To Have and To Hold ….

Heart’s been broken, the truth still unspoken.

I wish it away, why can’t she stay?

Memories lost, they didn’t care what it cost.

Want so bad to shout, want all this pain out.

We need justice and peace, we’ll never give up on my niece.

Heart broken and body drained; spirit gone, only grief remains.

This can’t be true, they’ve taken our baby, what do we do?

Emptiness I can’t passed, anxious to love her my heart beats so fast.

Will this ever be right, ever an end to this fight?

I pray and stay strong, they all did something so wrong.

I love her so deep, I miss her and weep.

Let her see through the lies she’s told, she belongs to us to have and to hold ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puerto Rican Babygirl

Image

It doesn’t make any sense that the name the adoptive couple gave my niece is ‘ Italia .’

Our baby has absolutely no Italian heritage. Nothing against Italians, it’s just that she isn’t Italian.

Their family is Italian, so in my opinion, it’s just another way of trying to make a child believe they’re something they’re not, trying to change who they are and make them into what you want them to be.

It’s a way of trying to make a child theirs, that will never truly be theirs, no matter what.

I think it is borderline cruel to name a little Puerto-Rican girl ‘ Italia.’

I can’t wrap my brain around it, much like everything else about this adoption.

From Broken to Being Whole

So last night obviously my broken heart jumped off the page, but tonight I went outside and looked at the dark night sky I love so much. I breathed and felt God’s love pour down over me. I loved the gorgeous moon, and I must have wished on every star in the sky. My face looking up, the tears ran completely down my face.

I’ve described this monster like being on a roller-coaster because it is up and down at any given moment.

Now that I have taken an ordered rest, following an accident, surgery, and now waiting on the second surgery, I’m supposed to be taking it easy, of course I can’t. All I can think of is knocking out the rest of the key points that need to be written before the final edit before print. I want desperately to put this first half of the book to rest. I want my people to know what happened to us, and to give them a warning of what can happen if you let your guard down for even a moment. Specifically written for my niece and family, and to let everyone involved know the impact this made on us. Our lives imploded.

I imagine once the book is on the shelf next to my bed, I will be able to sleep just a little more comfortably. I will close my eyes and almost sigh with relief. Writing about this has literally taken thousands of hours. Hours away from my kids, students, friends, and lovers. Make no mistake, it is all worth it to me. I’ve made so many sacrifices and the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward.

I trust in God to make it right, I trust my niece will come home to us. I believe one day I’ll turn back into that love bug I once was, only better. I’ll be stronger and wiser. I’m cutting myself slack for the way I’m handling all this. Don’t mind me, I’m just a girl who had her heart ripped out. I’m absolutely allowed to grieve and mourn, kick and scream.

Each day as I look into my babies’ faces, it melts some of the ice that my heart is encased in. I’m just so angry that something so devastating happened to us, and sometimes I daydream of what life would have been like had it not. We’ve all missed out on so many wonderful things. This turned us all into cynics, and none of us ever looked at things the same again. We’re always suspicious, guarded, I don’t trust people as far as I could bowl them. I hate what this did to all of us, and how it changed us and made us take our rose-colored glasses off. It was like one day I believed in everything and felt as though I could fly, the next my wings were snipped off and the more I knew, the less I wanted to know and the less I understood. 

We were betrayed, used, made to look crazy, then tossed away like trash. Is it any wonder I harbor so many ill feelings? Can you even imagine yourself in the kind of situation we were out in? I’ve never even hear of a story like this.

‘ Neighbor and court clerk sells baby. ‘

Just imagine for a moment how that would tear you apart. People always say ‘ oh  if that happened to my family I’d go kill them. ‘ But you can’t. Your hands are completely tied, there’s nothing you can do, and court personnel decide the fate of your entire future without knowing you at all, and never having to deal with you again. I never knew what kind of ‘ justice system ‘ we had until this happened. I despise the courts and their procedures so much that I want to stay a million miles away from them. I’m not sure if there’s anything worse than dealing with the system, it’s enormously stressful and all-consuming. Is it any wonder I try to wish this all away? Is it any wonder that my feelings about this go back and forth and up and down?

So I’m not just some hateful, spiteful person. Tragedies change people, and they have to fight their way back to a be just a fraction of what they once were. Their lives become divided into two timelines, before the nightmare, after the nightmare.

If I didn’t have so much love and feel so much love, I don’t think I even would have survived this. The hate for the adoption aside, I love hard and deep regarding everything else.

Love really is stronger than hate.

SHAME ON ADOPTION ALLIANCE & QUESTIONS FOR JANA

SHAME ON ADOPTION ALLIANCE.

Shame on Jana , for handling an adoption that would  be a disaster of Biblical Proportions for a girl named Serena, her baby named Julia Grace, and their family.

The person handling the adoption…. Jana.

The person Jana was initially called by…. LETTY.

The person Jana contacted and handled the adoption with…. LETTY.

The locations Serena signed the paperwork with LETTY at her side, Denny’s and Starbucks.

