Hi Senator, We got acquainted over the phone when you were working on .... Now that I have introduced myself I wanted to comment on the case of (Lilly and her grandparents and great-grandparents.)
I have been friends with Ralph and ----------- (great-grandparents)for 32 years. After reading your blog I thought you should know a few things about them.
They were young parents which is allowing them a great grand child at a earlier time than most of us. They are physically active and not decrepit old fogy's as the blog might insinuate. They ski, hike, swim, sew and garden and much, much more. These are inspirational people who can give the child much more than money.
Ralph and ------- are both from genetic stock that enjoys longevity so it is very unlikely she will be orphaned in her youth as suggested in the blog. "Lilly" has stability now. Please take the time to meet them. I would be happy to arrange a meeting for you. I am sure you will find the child is in a safe, loving home with a good future. Thanks for your time. I appreciate your effort in our States affairs.
This letter really saddens me. Age and money are not the issues here. The state took the child from a family through a series of lies. Lilly was stable in the home of her grandparents. A whole new in-home study was ordered because the first was so full of lies. But the new study was too late for any use. The state was going to adopt out this little girl to a non-bio foster parent. (The foster woman, by the way, filed a complaint against me because I blogged about Lilly and tried to get the child placed with relatives. The Senate Ethics Committee dismissed the case but this illustrates that many people want a beautiful, perfect, blue-eyed, well behaved 4 year-old.) People will fight for the children that are in the families of others. And, they get really mad when anyone wants to take away what they have.
My position has always been that the state took the girl with lies and she should be returned.
It is not in the interest of the state to return Lilly. They would undoubtedly be sued for stealing the kid. Let's all understand that. And...let's all understand that the state needs to follow the law. Where and when does that start? Right after this case? Are we to be selective in when we start doing what is right? Doing what is right is sometimes really inconvenient. And, in this case there would be another set of grandparents (Ralph and _______) who would have their hearts broken. They have grown attached...to a little girl who has the right to stability...she certainly does. She also, like all citizens, has the expectation that the protections of the law will be with her.
I personally notified the Attorney General that Ralph and ________ are biological relatives and would take the child rather than have her in foster-adopt. I made many calls and pushed hard for the state to put Lilly with family. At that time the great-grandparents liked the grandparents. They did not want to raise another child. They had "already raised" their own, I was told, but they were certainly willing to make sure the child was not adopted out to a non-relative. In fairness to readers and to the author of the email...there were many problems with the children the great-grandparents raised. And, also with the grandson they raised. So, it is hardly fair for anyone to criticise the Willards for problems their daughter has had. I talked with Lilly's great-grandmother myself. She had been in Mexico while all the drama of the taking had occurred. I am told by the grandmother that in the child's three years the great-grandparents had only visited 3 or 4 times. Clearly, to know her was to love her.
Once the higher than me level politicians entered the picture, CPS had to place with the greats and became motivated to avoid a lawsuit. It was easy to convince the great-grandparents that the grandparents were not suitable and that they would be doing everyone a favor if they kept the child. Ralph and wife fell in love with this sweet girl. (I believe she was is so sweet because of the love and care of the Willards who raised the child as grandparents from her birth gave her.)
The issue here is that the state saw a child with poor grandparents. The state had a predetermined placement with the foster-adopt who put in an order for a blond, non-drug affected, three-year old. The state lied and took the child. The state placed her in foster-adopt and said they would do a "fast one." Mrs. Willard (grandmother) informed me there was a rich great-grandmother who was politically influential. I called the great-grandmother who was complimentary of her deceased grandson's in-laws and was appalled that the state would place the girl with a foster-adopt. Notice that besides all the lies the department told, under regional director, Randy Hart, they did not seek relative placement! They did not do that because they wanted to give the child away and saw that Lilly's family had little ability to resist. It was an easy take...wasn't it Randy? How about the person who wrote the lies? Was there even a reprimand? The department has taken the position that they "cannot return the girl." It would be too expensive to do what is right at this point. They would get sued and certain political leaders would not want the influential great-grandparents offended. These are not good reasons. CPS wrongly took this child. But, the state will argue otherwise. And, the great-grandparents have decided to fight for Lilly. They have the money and influence.
To the person who wrote the emailed letter, to the great-grandparents, to the state, and to a dear State Senator friend (someone who has fought this fight elsewhere...who I know believes the state often lies and cheats to steal kids), I have this to say:
The state of Washington needs to do what is right. They took a child through lies. They should be held accountable for the damage they have done. We do not base our laws on money and status and hurt feelings. We do have a system that counts on government accountability. Unfortunately, CPS is not accountable to anyone. They have free and seasoned attorneys who go about their work. Lilly was not abused in any way. There was no accusation of that.
Neither the great grandparents or the grandparents are perfect. Let's remind ourselves that none of us are. The state should not be involved in moving children to satisfy quotas or affect the family structure (whatever that might be) of the child. The state wanted to place Lilly with a single, under 30 woman...who attacked me (nice lady, right?). They decided that was better than a grandparent couple. It should be noted that everyone here has this child in daycare but the grandparents. That matters.
The department has managed to shove a gigantic wedge between the greats and the grands. How sad is that? But my solution would be simple. Return the child to her grandparents. And the great-grandparents, if they really love the child as they say they do, should begin to help with some of the expenses.
All of the relatives in this case are Christian people. Perhaps there should be some introspection. My senator friend is a Christian...I am a Christian though some don't like the brand. You right the wrong! You forgive! You love not hate! Have your holidays together. Have the greats occasionally take Lilly on fun trips. Let them go out to the island as often as they want. Now that they love her maybe they would be motivated to do that.
And to the writer of the email: You know, I just try to do what is right. I hope to God I stand on principle. He will judge me and I am sure you feel he will judge you. He will judge all involved. Please look up that part about the "eye of the needle" and the camel of old. It is in the Book. Go there for your answers. No...this child can not be split. But, Mrs. Willard brought the great-grandparents to my attention KNOWING that once they saw the girl they would want her. Kind of like the story of old. Isn't it? Maybe there will be an honest judge.