One of the hardest parts for me (and my husband) with the adoption of our children was not having paperwork signed (parental relinquishment) from day one, Aubrey was no exception. On the day I was asked if I wanted to take Aubrey home nothing was put in writing, again my husband and I were basically baby-sitting because her parents could legally take her back at any time. I was always hesitant to answer any phone calls or e-mails from Ruth or her husband, almost expecting them to come get her. I tried to just enjoy every minute I got to spend with her because I never knew if she would be with us the next day~ it was very nerve racking and stressful to say the least!
That is was happened on September 17, 2007 - (three and a half months after Aubrey came to live with us). The following is a copy of the e-mail I received from Ruth and my response to her and her husband – (Aubrey’s name was previously Katelynne, and I deleted Aubrey’s birth father’s name for privacy reasons)
September 17, 2007 - From Ruth to me ~
_____ has been making noises in the past about wanting Katelynne back, today he actually told me that he wants her back.
I just wanted to make you aware, I still want to place her. She is so happy with you.
She is doing good under your care.
Thank you. I better go
I've been thinking about Ruth and have been a little worried, because of some comments that _____ made when we last spoke. My best advice on this isn't legal advice. They hold the trump card. I think that you are in the best position to assess your relationship with Ruth. I recommend that you think about that, pray mightily, and decide whether you should call her. If you do, some honest points to consider:
--You and Mykel have been constants in the other 4 kids' lives and you have sacrificed to give the kids the best possible life.
--You've been up front and open with Ruth for many years, she should be confident that you'll continue to treat her with dignity and respect.
--Ruth has also sacrificed, because she has governed her decisions on the selfless test of what it best for the kids.
--Right now, Katelynne has 4 devoted siblings. It would be devastating to her sister and brothers, and to her, to tear her away.
Be careful to criticize ______ or question his motives. Ruth is probably doing that on her own.
Call me anytime if you have a question or I can help. For now, I don't know what to do but ride this out.
Mykel and I sent the following e-mail to Ruth the same day:
Thanks for updating us on what is going on. We don't want to fight _____ on this, as Katelynne is his daughter. She is doing wonderful here and I know it would be devastating to Bryan, Cole, Preston and Ava, if she had to go back. We are all so attached to her and she is a big part of our family. She is so happy and she loves all the attention she gets from her brothers and sister.
Mykel and I are both in tears thinking that she will have to leave. We all love her so much and want her to be a part of our family. She is very attached to Mykel and I know it will be extremely difficult for him to see her go (as it will for all of us). Please let us know what your final decision is and what you would like us to do. We don't want to say anything to the children unless we know for sure what you want to do.
We love her very much, but we respect both of your decisions on this, as you are her parents. We know there are no easy answers. Please let us know.
Love, Mykel and Camille Henrie
I also sent the following e-mail to Aubrey’s (Katelynne's) birth father a few days later:
I wanted to write and express my feelings about Katelynne. I know when we spoke a few months ago out in the storage shed, you mentioned several reasons for wanting to place Katelynne. One of those reasons was financial. Mykel has just accepted a position in Ogden with one of his previous employers that will allow us the finances needed for Katelynne and all of our children to be well taken care of. We also put an offer on a house in Farr West (just North of Ogden) and our offer was accepted today. We will be moving there in about four to five weeks.
Now that we will be closer to Salt Lake, I would be happy to bring Katelynne down to visit when you wish to see her.
Katelynne is so attached to her siblings and they to her, she is very happy here. She laughs, giggles and just wants to be held and loved. She is a good eater and loves to be in the water taking baths making funny faces. It would be devastating to us and our children if their sister was taken away. She is thriving with all the attention from her brothers and sisters and I would love to have her stay and grow up with all of them.
Also when we spoke a few months ago, you mentioned that if you and Ruth got divorced that you would allow us to adopt Katelynne. If you and Ruth don't end up together, it will be much easier to get a divorce if there isn't a child involved. You also won't have a lifelong connection to Ruth if Katelynne is placed.
In short, I wish I could convince you to change your mind about wanting Katelynne back. I will be happy to send you pictures any time you request them and allow you to talk to her or see her. I am not trying to take her away from you, I only want to give her what you yourself told me you wanted her to have; a stable family who loves her and will take care of her.
If you want to talk to me or have any concerns, please feel free to e-mail me or call me. My home phone number is ** and my e-mail is **.
Please let me know what direction you want to go. I don't want to fight with you on this, I know you love her as we do and all of us just want what will be best for Katelynne in the long run.
He never wrote me back or asked for Aubrey (Katelynne) to come back. The next time I spoke with him was when I picked him up to go to court to relinquish his parental rights (four months later).