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July 3rd 1999: Wedding of Denelle Beauchaine and Nikita Kaim
August 15th 2002: Vladimir (Vlad) Kaim is born
June 24th 2004: Nikk's sister, Jessica Strickland, gets very upset when she finds out that I'm pregnant again. Sandy and Dick Green call us "jerks" for telling her because she'd been trying to conceive and failing.
December 28th 2004: Lucretia (Lucy) Kaim is born.

November 15th 2005: Neighbor calls police because we were arguing, CPS is called because of the messy home, children are sent to stay with Sandy and Dick Green while we clean.
November 19th 2005: Drama when Sandy won't even let us see the kids, Tom Kaim accuses both of us of neglect, claims that Vlad (who had a verbal delay) said "I hate Mommy and Daddy". We decide to severe all connections with Nikk's family.
November 21st 2005: CPS allows kids to return home, case plan of getting drop-in services from Families Inc (or was it Horizons?) worker Marcia.

December 2005: My parents, Bill and Roberta Beauchaine, come down to Iowa for a nice visit.
December 25th 2005: We visit the Greens for Christmas, setting aside hostilities for the holiday.

March 8th 2006: My mother, Roberta Beauchaine is hospitalized, after complications from surgery
March 20th 2006: I create a private group online so I can vent about Nikk and make plans to leave him without him seeing.
March 22nd-27th 2006: I take Lucy to Minnesota to visit Mom in the hospital
April 2006: I got a job at David's Bridal. Nikk gets a job delivering pizza.
May 2006: My Mom died on Mother's Day.

June 2006: Nikk loses driver's license and job.
Summer/fall 2006: I became increasingly frustrated with coming home from work to an unemployed husband who just played video games all day and expected me to come home and take care of the kids and clean the house. When I objected, he'd get violent. He was careful not to leave bruises, and if I scratched or bit him defending myself, he'd laugh and tell me that if I called the cops, I'd be the one that would go to jail. Marcia frequently visits while I'm working, and Nikk tells her that I'm crazy and I make up stories about him being abusive, and that he's concerned about my mental health.
October 2006: I get laid off from David's Bridal, and immediately get hired by Michaels Arts and Crafts.
October 2nd 2006: In a post in my secret group, I say that I hate Nikk and want to leave him but "I'm worried about how he'd react, and remember that women are most likely to be murdered when they try to get out of a bad relationship."

December 18th-31st 2006: I ask for a divorce. Nikk assaults me. I call 911. Marcia arrives at the same time as the police, and tells the officers that I'm crazy and make up stories about domestic violence. The children are sent to stay with Sandy Green, who takes them down to Florida to visit Jessica Stickland. I get a restraining order against Nikk. Sandy refuses to let me have any contact with the kids because of the restraining order, so I get it dropped. Nikk admits to her that he choked me in front of the kids and she replies "Stop making excuses for her."

January 4th 2007: Kids are allowed to come home. Case plan is for us to keep the house clean, continued drop-ins, for me to get counseling, Nikk to get a job, and "no domestic violence", for which we are held equally responsible, no implication that he's the abuser and I'm the victim. Also, mandated daycare, which we were lucky to find Sonya McDonald.

January 26th 2007: We attempt marriage counseling, therapist suggests we just get divorced.
January-March 2007: We attempt to be good enough for CPS, keep the house clean, minimize hostilities, and work on getting a diagnosis for Vlad (I suspected Asperger's). Nikk still doesn't have a job, and still expects me to do most of the housework. I am a nervous wreck, trying to keep the house spotless while resenting that Nikk is still avoiding doing anything productive.

