Friday, August 7, 2020

Harris County DA’s Office - Doesn’t Care about Special Needs

 Adoption is a blessing and a curse. In so many ways the good outweighs any negative, but the negative seems suffocating at times. Without going into all the personal details of my children’s world we had an encounter two and a half weeks ago, you could say, with the bio-mother. God - I never knew fear like I did on the 21st. 

When your child is away from you, missing, for any amount of time, your world collapses. The night and following day is like a blur to me now. If I didn’t vividly remember every moment my son was missing, I may have thought it was simply a nightmare and didn’t really happen. But, for a few hours, my world just was destroyed. 

But after the collapse you start to rebuild, and part of rebuilding with adopted children, special needs to be specific, comes to police/legal response. Now I have said since the day we moved into my little town inside of Houston, I love the police department, the people, everyone, in my city. I never want to leave, the support and compassion is unmatched.

But where is that support from Harris County?

On top of being my children’s adopted parents, we are also legal guardians of our son, who is special needs. This means that now that he is 18 he still has to receive help, like a lot of special needs families experience. Which means he cannot decide where he lives without our guidance and approval.

So when this bio-mother takes your ‘legal ward’ away from you, you would think that’s kidnapping. Since she is denying us access. But apparently, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s office, it is not. It seems the DA just picks and chooses which court orders to enforce and which laws to charge regardless of what the legal documents say.

How the hell are we supposed to keep our children safe when the court system is against us? 

For some perspective - bio-mother is on probation from drug charges from prison, not to mention she lost her parental rights because she was an abusive monster to her own children. 

So I asked, “Why does a druggie on parole get more protection than my son?” And the officer didn’t have any answer for me as to why the courts can’t help.

Not to mention that this monster didn’t serve a day of time for the neglect, abuse and torture she put my children through. Why didn’t she? Well when I asked this question 4 years ago I got “Because children are unreliable witnesses”.

How is this right? We have all of these social justice warriors out there fighting for rights of certain parts of the population who are overlooked and left to suffer, but what about my son? Why am I (and my husband) the only ones able to advocate for him? The officer told me “You can try Montgomery County since the bio-mother crossed county lines, maybe they will help you.”

I spoke with a Montgomery County sheriff’s officer yesterday afternoon. I will have to go up in person and file the claim, which I am going to do. But even he told me it’s a crapshoot on if their DA will take the charges. But that I had a better shot with them than I did with Harris County.

WHY IS IT OKAY FOR THAT TO BE THE CASE? WHY CAN’T HARRIS COUNTY GIVE A DAMN ABOUT PEOPLE’S RIGHTS AND PROTECT THEIR CITIZENS?

I am so tired, so damn tired, of the ‘left’ claiming they are the party of the people. No they are the party of the spotlight. Because if they were truly the party of the people then when a legally disabled, partially incapacitated adult is taken from his home against his guardians wishes and left on the side of the highway, you press charges!

I don’t care if you are republican or democrat or a tea party or an extremist- protect the citizens who can’t protect themselves! 

When I called the DA’s office to see about a protective order, here is what happened. It’s been a week now since I filed the application (I had to wait on the police report number before I filed) and the email reply I got was “someone will contact you in 2-3 weeks to hear your case” when I asked “what happens when it’s accepted” her reply was “cases that are approved right now are on the docket for December, so maybe January or February you will get to go to trial”. Really? 4-6 months to get a legal form to protect my children from this monster? WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MEAN TIME????

Where is the justice for my children? Where is the justice for all children who are abused or disabled and in the same situation as my son? 

Where is the parades of people telling the DA to fight for their right? 

Nowhere ... because they are just part of the system and only their family members care enough to fight.

District Attorney Kim Ogg - I didn’t vote for you before and I will never vote for you. Your website spouts all this pride about the things you have done for victims but I haven’t seen your office protect the victims living in my home that I have loved and cared for for the last five years. You may have done a few good deeds but from what I can tell, your office clearly only cares about easy cases. 

