They don’t want me to tell my story. It’s easier for corruption to grow when it’s not exposed. It’s easier to lie when it goes un-challenged by truth, and it’s far easier to steal someone’s children when they can’t fight back. As a pretty outspoken advocate of parental rights, I never thought I’d be sitting in this position — that I would be on the receiving end of every parent’s worst nightmare, but I’ve officially had the pleasure of experiencing one of the most corrupt systems in our country and I fully intend on doing something about it.
My adopted children were unlawfully withheld by DFS (the “Department of Family Services,” also known as CPS), in a state that neither I, nor they, are residents of, and were placed in foster care on no grounds so that they could be illegally adopted out to a family who was given the resources that I, by law … should have been given. I have been deprived of my rights, my children, visitation and contact with my children, have been lied to and lied about, have been the recipient of false judgments when not a shred of evidence was presented against me, and I am taking my case up to the Court of Appeals.
I remember it like it was yesterday … where I was at, what I was doing, what was going on in my life at the time. I remember when my then husband and I decided to adopt two babies from the Democratic Republic of Congo. It just seemed like the right thing to do — caring for orphans, giving up our resources in return for giving two children who would have died otherwise life. I don’t think most people adopt because it’s easy or because they have a hundred thousand dollars lying around they don’t know what to do with. They do it because they recognize that the humanity in them and the humanity in a child comes from the same place — at least that’s how it was for me.
Adoption, Divorce, and the Fight to Bring Them Home
The adoptions of my son and daughter were finalized on December 2, 2013 but what was supposed to be a six month process turned into an almost three-year nightmare because a suspension hit that prevented their exit from the country along with thousands of other children. For years I campaigned, fasted, pleaded with the President of their nation and ours, raised money for our adoption, flew back and forth to visit our children, and paid an astronomical amount each month to keep our children alive.
During this time, I also started a non-profit in Congo that focused on poverty alleviation and orphan care. We drilled wells, fed and clothed orphans, built schools, and provided medical supplies and food to orphanages. We were invested in the lives of more than just our children. We were invested in their country, their culture, and their communities.
I didn’t see September of 2015 coming. I remember the night my then husband came home from his six-week Air Force training. His uncharacteristically cold stare was enough to tell me that something was off. With no emotion whatsoever, he stated that he had unilaterally decided he would not allow our adopted children to come home (as they were projected to be released). No discussion allowed. All I could do was cry. I was told nothing that would make it even remotely okay to leave two kids in a third world country to die. Does such a justification even exist?
These children were ours. They had our last name. They were his legal obligation (per an affidavit signed via the Department of Homeland Security). They were equal with our biological children (at least in my eyes), and their adoptions were completed and paid for. They had passports, U.S visas, and their tickets to come home had already been purchased. He and my mother had visited them just three months earlier to advocate for their release and he had promised our daughter that the next time he came back, it would be to bring her home. Nothing about this made sense.
Days later I found out that he was having an affair and had spent the entire duration of our eight year marriage living a lie. He did not want me, the baby I was carrying, the adopted children, our non-profit (that was in the middle of a major project), or the life we had built together. He just suddenly “couldn’t love kids who weren’t his blood,” couldn’t love me either, and said he never had. It was like coming to the realization that hell existed and that hell was my real life.
I did not stop hoping that his heart would change and that he would do the right thing, but I knew I had to follow God even if he wasn’t. Somebody had to put our kids first and that’s exactly what I did. I moved back to the town we had just moved from — a town near my family, our church, and a place familiar to my children. The (bio) girls and I slept on couches for a few weeks until I got a job as a marketing manager for a social media company that allowed me to work from home. I saved up for a place to live and worked 364 days straight in order to take over my adopted children’s astronomical monthly care fees.