April 10th 2007: After a long day of verbal abuse, I snap when Nikk laughs like Nelson on the Simpsons "Ha ha!" when a small rack falls on my head. I deflect it at him, he gets a small scratch on the back of his neck, and attacks me, breaking my glasses, and hurting my neck. I was afraid for my life, managed to escape, went to Gail and Eric Daniels. When I came back, I was arrested, but no chargers were filed.
April 13th 2007: While I am at work, Nikk has an emergency family team meeting, in which it is decided that I am abusive, a danger to the children, and I am given the choice between going to live with friends or having the children put in foster care.
I agree to go stay with Nate Wesenberg and Megan York. Nikk is allowed to remain home with the children, and expects me to come over to clean while the kids are in daycare. He tried to get me put in the mental hospital, claiming I was psychotic. He harasses me, using his custody of the children to control me. He suspects that I am having an affair with Nate, he hacks my online accounts, threatens to destroy things that belonged to my mother and grandmother, etc. I start participating in STEPS, which is a class/support group for people with BPD. It does help, not because I actually had BPD but by helping me stay calm despite Nikk's button-pushing, crazy-making maipulative behaviors. (Looking back now, I think this whole incident was a power play on Nikk's part, he wanted to take my children and get me locked up, and the fact that CPS and the police cooperated to a degree made him feel victorious and boosted his confidence for future attempts to manipulate the system against me.)
From an entry on April 16th: "It does bother me when he manages to lie, manipulate, distort facts, etc, and get people to believe him and sympathize with him. Maybe I think that if everyone saw what a horrible person he's been and treated him like he deserves until he stopped pulling this bullshit, then maybe he'd realize his actions had consequences and start treating me right and generally doing the things (like GETTING A JOB) that he should have done long ago. Instead, he's got all kinds of people patting him on the head and saying "Good Job!" which lets him know he can get away with it. So, I'll have to play his game or lose the kids. I'll go back to him, and try to follow his rules while he mocks me, taunts me, pushes buttons, screams obscenities at me, etc, until I finally can't take anymore and snap. Then he'll have an excuse to strangle me again."
April 18th: Safety Plan is created.

May 22nd 2007: Vlad wanders off and is picked up blocks away by the police.
I was dropping the kids off, Vlad did not want to go to Daddy's, he wanted to stay at the York/Wesenberg home with me. I got out of the van, and talked to Nikk about plans for the next day. I thought Vlad was still sitting in the van. I had my back to the van, Nikk was facing the van and saw Vlad get out, but he thought Vlad was playing in the sandbox. I was facing the sandbox. Both of us thought the other one could see Vlad, and it took a few minutes before we realized he was gone. It could have happened to anyone with an autistic child- but because it happened to us, and we were already being watched, we knew that our children would go to foster care if CPS found out, so we tried to find Vlad ourselves before calling 911. Vlad has a long history of escape attempts. Like many autistic children, he's resourceful, knows where he wants to go and what he wants to do, and letting anyone know just gives them a chance to stop him. He was halfway back to the York/Wesenberg home when they found him, and since he was still mostly non-verbal, they thought he was lost.
May 23rd 2007: Both children are taken from daycare at Sonya McDonalds to be put in foster care.
At this point, I suggested to Nikk that we separate, and both work our case plans independently, because I knew my chances of getting the children back on my own were better than with him. He refused, and said that if we separated, he would work against me.

June 2007: I get a job at Bulk Bag Services, while staying at Michaels part-time
June-July 2007: The children bounced through a series of foster placements before going to Donna and Casey Johnson. I worked 2 jobs, stayed at the York/Wesenberg home, and saved money for a nicer place that the children could come home to.

August 2007: Children are placed with Donna and Casey, Nikk and I got a townhome, children start having visits there. Nikk gets a part-time job at Arby's.

September 19th: Meeting with permanency board, we were doing everything we were supposed to, DHS hadn't completed paperwork which delayed getting psych evals done. Goal was RU within 12 months.

October 7th: Unsupervised visitation!
October 8th: Case worker Davina Urmie says she's asking for discretion for overnight visits.
October 15th: Court.
Vlad's evaluation blames his problems on his environment, GAL raves about progress he's making in foster home, and concerned about RU undoing that.  Judge concerned about inconsistency of services, asks us to get couples counseling, and I request that Nikk get counseling, knowing that unless he was forced to take responsibility, I was doomed. Jessica Strickland had contacted DHS about her concerns about our parenting, and to let them know that she wanted our kids. (Since Jessica Strickland lived in Florida and had only seen us with our children a few times, and had very little contact with us, any opinion she had on our parenting was based on secondhand information, probably Sandy Green.)

