art display in local library in Hawaii done with my son's grade 3 class (author taught art as volunteer at this school) These were self portraits
One of the main features I noticed during this time was the severe blow of 'don't talk'. I had worked as a volunteer in Toronto in the boys' kindergarten class, and the teacher there had a saying. Everyone in the class stopped when she said it and it was this, "That's not happening."
When children are taught to not report what has happened to them they lose significant power.
Before I left for Hawaii, there were several attempts to keep me in Ontario, and one of them was a threat that my son could not play football unless I did what my former partner and his lawyer said. This was in an email. My son eventually made his own choice and returned for school. I made sure his tuition was paid for the last 18 months, and so were the bills and mortgage so that he could finish. This was my job.
While I had been in Ontario, two lawyers, my former partner's Hawaii lawyer and his Ontario lawyer contacted my older son, had him taken out of school and brought to court. This happened 2 times. Both children were used in court. My older son clearly did not want to do this, but he was contacted by 3 methods, and driven by a fourth adult, picked up from school. He was alone at this time. I learned of this when I returned to Hawaii, to my son.
When the lawyer threatened my status, my lawyer and I continued the appeal in Ontario. Once my son graduated high school we both returned to Ontario. I had rented a cottage on the lake that we had lived on in the summers for 18 years. The boys came a few times, but then I found myself waiting outside an empty apartment. A neighbor told me the boys and father had moved.
At this time not only did I have custody, but both jurisdictions had said the best place for the divorce hearing was Hawaii. Unless I contacted police I would not know if my son was safe.
During July, I had gone to have the judge help return my son. I found out that I could not see him because he was seeing a lawyer. In court, a judge condemned this action, and endorsed the Toronto Children's Aid to help 'reintegrate' my son and myself. This word was strange, but I went to the agency to make an appointment.
In a subsequent hearing over the wording of the order (and endorsement is then written into an order) another judge suggested the signature wasn't the judge of the endorsement. He looked at me. At first I thought he meant that the person who took the order to the judge had forged the signature instead of taking it to the judge. I said, but he would lose his job. Then I realized he meant me.
The endorsement judge, who had also condemned the child lawyer, and this lawyer left the hearing on the spot, the judge was on holidays. I told the judge I stood in front of, go call him. Ask him if it is his signature. At this time, my former partner's lawyer (my former partner was not present) said she wanted money for the forgery. She demanded 2,000. in costs. The judge left and the lawyer continued to demand 2,000. speaking derogatorily and directly to me though I had moved my chair around. The judge had said through the Registrar he would not return. My former partner's lawyer demanded that he return, which he did. I said to the judge, do you see what is going on here?
The judge said, yes. He left again to rewrite the order and it came back without him. I went upstairs to tell the head clerk, who had taken the order to the first judge to sign and he said, but I told her I took it down to the judge to sign.
I discovered at this time, as I was preparing to go to a meeting at the Toronto Children's Aid Society, that our meeting was cancelled. I would not be 'reintegrated' with my son because the affidavits taken by the lawyer who had been dismissed by the judge were sent to the Toronto Children's Aid Society. The reintegration would not take place. There was to be an investigation because of these affidavits which were sent, it appears by my former partner's lawyer. I was told by the case worker, who had now been assigned to a 'case' that the investigation could take up to 45 days.
The judge's orders were never carried out. Though the judge stated in his endorsement that I had everything necessary and no further orders were needed for me to take my son, it was to not happen.
My discovery that my son was missing, that he was no longer in the apartment I had been picking him up at, came shortly after this. Then I went to the police to discover where my son was.