My daughter and her husband divorced and he was able to get custody of the children because she was in rehabilitation.
Since rehab, she had to move to Indiana to find work while he remained in Arizona.
When she was pregnant and having the baby, he denied it and was not around.
He got himself into some trouble in Iowa over meth and started traveling the nation selling magazines to hide from the system. He sought out my daughter in Sept 2006 to get married and form a family. She was naive and married him plus put him on the baby's birth certificate. His family did not meet their 1st grandson until November 2007.
Meanwhile, my daughter and baby lived with us. We paid all bills and she received nothing because he was running.
Once they became married, she became pregnant again. She went through the baby blues and sought help through anti-depressants. The father and his family didn't believe in the medications and threw them away. She eventually turned to alcohol to cope. Which, I didn't know any of this was going on. He is a drinker, too, with his own brewery going in his house.
While both parents worked, my husband and I (disabled vets) took care of the children free of charge, bought clothes & shoes for them, made sure they were taken to the doctor on time and also took care of dental care while paying for everything. Not asking for anything in return. We were able to work tax season, because our disabilility allowed us to work for only so long. During that time, I paid for all daycare expenses. If there was a problem at daycare, I was the one to take off work and go deal with the situation (i.e. wetting of clothes, sickness etc).
The boys have traveled with us extensively. We've taken them to Disneyland when the parents couldn't afford a vacation. The oldest has been on a 3 day cruise to Mexico, in addition to camping, and going to see their Aunt in Las Vegas. They even allowed us to take the boys to Indiana to see family when the youngest was only 3 months old. They have NEVER been hurt or lost in our care or out of our sight.
We were there to see Wyatt graduate kindergarten while the father showed up only in time for celebration dessert and daughter was still in rehab. And, I always made sure to show up for making gingerbread houses in school, etc, since the parents couldn't always afford to take off to participate in these activities,
While my daughter was in rehab, he never once visited her or supported her in AA or participated in family counseling. My family and I did! But, the father still remained at home brewing his own beer. I tried to explain that my daughter couldn't stay sober if he wasn't willing to not bring beer into the house and keep drinking around her.
I was promised a week, starting June 23, 2013 for us to do something fun with the boys. What little did I know that they left for Illinois on June 1, 2013 and would not be returning.
I have thrown elaborate birthday parties for the children and he was ALWAYS included in those events along with his birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.
Now that they are in Illinois, I have only been able to speak to them twice and it was because they were at my ex-husband's house with their mom. Their mom can't even get her correct visitation nor talk to her children when she would like. Nor does he let them call her. In fact, they are not allowed to call her mommy or speak of her because of a new girlfriend that is in the picture.
He is returning to Arizona today to start packing to move to Illinois. Once he leaves Arizona, all of my rights are gone. I do not know how many days I have to get this petition to court. I have been working all night on the petition to Arizona.
I need help on getting Arizona to prolong custody hearings until the mother/father (rehab) can attend to fight for their rights; and also, for Illinois and Indiana to start recognizing grandparent rights.
Like I said, I the only one there when she had the oldest and was in the room when she had the youngest. He sat on the computer watching movies while his wife laid in labor.
I love these little boys more than life itself and my heart is just breaking that I didn't get to say a final goodbye or speak to them as desired. He has already made the comment that they will never be coming back to AZ or WA (where we are moving to) because he cannot be without his children for any length of time but has left them back in IL from the time the oldest got out of school until school started until this year where they will not be returning at all.
This is just not for me but for all others out there going through the same problem.
Please take the time to help change some laws so we all can enjoy children as they are meant to be.
Lia Lantz started this petition with a single signature, and now has 119 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.