November 14th 2007: Vlad diagnosed with Aspergers.  I had suspected for years, and this goes counter to the evaluation submitted to court the previous month, which blamed his environment for his behavioral issues. His foster mother, Donna Johnson, had agreed with my suspicions, as had his teachers, and we'd been using that as a guide for dealing with his behavior, trying weighted vests, allowing him to sit on a rocker instead of a standard chair, and realizing that understanding his sensory issues was a big part of modifying his behavior, like having him wear boxers instead of breifs because they felt less like pull-ups.
November 23rd 2007: Psych eval results. I give Nikk the ultimatum of getting counseling or getting a divorce. Before he has a chance to get physically abusive, I go to stay at the York/Wesenberg house.

December 1st 2007: Nikk admits that he has a problem and starts getting help.
December 18th 2007: Family Team Meeting.
Due to the temporary separation in November, and the psych eval results, DHS suddenly views our relationship as unstable, suspects a danger of domestic violence, puts us back on supervised visits, and threatens TPR if Nikk does not move out. After all those months of applauding us for sweeping our problems under the rug, they finally see the problem because we are dealing with it. I request a different lawyer.
December 25th 2007: Christmas visit is cancelled because CPS does not get paperwork submitted to give foster parents permission to supervise. Sandy and Dick Green are allowed to see the children on Christmas, at the Johnson family home.

January 20th 2008: Donna Johnson threatens to have children moved to another foster home after Davina Urmie threatens to yank the Johnson's foster care license because Donna can't transport Vlad to all appointments. Donna loves the kids, but doesn't "want to worry about losing her license every time Davina gets PMS."  Davina had falsified paperwork, and there had been many times, including Christmas, that visits got missed because of lack of supervisors for visits, and CPS refusing to allow foster parents to supervise. This is disappointing to the children, especially Vlad, people with Aspergers thrive on routine, and any disruption in routines can lead to meltdowns. Donna makes it very clear that her problem is with Davina Urmie, not us or the children.

February 13th 2008: Court, judge grants us an extension, but reminds us that we are running out of time and that permanency needs to be addressed at the next court date. We are frustrated because it seems like CPS is deliberately wasting time to try to run out the ASFA clock.

March 2nd 2008: Increase in visits, and I start picking Vlad up from school to take him to play therapy.
March 10th 2008 Davina Urmie insists Nikk can not come with when I transport kids because "it would be difficult to monitor".
March 12th 2008: Email from Davina Urmie about daycare arrangments while children are being transitioned home, with overnight visits starting at the end of the month.

April 2008: Overnight visits, with a day being added each week

April 26th 2008: Nikk is hospitalized with a displaced strep infection,  and spends a week in a medically induced coma in the ICU. He almost died, and is weak, easily exhausted and unable to work or be much help at home for months.

May 2008: Overnight visits continue to increase, until children are home full-time. Kelly Morgan takes over as our case worker.

June 2008: Cedar Rapids flood. Donna and Casey's wedding. We take children to Minnesota to visit my family.

July 2008: Due to the flood, my hours at Bulk Bag Services are reduced, and I get unemployment. Our major clients, Cargill and Penford, were flooded, and it takes another year for things to get back to normal.
July 14th 2008: Vlad slips out of daycare unnoticed, and makes it all the way home, 15 blocks, without anyone coming to find him, notifying authorities, etc.

August 10th 2008: Vlad gets upset and punches his guinea pig, and kills it. We are all concerned.

September 2nd 2008: I post about being stressed out. After Nikk got out of the coma, his attitude changed, all the progress he'd made between December and April seemed to get lost, he stopped getting counseling, and there were several incidents where his temper scared me and the the kids, times I took the kids over to the York/Wesenberg house because I was afraid Nikk might get violent, and I didn't report these problems because I knew that CPS would just take the kids, instead of empowering me to force Nikk to move out. Between Nikk losing his job due to health issues, and my temporary lay-off due to the flood, we have financial problems, which add to the overall stress.