When the facility my adopted children were living in was closing down (because the children living in it were coming home), I hired a private investigator to find out everything I could about their family and contacted their birth mom to see if reunification with her was possible. I am a huge advocate of reunification and realize that often mothers give up their children because they simply don’t have the means to care for them. When reunification was not possible and I couldn’t find alternative care, I decided to bring them into my home. I wanted them to have the life they were promised, the opportunities our country had to offer, and it was my obligation as both a Christian and their adoptive mother.
My soon-to-be ex-husband did not respond well when I made my intentions known. He pretended he wanted to reconcile in order to get information and then threatened a lawsuit against our adoption agency behind my back (a document I still have) if they brought “his kids” out (while telling everyone else these were suddenly not his kids). That was it for me.
There are very few times I can remember when God has spoken so clearly to me that I knew it was Him. One night, He woke me up and told me that the plane tickets purchased earlier that year for the purpose of bringing our kids home had been tagged. I had already tried to switch the tickets to my name, but my then husband must have found out because the tickets had since been tagged to notify him if a booking took place.
The next morning I called the U.S. embassy and made sure all of the communications came to me. I called my friends in the Congolese government and told them what was happening and how important it was to get these children out. I pleaded. I begged. And I prayed. I hired a lawyer in Congo, borrowed money from my parents (as they had sold their house and the five acres I grew up on to help pay for our adoption), and booked tickets on different airlines.
I was always one step ahead. I had to be.
When they were finally released, my daughter was held for a bribe at the airport in D.R Congo. I wouldn’t pay it as a matter of principle. Other parents were smuggling their children out, but I wouldn’t do it because I didn’t want to aid the corruption and I knew if I did, it would have been used against me. I had the choice of leaving both there or flying my son out and going back for my daughter. I couldn’t risk it — so I flew my son out, worked more hours, and paid my attorney to go back for her and advocate for her release.
Their Arrival and a New Set of Challenges
When my bio baby was six weeks old, I picked up my son from the airport. Three weeks later my daughter arrived. When their father found out, he told me he would punish me for bringing them home. He unleashed his anger, tried to insinuate I was mentally unstable, turned his back on our adopted kids, went back on thousands of dollars worth of settlement agreements, revoked his consent to allow me to move so that I could find better work and resources, and treated our adopted children in a manner words are not sufficient to describe.
He excluded them from visitations, family functions, deprived them of insurance and the paperwork required to get them services and social security cards, ignored them during Face Time sessions, refused to participate in therapy, told our bio kids he wasn’t their siblings’ father (countering the three prior years of telling them otherwise), and treated our adopted children with utter contempt. (My family on the other hand, loved these children, treated them equally, and did everything they could to compensate for their loss.)
I was so relieved to have them home after so many years that I didn’t even notice how hard things were for us at first. I had five kids ages 4, 4, 2, 2, and six weeks old, with four kids in diapers. I learned their tribal language so that I could communicate with them. I immediately and voluntarily put my kids in intensive adoption preservation therapy (the one state service we qualified for) to help them deal with their trauma, the disparate treatment they were experiencing, bonding and attachment issues, and to help learn the skills I needed to navigate our unique challenges.
I also put myself in counseling to help with the trauma of my divorce and adoption challenges. (Let me tell you, nobody signs up for this much counseling because it’s fun.) I handled the language barriers, food hoarding, bedwetting, inconsolable tantrums, biting, hitting, scratching, lying, reactive attachment disorder, and all of the other things associated with complex trauma as a single parent.
When my daughter chewed up crayons and spit them into the carpet, I cleaned it up. When she chewed holes through all of her shirts, I bought her new ones. When she peed in the car, at the playground, stuffed food into the seats, stole food, and approached strangers, I gently corrected her. When she acted out her frustrations, I held her. When she couldn’t sit in a classroom, I homeschooled her until she could. When she couldn’t handle transitions, I created a book for her and we read it every day so she would know where she was going, what she was doing, and who would be there. Most people “cocoon” for one month. We cocooned for four because my daughter needed that. For four months we did not leave our apartment other than for church and even our groceries were delivered.