Place and Person Adoption Alliance faxed Serena’s confidential adoption case paperwork regarding Interstate Compact to…. Douglas County Courthouse paperwork to Letty Ramos, (which a co-worker then handled.)

Jana allowed a situation of such magnitude to be handled by a third party, Letty.

Jana was unprofessional and showed no compassion toward Serena, who never asked any questions and just went along with whatever she was being told to do, a girl who did not have the first clue on how to go about setting up an adoption. She was well aware of the situation. She was well aware that Serena was terrified, alone, and outnumbered.

Jana dealt with Letty. Talked to Letty. Set things up through Letty.

I don’t know how much experience she had at the time, but handling an adoption at a Denny’s and at a Starbucks, through a third party, she may as well have handled it from the back of her car.

Adoption Alliance lost their license to practice for reasons they will not disclose, less than a year after our complaints to Wanda Scott, the woman in charge of the Las Vegas office.

*****************************************************

 

I’ve wanted to ask Jana these questions since I found out about her, and since she is another person that needs to be held accountable, of course I will ask the questions here.

 

So here are 155 of the million questions that our family would like answers to.

 

  1. What home study did you perform regarding the adoptive couple?
  2. What would exclude your office from conducting their own investigation regarding the adoptive couple’s background and home environment?
  3. You assumed that another party was capable of passing along information to your agency. Did you conduct your own investigation to make sure that that information was accurate and correct?
  4. Why did you allow the adoptive “mother” to set up the basic 2 visits as required minimum of a visit with Serena?
  5. Do you believe that the responsibility of all points of contact should have been made by Serena and not someone who was desperate for a child? You state that you tried to contact Serena, but she did not return your call. You state that you were under time constraints because Serena was soon to deliver, so that you in fact bypassed Serena and spoke to Ms. Ramos, is that correct? If time was of the essence why had you not spoken to the mother instead of someone else? If this adoption is what Serena wanted, there should have been great ease from Serena in this situation, not a pressure to have her sign documentation immediately. Would that be safe to assume?
  6. Did Serena ever make contact with you or your agency regarding the placement of her child? How many times did Serena make contact with you? Why did you not insist that Serena make contact instead of Letty or the adoptive “mother.” At this point it was inappropriate for you to move forward regarding an adoption by someone other than the mother.
  7. If Serena was a willing participant in the placement of her child, why did you not conduct all business with Serena instead of Letty?
  8. Your first visit was between yourself, Letty, and Serena. Is that correct?
  9. To protect Serena, why did you not insist that your meeting be between yourself and Serena?
  10. Was it apparent that Serena was vulnerable at that point?
  11. Did it ever occur to you that Serena could have been counseled by your expertise in waiting until after the birth of her child it were truly her decision for an adoption?
  12. Why would you assume that a Denny’s restaurant and Starbucks were appropriate places to handle something as permanent as an adoption?
  13. Would it not have been an appropriate move to have you excuse Letty at that point? Why was she constantly present?
  14. Your agency states that adoptions are in the “best interest of the birth mother and child” is that correct?
  15. What measures did you take to be absolutely sure that this was Serena’s decision and not that of Letty and her childless friend?
  16. You state that you are a social worker. As a social worker what measures did you take to protect Serena and her child? Did you attempt to keep mother with child?
  17. During the  meetings that took place, did you in fact give little input to assure that the mother and child remain together?
  18. Do you feel a minimum of two visits is extensive enough to make a long-term, life-altering decision?
  19. How did you access that Serena was not coerced, was of sound mind?
  20. How much of a dialog had you had with Serena without Letty present?
  21. How many other birthmothers that you’ve dealt with had a spokesperson who was not a family member do all the speaking for her?
  22. You state that you met with Serena to access her needs. What was the conclusion based on her needs?
  23. You assumed that when you asked Serena why she was choosing adoption and her reply being, ” I’m just mad that I let it get this far and I want it to be over with.” Could that have meant that she wanted the ADOPTION PROCESS to end? Did you even ask her what that statement meant? This was just an assumption on your part that she was referring to her pregnancy. Is that correct?
  24. You assumed that Serena “felt” she was not meant to be a mother at such a young age. Did she state that, or did you assume that is what she meant?
  25. You state that Serena never wavered in her opinion in wanting to give her child up for adoption, yet you state in other portions of your deposition, that the conversation was between yourself and Letty. So Serena could not have said yes or no to the adoption at this point if Letty was doing the speaking for Serena. Is that correct?
  26. You were asked to describe Serena’s demeanor. You state that you had to “coax her.” So that would lead one to believe that Serena may have been sitting silently as the conversation regarding this adoption was between you and Letty. Would that be safe to assume?
  27. You also state that you could “tell” that Serena was not comfortable speaking to a strange social worker that she did not know. With this statement, could this whole situation have been based on the fact she was possibly being led by Letty and not of her own accord?
