Tuesday, August 30, 2016
This is a flashback to well over a decade ago when I officiated the wedding ceremony for Zabeth and Paul. Today they have four vibrant, growing, intelligent and lovely children. They could never have imagined as they knelt before me (their choice), that within a few years they would experience yet endure the gravest assault upon their family, their hearts and their reputations. In 2007, accused (but unproven) of hurting their youngest of three children then, all three children were removed from them. For four years they maintained their innocence and fought passionately through hearings and court cases. Then as a crowning insult, their newborn fourth child was removed shortly after birth in 2011. With the help of the late Doug Christie (barrister extraordinaire) and Ray Ferris (former MCFD supervisor turned critic) and through their own faith and determination and the moral support of hundreds of advocates, they received their children back in 2011, and in the five years since then, their thriving family provides the continuing evidence of a wrong diagnosis, incorrect assumptions of guilt, the risk of unfettered power among blasé bureaucrats, social workers and litigators; as well as the evidence of the diligent, honest, upright and loving parents and people that Paul and Zabeth are. They are a continuing inspiration to many troubled people. I will never forget them, Zabeth in particular with whom I maintained an almost daily contact through the years of their ordeal. Thank you God, for setting them free.