Grandmother With Terminal Illness Fears She May Never See Granddaughter, Cadance, Again
A Florida grandmother, who is in endstage ME (Myalgicdt Encephelomyelitis), is on a pilgrimage back to the mountain states where she was raised and where she raised her own children. Chardale Irvine, or Grandma Char as she's known to her grandkids is back to see and connect with her 7 grandchildren and their parents. As of now she's seen all 6 boys, ages 11 weeks to age 13 but the visit with her granddaughter may not happen in time.
Her almost 3 year old granddaughter, Cadance Barney, has been withheld from Mrs Irvine's son, Adam Mackley, for over 18 months. She was taken at age 14 months with the support of a corrupt Utah Family Law Court system and Cadance's mother's family, who are apparently willing to invest any amount of money to make sure Cadance's biological father is not a part of her life.
This is what they weren't prepared for: Cadance's biological father, Adam Mackley, who has made monumental efforts to demonstrate that he has the full intention and desire to be in his daughter's life, will not stop fighting to be able to function as Cadance's father again. Why would a father go to such lengths? Because he doesn't want Cadance to ever think she's not loved or worth fighting for. Because in those 14 months with her a permanent bond formed, as it only can with fathers and their children. That bond over these last 18 months represents an open and deep wound that can't be healed for him until he gets his daughter back. And Mrs Irvine has tried to support him in every way she can though her progressing illness has severely impeded that.
The truth is Adam has had legal problems but in America even people in prison are allowed visitation with their children. This is largely because studies have shown that when children are able to have a relationship with their biological father, regardless of the father's circumstances, it helps the child immensely. Direct results show male children grow up with fewer legal challenges and female children have a much lower percentage of promiscuity and better self-esteem if they have access to their father.
Cadance was born with significant birth defects in her hips and legs. She had her left foot amputated by doctors at Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City at 10 months to prepare to receive a prosthesis. Adam did the first three days of her post op care at his home and brought her to Shriners for her post op follow up.
Cadance had just received her prosthesis one week prior to visitation being denied and was cruising along furniture immediately. She took her first steps two weeks after the last time we saw her.
With little medical acknowledgement of her own illness until very recently, Mrs. Irvine's health has significantly deteriorated. As the illness continues to cause irreversible brain damage, she fears Cadance may never know who her Grandma Char is and this walkabout to bond with her grandkids before it is too late holds an open and gaping void with no way, thus far, to see Cadance.
What would Grandma Char want Cadance to know? That she is loved beyond measure by a whole family, some of whom she has met and many more that she hasn't yet met. That her dad and her grandma will not give up in their efforts to bring her back to this family. That Cadance comes from a family of courageous, adventurous and creative travelers, whose people are beautiful, strong, creative and intelligent.
This little girl, who looks just like her dad, who looks just like his mom (and twin brother), who looks just like her dad, has a place set at our table and in our hearts. This family wants her to know that it doesn't matter how long we are kept away or how far away we are in miles, she is a part of our family.
But Grandma Char worries. Will the corrupt Utah family law system and efforts to illegally sever emotional bonds hurt Cadance? Has it already hurt her?She fears that if Cadance has even 1/100th of the pain her dad and grandma have due to this separation, then it is too much. This little girl with all of her physical challenges will only benefit from more people to inspire her, encourage her and help her find her way.
So Grandma Char continues her pilgrimage to see family in the mountain states with the sacred hope that a miracle will happen for her to see and bond some more with Cadance.