  28. You had absolutely nothing to base the mental capacity of or the vulnerability that Serena may have been feeling at the time of your first meeting? Should that have been a red flag to further investigate Serena’s state of mind at this time?
  29. Do you believe that fear alone, would indicate that maybe Serena was unwilling to speak for herself because she was an unwilling participant?
  30. You were asked if Serena had any tears as you were discussing the adoption process with Letty. You stated “no.” Why would you assume that a “no” response to tears meant that Serena was the one making her own decision and not that of Letty? The dialog was between yourself and Letty, again. Do no tears mean no sadness?
  31. You state that Serena would be the one to select the adoptive parents. Wasn’t it in fact that she did not choose the couple, as she did not know them, and in fact, that it was Letty who chose them?
  32. Were you aware that the adoptive couple were friend’s of Letty’s sister?
  33. So if Serena was choosing a semi-traditional adoption, shouldn’t you have asked how she came to choose the couple over all the other waiting adoptive couples on a registry list?
  34. You presented Serena with a home study that she was to fill out. Did you find it odd that the only thing in her handwriting was of the very basics, as what personally described herself and the father of the child. The other handwriting was that of someone else, and yourself. The other party being, Letty. Wouldn’t that be an indication that Serena really did not understand what she was signing? And that those answers were from someone else who was arranging this adoption?
  35. You state that Serena checked “semi-traditional” adoption. and that the biological mother is provided with profiles by an agency. How many profiles were given to Serena?
  36. Since the semi-traditional option was supposedly chosen, why was there contemplation the adoptive couple would be seeing the child as soon as the child was born?
  37. Your agency states that there is a 72 Hour waiting period between contact after the birth of a child, and that the child go to a receiving home. Why was this violated? Why was the adoptive couple permitted to see the child prior to that 72 Hours? Why did the child not go to a receiving home? Why were the 72 Hours violated? You state that Serena could not sign any papers severing her parental rights, yet she signed her child to the adoptive couple at the hospital before the 72 Hours were in place. And with the adoptive couple present, wouldn’t this violate Serena’s rights to that 72 Hours? You state that it was your understanding that Serena understood her rights. You made this assumption because you state the wording is “straight forward.” You state she “should have” understood it. How did you make that assumption that she “should” have understood the documentation? Were you aware the adoptive couple violated this 72 Hour waiting period? Should you have not informed the hospital social worker of the 72 Hour waiting  period? If it was your job to make sure that Serena wanted this adoption, why hadn’t you visited her yourself, in the hospital, instead of taking second-hand information from Letty? You also state that if Serena were to take her baby home with her, that she was “not to go off on her own somewhere, that the baby was to be with her.” Where is this stated? Would it be against the law for her to go to the store without her baby, leaving the baby with a responsible family member? Whose rule was this? And where is it written?
  38. Were you aware that following the birth of the child, that Serena was wrapped around her baby, and Letty stated to Serena that the adoptive “mother” had a sad look on her face, therefore Letty continually took Serena’s child out of her arms and handed the baby to the adoptive “mother.” Why were you not involved in that room when Serena gave birth and to handle the proper procedures? Why had you not witnessed for yourself, that in fact, Serena was making this decision on her own?       
  39. After the birth of Serena’s child, did you make sure that Serena would be taken care of after her child was given to the adoptive couple?
  40. Did you know where Serena was to go when she was released from the hospital?
  41. Did you have any alternative placement for Serena, once her child was gone?
  42. Were you aware that after Letty was successful in “giving” the adoptive couple a child, that Serena was no longer welcome in Letty’s home?
  43. Were you aware that once Serena’s child was gone, that Letty threw Serena out of her home, where Serena then lived in her car for a week? 
  44. You state that ‘Serena did not want to get emotionally involved with the home study.’ If that was the case, was it her that answered those questions or someone else? That being Ms. Ramos and yourself.
  45. If she didn’t want to get ‘emotionally involved’ shouldn’t she have left all questions unanswered?
  46. You state that if Serena had any questions that she could reach your agency. But she never made contact with you or your agency in the first place. Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that the person who made first and original contact with you have that information and not Serena?
  47. Did you not hand all information to Ms. Ramos?
  48. Was it ever apparent that Ms. Ramos was the one orchestrating this adoption and not Serena?
  49. You state that Serena was not looking at other options other than adoption, yet in fact, you state that Serena never made contact, and that contact was made by Ms. Ramos. So how do you know that Serena did not look into other options? Did you ask her or did you ask Ms. Ramos?
  50. You state that you prefer to meet with birth mothers alone, and that Serena just sat there. Do you think that may have been an indication that she didn’t immediately speak up and state that she wanted Ms. Ramos there, that there was hesitation, that this could indicate that something was amiss?