When my son pooped white liquid all over the floor (a common sign of malnutrition), I hit my knees and cried, and then I wiped it up and asked a doctor that I knew if he would give me worming medications because we didn’t have insurance. I taught them to eat with utensils, taught my daughter English and how to act around men, spent ungodly amounts of time doing hair (because it was important to my daughter that she not have the Congolese stigma of having short hair), went to hours and hours of therapy multiple days each week, had a home study (just in case I ever found myself dealing with DFS/CPS and needed to have verification of my home environment), allowed a therapist into my home every Monday night, helped them navigate lights, noises, sounds, made each child their own sensory bin, taught them Jesus, prayed with them at night, made them their favorite foods, took them on trips, worked from home so they could have 24/7 care, and advocated for them on a level only a mother could.
I gave up taking the bar, my dream of finally having a career, my non-profit, and for a time, my blog so that I could devote 100% of my time to my children, while continuing to work from home at night. This is just a glimpse into the life we lived and sacrifices I made for my children.
When these babies were lying on a cold floor in an orphanage starving to death, before they even became my children, I gave them MY milk and then I shipped them the best possible formula so that my son wouldn’t have to drink tea in a bottle. I paid extra to a nanny so that my son would not be left on a cold floor crying, but would be comforted and cared for. I shipped them clothes, food, cloth diapers to replace the plastic sacks they sat in, and raised money to provide sewing machines to the orphanage they came from so that the older girls, including their mother, could learn a skill that could keep them off the streets.
When their mother was in a hospital with their sister in Congo and couldn’t afford the bill to leave, I went without food so that I could pay the bill so they could get out. When their other sister died, I made sure she had a proper burial.
I wanted my adopted children to grow up knowing who they were and where they came from, and to see how much I loved them by loving their mother.
Although my son integrated into the family without missing a beat and bonded and attached immediately to me and the other kids, my daughter struggled with the abandonment, discrimination, and rejection she was facing. She was processing everything she had suffered during her life and did not understand why her father no longer wanted her. As she learned English, she would talk about how “daddy didn’t love her” and “daddy didn’t love mommy either” and I think in some sad way, it comforted her to know that we were in this together.
She took to my newborn (her brother) as if he were her very own and she rocked and sang to him for hours in her little special language. This was the only thing that soothed her and could bring her back from that hard place she would get stuck in. She loved him more than she had ever loved anything or anyone and their attachment was instant.
Despite those sweet moments, things were extremely difficult. We would take two steps forward, she would get triggered, and we would take what seemed like three steps back. She had severe reactive attachment disorder, PTSD, sensory processing disorder, and a history of abuse — made worse by the rejection she felt.
I remember sitting in a therapy session about six months in. I asked the therapist what someone in my situation would do and she looked at me and said, “Megan, any other parent would have given up a long time ago. I don’t even know how you’re doing this.” I was exhausted, but I simply wasn’t ready to give up.
I thought my daughter would benefit from having a complete work-up (at a hospital that had a department specializing in issues unique to international adoption), occupational therapy services, and an IEP that could help her learn in school, but she was intentionally deprived of insurance and the citizenship paper she needed to get her social security card. I tried to get help from the state but a social security card was required to get that too. I went through the Air Force to try to get her insurance and I tried for over a year and a half to get my ex-husband to give me her proper citizenship paper. When I finally got it, he had put a different last name on it so that she wouldn’t have his — rendering the paper completely useless.
I tried to seek relief in the court system. By law, I wasn’t allowed to withhold visitation for any reason (and I didn’t), but I wanted all of our children to be treated the same. I believe without a doubt that this would have helped our situation. Unfortunately, I had poor representation, couldn’t afford another lawyer, and my case was never heard.
