Wish us luck.
I have been sitting on a secret since about a week after Christine died.
Some weeks ago we were successful in getting a temporary guardianship, which in simple terms means that Tessie gets to stay in Davis, where her school, friends, ballet and support are, the place she lives and calls home.
Today we learned that her biological father has filed an ex parte application to deny the guardianship and have Tess go and live with him in Port Townsend. He will also seek to overturn the application for full guardianship.
For fourteen years she lived with Christine, the last seven of which were with me as her step-father. She has never wanted to live with her Dad, much as she loves him. It was Christine's wish that after her death, Tessie should stay in Davis. I just want what's best for her. I know it is not healthy for a fourteen-year-old to be uprooted, and in her grief, it seems like downright lunacy to even think of taking her away from a place she's called "home" for most of her memorable life.
Tomorrow we go to court to fight for the rights of a grieving young woman. For now, I have done all I could in accord with Christine's wishes, and Tessie's. Prayers and good thoughts will help.
Update, Friday 1300
We won to some degree. The temporary guardianship has been overturned, on the grounds that Bob, as her legal parent, cannot be denied his right to have her in Port Townsend in accordance with a parenting plan drawn up between himself and Christine. In a week, Tess will go up to Washington for about three weeks, and Bob will bring her back for a full court hearing on the 25th July, at which time everyone gets to have their say on what is appropriate for Tessie.
Bob's lawyer was quite aggressive, requesting that Tessie be asked to leave the Court while deliberations were in progress on the grounds that she might be "upset". This, the girl who lost her mother less than three months ago, and has been dealing with the potential loss of her home, friends, school and support. The judge was extremely even-handed, taking Tess into her chambers to discover what she really wanted and needed.
So now the case will be heard on the 25th July, and I'm confident that the status quo will apply, that Tess is schooled in Davis and vacations with her father. I'd be most happy with that, and so would Tessie. Pray or cross fingers for her.