  51. Ms. Ramos stated that she and Serena had ‘no secrets.’ But in fact Ms. Ramos did have a secret, she did not make you aware that she was the one who had chosen the Cavallos and not Serena. At any time did you ask Serena how she came to choose the Cavallos?  
  52. When questioned about the home study, you stated that you had not read it word for word to Serena. At this point you took it upon yourself to omit what you felt was not pertinent. You paraphrased the document. Were not these documents generated and provided for, by your agency, to have all information pertinent? So all information should have been read and not paraphrased, correct?
  53. Could you have left out some crucial information?
  54. You state that half of the home study document was only half filled out when it was given to you. If Serena completely understood these documents, then there should have been no need or assistance from you to fill in the blanks, correct?
  55. You stated that you helped fill out questions Serena did not know. So they were your answers and not Serena’s. She just signed, is that correct?
  56. Did Serena read what you had written down or did you just write and ask her to sign?
  57. Knowing that Serena had not graduated, but the documents stated that she did, why did you allow incorrect information to be recorded?
  58. With that fact, could not the rest of the documents have been doctored up by yourself and Ms. Ramos since Serena did not fill in all the blanks?
  59. You state that the handwriting was Serena’s and not yours on the home study. You assumed that the handwriting was Serena’s, when in fact the handwriting was not hers, it was Ms. Ramos.
  60. You made the assumption without being an expert in handwriting. Once again, you went on assumption.
  61. Your testimony is full of holes by making assumptions. When you had no basis to actually say that Serena had no help from others in filling out these documents. It would be safe to assume, that others answered questions, including yourself and that Serena just signed. Would that be safe to assume?
  62. You state that there was a 17 page document and that you went over the whole document with Serena. You state that you read all the questions, but that you did not read them out loud. Why did you not read them out loud? Wouldn’t it have been easy enough to do to see that her answers would be the same?
  63. You state that Serena never asked any questions. Isn’t it odd that not even one question was asked?
  64. You state that you spoke to Ms. Ramos about getting some really important information about Serena’s alleged drug use. Why did you ask Ms. Ramos and not Serena?
  65. Again, all questions for Serena, by you, had been directed through and to Ms. Ramos.
  66. You state that Serena never gave you information herself to you about her alleged drug use. So you took the answers from someone other than the birth mother. Why?
  67. You state that even ten years down the road that if Serena needed counseling that she could call the Adoption Alliance regarding grief and loss issues. Yet when you finally came to realization that something was amiss after Serena and her family had questioned how this adoption took place, your agency was not available, and that in fact your deposition supports that of the Cavallos adopting Serena’s child. Is this the kind of counseling and concerns you and your agency have?
  68. You state that Serena didn’t ‘look like’ she would be calling you at that time for counseling. How does one assume a ‘look’ would indicate that?
  69. How many times during your deposition did you state that Serena and her baby’s well being was of concern to you and your agency?
  70. Your entire deposition supports the rights, and how you handled this case, all in favor of the adoptive parents and not that of the biological mother and child. Is that not correct?
  71. You assumed that Serena had known and chosen the Cavallos to adopt her child, since Ms. Cavallo contacted you. Yet later in your deposition, you state that Serena later on had met the Cavallos at a ‘coffee shop or something like that.’ So earlier you state that a semi-traditional adoption is where the biological mother chooses the adoptive couple. Don’t your statements contradict themselves regarding how the Cavallos came into play?
  72. You state that Serena indicated that she did not want anyone else except the Cavallos to adopt her child. Yet she was not given profiles of others, did not know them, yet somehow the Cavallos were chosen. Did you ask how Serena came to state that no one else was considered?
  73. You state that at Ms. Yturbide’s office, a friend and acquaintance of Ms. Ramos, that Serena stated, ‘she was happy’ with her choice of the Cavallos. Yet you state that she was not ‘real talkative.’ Doesn’t this statement contradict itself? Someone who is happy, would they not seem talkative and not withdrawn?
  74. You state after the last meeting at Ms. Yturbide’s law office, that technically when everything went according to plan, that the Adoption Alliance’s involvement with Serena would be over with. Yet earlier, you state that Serena could contact you even ten years down the road. Which is it? You lead her to believe that she could contact you at any time, yet you state that all involvement would be over with.
  75. You state that Ms. Ramos called you about the birth of Serena’s child. Again, you spoke with Ms. Ramos and not with Serena. Your continued dialog and involvement with this adoption points to you and Ms. Ramos in all arrangements, whether it was signing and filling out documents, setting up meetings, and continued contact. You had plenty of opportunity to speak directly to Serena. Since you state that Serena ‘wanted’ Ms. Ramos present regarding this adoption, and not be in full control, this did not mean that Serena was to be completely bypassed, therefore leaving all conversations between you and Ms. Ramos. Ms. Ramos ‘presence’ versus total involvement and total control of all dialog and meetings would violate her ‘presence’ thereby leaving Serena completely out of the loop. Did you in fact bypass Serena?