Reaching Out for Help
After a year and a half, things got to a place where we simply couldn’t go without resources any longer. I called the Department of Family Services in my county to see if they could help me. I asked if there were programs I qualified for via the state of Illinois. They said there weren’t (which I now know was not true). They referred me to my adoption agency, but it had since closed down. There were no post-placement adoption services available for me, no respite, and no help, except for this family — relatives of my ex-husband who had been actively involved in our lives since the minute I brought them home. They told me they had always wanted to adopt, loved my kids, loved me, and would be honored if I allowed them to privately adopt my children, with the expectation that it would be a completely open adoption. I absolutely adored this family. I had no reason to think that their intentions were anything other than what they portrayed.
This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I knew my daughter had needs and I was humble enough to recognize that as a single parent of five small children with no resources, I was struggling to meet them. In that moment, I felt it would have been selfish of me to deprive my daughter of the opportunity to have the things I knew she needed. So I checked my pride at the door in an effort to give them a better life.
Now, if you’ve never adopted or been privileged to be in my position (and I hope you never are), allow me to educate you:
Re-homing is adopting a child and then illegally placing that child in another person’s home. Re-homing occurs when people bypass the legal process and market or illegally traffic their children. A dissolution via a private adoption involves an actual court process and that court process varies depending on whether or not you’re dealing with relatives. It requires attorneys, petitions, home studies, and various requirements. There is nothing secret or illegal about it and it’s most often utilized when parents find themselves in a position where they are without resources, cannot care for their children, and don’t want their children to end up in the system.
This is the REAL reason 25% of adoptions end up in secondary placements — children have needs and parents don’t have the resources to meet them. It is NOT because the parents are bad parents or because the children are bad children.
Why don’t you hear more about this? Because adoptive parents are afraid to speak out, are shamed into silence, and because they fear being chastised by a culture that lacks all empathy and understanding, and is jaded by perfect adoption stories.
If you think that any mother spends thousands of dollars to adopt, endures years of emotional anguish, and is forced to get her children out of a third world country in a manner that takes a sacrifice of everything she has because she wants to give up her children, you need a reality check.
I had the potential adoptive family complete a state approved home study, we signed a guardianship, they filed their petition to adopt, and they made an official announcement about how excited they were about my children, how hard I had fought for them, and praised my efforts to give them the best life possible.
I didn’t think this was goodbye; yet, immediately upon getting my children, I and my family were cut off. They stopped calling my children by the names I had given them (I later found out) and said they needed a “fresh start.” This was extremely wrong and very painful, but on some level I felt I could understand and I had signed a guardianship that could only be terminated via a court order or by the expiration of time (which had not yet passed). What was I supposed to say, “the mother hurt my feelings and I have no reason to believe my kids are in danger, but I want them back … and no I still don’t have resources for them?”
I did my best to respect this family and their space. I didn’t want to jeopardize the lives I was promised my children would have. I offered to take my kids to medical and dental appointments, fill out their papers for school, sent Christmas presents, and strongly recommended we meet, especially for my son who was having a hard time being abruptly separated from us (and still is). My grandma (their great-grandmother) watched my son’s school performances from the balcony of the church and we had to rely on updates and videos from people in the community.
Every time I checked in with the potential adoptive mother I was harassed, threatened, or pressured for money I didn’t have and wasn’t going to pay. To this day, I do not know what fueled this sudden change in behavior, and quite frankly, I did not know how to respond to it. I was always reassured that things were moving forward, my kids were wanted, and that they were doing well, despite how I was treated.
In Feb. of 2018 when the adoption still hadn’t been finalized, I reached out and the conversation led me to believe that they were trying to re-home my children. I made my objections known and immediately contacted my attorney who sent a letter that made it clear that I wanted my children returned to me if they were not proceeding with the adoption. I received no response.
Two months later (nine months after they had taken guardianship) I received a text at 6 a.m. to come get my kids by 6pm that night. It was three weeks before the end of the school year. I had received no notice that they had dismissed the adoption (or were even considering it) and no call from them (evidenced by my phone records, which I have) or an attorney on either side. I tried calling my attorney. No answer. I tried calling the dad to speak with him directly to find out what was going on and to equip myself, the children I had at home, and my adopted children (as this was very abrupt). My call was not returned. I even humbled myself and called my ex-husband (their father) for help, which was both the smartest and stupidest thing I’ve ever done.
