Katie has done nothing but lament about how the grands are utterly miserable in the shelter, how they are constantly crying and asking to return to grandma and grandpa's, how their behavior there is so out of control, that they demand to know why they have to live in the shelter, why their parents don't have jobs, why they don't have a place to live, why they won't be having an xmas........The children's belongings are being stolen. (I don't believe that but whatever) Evan contracted ringworm and I know lice must have been an issue as M and the boys came to us on Thanksgiving with their heads shaved........there was no cash for haircuts. All the while Katie complains how utterly horrible their suffering makes her feel. During her last email in which she not only indulged yet again in self pity but actually took a nose dive off the deep end into it........... Well I attempted 3 times to respond to the email. I wound up waiting at least a day to respond. I did my utter best to ignore her whining and complaining and the poor pity lil ol me routine.......... Then my gut said to make the offer for the grands to stay here until they found jobs and a place to live. So while I used all my powers of make nicey nicey and such talking about xmas plans ect I happened to slip in that if the grands continue to have such a hard time adjusting to shelter life and it looks like they will be there a while, the grands.........and ONLY the grands.......can come here to stay until they get their acts together. I explained I can't take on all 5 of them but I could manage the children. I didn't say how I could do this, just that I could. I hit the send button before I had a chance to change my mind. This whole deal has been handled by listening to my gut instinct. After that I started a journal to record Katie's activities/behavior and things occuring/not occuring with the kids while they have been here. I meant to start this a long time ago, but couldn't seem to find the time. When making a report at cps here at least, they want dates and times and details.......and we all know my memory is not what it was even a few years ago. Keeping a journal will help me recall things when the pressure is on. A mistake I made the first time around when I had to attempt to go back over an 18 month period of time and recall all the ways Katie abused and neglected the kids. ugh (and I had an awesome memory in those days) While doing this........my brain was working on another tangent. I don't know about other people but I tend to do this. lol This was because I have no way of knowing if such an offer will cause Katie to run. So I'm typing and thinking. Typing up what has happened makes me think of more things... What are Katie's motivations? That kept popping into my head. Last time I suspected it was to dump Kayla........or rather force my hand to assume custody of Kayla thereby she is the victim and I am the big bad step mom and she still does not have a child she has to care for that she never wanted nor bonded with. While I suspected it strongly......I had trouble accepting it. It is a truly unsettling thought to someone with as strong a maternal instinct as I have. I won't go into details because it's long and rather involved but I witnessed enough physical abuse and neglect during the months before Alex's birth that I had to move the then infant Kayla into mine and husband's room to protect her from her mother during the nights. I had refused to care for Alex for a period of time after his birth hoping she would bond with him. Instead I got phone calls that made no sense, would impossible for an infant so young to have done to himself, and if the injuries were happening, he had to be being physically abused. Again I couldn't shake the feeling that she actually wanted me to take custody of the kids. Otherwise why on earth would you call the very woman who had already reported you to cps twice since you had arrived and had an arrangement with the grands pediatrician doctor that she would contact you if there was any evidence of abuse or neglect........to tell you that newborn Alex jumped out of the infant swing, fell out of the infant swing, rolled off the bed, and if that wasn't enough there were the phone calls she dropped him. The injury every time was always the head. (this is when I yet again made a report to cps......needed to do the 18 month of background........and cps decided not to take it seriously probably because by that point I already had the kids 12 hrs a day while she was supposed to be working which she wasn't) Not long after that M moved back in with her. Phone calls about Alex stopped. Either he told her to stop making them, because I doubt the abuse stopped, or whatever. The neglect continued until she took off with M and ran back to Mo. to what we now know was to mooch off her biomom. So with that in my head I think to myself what are her motivations this time? Katie was told there were scant few jobs to be found in the area due to extremely high unemployment rates. She was told the shelters were over crowded due to people losing their homes ect. She was told in no uncertain terms that they would NOT be allowed to live with any member of the family repeatedly. So her motivation to move here with no income, no place to go, and no cash would be what? 1. Finding a job and a place to live. Please I'm sure we're all certain by now that this was not nor is not her motivation or M's. 2. Mooching and living off family Katie is not as stupid as she lets on. She is manipulative as hades given half the chance. The only person she has never been able to be manipulative with is me because I see right through it every time. She knows this as well. So she knew in no uncertain terms she would never be allowed to stay long term with her dad and I. She also knows me well enough to know that not even the