I may not have as large of a media presence as actors in Hollywood, but I do have a small social platform. And I truly feel like this is a fight worth fighting. People should know what their DA does out of the limelight, how their DA leaves disabled adults in situations that could turn life threatening. 

As I started this piece out about adoption I will close it with adoption. It’s hard. It’s tiring. It’s rough. But it’s worth it. Because these two individuals who have stolen my heart will always have a place to call home with a family who will love them unconditionally. And even through society let them down, I never will. I’ll always fight for them. Anyway I can.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Long Time No Blog - Getting Back On The Horse

I’ve sat here for like 11 minutes looking at a white blank screen. In 2 years I have written 5 blog posts, five. I don’t even know what to make of that. Memories in a Box had gotten up to quite a good bit of followers and now I have let her dwindle down to 72. Sad, just sad, that’s what I am experiencing. I am recommitting to blogging. I want to say 1 blog a week but you and I know that may not happen. So how about 1 every 2 weeks? I don’t want to blame it on being a mom, but it’s the truth. Motherhood is exhausting, being a wife is exhausting. Being a mother and a wife during COVID is damn near a mental health crisis. But that’s no excuse, no excuse for not taking time out of my insanity to sit down and do something for myself. 

I’ve been pondering that for a while now, time for myself. This is going to seem silly to some of you but I am really excited about it.

My college years were filled with me working my butt off to achieve my own personal greatness. My BBA in Economics was stellar, my overall ‘major’ GPA was a 3.88 and my overall ‘minor’ GPA in Poli-Sci 4.0. I came .005 points away from graduating Cum Laude. I mean, hell of an accomplishment. I was in the Poli Sci & general studies honor societies. I had so many expectations for myself. I spent a year working for Congressman Jim Turner as an intern my sophomore year. It was a fantastic experience. My hopes and dreams were set as high as the sky.

Not sure where my life turned off the road of dreams but sometime in 2006-2009 reality sank in and I knew I had to adjust my dreams. Time passed so quickly that I woke up one day and I accomplished nothing. And I still wake up today feeling that at times.

Solution - doing for myself. Putting numero uno first. 

Some may think, that must mean writing, or maybe reading more (because yeah reading books kinda stopped too), but you’re wrong. I am donating my time to my small town’s local boards. Helping with a couple things. It’s a once a month commitment, sometimes more, but it is fun for me. 

Our little town nestled outside of Houston really is amazing, I can’t say enough great things about it. And finding a way to give back to the people here is making me happy. I started slow, joining the Parks & Rec board. Had fun seeing how little things make a real difference in the lives of my neighbors. Now I added a second endeavor, Charter Review. It sounds like a big deal, seems like a big deal, and I hope, I can leave an impact. Our first meeting is coming up in just under 2 weeks and of course I am nervous. But it is a good nervous.

I told my husband back when we first started dating I had wanted to be in politics since I was 7 years old. then I fell in love with the study of Economics and it changed my whole life’s course. Well Econ has gotten me this far ... time to go back to my roots. 

So now I am going to become more involved in my little town. See how far it takes me. Who knows where it will go. I would like to run for City Council in 2022. Maybe Mayor in 2024 or 2026, who knows. I’m not even sure which year the mayor election is held I guess I should look that up before I’m out here typing it into the internet world. 

But I am doing this for me. Something unique to match a dream this little girl had back in 1990 when she looked up in awe while watching President Bush speak before the nation. I don't want to call this part of my Bucket List, but in some ways it is. Bucket Lists are goals and my goal has always been to be involved in helping shape the world around me.

I should also say I am serious about me going to start blogging more. Because lord knows there is a ton of crap on my mind and it would be nice to put it somewhere. But I can hear my dad’s voice in my head telling me if I am serious about maybe running in a couple years I should probably keep my thoughts to myself.

Guess time will tell if the world is ready for Ashley Nemer. I can be pretty fierce and it’s time to see that version of me out and about again.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

Elevation - 1st 14 Days! How High Can Ya Go!

Holy Cow Batman!

Have you ever seen a house get raised in the air before? Well prior to Friday the 17th I hadn’t either. My husband and I bought a house in June that was apart of the FEMA Grant process for a house elevation. We had no idea what all would go into this process so when they showed up last Monday, we were in shock at the amount of dirt.