October 2008: Court Judge is concerned about situation, and says that she will go over social worker's head and put kids back in foster care if she doesn't see improvment from both of us. I feel doomed, because I was already trying as hard as I could, but couldn't do anything to change Nikk's lack of motivation or bad temper. I was depressed, stuck in a miserable marriage, and knew the situation was bad for the kids, but I couldn't do anything about it since CPS had punished me on previous occasions when I reported domestic violence or left Nikk to get away from it. I didn't know what to do.
October 29th 2008: Children are removed while I am at work. Social worker Kelly Morgan and GAL Cindy Finley come for a scheduled check-up on the kids. Nikk is upstairs and does not come down to check on kids for at least 45 minutes. He makes excuses, but I believe he did it on purpose. He knew I wanted a divorce, and he wanted to make sure I lost the kids, so he got them put back in foster care. Donna Johnson is contacted as a possible emergency placement, but insists that the kids can only come to her home if they're going to stay until they are RU'd or adopted, she's not going to be just a temporary placement until they can find another foster home. The kids are then placed with another foster family. Donna and I believe that CPS didn't want the kids with her because she was supportive of reunification.

December 9th 2008: We find out that because the kids were home on a trial home placement, the AFSA clock to TPR was still ticking, and had run out. Nikk tells me that if I file for divorce, he will work against me, manipulating the system as easily as he had all along (he calls it "people chess"), and that he'd make sure that I was TPR'd, so that his sister, Jessica Strickland, could adopt the children and brainwash them to hate me.
December 10th 2008: When I still want a divorce despite Nikk's threats, he moves out.

January 5th 2009: I file for divorce
January 23rd 2009: Family Team Meeting. My decision to get divorced is supported, old social worker Davina Urmie passes the message that she's cheering for me since I finally left him. (So frustrating! Why couldn't she have given me support to get out safely back in early 2007???)  Plan is made for Nate Wesenberg, Megan York, Eric and Gail Daniels to come over and help me clean up the mess that Nikk left, re-organize, and give emotional support, since it's not just a matter of doing everyday cleaning, it's going through everything in the house after the children were removed and Nikk left. Anyone who has lost a family member should be able to understand how emotionally-laden a task this is, but in the final TPR report, this event is made to look like I was just incompetant to do my own housework so I needed my friends to clean my house for me, which is far from the truth. As part of this effort, we find new homes for most of the pets Nikk had accumulated.  Also, Jessica Strickland is already convinced that she's going to adopt my children, and lashes out in anger against me when I tell her that I am working my case plan and still trying to get my kids home.
January 29th 2009: Pre-trial hearing. I submit a report on my efforts,  showing everything I've done in the 6 weeks since he left, and all I plan to do to make a good home for my children in the future. Nikk complains about not getting visits since he's living 100 miles away in Clinton and has no transportation. He objects to me getting additionaly visits at the Daniels home, claiming that they have constant orgies going on in their living room. He tells Megan York that he's going to report her and Nate to CPS with claims that they live in squallor and their house is full of black mold. Nikk's lawyer attempts to get children placed with Nikk's mother, Sandy Green, and is refused.
After court, I go over to the York/Wesenberg home and help get their place sparkling clean. Nikk also reports Donna and Casey with false claims that they abused a foster child.

March 18th 2009 Court doesn't go well, vague concerns about my ability to keep the home clean, and problems with Vlad's behavior getting worse. I also find out that Sandy Green and Jessica Strickland have been telling the children that they are going to move down to Florida to live with Jessica, as if the TPR had already taken place and it was all set in stone.
March 24th: Sandy Green has kids for spring break, I'm supposed to go there to see them, and I want Megan York and her 3 year old D to come with, because I wanted a witness. Sandy had been hostile towards me during previous visits at her home during winter break, and had put false information into her report to make me look bad. Sandy refused to let them come in, even though the children wanted to see D. Kelly Morgan got involved, and decided no more visits supervised by Sandy after that. Sandy had been openly supportive of TPR so Jessica Strickland could adopt them going back to our first incident in November 2005.

April 7th 2009: TPR Trial The case against me focuses on how long it took me to leave Nikk, and on minor housekeeping issues, like a bottle of glass cleaner left on top of a TV "dangerous chemicals in children's reach", and a blanket that Lucy had grabbed out of a closet at the end of a visit that the foster mother said smelled like cat urine. I submit a scrapbook as evidence of what kind of a parent I am, showing things I do with my kids. Megan York and Gail Daniels testify on my behalf, and are questioned as if having close friends who help each other out with child care and housework is somehow suspicious. There are no accusations of neglect or abuse, instead it focuses on my ability to make it on my own as a single mother, which is hard for me to prove since I was only allowed 2 hours a week of fully supervised visits since Nikk left.
April 23rd 2009: TPR Trial part 2. Nikk commits perjury, no one cares.

