There have been forty thousand page hits to this GPS blog since I began to write the Bayne saga in October 2009. Among several hundred daily readers are regulars from B.C. and other provinces but also from the U.S.A. and the UK. Predictably friends and supporters of the Baynes follow the daily episodes. Social workers and foster parents read occasionally. A significant number of MCFD and BC government offices, in Hope, Chilliwack, Vancouver and Victoria consistently glance at the stories. Some journalists take a peak. Despite my desire for the reunification of the five Bayne family members I responsibly use as objective a lens as I can, given my vested interest.
Here is my connection. I officiated the wedding of Paul and Zabeth Bayne years ago. Our paths separated and then last September I was made aware of their wounded lives. I learned as much as I could about the loss of their children into the care of the Ministry. Since I am a writer I began to record that about which I could be reasonably sure. It became an education for me as I poured over the histories not merely of this case but others, and the history of MCFD. I have daily maintained email contact with the Baynes, chiefly to be an encourager. I have occasionally attended court sessions. Regardless of your intellectual position on this case you must acknowledge the anguish of sincere parents whose lives are ruptured by loss and helplessness bordering on hopelessness. Their spirits scarred by suppositions and allegations about them in a forum of opinion in which they have no opportunity for defense.
Zabeth expressed to me recently when reading comments on this blog site, “It is so hard to read this and know that what they are seeing is misinterpreted and that my children are suffering so much. Tears are flowing now and I am so tired and I long for the day when we don't have to defend ourselves and we can just love our children and support them with all their developmental needs as we were once doing and for which our family doctor commended us as exemplary parents as she stated on a Global TV interview. She saw us all the time. We were in the Neonatal follow up program. We lived daily for our children and loved it.”
I am not naive. I did not know either Zabeth or Paul well ten years ago. I don't know everything about them now. I certainly knew nothing about their family life, their parenting skills, child rearing practices, personal habits or issues back in the fall of 2007. I would not defend their innocence and advocate the return of their children on the basis of a distant familiarity. I have needed to objectively process the relevant details and evidence, admittedly through a grid of some empathy, and take a position and I have.
I CAN TELL YOU THIS. THE NEWS MEDIA CAN DISCERN A GOOD STORY AND THEY ARE ALL OVER THIS ONE - JUST WAITING.