I wanted nothing more than to pick my kids up and bring them home, but I had to know what type of resources I needed to have in place, whether there were issues with the children (because people don’t just do this), what was legally allowed under a currently in place guardianship (that was NOT terminable at will), how to protect us from my ex-husband, and how to ensure the best possible transition back into my home.
And then there were practical things: I had no insurance, child support for them, no way to get them to their schools, no therapy services, no help, no car seats, no knowledge of what had happened, a horrible attorney that I couldn’t even afford and wasn’t returning my calls, no way to pick them up, and I was dealing with a woman who was threatening to “play dirty” with me.
So I did what any parent never wants to have to do: I called the “Department of Family Services” in my county/state (again), along with the therapist, a counseling center, and an organization that works with DFS to provide resources. I was told that Illinois had passed new legislation geared towards helping at-risk families stay together but the only way I could get the services I needed was if DFS in my county/state got involved. Once they did, I would have whatever we needed. Finally, after YEARS of fighting for services, I was going to get them … and my kids, or so I thought.
Enter the Department of “Family” Services (DFS/CPS)
Since the family would not communicate with me, I could not find any other services in the short period I was given, and I wanted to make sure everything was done properly, I told them that getting DFS involved was the only option if they weren’t willing to communicate with me or give me time. I heard nothing back. I received a call a few days later that the family had abandoned my kids at DFS in their county/state and made up a false story when they did it. I was given no notice by them of their plans or intentions in doing so.
When they were dropped off, DFS called me about my kids. I tried to explain the situation I was in and the woman hung up on me. Their own policy manual (though I did NOT know it at the time) requires them to treat all parents with respect, to provide resources to hurting families, and to reunify them as quickly as possible. They did no family assessment, gave me no details or information about my kids, did not ask me what happened, provided me with zero resources, did not transfer the kids to their proper jurisdiction (which was just 25 minutes away) so that I could get resources, and instead immediately set about trying to illegally adopt them out.
I know what you’re thinking, really Megan? Aren’t you being a little paranoid here thinking that DFS would actually do such a thing? No, I’m not. (They actually do it all the time.) I know exactly what happened, which families were called, what false narrative was told, what the text messages said, and yes … that’s exactly what they did.
Since they wouldn’t give me resources, I tried to get my own. I asked my landlord to rent out my apartment so I could find another place for us to live. I signed up for the bar exam so that I could have enough to provide for them. I arranged counseling, hired a college girl to help me for the summer, found services through a ministry, and planned to file a show cause to enforce the court order for child support and insurance. I also tried to find a new attorney licensed in both states, but nobody knew what to do with this. I was forced to represent myself (because having a public defender appointed who doubles as an agent for DFS really isn’t a viable alternative). This was as good as I could possibly do.
Then, I went to the prosecutor complete with a ginormous stack of evidence I had been meticulous at collecting over the years. At this point, my children were not in foster care but had been in temporary protective custody for about two weeks. I was honest. I left nothing out. (What did I have to gain by doing otherwise?) I made my intentions clear. I told him about my efforts to obtain resources and I refuted every single lie DFS was running with and the narrative the family who dropped them off had told.
As a result, my kids my kids were supposed to be returned to me on May 21st, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. When the family who had them (for a few days mind you) found out, they called their friends at DFS to stop it and would not return them.
I decided to talk to the guardian ad litem in my case, explain the situation, and counter whatever false narrative they were using to withhold my children with my vast amount of evidence. At this point, I still didn’t know what my rights were and that they were being violated (this is with my knowledge of law, so I can’t imagine how much worse it is for other parents). All I knew is that guardian ad litems are required to be objective, professional, and unbiased, and that I had the evidence to refute the lies.