  76. You state that you had voice message interaction with a social worker at Washoe Medical Center where the child was born. You then state that upon hearing that the child tested positive for alcohol and meth, that you contacted the Cavallos. Why didn’t you contact Miss Storie first, then the Cavallos? Did it not occur to you that may have been a cry for help and that Miss Storie was not in her right state of mind?
  77. Where was your concern for Serena and her baby?
  78. You state that ‘Letty’ told you that the Cavallos hadn’t seen the child yet. Yet in fact, the Cavallos were immediately present following the birth of Serena’s child.
  79. How did you send out and or receive adoption documents by way of fax? Wasn’t it in fact, that you and Ms. Ramos corresponded through her place of employment? Again, you and Ms. Ramos were in contact, not you and Serena.
  80. You state that after the birth of Serena’s baby that she was upbeat. Where did you get that information? Isn’t it true that Serena was so distraught that everyone was asked to leave the room?
  81. At the round table meeting at Ms. Yturbide’s office, was Ms. Ramos present? How much of an input did Serena have verses that of Ms. Ramos and all others present?
  82. At the signing of documentation when Yturbide red aloud questions, at any time did anyone explain wording i.e. irrevocable. Were the documents in layman terms or in legal jargon?
  83. On documents, Ms. Ramos states that all further contact between Serena’s child and the adoptive couple would be directed through her. Were you aware of this?
  84. You were aware that the father of the child had not yet given up his rights, yet you allowed the child to be taken illegally before all documents were signed.. You aided and abetted an illegal action. Why?
  85. All involved were aware that an illegal action had taken place yet all had turned a blind eye toward this illegal acceptance and adoption of a child. Why did you not stop the adoption process at that point? You were the expert. You should have known that the child should not have been placed at this time. You state that ‘ you knew there was a legal risk ‘ yet you moved forward.
  86. Did you make sure that all Serena’s hospital bills were taken care of before the baby was illegally given to the adoptive couple?
  87. Documents filled out by Ms. Ramos states that if the adoptive couple did not pay all hospital costs, the bills would be paid for by Ms. Ramos or the Adoption Alliance. Is this standard practice?
  88. Are you aware that the bills remain unpaid and that Serena’s wages have been garnished for payment? You state that Serena was fully aware that she would not be responsible for the medical bills. You believed that she had Medicaid, again an assumption n your part. In fact Serena was not covered by Medicaid, she was covered by her parent’s insurance and could not get Medicaid. Were you aware that Letty took Serena to apply for Medicaid? You state that whatever Medicaid did not pay, that the agency and the adoptive couple would pay the bills. Did you follow through and make sure those bills were paid? Are you aware that to date these bills remain unpaid? Should you have done your job fully and have all the payment for costs in place before the child was placed? You just informed Serena that the bills would be paid for, yet you did not provide her with the reassurance and documentation that she would not be responsible for the hospital costs. Why?
  89. You represented the Adoption Alliance and the adoptive couple. Wasn’t it your job to ensure that all bills were paid for before the child was given up for adoption? Or are mothers to fend for themselves regarding paying medical bills?
  90. What follow-up did you take to assure that Serena was not financially trapped once you had her sign all paperwork?
  91. You state that once a document is signed that it is legally binding and not revocable. Does that apply to your documentation stating that Ms. Ramos or the Adoption Alliance would be liable for all medical bills incurred?
  92. At a specific signing, you state that Serena commented about the adoptive couple, immediately following you state Serena made no comments. Which is it?
  93. You state that Serena said she ‘ felt good about the hospital and she felt good about the adoptive couple. Yet a nurse had to ask everyone to leave the room because Serena was so upset. Were you aware of that?
  94. An ICP ( Interstate Compact ) was needed before a child could leave the state, is that correct? Yet after the child was taken out of the state, a second ICP was needed because Serena had not signed the original. Why has the child been let out of the state before the ICP was in place? The second ICP was signed on November 4, much later after the child’s birth on October 22.
  95. You state that during a meeting between yourself , Serena, and Ms. Yturbide, that Serena had not filled out all documents, that in fact Ms. Yturbide filled out the documents. Why were others continually filling out documents if you believe that Serena knew what she was signing throughout the process?
  96. You state that regarding yet another document that you had read that document to Serena, and once again you state ‘ not verbatim.’ Why did you continually omit pertinent information? 
  97. You were asked if you recalled talking to Serena about a 30-Day consent that she may revoke this adoption. You state ‘ no . ‘ You state that Serena read this document, then you state that you once again paraphrased the document. Which part of this document did you omit? 
  98. Were you aware that at the same time Serena was given a 3-Day document saying that she could not revoke her decision?
  99. Which one took precedence?
  100. Serena was given another document stating that she could contact Adoption Alliance and the court to report that she did not want to go through with the adoption within the 30 days. Yet sometime during this meeting, where did a 3-Day non-revocable document come into place?
  101. There seems to be conflicting accounts as to which documents were in place in your presence. Do you recall there being a 3-Day non-revocable document that Serena was given at this time?
