Dear Great Auntie,
Your great niece and nephew have some sense of the situation (as most children know what is really going on) and hold deep in their hearts your time spent with them. They also are dealing with the feelings of their parents' separation and the loss of their dad and uncle. It is a lot for kids and I am wary of court being another stressor for them. You don’t say how long this has been going on, if it is less than two months or so, I advise you to give it a little more time and maybe your niece-in-law will come around. In the meantime, perhaps you could write her a letter telling her how much you miss the children and offering a suggestion of sending them a cute card and small gift just to maintain contact and offering her your assistance in any way she might need.
Her calling the police sounds excessive and volatile; or she has something to hide. My suspicion is that she is seeing someone and doesn’t want you to know about it.
A dirt bike for a three year old seems very inappropriate and I wonder why you took your mom’s side on this issue. Your doing this may be her gripe with you.
It all seems very sad that she would take away a loving great aunt when the children are already adjusting to their dad being gone.
If you do decide to take her to court, I strongly urge you to consult an attorney and assess your chances of making a bad situation better or worse.
I wish you the best,
Natalie Robinson Garfield