When I met with the guardian ad litem, she made her bias known from the outset. She had no intention of reunifying me with my children and her goal was to adopt them out. She lied to my face stating that my kids had blood “relatives” in Missouri who wanted to adopt them, which I found amusing considering I had done an investigation into my children’s family, as did the Congolese government and the U.S embassy. They’re only half-siblings, their dads are unknown, and I have a list of every single person who adopted at or near the time I did. My children have no blood relatives in Missouri, let alone the United States.
When I asked her why she would not support them returning to me, she stated that the family who had them had been (and I quote) “VETTED.” I remember thinking, what exactly does this “vetting” process entail? Because I can assure you it is not legal. When I explained to her how hard my situation had been and my attempt to get help for us, her response was … “Well, I had a baby in law school once.” It took me a minute to pick my jaw up off the table. I had a baby in law school too and it didn’t even remotely compare to the hardship I had endured.
She interrogated me for more than two hours, accused me of abandoning my kids even though I had been trying to get them back, they were under a legal guardianship with another family, and I wasn’t the one who dropped them off at DFS. She said I only wanted them back now because I didn’t want to pay child support for them to be in foster care (even though I was not the one obligated to provide child support in the first place), and that she was going to drag this out because I was just some mom who thought I could “call the shots.” Yet, when asked whether she saw any reason to think that I was a danger to my children or my home was unsafe … she said “no.”
She made it known that she had no intention of following the law, and she hasn’t. Since that day, she has continuously lied in court, to the family who has my children, and to the counselor. She has undermined my rights, ignored, twisted, and excluded relevant evidence, and prevented me from participating in family counseling with my kids so that she can give the counselor her made up version of the “facts” and their history (which only I have).
She has prevented me from seeing my children and interfered with our ability to be reunified. She lied to the court saying my ex-husband didn’t have rights even though I presented her with our divorce paperwork and the fact that no termination order exists. Let’s face it … it would make it harder to adopt out my children if he were pursued, would validate my story, and the court wouldn’t have jurisdiction of my case (and therefore, my kids couldn’t be put in foster care).
She lied in court stating that my children didn’t remember me anymore, ignored medical documentation of my daughter’s conditions, tried to make me get a psyche evaluation, lied about the duration they were in the other family’s care (and my care), lied about the terms of the guardianship that was in place, excluded any testimony that was favorable to me, and stated that after only a few weeks, they were completely bonded to this new family — something that anyone with children of complex trauma knows takes YEARS (and contradicts the medical documentation in my possession).
When I finally got a good attorney to fight what they were doing to me, found out what my rights were and that they had been violated, and decided to appeal to a higher Court, she tried to have the prosecutor removed from my case because he doesn’t play by her rules. (He actually follows the law and adheres other people to it, which is quite refreshing.) She has defended DFS in their failure to provide resources (in violation of state statute), is working with them to adopt out my kids, and is trying to get the funding to submit a brief against me in the Court of Appeals.
There’s no evidence against me, so if she wants it, she’s going to have to literally make it up.
The Hearing That Put My Kids in Foster Care
As part of the juvenile process, there is an adjudication hearing that must be conducted prior to putting children in foster care. I showed up at this hearing to get my kids back. (I showed up WEEKS before then.) There was NO EVIDENCE presented against me and no evidence to support the lies of DFS and the guardian ad litem. Zip. Zero. Nada.
I have no criminal record. I have never done drugs. I don’t drink. I have no history of abuse, violence, or neglect of any kind. I have a law degree (one of many degrees), am an outstanding member in my community, am involved in foreign missions, and have a substantial amount of evidence to support my position.
It was determined that no abuse or neglect of any kind had occurred and that I was simply a mom in a hard situation, yet my kids were put in foster care and placed with this family — who were given the services that (by law) should have been given to me.
Typically parents have a list they must complete in order to get their children back (e.g. Get clean, go to rehab, complete counseling, etc.). There was no list for me because there was nothing to put on a list.