In just about three days we had amassed huge piles of dirt that I was sure would leave us with a mud bath everywhere. There were holes dug under our house for tunnels that spanned the entire house length.
 The dogs were going crazy, poor Toto & Doogie. What those two pups must be thinking as they watch this going on. Their favorite thing is to chase squirrels in the back yard and now they are only allowed out via leash. It’s really put a damper in their day, we can tell.

Not to mention that taking Doogie out for his 20 trips to go potty is really annoying, it’s the small things that get cha....

Then, the mud ... everything was going fine until Mother Nature decided she needed to have a rain storm. That’s when my pretty white tile floors got a paint job. All in brown.

Doggie foot prints, teenager shoe prints, husband boot tracks, my own imprints here and there. Mud and dirt literally everywhere. It was almost like there was no point in even moping because literally the next hour it would be back.

Talk about a pain in the butt!

But then ... the big day arrives ... Elevation day.

Our house flooded in Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 & Tax Day 2017.

The city applied for a grant and since our home had been apart of these tragic events from previous owners they were eligible for this program. We were lucky because the program was transferable when we purchased the house. It received 18 inches of rain inside during both events from what we were told. And the program requires homes to become elevated 18 inches above BFE. That’s how we ended up 44 inches in the air.

It was truly crazy watching. I was worried since it had been full of rain for almost a week. It was off and on rain, misty, and just kinda blah. So when I was told we were still on pace for elevating Friday it was a huge relief. Because the sooner we elevated the sooner the mud left my home.

I took video’s of the elevation, my kids even got to help. The company that performed the work, Planet Three Elevation has been really great. I can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like.

We were heartbroken when we lost the front shrubs in our yard, so the whole landscaping will be new for us. Since this is the first home we have owned we haven’t had to do this before. In some ways it is exciting because in a year whatever is growing will be what we did on our own.

Hopefully the project only has four more weeks left ... hopefully. They said as short as 45 days as most as 70, depending on the weather and complications.

It’s been one wild and crazy experience and it is only 13 days in so far. Can’t wait to see what the other 30 bring!

Take a gander at this video, it is amazing what technology can do. It really really is.

Happy Sunday! Go Chief’s!!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

New Year, New Blog, Back in the Saddle

Wowzers it has been sometime since I posted a blog post. I hadn’t realized I let it lapse so much. I need to get back into the blogging world for sure. Maybe I will add that to my to do list this year. I’d love to say I will post once a week but we all know that it is hard to get back into the grove of things. But, I will try.

New for 2020 this year:
- New Job
- Home being elevated
- Resolved to lose weight and get healthier
- WILL write 2 new books at least

I’ll tell you what was hard, leaving my company after 10.5 years with them. I’m not big on change and that certainly didn’t come easy. I was super scared at what the possibilities ahead of me were going to be and I just didn’t know how it would all lay out.

After taking a leap of faith I started a new job at an Oil & Gas plant 1/6. It is a completely different job than I have done in the past. When I stopped to think about it the other day, it had been a solid 8 years since I learned a brand new totally new skill set. After two weeks there I have discovered that yes, change is good. It has allowed me to expand my wings and soar in a new way. I’m loving getting to know an industry I grew up all around and had family in, but never took a dive there myself.

Change is so hard but I am glad to see that it is working out.

Onto writing topics ... I am really trying to get Golden Hour done. I have 15,000 words in 5 chapters. It has literally taken me a year to write that far. Sad I know. Hoping that with pushing to do writing on my blog each week that will help with the creative juices so they get flowing that way I can do more. I really want to be able to wrap up this part of the Kemah Sunrise series by the end of February that way I can have my new book out by the Meet and Greet in April.

I remember a time when writing came so easily to me. It would pour out of me and 5,000 word days would be nothing hard to accomplish. Even 10,000 word Saturdays. Becoming a mom made that really difficult because, you know, kids are energy vampires.

