posted on Aug, 31 2004 @ 09:22 AM
Sure...but I'll give you the backstory first...(you asked...hehe...)
My wife was once married to one of my best friends (my wife was simply a friend at this point). I was even one of the best men (he had two) at the
wedding, and my mother made the wedding cake. Anyhoo, they eventually had two children together, a little girl first, then a little boy about a year
One of our friends was a teen who was pregnant, and kicked out of her home. They took her in, and my buddy watched her baby while she went to work.
This teen mother was abusing her baby by shaking it when it cried (unknown at the time). She accused my buddy of the abuse, and since he was a big
guy, he was locked up...(nevermind the fact that he had two children of his own, perfectly fine). This was a long court ordeal, and he never was
convicted. The guards would constantly torture him, but just enough not to leave marks, (as they thought him guilty). It never went to full trial
because after we got my buddy out on bail, he killed himself to end the ordeal for his family...
So, my wife was left with two children to raise, and I lost my best buddy. Well, she eventually hooked up with some of the wrong guys... In doing
so, my wife's mother (hater of all men, disliker of me only) got the kids to say things about these various guys, promising them trips to Disney if
they told the police what she wanted them to say. HRS (now known as DCF) has great power in this state, and managed to take the kids and put them
with my wife's mother. If she attempted to get them back, she faced losing them to the system, and having them with strangers instead of family (she
didn't know the full extent of her mother's involvement at the time).
So, some years went by, and the little boy began having behavioral issues. Well, the grandma abandoned them to the system. At this point, my wife
and I were engaged, and we fought to get custody of the boy. Unfortunately, this failed, as we didn't have the funds (or the wits it seems) to get a
"real" lawyer. After this, any thought of getting back the little girl was terrifying.
A couple of years went by, and then the grandma had a stroke. She could no longer care for the girl, and wanted her to be with her mom (guess the
threat of death can guilt you)... It was arranged by grandma's lawyer, and we had her back for a couple weeks before DCF again had to get involved.
They took the girl, and said without a close family member to go to, she'd go into the system, pending a termination of parental rights. We placed
her with my brother, and she is still with him until we can get her back.
So far, we've had a lot of visitation, (seeing her today and tomorrow in fact) and the councilor and all can see how happy she is with us. We have a
real lawyer, and are fighting to get permanent custody. But, DCF is constantly reorganizing (yesterday the leader of it stepped down even), and it
takes forever to get anywhere with them... Unfortunately time is on their side. But, we've got a few more cards to play in "nice mode", before
the lawyer's gloves come off.
For now, we get to see her about twice a month, and then additional family gatherings like birthdays, holidays, etc. We want it to be everyday of
course, and we're going to fight the state tooth and nail for it... it's just going to take time....