This wasn’t just any family. This was a family who had adopted from Congo during the same time I did. I advocated for the release of their son right along with my own. I helped them with their adoption paperwork and vaccination exemptions. I donated to their adoption and their son’s orphanage. We went to the same church and they were my parent’s former small group leaders. We talked at length about the adoption process, illegal manners in which parents were bringing their kids out, and my unique situation. They knew I was fighting for my kids and wanted them. My kids would NOT be in foster care today if they were returned like they should have been that day.
Let’s be clear, my intention is not to attack them. If it were, I wouldn’t have put up with this and remained silent for as long as I have. I’ve offered grace (and will continue to do so) but at the end of the day, you cannot collude with DFS and the guardian ad litem in taking someone else’s children, unlawfully withhold them, make up a story in doing so, and put it under the guise of doing Christ’s work. As their mother and a Christian, I cannot pretend that this is right, legal, or even remotely biblical, because it’s not.
The job of a foster parent is to “foster” a child until they can be reunified with their parent and to be an active participant in that process. It is not to get a child put in foster care so that you can adopt them.
When the judgments came out from these hearings, they were completely inaccurate: They said that I was unwilling to take my kids back even though I showed up in court (and weeks before then) to do it. They said that the resources had been provided to me (they weren’t), that efforts had been made to contact relatives (Not a single person in my family was contacted and they live in the SAME county as this DFS.), that the kids could not be returned to my home (for imaginary reasons that are also not listed), that my ex-husband has no rights (He does.), that the court had jurisdiction of my case (It doesn’t.), and that DFS is pursuing reunification. (Nope. They are simply dragging it out for the “required” statutory period so they can claim they pursued reunification … and then they’ll say my rights should be terminated because I haven’t seen my kids in so long.)
Oh, do you know what the top of the dispositional judgment states? “Order of Abuse/Neglect.”
EXCUSE ME, ANYONE? Does anyone understand the ramifications of these false judgments on my life, my career, my ability to get my children back, and my ability to parent my other children? These false judgments affect the safety and welfare of my entire family. What kind of justice system is this? Am I supposed to just sit back and do nothing about this corruption?
Where Things Are Today
I am now re-married to an amazing Christian man (an engineer) who seems to think that good things can happen during the bad, who has a heart 10x bigger than mine, who wasn’t afraid to love me despite my situation, and who shows up at court right along with me because he wants all of us. I am rebuilding my life. I deserve to and my children deserve to be a part of it. We are fighting this together.
I am seven months into my nightmare with the Department of “Family” Services and have still not had visitation or contact with my children. I have not been allowed to participate in counseling with their counselor so that she has an accurate view of their history and issues, and I am facing what will probably be $100,000 in court fees to appeal my case, maintain the case at the trial level, and to fight my ex-husband, who yes … did eventually come after me making good on everything he said he was going to do if I brought our children home and attempted to move on with my life.
What I’m Going To Do
I don’t know how I am going to do it, how I am going to pay for it, and how it is all going to work out but I know bringing my children home was the right thing to do. I know that they would not be alive without me. I know that I did everything I possibly could to provide for them, and I know that I have the evidence (documentation, texts, call logs, video footage, etc.) to back up everything I’ve stated in this post … and then some.
Not a day passes where I do not think about my children and what I might have done differently. Not a day passes where I don’t regret sending my son, who did not have the issues my daughter had with her. Not a day passes where I do not wish this entire situation had transpired differently, and not a day passes where I do not wish my children were home. I am not a perfect parent, but I know that I did everything I could, and I still am.
My kids should be participating in counseling with me, should be re-integrating into their family (not a foster family), and should be experiencing holidays, memories, and permanency in the home they were always meant to be in. No parent should ever have to fear the removal of their children because they parent differently, because a guardian ad litem or case worker from DFS has an agenda or “has vetted” a family who wants to adopt your child, or because a mother finds herself in a place where she needs help. Adopting out another person’s child is NOT okay, is a gross violation of the law and one’s constitutional rights, and leaves the children who actually do need families sitting in a broken system.
This isn’t just a “Me” problem. It’s a growing United States of America problem … and I intend to do something about it.