The Ones Who Lived is still doing pretty decent at events. But I know I need to get another one out soon, especially to the Pasadena crowd. I’ve had several request but I just, ugh, writers block. I’m open to ideas if anyone wants to shoot them my way. I always love reader feedback.

For the moment I think this will wrap up my first post of 2020. I am working on a post about the elevation at my house. It is pretty crazy, I’ll get that one up in the next 48 hours, hopefully tomorrow. Goodnight and here’s hoping 2020 is my year for blogging again. That you readers who have stayed loyal over these years. It’s been a hell of a fun journey.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Just one day ... A special needs mom's thoughts


Not a typical blog post from me - but this is what's on my mind and I needed to get it out.

Special needs parenting is so hard. It’s almost like you’re stuck on an island where everyone can see you but no one can hear your screams or find a way to come and bring you back to civilization. Even when your spouse is an active participant, your two experiences and journeys are so different. So many low points where you feel that the beat down you just experienced is your low point, just to find out that no, in fact, it can and will get worse.

No one tells you how truly unbearable it can be at times.

Yet, every day we have to keep going. We have to wake up and try again, just to keep failing day after day. Talk about feeling insane, trying and doing the same stuff, different stuff, ANYTHING and expecting a new result. When will that ever actually happen?

Probably the hardest part of it all, that special needs child, doesn’t even realize what’s truly happening behind the scenes. Doesn’t mean to cause the trouble and drama, doesn’t understand why they are wrong.

This is what makes me feel guilty, how can I be angry when I can’t even know if he is comprehending.

I sit on this island daily, and it isn’t a pretty tropical one with warm sand between my toes and dolphins swimming in the sea. It’s an island of hell, one with thunder and lightning casting down rainstorms constantly. Lava shooting up under my feet if I take one wrong step. It’s an island where I can see the world going by, without me. I can see friends and family moving onto other things and adventures. Jobs off in the distance I can’t ever reach. Goals, loves, experiences just out of grasp because there is something wrapped around my ankle’s keeping me shackled.

Does anyone else feel this way? Who knows? I hate the online support groups, they make me feel so guilty for my feelings.

And you can’t talk to the people around you, because they will judge you. They will see how strict you have to be to keep order and control in your house and judge you. Judge your child, judge your family. Cast weary glances at you and your kid because you’re having a meltdown in a restaurant over carrots. Everyone is an enemy because they could hurt your child emotionally with judgment.

That’s the kicker. At the end of the day, no matter the hell you’re living, you still love that child more than anything in the whole world. You walk through that hell daily, for them, gladly to keep them safe. Never with regret, just with a lot of burden. Burden of the world constantly pushing against you. You’re the only defense that child has and that pressure builds up. Which brings back more guilt for feeling all of this anxious emotions.

I just want, no need, one day out of hell. One day to recharge, to live, to just, not have to carry the burden. I have a friend who says she will rest when she dies, I’m not her. I refuse to accept that. There has to be an easier way.

I just wish I knew what it was. I just wish, one day, that child knows how much was sacrificed so he could have a good life.

It isn’t all bad, but when it is, its hell. Maybe, soon, more good days will be on the rise.

Maybe I’ll get that one day…

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Capt Marvel & Wonder Woman ... Is It Just Me?

Once again I feel conflicted with a superhero movie. At least this time my post isn't another bash of Superman because I so don't want to go back down that rabbit hole of crazy DC fans. However ... this Marvel movie, to me, didn't hold up to the enormous anticipation and hype that it received.

I can just picture my hubby's friend Alex giving me crap for this post, his eyes are rolling and he's shaking his head laughing at me for what I'm about to say. I swear I am not anti-women, I promise! But I just somehow cannot get on the bandwagon that 98% of the others in the female gender get on. Yes I love women empowerment and yes I love equal rights but I just ... ugh ... I did not feel like this movie was 'All That' for women.

Let me back up a bit and start with the meat and potatoes of the movie.

Overall I give this movie a solid B+/A-. I was not blown away by the movie. I believe I've said this before but I hold all movies to the same standard. The first superhero movie I was blown away with was Batman Begins with Christian Bale. I go into each and every superhero movie comparing it to that moment when I left the theater after Bale's performance that made me have that feeling of being blown away.

