Most laws are written with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, in the wrong hands they can ruin lives, especially when the very courts that are charged with enforcing them refuse to do so.
Ours is such a story.
We are a blended family. My husband – Ron Simon, myself – Teresa Simon, and our two children, one from my former marriage, and our biological son.
In 2015, our son was ripped from our lives. He was attending school in the Spokane Valley using my husband’s friend’s home address, Doris Strand and Wayne Janke, because we felt he could get a better education at those schools.
Our son was our shining star. He enjoyed all the advantages of a middle-class family. We owned real estate and were able to provide many things for him.
Janke and Strand were not nearly as well to do but as my husband’s friend of several decades they asked to be part of our son’s life.
Although I was uncomfortable with the level of involvement by Janke and Strand, I didn’t think that having too many people to love my son was a bad thing. I was tragically wrong.
They took on the role of grandparents and attended his school conferences and award ceremonies, Webelo’s, Derbies, Boy Scouts, skiing, camping, barbecues, various youth summer sports, theme parks such as Silverwood Theme Park, River Front Park and other places. We even managed to learn how to ski ourselves but my husband’s health prevented us from becoming very adept at it.
Ron, being African American grew up in extreme poverty, his father who was former military had a brain tumor in the early 1960’s and treatment was almost non-existent.
Due to his father’s unpredictable behavior, his mother moved from Tacoma to Spokane with three young children, a city with a minority population in of 1 to 1 ½ percent.
Ron was mowing lawns and delivering newspapers as a young teenager to help keep a roof over his family’s head and his father was wandering all over the country due to his health issues.
Ron wanted our son to to have opportunities he never had. There were various activities we allowed our son to do with Janke and Strand but we vacationed and traveled with our son to many places throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Missouri, Arizona, California and on our last trip we took a cruise to Alaska. We also vacationed with Janke and Strand.
Throughout the years we saved Janke’s motor home from being repossessed, roofed their house, rehabbed their other property, helped them pay day-to-day bills including their mortgage. All without compensation.
We also bought Strand a $700 dog when she lost three dogs, her cat and her brother. We went so far as to pay thousands of dollars for Strand to have bariatric surgery.
We enrolled our son at a daycare in the Spokane Valley when he was younger for half days to learn social skills. Some days Strand would go by the daycare to pick him up in the late afternoons. The daycare would make two of the same artwork, saying that with the interest that Strand showed, she should also have artwork.
As time went on, Strand would confiscate all of our son’s paperwork from school when he would come to her home as a result, Strand would know when parent-teacher conferences were and would show up and brag about my son, grab up his paperwork and leave. Little did we know that she was becoming so involved to steal our son.
I did not go to work until my son was almost five. He was dropped off for half-days to daycare and to kindergarten and began full days in first grade. My daughter attended private school also in Spokane Valley and I would drop them both off in the morning and some days Strand would pick up my son and some days I would pick him up.
Ron and I were listed as parents on the school records. Strand was on the emergency pickup list from the school as it was her address on the records but over time, as the school updates came in, we didn’t see the changes, Strand simply adjusted the records almost entirely removing us.
We even put Strand in control of our Trust to take care of both children in the event we could not. Strand was listed as the primary, but in the event, she couldn’t do it, Janke would take over management of all of the assets.
Strand later told me she had taken as many of her own mother’s assets to support Janke in the 2008 market collapse. In 2012, Janke pressured his father to change his father’s will, who died three days later.
At that point we changed the Trust from Janke and Strand to a totally different person. Shortly thereafter our nightmare began.
Now some of you may think that Child Protective Services were involved, they didn’t need to be in this type of action. Strand actually did file a false report with CPS one month before they filed for De Facto Parentage, but the report stated that there was no issue with the parents, and that the timing was suspect, they recommended he be returned home and stated they believe the child had been coached.
In order to help you understand what you are reading and the events I have arranged this website in “Chapters” which will chronologically take you down the rabbit hole we have endured for the past 3+ years.