grands would be able to guilt me into changing my mind once it was set. 3. Dumping the kids on us. Since 1 and 2 are not it that leaves good ol' number 3. Actually not a surprise. My gut told me that was what she was working toward with her sudden unexpected reunification two and a half years ago. Many of you saw the warning signs as well. So we can't just dismiss it as wishful thinking or Hound dog paranoia. I continue to type and think. How is she to get a way with such a thing when she knows I will not let them stay here? If the kids did come to stay here, still how would she manage it? She has no cash, is obviously not looking for work to make any. Her biomom is broke and living with a friend. And biomom would have to be dealt with if Katie returned with no kids. How would she explain it? As I'm typing M's voice pops into my head that he is a pro at hitchhiking. It dawns on me that you can't hitchhike well with 3 kids in tow. Five people are a lot to pick up for a ride. If the kids were here there wouldn't be that problem. So transportation figured out, where would they go? If they returned to Mo they would have to explain to biomom and most likely cps where their children are. Katie always (since the age of 3 people I'm not kidding) has had to be the victim. So what better way to be rid of the kids and place the blame on husband and I for taking them from her by taking advantage of their joblessness and homelessness? Plausible excuse. husband and I get to be the bad guys. Katie gets what she wants and gets to be the victim yet again. The scenario that played out in my head clicked so well I got cold chills down my spine. So then I had to consider M in all of this. Because while the kids are a burden, he also clearly sees them as his meal ticket. He is too stupid to realize that people no longer pity them due to the children. They see how old Kayla and Alex are and any sympathy they have vanish because they should have their act together already they have been parents for 10 yrs. He may have other reasons that I'd rather not only not think about as it makes me violently ill. Still, I have my doubts if this is the plan, he has any clue about this part. He might, but his attitude with the meal ticket thing causes me to wonder. Also the last time Katie came here I know for certain he was not in on any plan to dump the kids. Not but a couple of weeks after Katie arrived I received a phone call from biomom who was hysterical because M had just paid her a visit and he was distraught with worry over Kayla. (not Katie, Kayla) The man is no actor, I don't think he could act if his life depended on it. But he kept asking where Katie was because he was terrified for Kayla. Now biomom had not seen Katie since she was 7 months preg with Kayla when she tried to get Katie to leave M, she had not even known the sex of her grandchild. Biomom demanded he explain what had happened and he told her that Katie had disappeared with the baby and that he was terrified for Kayla as he was the only one who cared for her, Katie refused to have anything to do with the baby at all and she was addicted to meth. Now I'd heard some horror stories about M around that time......but I had to tell biomom that what he said rang true as Katie showed zero interest in Kayla, fed her only when told to do so.......and didn't seem to have a clue what she was doing yet Kayla was 4 months old! My theory is Katie came here 10 yrs ago to rid herself of the child she never wanted. To minimize the guilt of such an act, and because she has a serious love/hate relationship with biomom, she wanted me to take Kayla while she played victim and could resume her life. Then it was confirmed she was pregnant with Alex and that put a hitch into her plans as she couldn't even consider abortion at that point in the pregnancy. She couldn't/wouldn't go to biomom. She didn't want to return at that time to M. She had no where to go so she simply stayed......and figured she'd get me to take the new baby too. But M showed up not long after biomom called me because she has a big mouth and told him Katie was safe at her dad's house. Over the months prior to Alex's birth he attempted to get back together with her. Now this is where it gets a bit twisted so bear with me. I don't believe Katie ever intended to leave M permanently the first time around. I think Kayla cramped her relationship with M and her fun with whatever drugs she was taking and she fully intended to dump her. Because M saw the baby as a big fat meal ticket, he wouldn't allow such a thing to take place. So she left him behind. I think she knew she was pregnant when she came here but was playing the denial card up until I forced her to go to the doctor. (because I knew she was pregnant) M showed up and complicated the plan even further as he was doing everything he could think of to get her to come back to him and she had to keep their meetings secret in order to keep up the pretense she had left him behind to us. I think when Alex was 2 1/2-3 mos old he finally wore her down. I know from neighbors this is when he actually moved into the apartment with her. My guess is that he convinced her, and unfortunately since the state of ohio was bending over backward to help her at the time flooding her with all sorts of services, that as long as they had the kids they were home free. So as soon as they scraped, borrowed, or stole enough cash they up and vanished back to Mo. What neither of them realized is that the vast majority of services she was receiving are not available in Mo, are available here because we are considered part of the Appalachians and get extra govt programs due to it. So it didn't quite work out the way M planned. However once M re-entered the picture, Katie put an ace in her pocket by suddenly re-uniting with biomom. The moment she did that I knew the plan was to