I do get emotional about my daughter. I was the ONLY one there who knows Dilara very well. I tried to point that out. NOBODY is more of an expert of Dilara, what she needs and how she thinks and what she knows and how she spends her time than I do. I tried to point that out, but it was like beating my head against the wall.
I was sitting there at a table with her father, who spends probably 12 hours a week, actually "one-on-one" with his daughter in a week, and I have NEVER seen him as actively engaged with her as I am for at least 40 hours a week. The lawyer who was sitting at the table with me was being paid to help Dilara's dad get his way. The mediator was being paid to get Dilara's dad and I to come to an agreement or compromise. I was the only person there who acknowledged that not only was what is going on now working well for all of us, but that it is in Dilara's best interest to maintain the status quo.
I felt like I was beating my head against the wall when I pointed out that none of them knew Dilara as well as I did and that they should trust me to be the person most qualified to act in her best interest. I was frustrated when they kept saying that Dilara's dad didn't want to take my parenting time away. How can they say that I am not losing my parenting time when they are wanting to take my control away of over 22 hours a week of the best hours of the day? They were not listening to me. I kept hearing "he's not trying to take her away," but I could only visualize a calendar with all the hours Monday through Friday that she was going to be kept away from me against my will, AND against her will. 22 hours is a LOT of time. I am meeting her every need right now, but they wouldn't understand that, either. The argument was that she will be better off being with kids her own age and with other adults to teach her. I said over and over, and I have for years, that she already has a very diverse social experience. I have invited Dilara's dad to meet our friends. He doesn't know anything about our lives...it's a "don't confuse me with the fact" type of situation. He is making judgements that he is not qualified to make! He is making uninformed decisions. AND he is ignoring the evidence and resisting my attempts to reveal the truth to him.
One of the worst moments for me was my last-ditch effort at the end of mediation to give them an example of how Dilara and I interact. I brougnt my computer and showed this video of Dilara and how she thinks and how we interact with each other. I ended with this, but next time we go to mediation, I will START with it, although it still probably won't make any difference. There is no compromise we can come to. I will not settle for less than the best I can give Dilara and the best I can give her is my time and attention and affection and teaching. This is a small sampling...less than 3 minutes long, of the kind of interaction Dilara and I engage in. She's so brilliant and exciting to me! I love her ideas. I wish I could record everything she does. NOBODY is even as interested in watching this video than me. The mediator closed my computer partially through this and she totally missed the points I was trying to make it in showing it. That really was the worst moment of mediation for me, but it everybody had already made up their mind that we weren't going to come to an agreement. Dilara's dad doesn't pay attention when I try to tell him about things Dilara says and does, either. Yet, he thinks he knows what is best for her. I almost opened the computer back up and said, "Wait! You're missing the best part!" but, really, nobody care about what is going on inside Dilara's heart and mind or see her in the way I do. I can't document every amazing thing she comes up with, but I was glad I caught her explaining why she could not put many beads inside this contraption. This is one VERY small sample of what I think is good interaction between a student and a teacher. I worked in a classroom setting. I know teachers can't give this kind of one-on-one attention and appreciation to an individual. I still got distracted sometimes and got wrapped up inside one child's mind for a while.It is great when kids can get this kind of attention and encouragement. So few children have the opportunity that Dilara does, and it is so unfortunate that her father wants to take her and put her in an environment that will not come anywhere near to meeting her needs as well as they are being met now. I love her father and I know he wants what is best for Dilara, but he isn't understanding that what she has NOW is the absolute best situation possible. The mediator was "impartial" but she DID have a goal, and that was to get us to come to a compromise. There was NO compromise that I could make that would not rob Dilara of the opportunity she is rightfully entitled to.