May 1st 2009: I move out of the townhome and into the York/Wesenberg home, after 4 months of paying rent on a big empty townhome full of memories, no increase in visitation or decrease in supervision, and spending more of my time at the York/Wesenberg household than in the townhome. My intention is to get my own apartment if I'm actually being given a chance at getting the kids back, but without a glimmer of hope, it seems pointless to spend $700 on rent.
May 2009: Divorce is final, my name is changed back to Denelle Beauchaine.

June 24th 2009: After months of harassment, accusations that I'm trying to alienate the children, etc, I attempt to get a restraining order since Nikk is back in Iowa. It is refused.

July 15th 2009: Court I am told to get my own apartment, since living in the York/Wesenberg house is seen as me being homeless and unable to provide for my children. I tried to explain that I contributed financially to the household, I did more than my share of housework, and helped with the children. By being a functioning member of a household with children, I was actually keeping myself in the habits that I needed to be a single mother, instead of living alone and only having to clean up after kids 2 hours a week. At the time, I did not want to admit how much Nate and Megan were struggling, they'd been investigated by CPS 3 times due to Nikk's false reports, Megan had health issues, and Nate was working long hours because they were trying to avoid foreclosure. I was trying to help them keep their house, and didn't want to alert CPS to their problems and risk them losing their kids too. My kids were more important than my friends, but sitting alone in my own apartment watching Netflix wasn't helping my kids, and spending the same time during the York/Wesenberg's laundry was helping them.

August 5th 2009: I get my own efficiency apartment, it's big enough for visitations, rented on a month to month basis. I explain to Kelly Morgan that if visitation is increased, supervision is decreased, and my case is progressing towrads reunification, then I will get a bigger apartment that the kids can come home to. I did not want to sign a 12 month lease on a 2 bedroom apartment and then get TPR'd and be stuck paying rent. However, I never actually lived in this efficiency apartment, just used it for visits. I didn't feel safe there, just in case Nikk did find out where I lived, I was safer at the York/Wesenberg house.

October 23rd 2009: Vlad gets officially diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD, and is given a persciption for a medication normally used for blood pressure. Previously, there had been controversy about the Aspergers diagnosis because of his verbal delay, but since it was an atypical verbal delay, it fit the criteria for Aspergers. He could talk, he just only wanted to talk about dinosaurs.

November 16th 2009: Court focuses on the fact that I'm not spending enough time at my apartment, CPS feels I need to show that I can clean up after myself, as if it was a challenge. I feel insulted, and like I've been sentenced to solitary confinement. Still no increase in visits, no decrease in supervision, and no new tasks that I could do for my caseplan. I suspect that they're trying to set me up to fail- if I get used to living alone as a single woman, and I'm distanced from my support network, then the children came home, it would be a big, overwhelming adjustment.

January 2010: I have concerns about parental alienation, after children tell me during a visit "Mommy, you hit Daddy and made him go away and if you let him come back and live with you, then we could come home and be a family again." I responded in the Mr Roger's recommended fashion, explaining that Daddy and I are not together, reminding them that we used to yell at each other, and that both of us are happier living apart, but we still both love them.

March 4th 2010: Letter from Kelly Morgan:"Hi Denelle, I am concerned that if we increase visitation the kids will have more behaviors. They continue to have issues after every visit from being defiant and aggressive to not listening at school the next day. I continue to believe that many of the same concerns that existed a year ago are still there today and are your issues. I have had no contact with NIk since Christmas, when I informed him he could not see the kids on Christmas, so I’m not sure what you are referring to. Not only have I had concerns about the size of your apartment but the Court has pointed this out also. Thanks, Kelly Morgan"
Friends who are divorced assure me that behavioral issues are common after visits with non-custodial parents.
March 9th 2010: My parental rights are terminated. Kelly Morgan notifies me via voicemail.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 21st, 2014 10:05 pm (UTC)
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