carried the envelope with the ABASII down to the CVRC. In Karson's
envelope was hercompleted ABAS II and his teacher, Mrs. B's
ABAS II. In Kullen evenlope was her completed ABAS II and Mrs.
S's ABAS II. The CVRC has both teachers but cannot find Mrs.
D's!!! Mrs. D informed me that she had tons of "guesses on her test"
So on Friday I went to the school and asked that each teachersign a
form waiving their rights to "confidentiality" so that the entire
test could be viewed by the judge and ourselves. Unfortunately, it
was kicked upstairs to the district level. All the teachers are in
agreement that we should have access to these documents. So I have no
idea what will happen. However, On Monday I am going back to the
school and will put a formal request in to see the boys entire
records. In the RSP file there are copies of the ABAS II tests that
the teachers took. I don't know if they will let me see them. I will
also be asking that a count be made of each subsection of the test
with the number of "guesses" that each teacher entered.

2. The CVRC used over 2 year old data to assess Kullen which is
against their guidelines and if we get the ABAS II thrown out then
they have nothing to have denied him with.

3. Their psychologist, Dr.S, lied on the stand and said that she
never said their determiniation was based soley on the ABAS II at
which point I yelled out "She is lying" Not once but twice.

4. I did great as a witness. I really did and I got in so much
stuff that was way beyond the question DAve asked. He would ask a
question and I would go and go and go and no one stopped me.

5. 5 days before the hearing we had to turn our evidence over to them
and they to us. Well I made CD's of the boys and forgot to include a
minute long segment on the poppy toilet paper that is left in the
trsh can because Karson cannot wipe his butt. They refused to let us
enter it into evidence.

6. Dr. S (CRVC's psychologist) signed off on the fact that the boys were autistic but
said it was no her handwriting that listed their diagnosis.

7. There is no MD signature signing off on Kullen's report. This is
suppose to be a team evaluation and a doctor is required to sign off.

8. Under oath we asked Dr.S why they did not include the "circle
of support" (family, parents, friends, teachers, etc) that they are
suppose to when making a determination. Dr. S got very pissy and
said she didn't know what that was. Folks, that is from their OWN
FRICKIN guidelines!!!!

I could go on and on. Unfortuantely even with all this I don't know
that we can win because:
1. While we can ask questions we don't know how to ask them in a way
that will get us the biggest bang for the buck
2. We don't know how to get further important evidence admitted that
we did not have when we exchanged evidence.

THe real thing we have to win on besides incompetatnce (not knowing
the laws, being late on the mandatory 120 assessment, using old
documents, not including the circle of support, etc) is that they are
saying that the boys adaptive skills are adequate and that they are
not seriously impaired. This is really what this is all abou and what
we need to prove. Dr. KS said that the boys had IQ tests of
about 100 and therefore their adaptive scores should fall in that
area too. But theres are at 76. Unfortuantely (well not
know what I mean) some catagories theyare in the 13 as in academics.
They are also trying to show that their IQ's are too high but really
it is not suppose to be based on IQ.

We are not done. We did not finish and dave still has to ask me
quesitions and I have to be cross examined. In addition, we have to
do arguments. We are exhausted and MAD as HELL that we have to fight
so fricking hard. In reviewing recent cases it appears that hardly
anyone wins so it is an unhill battle. If we lose we will keep bringing forth new evidence to get the boys services. Period.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Our Trip To The Orphanage

A two year old girl prostituted out to the highest bidder. A little
girl with cigarette burns up and down her young body. A young boy bearing a 4 inch long scar on his head from where he had been pistol whipped by his father. An eight day old baby, sexally abused. These are just a few of the children I held today at the orphanage. I wonder, how can children who have survived such horrific abuse still greet us with such smiles. I know I wouldn't have the fortitude.