return to Mo. Nine months later she proved me right. Telling me non stop how much the kids are suffering in the shelter and how they are begging to return to my house she knows is useless if it is an attempt for all 5 of them to be here. It will never happen. She knows it. I know it. She had her chance during that week they were broke and M couldn't keep up the act and blew it the moment money entered the picture. Katie knows I can't tolerate mooching from anyone (charity during hard time is one thing, mooching is a whole other matter) including family. This is why she lied to me over her mother living with them and supporting them over the past 5 yrs. So what is the guilt for then? To make me feel bad enough for Kayla and Alex to ask for them to stay here. It is the only thing that make sense. Because she's been sending me this **** for 2 wks and for 2 wks I've made not so much of a hint they can return as a family. The idiot that M is, even he would be able to see in that amount of time if that was the goal it was not working. Sigh. So there it is............at the risk of me sounding more than a bit paranoid. lol You would think that after suspecting this as Katie's motivation for 10 yrs that it would no longer hurt. But I find to even suspect that she is capable of throwing her children away like so much garbage hurts on such a deep level that I can't find words for it. Instinct and her actions for years have indicated this was most likely the plan and still I found it so hard to accept that I tried to push it out of my mind or making excuses that I was reading much more into her actions or just plain being paranoid. You would think after my own childhood I would know better than most that such things are not only possible they happen everyday, still there is the desire to believe, a very strong desire to believe, I'm reading more into it than what is there. Yet the part of myself that tells me right from wrong tells me that I've hit the nail on the head. Do I think it will be all 3 kids? Maybe. But after reading her mails from the shelter ect I don't think so. I think she intends on dumping the older two and leaving with Evan. Evan she is not really complaining about it is Kayla and Alex, even to the point of blaming the older two for causing Evan to misbehave. Either they believe Evan is still young enough to be a meal ticket that doesn't badger them with uncomfortable accusations/questions while telling school staff ect enough to get them into trouble with cps.......or they actually have some sort of warped bond with him and don't want to leave him behind. M for whatever reason seems closely attached to Evan and vice versa. And as I said before, M may not be in on the plan to dump the kids. If Katie is being honest about his inability to read she can tell him whatever she wants and he will believe her. Then she can play broken-hearted victim and they can go running to wherever it is they plan to try their hard luck case on next. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out shelter spots for 3 are far easier to get than shelter spots for 5, same for getting people to give you rides and let you stay with them. Biomom told me 10 yrs ago that she strongly believed that Katie was schizophrenic, as was biomom's mother who passed away in a mental hospital for the criminally insane while Katie was in high school. She believed Katie to be as severely mentally ill as her mother had been, had recognized cold calculated behaviors in Katie that she had seen in her mother. Biomom begged me then to take the grands if I ever got the chance. That had a major impact on me then, it still does today. I've seen many of the behaviors myself then and I've caught glimpses of her stepping over the point of maintaining now. Biomom didn't say, but I believe she attempted to get Katie to seek help, I think this is why they were estranged the first time she came here. If it is even so much as hinted that Katie should see either a therapist or psychiatrist she goes ballistic, seriously, so much so I don't broach the subject with her. The insane never believe they are insane. Most likely the street/OTC medications are to self medicate. Unfortunately it explains many behaviors that are otherwise unexplainable..........and heaven above knows I've had a lifetime of experience with schizophrenia. So that is what I believe the plan to be. That is what my gut tells me it is. M may or may not be party to it. I've seen enough of their behavior together to suspect M's role is mainly that of Katie's lapdog anyway. He is too dependent on her to put up any real objection to anything she does or does not want to do. I could be wrong I suppose. After what the grands have lived through over the past years......I actually hope I have hit the nail on the head as it will make it all the easier to gain custody of them and remove them from a life of hades. The refusal to allow Evan even to sleep over was a(either conscious or subconscious) warning he is not part of the bargain. If they run once the grands are here, I won't be able to do much to get him, yet I can't really force them to allow him to stay either. Before I refused to play the game according to her rules. Kayla and Alex have suffered for 8 yrs because I refused to be the bad guy and an additional child also became a victim. The game is in play once again and the ball is now in her court as I gave her the invitation for the kids to stay here with us. Due to Katie's need for drama and to play the victim role she may need to be asked multiple times before taking the offer. A mother who cares for the welfare of her children would jump at such an invitation given the circumstances. A woman with a plan will run as soon as the opportunity arises once the children are in place. Dear God I hope I did the right thing. I pray I didn't act too soon and she runs.