  102.  Did in fact Serena sign the 30-Day documentation stating that she may revoke before the 30 days? Yet you stated earlier that you knew the adoptive couple would be taking a ‘ legal risk ‘ by taking the child. Did Serena sign this 30-Day document in your presence?
  103. You state that there were 3 documents stating that all documents were irrevocable. But you also state that you paraphrased and stated that she had 30 days to revoke. Which is it? Which is pertinent?
  104. Did Serena sign both documents? You state she signed both, correct?
  105. You continually state that Serena signed and initialed documentation, yet when you erred in signing a portion of your own documentation, you had to contact Serena. How then could this child been let out of state with important signatures missing by both yourself and Serena. Again, pertinent information was not in place.  
  106. At this point you met with Serena at Starbucks. Could this process have been stopped at that point? Did you inform Serena that she could change her mind at that time?
  107. Why did you feel it was alright for a professional person such as yourself, to have your family present at Starbucks at this time? Did that not violate Serena’s privacy?
  108. Could this meeting have been rushed because of your family being there?
  109. Is it normal procedure for you to bring your family along to such an important matter such as an adoption? You state that there was a snowstorm, in fact there was no storm.
  110. You state that the adoptive couple had driven from Reno to Las Vegas, that they couldn’t leave the state. How did you come to believe that this was appropriate before all documents were signed?
  111. You state that on November 3,you had your boss Jo M. work on the ICP documentation. You state that the adoptive couple were in Las Vegas from the tome they took the child born on October 22 until November 3. Where is the documentation stating that in fact the documents were faxed within Las Vegas and not in California? Did the adoptive couple stay 12 days in the state of Nevada before going home to California? 
  112. You state that you had experience with ICP cases, yet you were fully aware that the ICP was not intact before the adoptive couple took the child, is that correct? You then had to contact your boss. You failed to obtain a crucial piece of documentation, correct? you knew there was a ‘ legal risk ‘ at hand, correct? 
  113. At this time did you inform your boss that you were fully aware that there was risk for the adoptive couple to take the child?
  114. During this whole process, who was representing Serena?
  115. At the time of deposition you state that you had more experience in reunification, that you worked with families to keep children in the care of their biological parents. With your expertise did you offer Serena a plan to keep her child or did you focus only on an adoption and obtaining her signature?
  116. You state that you had limited counseling education, that you just had schoolwork and continuing education units. In your opinion, does this make you a certified counselor in regards to a mother keeping her child? you state that you just had a general education, so you were not qualified to continually state Serena knew exactly what she was signing throughout the ‘ barrage ‘ of paperwork as you state she was given. Is this correct?
  117. You state that you did not explain to Serena that with Letty being present that her confidentiality was being breached. Why did you not inform Serena of this?
  118. Also with your family being present at one of the signings, as your family was walking around, was this not breaching Serena’s confidentiality again?
  119. You state at the time of your first meeting that Serena did not ask a single question and that a fair amount of talking was between yourself and Letty. Do you believe Serena could not speak for herself? Shouldn’t have all your dialog been between yourself and Serena, and not yourself and Letty?
  120. You acknowledge that in fact Serena had not chosen the adoptive couple, that it was explained to you that they were friends of Letty’s sister. Yet you continually state that Serena chose the couple.  
  121. You state that when you had Serena initial or sign her name to documents, that you took her nodding and eye contact as an affirmation that she understood what was being read to her. Yet in fact, are you aware that people who nod and affirm with the eyes, and even smiling, may do so without understanding what is being said? Is this not what people who do not speak our language do so they do not appear to be ignorant? A person of your educational background should be aware of this, shouldn’t they?
  122. As a neutral party, why would you not suggest that a professional party represent Serena and not Ms. Ramos?
  123. What led you to believe that Ms. Ramos had Serena’s best interest at heart?
  124. Did you ask Ms. Ramos of her educational background, especially dealing with an adoption?
  125. Did you ask Ms. Ramos if she was being compensated or given gifts for being involved in this adoption? She in fact was given jewelry, she and her husband treated to dinner , flown to the baby shower, and who knows what else.
  126. Are you aware that according to Nevada State Law, that receiving gifts for the adoption of a child is illegal? And that a person other than the biological parent cannot be involved in the adoption process, regardless of what you were told?
  127. With the faxes coming and going from Ms. Ramos place of employment, the faxes were retrieved by Ms. Ramos and her co-workers, didn’t this violate Serena’s confidentiality with so many people involved?
  128. Would it be appropriate to assume that with so many people involved, that maybe Serena was overlooked and bypassed on an issue of enormous magnitude such as an adoption?
  129. Is it normal procedure to have, for a mother who is in control of herself and child, need so many others involved in an adoption?
  130. At any point did anyone at any of the final documentation signing, ever say to Serena ‘ you may stop at this point if you want to?’  Wouldn’t it have been appropriate to do so?
  131. Did you ever suggest to Serena to take her time reading and signing all the documents that were thrust in front of her? Your statement ‘ no . ‘
  132. You state that you were to see Serena and assess whether she needed counseling, yet you only met with her less than 5 hours throughout several meetings. None of which you were alone. How did you come to the conclusion that she was emotionally stable?
  133. You suggest that if you ‘ sensed ‘ that Serena needed counseling you would have suggested it. What questioning did you use, how many questions were there, and how much time had you allowed to make an accurate conclusion?
  134. You continually use wording such as Serena ‘ feels, or appears ‘ throughout the adoption process. How does one make a decision such as yourself, that you can tell what someone feels, or appears in lieu of verbal expression or concerns? How did you come to rely on your ‘ informed decision . ‘ Are you an expert in non-verbal body language?
  135. Due to you being hired by the adoptive couple, would it be safe to assume that you had their best interest at hand, or you may have felt an obligation towards them?
  136. You state that you are to remain unbiased, yet you state that you are looking at what happens after to the birth mother. Did you in fact follow-up? Were you aware that the mother, Serena was not well and living in her car after Ms. Ramos asked her to leave her home? If you had followed-up, you would have known this.
  137. You state that if you felt it necessary that the birth mother needed counseling that you would suggest it, is that correct? Yet you state that you were under time constraints, so how did you bypass a crucial component in regards to this adoption?
  138. Through the many documents that were signed and not signed, that through all your confusion in not obtaining certain signatures, since you were confused, and ill prepared, and although this is your line of work, would you not believe that Serena was also confused in all the paper signing she did? You continually were faxing and hurrying this adoption. If this was consensual doing on Serena’s part, why was there so much confusion and eagerness to complete these documents?
  139. You were asked if you believed that you should obtain a psychological or psychiatric evaluation of Serena. You stated            ‘ no . ‘ If in fact you had you asked this question, and suggested that some form of professional help be in place that you would have known that Serena was tested immediately when her family was made aware, by a forensic psychologist and that the findings were that Serena ‘ had not known what she was signing. ‘
  140. Who first contacted you regarding this adoption?
  141. How did the adoptive couple first come into contact with your agency?
  142. Were you paid any money in this adoption? If yes, how much and what type of payment was it, fees, charges, etc. Who made the payment?
  143. What was the urgency in this adoption? Why was it that the adoption had to be completed in the 28 Days it took from the time Serena acknowledged her pregnancy and gave birth?
  144. Were you aware that Letty was receiving gifts, jewelry, dinner, a plane ticket, and whatever else SHE received for Serena’s child?
  145. You state that if Serena would have taken her baby home, that she was ‘ not to go off on her own somewhere, that the baby was to be with her. ‘ At this point, no paperwork was final, shouldn’t Serena had been able to do what she chose regarding her own child?
  146. Supposedly, Letty was there for ‘ moral support ‘ for Serena. If Letty was there only for ‘ moral support ‘ , why was she the one handling paperwork, appointments, phone calls, etc.?
  147. Letty states that Serena was 18 and that this adoption was her decision. Then why did she handle every aspect of this adoption? Shouldn’t Serena have handled every aspect herself since she was 18 and of ‘ sound mind ‘ ? Why were you even talking to Letty and asking her questions? Why was Letty involved at all, especially in making decisions and having arrangements being made through Letty and not Serena?
  148. Were you aware that Serena was distraught and crying and asking for her father at the hospital? If so, why was he not contacted as per her request? Her request was completely ignored. Perhaps everyone knew that had he been called and been made aware, this adoption would have come to a screeching halt.
  149. Who called the adoptive couple to notify them of the birth? And when exactly did they arrive? Were you aware that they were there immediately following the birth, violating the Adoption Alliance rule that there shall be no contact with the mother and the couple for the first 72 hours? That time is intended for mother and child to bond. Why was this rule ignored?
  150. Why did you allow Letty to be so involved in this adoption when it wasn’t her child? Therefore, no decisions were hers to make, no gifts were hers to take.
  151. Were you aware that Letty had introduced herself to hospital staff as Serena’s guardian? Therefore she was allowed to make certain decisions? She was not Serena’s guardian and did not have power of attorney over Serena.
  152. Were you aware that Letty and her husband met over dinner with the adoptive couple to discuss the adoption, without Serena even being present? Serena felt uncomfortable and left so once again she was not involved and completely bypassed.
  153. It states in the paperwork that the medical bills would be paid by the Adoption Alliance or the adoptive couple. To date, the medical bills remain unpaid, is that not breach of contract and unjust enrichment?
  154. The Adoption Alliance website states that they seek to help each birth mother not just with an adoption plan, but with an overall life plan. What was Serena’s overall life plan? Was she provided this service? Are you aware that Letty wrote a life plan list of goals for Serena?
  155. Why did you continually go against policy regarding this adoption?