Casa Hogar Sion orphanage came into existence over 10 years ago when Carmen Gonzalez recieved a message from God to help the children. She wondered if she was crazy and what the message meant. Three months later she heard God speaking to her once more. Again he told her to go out and help the children. What started out as a mission to help just a few children has grown into an orphanage which houses 120 children. Living in dormitory rooms of 12-18 children, each child has their own bed, attends school and is fed three meals a day. Often the children have been abused and neglected or their parents have died. Sometimes parents just need a place for their kids to come until they can reclaim them. As Carmen explained, "Sometimes our children come in with hard hearts but through the love of Jesus their hearts soften."

The orphanage needs $14,000 a month in order to survive and provide for the basic needs of the children. It costs $2,000 a month just to send all the children to school. This does not include the tuition that is needed to send the older children to trade school or college. It also does not include the $120 it costs to supply the school uniform that is required for school attendance.

Water must be brought in on a daily basis at a cost to the orphanage as the water that flows from the tap is unsafe to drink or cook with. There is no heat in winter and no insulation in the walls. Every child seems to be walking around with a runny nose. Everyday, day in and out, there are 30 loads of laundry that must be done, noses that need to be wiped, and beds that need to be made. And it is done by dedicated house mothers who make sure that the floors are clean and the children get a hug or kiss every time they walk by. Several of the older girls have gone to beauty school. They cut the little ones hair. But still there are shortfalls and shortages. For instance, we brought supplies donated from our church. You never would believe the happiness shown over a 6 pack of shampoo. They had just run out. The joy at new toothbrushes and toothpaste. Yet, still there was an urgent need for diapers. But as Carmen says, "God will provide" a statement we hear uttered over and over again with the utmost sincerity and belief.

Not only does Carmen have the orphanage to worry about but she has also started a community based program through her church, Templo Sion. Everyday, the doors open and close to two hundred local children file into the small room where they are led in song and prayer by one of the girls who has grown up at the orphanage. Then they receive a hot meal; the only one they will get that day. As we served the meal a "mucho gracias" and a big smile was served back at us. It costs Carmen over $100 a week to feed the local children. Some days the food is more plentiful than others. Since the government regulates but provides no funding for the orphanage and local lunch program, if one of the children is sick and requires medical care money is taken out of the food budget. This means no meat that day. But to the kids who attend Templo Sion it doesn't matter. It's the warmth that fills their bellies and the love that fills their souls which sustains them.

Back at the nursery I fall in love with K. "Oh Geez," I think. Another K. It is fitting as she buries her head into my shoulder and clings to me. If I try to put her down she grabs on tighter. She falls asleep in my arms her soft light brown hair falling over her long dark eyelashes. She fits perfectly in the crook of my arm; as though she was meant to be there. I feel like if the world stopped this minute that it couldn't get much sweeter than this. I think of all kinds of ways to sneak her across the border. Dave says NO! Meanwhile, Dave is playing with a little boy who keeps trying to steal his glasses. We hear his history and wonder how he has been able to trust the world again. But the answer is right there in front of us...the dedicated people at Casa Hogar Sion. People like Arleen who is the accoutant. She lived a high powered New York City life and gave it all up to live at the orphanage where she can feel the wind and see the outside from the inside of her room. And its the children who have grown up here and now stay to serve the Lord and the children who need them.

Not all of the 40 orphanages in Tijuana are like this. At the government run one there are no toys, no books. The children are not educated. They stay in the rooms all day except to eat. Which makes me wonder why the "lucky" ones end up at Casa Hogar Sion. Why do they get love when some children will never know what it is like to have someone smile at them or to encourage them to reach their fullest potential. How can this be that each child does not have the basics: water, food and love?

If you or your church want to help I urge you to send supply boxes or make a donation to the orphanage. Their website is:

Tonight I will sleep in my nice warm house in my nice warm bed. And yet the eyes of the children continue to haunt me. And as I finish writing this the tears come yet again. So many children. So many hurts. So many needs.

A short montage: