I am writing my story to clear up some information that is published on this page. Here is my story:
We became foster parents on 12/05/2001 in the small town of Canon City, Colorado. We had one biological daughter and wanted another child. We had suffered numerous lost pregnancies and it had taken it's toll on me physically and emotionally.
I was married to a sheriff's deputy and he would come home from work and tell me the stories of children he had assisted the Department of Social Services in removing from their home. My heart always broke for both the children and parent, because I could relate to their loss.
After some soul searching, we decided that we could offer these children a safe and stable family until they could be reunified with their parents. If for some reason the parents could not reunify with these children, then we would like to be considered to adopt. We were not of means, and could only offer love and what we had to share with them.
On the day we became officially certified as foster parents, we were placed with a bouncing, red haired, freckled faced, one year old boy. Then another beautiful baby boy, and our fair share of beautiful teenage girls. We were specialized in at-risk teenage girls. We were overwhelmingly blessed. We had adopted two little boys and had a house full of teenage girls. Our family was complete or so we thought.
Like I had stated my husband was in law enforcement and that career took us to Cortez Colorado where we moved all of our children with us, including our foster children. We had already adopted two by this time and filled up a five bedroom home with beautiful faces when we got the call. I will never forget that call. One of two that would change my life forever.
First, let me tell you about the first call. My husband and I had stolen a few rare minutes to ourselves and had slipped off to breakfast while the kids where at school. Our two youngest (you know those two beautiful boys that we had been blessed with) were now three and four. The call came in on my cell from what I would call my caseworker. Foster parents have a coordinator that works for DSS. She said that Kerri Orr, a caseworker that I knew very well, had just been given a case where two small children had been abandoned in a local hotel.
At first, I honestly need to admit I said no. I was just so busy with all the other beautiful faces that I had been blessed with to take two small ones. Then I say that God spoke to me. I told my husband that we had to go and get them.
We reached the hospital where the two had been taken to be checked out and met Kerri Orr. She was there with one very young little girl named Daisai Derzon and one little boy not much older than her named Addy Derzon. When I saw them at the hospital they were the worst case of filthy you can imagine. Just picture that these two little babies had been left alone in a hotel. It still gives me chills when I think of it.
We took them home that night not confident on their name and age. They were trying to find the parents because the only information was from a drunk that they left with the kids. I want to change the direction of where that is going though. This is not a story about how bad the bio-parents are or were. This is my story about one of the most beautiful little girls.
The day after I received Addy and Daisai, I received the call that DHS in Montezuma County had discovered another child in a neighboring town, the kids' brother. Cassius Derzon came to me the next day. Wow, now I had three small kids on top of my two small children. I was worried that I would not have enough, give enough, love enough, and all of those fears that come along with children. I told the caseworkers that this would need to be a short-term placement. Well needless to say, one week turned into a month, then a year, and next over two years.
This is the part of the story I would like to correct from the article on Daisai Derzon. Her, Addy, and Cassius was with me for well over two years, not the two weeks that you reported. These kids were loved!!! That is the most important piece that I want to stress. They may have been technically foster children but they were never treated that way. I was totally and am still are completely in love with these children. Granted at times I was overwhelmed and wanted to cry, telling myself that the good outweighs any of the bad. All was going along well.
The kids were thriving. Addy who is autistic was talking, and making connections. Cassius was in school and was described as being so well adjusted. Then there was Daisai Derzon. She was the only little girl in a group of six under six. She was my shadow. She loved Dora. She was a mommies girl. She loved tea parties, and dress up. Anyway, back to my story.
We had moved from Cortez Colorado to Parachute Colorado in 2007. At that time, we took all of our children with us again including our foster children. We had some housing issues shortly after we moved. We were in a battle with the home builder because we had black mold and our house was ruled toxic.
DHS decided that they had found a placement to adopt all three children. They fed us the same lines about Michelle and Robert Baber that was all over the news. She was college educated in child services, they had a huge family network, but most importantly they were financially well off. Kerri Orr called me that summer day to tell me about the Baber's. I exchanged emails with the Baber's and they attached pictures of their family life along with the emails.
Call it mother's intuition but I knew that something was not right with them. I begged for the kids to not go to the Baber's, but DHS had made up their mind. They were sending the Baber's to my home in a few days to get the kids. The caseworkers would not be there through the exchange since we lived in Parachute CO and they were in Cortez Colorado.
The Baber's came to my home that summer day to pick up these children that I had loved and parented for a couple of years now and I had to place my beautiful babies in their truck and tell them goodbye. Of course, there were the promises that we would be allowed to keep in contact with the kids. That never happened. Michelle Baber blocked all attempts to speak with the kids after they left out home.
Then came that day in January, the day I received the other call I was telling you about earlier. I had just gotten home from work when I saw the light on the phone. I changed clothes and went about my usual nightly routine of homework, dinner, and chores knowing that I needed to check the messages.
I know this may seem weird, but it was like I somehow knew that the light on the phone on that day meant something bad. My father had been very ill after receiving chemo for prostate and colon cancer. He was gravely ill and in the hospital so I was dreading the call.
Well, after the kids were all bathed, fed, and homework was done I made my way to the phone. I can pinpoint my life changing to that very instant that I heard the message. It was one of my friends from law enforcement and was also a foster parent herself. I can still hear Amy's voice saying, "Debbie, it is Amy and you need to call me ASAP. It is bad. It is the kids. Just call me". That was it, That was when it all started.
Frantically I searched all over for numbers that were right in front of me all along. Not hardly able to catch my breath I called Amy.
What do you mean it is the kids I remembered screaming at her. What happened. What happened???
She explained, that my beautiful baby girl Daisai Derzon laid in Children's Hospital in Denver with a head wound. Crying, Amy begins to tell me, "It is not good. She is not going to make it. She did this to her".
What I screamed. What did she do.
Amy then told me that Daisai had suffered a head injury at the hands of Michelle Baber. We in the law enforcement family knew right from the beginning that it was Michelle Baber who had done this to Daisai. We knew she was claiming some bogus story about Daisai hitting her head or having a seizure, but she had never had anything even close to that the whole time she was with me. Again, let me stress that it was years not weeks like reported previously on here.
Well after I got the call I called my husband home to be with me. He was just hearing about it through his law enforcement connection.
The next thing that happened was I received a call from Dennis Story the director of Social Services in Montezuma County. I answered the phone because I was hovering over it waiting for any word or I was hoping that someone would call and tell me that they had made a mistake. It was not her. It couldn't be, right? Then the call came in and on the other end I heard Dennis say that she was gone. That was all I heard from then on.
I started screaming Dear God, please no, please do not take her from me. Please no, please no!!! I threw the phone at my husband and he finished talking to Dennis as my world came to a screeching halt.
I thought I had known loss from all of the numerous pregnancies, but there was nothing that could prepare me for this. The next few weeks were a blur. I honestly do not know how I made it through those days.
We buried her on a cold January morning in Cortez Colorado. I have told so many people since then that when they lowered that tiny casket covered in white cloud like material in the ground, that I went with her. Here I was a woman so richly blessed. One biological daughter, two adopted sons, and several teenage girls that we were lucky enough to call our children. How could I possibly think that a piece of me died? But it did.
I changed. I became bitter and angry. My marriage failed. My children were hurt by losing Daisai, the divorce, and their mother was a broken woman. I was so angry at so many people for so long. Angry at Kerri Orr, and Dennis Story from social services (who honestly loved Daisai too), angry at my husband because he didn't stop them from moving the kids, and angry at God. Being angry at God was the hardest. How could this happen? How could someone bash in her head? How/Why?
I did not go to Michelle Baber's trial. I asked Kerri Orr to speak for us on what Michelle had taken from us, but most importantly from Addy and Cassius.
Michelle was sentenced and as they say, life has to move on. It seemed like life was moving on for everyone but me. I was being held hostage by all the anger and pain I felt.
It has taken me all this time but now I can say that I have found forgiveness. I forgive Michelle Baber. I forgive Dennis Story and Kerri Orr. I forgive my husband, and most importantly I forgive myself. I blamed myself for the longest time. I thought that I should have protected her. I should have taken the kids and ran with them when we found out they were being moved. I ran through all of the what if's. Now I know that my beautiful girl waits with Jesus and we will be together one day.
I just wanted you to hear a different prospective on the Daisia Derzon case. When I read the court records and she was referred to as a ward of the state or parentless, I want to set the record straight. Daisai and her brothers we not my biological children granted, however make no mistake that they were my children and I love them.
RIP Daisai and all of my love goes out to Addy and Cassius. I hope one day you will find the other mother you had in your life that thinks about you each and every day. I will always love you and I pray that one day we can be together again. Thank you for letting me share my story.