That did not happen in this movie. Much like Wonder Woman was for me I felt it was over hyped, just because it was a female lead, and we need more of those.

Overall I thought the acting was great, I really loved the lines and Jude Law was great, IMO. I think the plot was well developed and from start to finish I stayed engaged in the movie and never once was I bored. Now, Jude Law won't take the place in my heart as bad guy fav, Loki will always hold that, but his character I really did enjoy.

That being said, I just thought it was 'okay', it wasn't amazing, it wasn't Oscar winning, it was just a good movie. Now the soundtrack, that was my jam!

Sometimes I worry that there must be something wrong with me because these 'women' driven movies just don't do it for me. I am not the type of strong female who believes I can do EVERYTHING a man can do. I would make a horrible construction worker, I can't lift 100 pounds consistently. I wish I could pee standing up at ease while camping. I can't do a lot of things that men can do, and men should do. We have different roles for a very good reason. But this is a rant for another day.

However, I don't really feel like Capt Marvel or Wonder Woman for that matter, were shoving down our throats a feminist agenda. I felt like both movies were balanced and while they had female leads they weren't anti-men. Both movies had male co-stars to help their story along. I loved that part of both movies because I know for me, I do need a man, my partner! That's why I got married.

Both of the movies were good for any movie standard. Now WW on the other hand compared to almost all of the DC movies was by far one of the best. (My Fav order is the 3 with Bale then WW) I really need to do a podcast with Alex over this stuff to explain myself better. But CM just did not blow me away. It is one of my least favorite Marvel movies

I did a Google search to see if it was 'okay' to not love CM. Good to know it is allowed.

It would be easier to talk about it in a not so favorable light if the acting or writing had sucked but it's a Marvel movie so you know it was top notch on those aspects.

Sorry I know I am rambling and probably not making a lot of sense with how I felt about these two movies but either way, I do think what they are doing for women is a great thing. Specifically the younger women of this world.

The best part of both of these movies was my daughter Sierra. The look in her eyes as she watched these characters becoming strong and invincible gave me hope for her, hope she can have her own hero to look up too. But I don't think there is anything wrong with girls looking up to Batman, Superman, Iron Man or Thor as awesome people too.

I truly think that we put to much into these fake characters as 'hero's'. Teachers, police officers, doctors, MOTHERS & FATHERS should be the real hero's in the young generations lives. But that's a rant for another time.

Obviously this isn't a review ... but just a compilation of thoughts on where the direction of movies and our society may be going.

Infinity War had me in tears, that movie blew me away. Part of me is annoyed that now this chick, someone we have only had in our 'theatrical lives' for a couple months, is going to come and save the day. When The Guardians & The Avengers have been with us for what, hell, over a decade? No offense to Carol Danvers but she just came to the table and now she is going to save the world? Kinda annoys me.

What about Black Widow, her and Hawk Eye should have their own movies .. maybe they couldn't carry a full 2 hours alone but still ... This chick is new to the scene and now she's going to steal the show.

Like I said I know this is a very odd blog and I'm sorry, Alex don't come down to hard on me! You and Tony can, I'm sure, come up with many reasons I am wrong and I look forward to that discussion later on. But for now ... I'm just disappointed at how the feminist way of things is putting so much pressure on these female lead movies. There is nothing wrong with ensemble casts & there are women already in the Marvel world that would have been great to have save the day, not this new chick to the story.

And yes I realize if I read the comics then she wouldn't be 'new' she would already be part of my world. But I am not a comic reader I am a movie go-er.

So that's my two cents for this week ... Hope I don't end back up on those shit lists from the Comic Lovers again ... although that was a fun summer ... so ah well if it does happen.

You know what superhero I really miss ... Hugh Jackman. #BringBackWolverine ... 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Broken Faith ...


For about a week now I have been in a mental battle between what I see in reality vs the faith that I had grown up on.

I tell my children all the time it isn’t the words you say it’s the actions ... and when I apply that to the world at large I am not sure what to do with my observation.

