Neighbors praise Gravelles; girl demonstrates size of beds

Date: 2007-01-22


Vilification of the Clarksfield Township parents of 11 adoptive children angered a Clarksfield couple who say they visited the home unannounced for years and never saw signs of abuse.

Carl and Carol Gibson, Clarksfield, live several miles from Michael and Sharen Gravelle, who were convicted Dec. 22 of 11 criminal charges, including child endangering.

In protest to the convictions, the Gibsons participated in creating a video which was aired on a Brunswick Cable Television station to tell citizens about their experiences with the Gravelles and to show a child crawling in and out of the enclosed beds.

A farmer, Carl Gibson, 72, met the Gravelles a number of years ago when he sold a calf to them. Whenever Carl Gibson visited at the Gravelle home, he said he saw well-fed, well-clothed children who played happily, plenty of age appropriate toys and bicycles in the yard, loving discipline when needed, and parents who looked to experts for advice on problems.

"I'm so angry with a system that will come take children out of a decent home," Carl Gibson said.

Gibson first learned the children were removed from the home through gossip about newscasts. Gibson sat in a local restaurant and heard people talking about 11 children being locked in cages. From initial news reports, people made up their minds the Gravelles were guilty, Gibson said, adding people don't want to believe him when he tells them the Gravelles are decent people. Yet as Gibson and his wife sat through witness testimony in court, no evidence was presented of children being in a dog cage, the only structure the same measurements as listed on a search warrant used the day the children were removed from the home, Gibson said.

No evidence was presented of locks being placed on the doors of the enclosed beds Michael Gravelle built, Gibson said.

Carol Gibson, a registered nurse for 42 years, also visited unannounced at the Gravelle home.

A mandated reporter of child abuse -- meaning she could face criminal charges if she witnesses evidence of child abuse and fails to report it to law enforcement or child services employees -- Carol Gibson said she never saw abuse in the home, or she would have reported it.

Even though Carol Gibson never saw the beds, she was told about the alarms on the doors and understood the Gravelles needed to know when the children got out of bed at night.

Carol Gibson worked in a nursing home. If people wandered around at night, alarms were placed on their beds so staff could keep track of them, she said.

Allegations the Gravelles home schooled the children to isolate them also angered the Gibsons.

Especially since Carl Gibson suggested that the Gravelles consider home schooling the children when he heard about problems the older ones were having in a local public school, and learning disabilities of some of the younger ones, he said.

Gibson's granddaughter, who is 18, was home schooled. She is well-mannered, confident and intelligent, Gibson said, adding she tested in the 99th percentile on the ACT college entrance exam.

Complaints home-schooled children are not properly socialized are unfounded, Gibson said. Home schoolers point out their children are not subjected to negative socialization common in schools.

To further prove the Gravelle children's beds were not the monstrous devices claimed by prosecutors, Carol Gibson filmed her granddaughter, Liza Yurovich, 11, climbing in and out of the beds in December of 2005. Tatiana Yurovich, Liza's mother, gave permission for the Register to show the video of her daughter on the Register Web site.


Is this coincidental?

Earlier today I was adding information about adoption agency Grace International Adoptions from New Orleans, Louisiana. Out of curiosity I looked up the name of their Russian coordinator Tatiana Yurovich, who happens to live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and has her own adoption consultancy firm there. That in and of itself is not very exceptional. Many agencies have coordinators living in other parts of the country, and several agencies list an independent coordinator, working for several agencies, as a staff member.

When searching for more information about this Tatiana Yurovich, I found the above article, which relates to the Gravelle case, one of the most notorious cases of abuse in adoptive families.

Unlike most articles about the Gravelle's the above article. apparently wants us to believe that the caging of children, as the Gravelle's did, was actually benign. The claims come from people who seem to be just neighbours. Yet the girl, filmed as climbing in and out of the beds is the daughter of the adoption facilitator Tatiana Yurovich. This makes me wonder: if Grandpa liked the Gravelle's because he sold them a calf, would it be unlikely other family members liked the Gravelle's too, because of selling livestock?

CPS: their spies and auxiliaries

This year our family has nearly escaped the clutches of the Child Protective Services. However, we have won the case, and to such an extent that the CPS were forced themselves to enter an oral plea to dismiss the case (against us). But our site is not dedicated only to our case - in the second part of our story we unveil the whole palette of monstrous methods and tactics of the CPS and the plight of American Family who is pitilessly violated in its most basic constitutional rights by the monsters called the Child Protective Services. Please read our true story with all documents, signed, filed and sealed, on our site

Let's go to the video

I don't know how many watched the video, but I did.. and I'm not going to lie... the video bothered me.  What I saw was something similar to a video recording of  tourists visiting an old prison.  It's easy to act tough when what you're doing isn't real.  It's fun and neat to climb on the beds and pretend you're going to sleep with the hinged doors open or closed.... but at some point it must be remembered... this was a room for children saved through adoption and this is where adoptees were expected to sleep.  Would I describe the room as being bright, fun or even remotely cheerful?  No.  I'd describe the room as being dark and creepy.

Meanwhile, as I'm watching a 10 year old climb inside the enclosed bed and offer her opinion, I'm supposed to believe she's having fun and could do that climbing in and out all day.  According to the brave volunteer, the bed-in-question feels like a club house and is bigger than her own bunk bed.  At one point, the girl states,  "It looks spooky, but it really isn't".

Sorry readers, but I'm not as brave as a 10 year old girl being filmed for the media.  I'm 41.... being enclosed in an oversized bunk-bed, at night, with no access to a toilet or sink is more than spooky to me.

Last but not least, as a RN, I especially liked the last few seconds of the video.  The 10 year old tells the watching/listening audience how a child safety gate, wedged in a door/window frame, was used to prevent falls from a raised bed, kept in an adjacent room.  In other words, that gate was there, theoretically, for the child's safety.   According to the FDA, certain rules must be followed when it comes to resident safety.

Assessment by the patient’s health care team will help to determine how best to keep the patient safe. Historically, physical restraints (such as vests, ankle or wrist restraints) were used to try to keep patients safe in health care facilities. In recent years, the health care community has recognized that physically restraining patients can be dangerous. Although not indicated for this use, bed rails are sometimes used as restraints. Regulatory agencies, health care organizations, product manufacturers and advocacy groups encourage hospitals, nursing homes and home care providers to assess patients’ needs and to provide safe care without restraints.  [From:  A Guide to Bed Safety Bed Rails in Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Home Health Care: The Facts ]

Who helped the Gravelles keep their adopted children safe?

the Gravelles

one always has to wonder what nut of a social worker placed a child there.... HE already had been in trouble for sexually abusing his biological daughter, had handed her over to CPS at one report because he just couldn't keep his hands off her...

when I had homestudies completed they spoke to all my children.... they are supposed to speak to all the adult children as well; apprently didn't even go that far

the shear number of children in the home, some had HIV it was reported... others had sexually reactive behaviors... (gee, great mix)

but let now of us forget the attachment therapist who worked with these people; encouraged and suggested this crap to them.... did any of them have to spend one night in jail? or in the wonderful caged bunkbed?

nope, but they sure did get $100s of thousands of dollars off the state of Ohio to treat (abuse) these children


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