            > did not meet with the birth mother alone

            > took information from and dealt with a third party

            > allowed the adoptive couple contact with the baby prior to the

                72 Hour Rule?

           > faxing paperwork to a third party

           > allowing the adoption to go through knowing of the ‘ legal risk. ‘

           > allowing the adoptive couple to take the baby even though the 

               birth father had signed no paperwork

           > left the birth mother over $20,000 in debt

           > handling this adoption at such absurd places such as                  

               Denny’s and Starbucks

 

We Have Questions, They Give No Answers

I hardly ever write during the day, but I found a few moments to sneak away and get some things off my mind.

> How did the Douglas County Courthouse ever get away with this?

> Why was this woman setting up an adoption of all things while on the clock at her ticket and  scheduling window?

> Was it not Douglas County’s responsibility to protect my sister and her baby by not allowing one of their employees to do such a thing to them?

> Why have they not been held accountable for what they did to our family?

> Why have they pushed our very serious allegations aside as if this is something that should not have been fully investigated?

> Why is this woman still working there, typing our names in and able to keep tabs on all of us?

> What else has she done from that ticket window?

> Why did we find out that Judge EnEarl resigned for years of misconduct years after we brought our case to his attention? Obviously he cared nothing about the morality and legality of our situation.

> Why does Douglas County just ‘ not get to answer ‘ our questions and prove to us that this adoption was legally done on their premises by a woman licensed to do so? Are they aware of the ‘ goodies ‘ this woman got from the adoptive couple as a result of this adoption?

> Whose desk are our police reports just sitting on? Are they not required to investigate and respond to our reports?

> Do they know Judge Gamble told me ‘ this entire building has been infested by what she’s done ‘ . He had to make it known that Letty had involved him prior to the case coming to him so the opposing attorney had the right to have him recuse himself from the case, immediately after, he stated that he ‘ was going to do what was in the best interest of the child ‘ . No sooner than the words left his lips, the opposing attorney requested a new judge. I guess he knew that ‘ best interest of the child ‘ meant staying with her natural family, that all showed up and took up a row of seats.

> Why can no one do anything about it? Every office I’ve dealt with has told me that Douglas County would have to do an investigation because it’s their jurisdiction. Do they understand that Douglas County doesn’t want to explain how such an adoption took place, why adoption forms were being faxed to and from her office, why phone calls were made to and from her office, why the pregnant teen was her former neighbor and living at her house, why she was meeting with the adoptive couple, why she made all meetings and appointments in the 28 days this adoption took place in, why the couple flew her to the baby shower as the ‘ guest of honor ‘ , why the couple gave her an engraved Tiffany & Co. bracelet that read ‘ to auntie Letty .’   Why my sister’s hospital bills remain unpaid, her wages garnished, her daughter gone, thanks to Letty’s ‘ help .’

> Do they know the agency that handled the adoption lost their license to practice less than a year after we brought our allegations to them, for reasons they will not disclose?

> Is ‘ Adoption for Profit ‘ in the employee handbook?

> Why are our allegations not ‘ serious ‘ enough to be fully investigated?

 

> Why?

 

> Why?

 

> Why?

Somewhere Between Lovely and Lunacy

If it weren’t for this, life would be good.

Beautiful kids, lovely home, garden, nice car, many people who love me and multiple proposals, two great simultaneous careers: teaching preschool and event planning.

Writing a book that is nearly ready for print. I vacation several times a year, recently escaped to the Eastern Caribbean, another getaway to Hawaii soon.

I have a niece and nephew that no one can take from me. I’m creative, smart, one-of-a-kind Pisces girl, throwing a baptism for 6 in a few months, and much to my excitement, all the boxing! I’m a huge fan and I feel so spoiled with the recent fights of Pacquiao, Cotto, and upcoming Canelo fight. I’m the world’s greatest hostess for the fights, UFC, and Superbowl. Tons of food ( and I cook the best) a huge television with a Bose sound system, fire pit with chairs in the backyard, pool table, Dominoes, darts, and loud music in the garage. As long as I can remember, people have always come to my house for celebrations and kick-backs because no one does it better. 

It has taken me so long to fight back, to want to be alive, to want to smile. I keep thinking back to my life before all this happened. It was normal, whatever that means.

Then one day, the carpet got yanked out from underneath us and nothing would ever be the same again. It changed absolutely everything. After that point, I felt like everywhere I went, I needed security. I know it sounds odd, but it just means that anything can happen at any given time. If only I could have security for everyday life, to protect me from all the bad things in the world, all the awful things people do to each other without a second thought.

So life went from things like toasting ‘ to love’ and being VIP everywhere I went (which is everywhere) to breaking everything I could get my hands on in the house. Many dishes and decorations were casualties of this bizarre circumstance. A lot of screaming and crying, weeping, begging, praying.

It’s been so up and down, and it made a lot of people lose a lot of things. Marriages, miscarriages, great jobs, friends, homes, smiles, happiness, senses of well-being. I have always lived by ‘ Trust None ‘ and though I’m bouncing back, it unfortunately remains true.

Slowly the cynical is being chipped away. Other than God, I really leaned on myself to get through this. I didn’t want to burden friends, I had a partner who was clueless and careless, I didn’t want to further break the hearts of those I loved so I couldn’t speak of it. After all this time, I’m finally realizing I am strong, and I have made it this far. I haven’t given up for one single moment. Each day I thank God and when I finally lie down, I think ‘ one day closer . ‘

One day, life will again be sweet. No distractions of anything adoption. I won’t have to say the ‘ A ‘ word, I won’t have to carry it on my shoulders, and it won’t give me any more nightmares. I just want to be free of this. I want myself back, I just want everything to be okay again.