My faith feels shaken to it’s core.

I was born and raised Catholic, when we adopted our children I passed that faith onto them. In a lot of ways teaching them about God and Catholicism truly helped the adoption process move along and I honestly can say it was part of the reason the adoption was successful. Faith is something each person has to build for themselves and it takes years to form.

And just seconds to crumble.

Like most humans I’ve had my own personal faith tested numerous times. Each time something new and challenging came up to block how I feel about God and organized religion. This time though it feels different. It feels, devastating. Specifically with the organization as a whole.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve had issues with the physical place of worship I attend. Back in 2007 when I had to make the decision, my life vs continuing the pregnancy, a lot of guilt plagued me, and still does to this day. Because I am here now, you know what choice I made. I went to confession to cleanse my broken soul and the priest that I spoke to, he made it worse. He didn’t act as God’s representative he acted as a foolish man and he hurt my faith and belief in God himself. From 2007 through 2014 I couldn’t attend church without shedding tears continuously throughout Mass. In 2013 my mentor told me to call Prince of Peace and ask to receive counseling from one of her priests. Father Sebastian, he truly healed my broken soul in regards to the 2007 incident.

As a result when we were given our blessings in 2015 with the children, I immediately began the indoctrination of Catholicism and teaching them all the ways us as Catholics can and should live.

Because my son is special needs he wasn’t able to attend the RCIA classes like the typical person would. Instead we did it all at home. It was special, it was reverent, it was sacred. But through this process he still managed to become close spiritually with the main priest of POP.

A priest that is now on the active investigation list. A priest that targeted young boys, a priest I left alone with my son.

I don’t know how to get over that, that last sentence. I can’t stop thinking that these children were a gift from God, a gift I prayed and begged for. And in turn I led my child to a situation that could have turned bad. Worse given the fact my children were traumatized already once in their lives.

I always thought that as a mother I would instinctively know what was best for my children and have the ability to protect them from true danger. This whole situation with the Galveston-Houston dioceses just shows me I really can’t. And that scares me.

Once again the physical place of worship I made apart of my life and my children’s life has let me down. I know that everyone who makes up the church is human and to fall from grace is something humans can and will do. But how do I recover from that? How do I look my kids in the eyes and say “You are safe here, you can worship and be safe” when now I don’t even know if that is true?

My son took the news of his priest very hard. My daughter is angry, my son is heartbroken.

And if this wasn’t bad enough, a priest from my own past who is now the Cardinal in the area, he covered it up in 2018 when he was made aware of the situation. Didn’t investigate just said it wasn’t true. How do I look past that? Look past someone I thought was more than just the leader of an individual church but the leader of millions.

People I know have been saying for the past two years that the Church is going to be exposed for his sexual issues with children. Now I knew it happened I have read the reports in other parish’s but, I didn’t really get it. I didn’t believe that it would be possible for my faith to come crashing down.

Now I wonder what the Pope actually does know. I wonder if everything my mom has been telling me since President Trump’s election to office if it is true.

I wonder what I have to put my belief’s in.

What I know is true, I Believe in a higher power. I believe Jesus walked this earth. I believe in the miracles he performed. I do Believe in him.

But maybe that’s where it stops for now ... because how can I believe in an institution that continues to push child abuse under the rug? It’s different now. I see what abuse does to a child. It isn’t just a phantom thought or concept in my head anymore. I see my children and their suffering at the hands of others.

So what do I do now with these feelings? I’m back to that lost 20 something in 2007 where my core foundation is shattered. Except this time I don’t think turning to God and counseling is my answer.

I don’t know what is. And this time I have the added burden of being a mom. My children’s spiritual leader. Do I fake it for them or do I give the honesty. Tell them ‘Mom doesn’t know what to believe anymore.”

My mentor told me this is the devil’s work and it is his attack on our religion. He’s probably right. But I don’t know how to fight this battle. Because at the end of the day I led my son and daughter into a situation that could have re-injured their world forever. And there is no forgiving or forgetting that. I misread someone, I didn’t follow my very first gut emotion, I blindly followed.

How can I do that ever again?