Keep Peyton Home

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Peyton started 2nd grade today. He turns 7 on Sunday. We're going to the beach this weekend. We were going to have family pictures taken but decided not to. Peyton will be going back to a father who abandoned him more than 4 years ago to be split with a mother who allowed him to be sexually abused by her boyfriend. She continued to stay with the boyfriend for several months after Peyton was finally placed with us following their 4th DFacs referral. They lived under a bridge. Peyton would eat dog food.

Peyton came to live with us 3 and a half years ago and has now been with us over half his life. Court has tied up a lot of our time and finances the last 3 years. His mother failed more than 12 drug tests. His father was nowhere to be found. Life went on. Soccer, t-ball, wrestling, guardianship upheld. Bedtime stories, school, fight at the casa center. Reviews hearings. School, practice, dinner. Phone calls and skipped visits last minute with no excuse. First day of Pre-k, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and now 2nd. 182 pages of phone records detailing police involvement at mothers place of residence over the last 4 years.

When it dawned upon his mom that she would never get him back, she reached out to the father to try and pry him away from the only stability Peyton has ever known. The father has been arrested and charged more than 25 times. From possession of methamphetamine to violence against a correction officer, etc. The father's mother, with whom he still resides, filed a restraining order against him in 2015 for threats of violence against another family member. He has never had a driver's license though he's 28 years old. They are financially backed by my disillusioned grandmother who thinks she's doing the right thing.

After years of court reviews proving unrepentant drug abuse, child abuse, untreated mental illness, court orders ignored, and reunification plans not followed, we decided it was in Peyton's best interest to not be around these people and filed Termination of Parental Rights. The court found that both parents constantly perjured themselves while under oath throughout the entirety of the TPR. The mother has in every hearing for the last 3 years and the judge stated such. The court found that both parents ABANDONED the child by the LEGAL DEFINITION. The court also found that since the child has kept such a great attitude throughout the last years of his life that apparently not enough damage has been done. The court decided not terminate the parental rights, and in doing so have course corrected to put Peyton back with these people.

Peyton's attorney notified us that unfortunately, current state law favors parents over guardians. We think the law should favor children, period. We have been told the case is unwinnable. Anything else is just delaying the inevitable. We have been advised to step back and dissolve our guardianship. Throw him to the wolves.

We will not stand by silently and let them drag him back into the darkness. Peyton deserves better than that. His story needs to be heard.

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