by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
For a young Washington Couple that has been fighting for their family over medical kidnapping and medical marijuana use for the last two years, the year 2021 has already been a whole lot different than 2020.
22-year-old Sophia Rosas, and her fiancé, Sean Kilkenny, of Bremerton are definitely grateful for the change.
See our previous stories about this family:
Washington Couple Harassed Over Medical Marijuana Use – Children Kidnapped and Allegedly Scheduled for Adoption
Judge Orders Terrorized Toddler Medically Kidnapped from Parents over Medical Marijuana Use Returned to Family’s Custody
Washington Mom Fights to Get Son Back Who Was Wrongfully Taken Away Due to Her Medical Cannabis Treatment
Sophia and Sean last appeared in court on November 23rd, 2020.
At that hearing, the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families fought against changing Sophia’s visits with her oldest son, Zurius, from supervised at the office to in-home visits.
Through their attorney, Rachel Van Strayhorn, the department continued to argue that because Sophia kept missing visits with Z, due to her chronic gallbladder condition, that she shouldn’t have visits in her home.
But the judge disagreed.
To the joy of the family, and all that attended the ZOOM hearing as court support, Commissioner Matthew Clucas sided with Sophia and her attorney, Andrew Makar, who argued that the only issue with visits is that they were in the department’s office and not in the home.
Clucas ordered that in-home visitation begin immediately with the next visit the following week.
However, in true CPS fashion, that visit was delayed for nearly another week as Social Worker, Desiree Hovland, claimed they did not have a supervisor who could attend the previously scheduled visit. Sophia says,
“They didn’t even let me call my son and tell him the visit wouldn’t happen. So yet again, the department came between me and my child. They made my child think I don’t care about his feelings!”
But their delay tactics couldn’t last forever when it was court ordered to happen and on December 3rd, 2020, Zurius arrived at his mother’s home for the first time in two years.
Sophia was ecstatic to receive a longer than normal visit, spending four exciting hours with BOTH of her babies in her own home, instead of the 2 hours in a cramped supervision office.
“It was amazing to say the least. My baby was so happy to be here in our home. He remembered so many things that were in our old place, and he told me how happy he was to be with me and Riley, and that Riley was HIS baby.”
Brothers, Z and Riley, had only met twice before this visit, and despite their closeness in age, barely knew each other. The department’s involvement in the life of this family had prevented the boys from forging a bond, an issue that is now quickly being remedied thanks to the determination and perseverance of their mother.
Through the month of December, the visits were quickly changed from completely supervised to merely monitored in the home, where a social worker checks in throughout the visit instead of staying in the home for the duration.
Sophia’s mother Aysha was allowed to join the visits, finally seeing her grandson Z for the first time since February 2020- when he had been taken from kinship placement with Sophia’s sister and placed with strangers in foster care.
Thriving at home with his parents, Baby Riley took his first steps and is now walking everywhere. The boys were able to spend Christmas Eve together with Sophia, opening presents together for the first time since Z was a baby.
Despite these changes, Sophia’s relationship with the department remains slightly contentious.
At one point, social workers tried to tell Sophia that she couldn’t have home security cameras recording the visits with Zurius, despite the judge having told her and Sean that they had every right to record in their own home.
When Sophia wouldn’t budge on the cameras, they relented and Sophia received an email that stated when another new social worker, Lance Smith, took over the case, he would be wearing a GO PRO when he visited the home so the department could record too.
Sean’s mother and Riley’s grandmother, Jennifer, who had originally been approved by the court to begin visits with Zurius, was denied her visits by the department. Sophia must now take the issue back in front of Commissioner Clucas, despite that he has already ruled on the matter.
There is still a long way to go to get Zurius home for good and the department out of their lives, but things are definitely looking up for the family compared to this time last year when Z was ripped from kinship placement, and Riley was out of the home too.
The Termination of Parental Rights hearing that was supposed to happen in September, the one that provoked Sophia to take over her own cases and start fighting for her children, continues to be postponed – most recently from January 4th to January 27th, 2021.
The hearing is now scheduled for the same day as the review hearing for both boys’ cases. The petition was also originally scheduled to be heard by a different court, but is now also being heard by Commissioner Clucas, in addition to the review of the CPS cases.
Sophia is excited for court coming up this week, and hopes for even more changes to the case. The docket includes her motion for joinder and motion for Z’s return home.
The department has been against his return since she filed for it last fall, claiming Sophia is inconsistent with visits as the reason he should stay out of the home.
Sophia says that she has only missed one visit since in-home visits began in December – but due to a doctor’s appointment that could not be missed.
She says it is time for Z to come home.
The department has said for months that there isn’t a bond between the mother and child, and that this is why Sophia’s rights to her son should be terminated; but little Zurius’ own words tell a different story.
“My poor THREE YEAR OLD CHILD made it a point to tell me that he goes home and cries because he can’t see me and be home. He cries and I can’t be there for him. My CHILD is being absolutely TRAUMATIZED. He is mad at me because he thinks I DON’T WANT HIM.
Now tell me, would a child that has no bond with his mother run and hide in their room so they didn’t have to leave? Would a child and mother cry separately because they can’t be with each other if they had no bond to one another?”
Unfortunately, Sophia learned recently that someone in Z’s foster home has potentially been exposed to COVID and the family is being quarantined for 14 days; making it so she has to miss visits for the entire duration and might not see Z again until a week after court. She says, unlike her previous social workers,
“Lance Smith accommodated a wonderful phone call yesterday, with no problem. He also set up zoom visits for the next visitation days. I’ll be able to see Z again February 1st.”
The family hopes that it won’t be anything more than a small delay in reunification with Zurius. All are praying that the judge will order the TPR petition dismissed, and for Z to be returned home as soon as the quarantine is over.
Family advocate, Serra Frank, says,
“Riley has been home for several months and is doing great. He is very obviously a very happy baby at home with his parents. If Sean and Sophia can safely parent one child, then they can safely parent BOTH children. It is time to rip off the bandage and send Zurius home where he belongs so that they can all finally start to heal.”
“I have a lot of faith in court on Wednesday. I have a lot of faith that the commissioner will make the right choices and see how hard we’ve been trying, and will just send our son home. It’s been a long 27 months, and it’s time for us to start family therapy. It’s time for us to mend, and it’s time for us to move on together as a family. Between our little family, and the rest of our family, we’re just this village at a standstill until we get our big boy. My son needs his stability back, and the only way to get that is to come home.”
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HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Attend the Next Online Court Hearing:
Commissioner Matthew Clucas – 9AM Wednesday 1/27/21
Juvenile Dependency Zoom Meeting Information
Meeting ID: 448 406 187
Call In: (253) 215-8782 / Meeting ID: 448 406 187
Online Court Support Facebook Event Page – https://fb.me/e/22j0Y8PAk
Sign the petition to send Zurius home – https://www.change.org/p/washington-dcyf-send-zurius-home
Additional petition – www.change.org/fight4zandriley
Family Support Page – www.facebook.com/fight4zandriley
Family Donation Account – www.fundrazr.com/fight4zandriley
Washington Governor Jay Inslee: https://www.governor.wa.gov
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler
345 6th Street Suite 600
Bremerton, WA 98337
Representative Dan Griffey: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/memberEmail/35/1
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7966
Senator Tim Sheldon: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/memberEmail/35/0
PO Box 40435
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7668
Fax: (360) 786 – 1999
Senator Patty Murray: https://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/mobile/contactme
Senator Maria Cantwell: https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact
Representative Derek Kilmer: https://kilmer.house.gov/contact/email-me
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