My wife is my best friend. I’ve never know a women to handle persecution with such grace. I created this page in efforts to give my wife a fighting chance to be a part of her children’s lives.
4 years ago, while giving birth to our son, who weighed 12 lbs, Elijah apparently received fractures to the ribs due to the stress and strain of doing the delivery naturally. While in NICU, due to being such a large baby, and possibly having meconium aspiration, the doctor and nurses approached us and informed us that he had some swelling and bruising. But, that it would resolve itself.
We took their word for granted. Over the next month, we reported to the hospital, and his pediatrician, on three seperate occasions, that Elijah had been showing signs of discomfort and grunting. Every time, we were told that it was gas. Again, we took their word for granted.
The Nightmare Begins
When Elijah was a month old, his older brother picked him up and tried taking him from his hammock to his baby seat and dropped Elijah on his knees. Elijah’s calf began to swell. We took him to the E.R. where doctor’s noticed that he had a fracture on his tibia. But, they also noticed some old, healed, fractures in his ribs. They immediately began to interrogate us, and called CPS. When we offered up suggestions that they were from when he was born, they shot us down and stepped up the pressure on us, hoping to get one of us to confess to child abuse.
My opinion, looking back on it, is that they became defensive because he was born in the same hospital in which we were visiting the E.R. We felt helpless. Here we were, two concerned parents for their baby boy, and we were being treated like criminals. The mood in the E.R. drastically changed. We were found guilty in the hearts of the staff and it showed in how they dealt with us.
CPS was able to open a case against us under the cause from an “unknown perpetrator”. They used a ton of legal jargon that convinced us that they had the power to take him and that we had no say. It was the worst experience ever. Our idea of freedom and the justice system was taken from us and our innocence would be changed forever.
Drug & Parenting Classes, Counseling
Over the next ten months, CPS had us taking every parenting class, counseling session, and drug class (even though we never tested positive for any drug use) that they could throw at us. We were given psych evaluations and home visits. Meanwhile, Elijah was placed with my father. We could only see him when a CPS caseworker could meet us at his house. I was now restricted from going to my own father’s house for the first time in 30 years.
After everything that CPS had us complete, including a clear and normal write up from counseling, the psychiatrist and drug counseling, CPS, on the last day of court, threatened to place Elijah with my father permanently, due to the fact that no one was ever found to have injured Elijah. [Side fact: the doctor that delivered Elijah, was willing to speak up for us, as well as his pediatrician, that his injuries were caused at birth.]
We were so tired of going through the process with CPS, and felt like we did not have the support behind us, especially financially, to go up against the hospital and the overwhelming threats from CPS, that we sign permanent placement with my dad. We had planned on going to court, in another district, and request Elijah back into our care.
CPS never accepted any of the findings during our service plan (the requirements like counseling, and classes) and they never introduced the testimony of the doctor into court. They wanted a guilty parent so bad that they rejected the truth all the way, to the last day in court. Don’t let me get started on the politics in court, and how the lawyers and judges are all friends and how that can affect how you are dealt with in court. But, we were hoping that approaching our case in another court district would allow us to introduce evidence on our behalf and get our son back.
A year later, still crippled from the traumatic year with CPS, both emotionally and financially, the event that is causing me to create this Go Fund Me happened. We had another son, Fallon. CPS was out of our lives, we had our baby, and were working on getting Elijah home.
One afternoon, after being at the zoo all day enjoying a family outing, our oldest daughter jumped onto the bed and stepped on Fallon’s arm…panic set in. I freaked out and fainted. Our family was not the same anymore because of our experience with CPS. Our family was never to be like other families where children will be children, things happen, and kids just get hurt sometimes. This is the day that I will never be able to live down. I still have a hard time, even as a believer in Christ and his mercy, being able to forgive myself. I would give anything to go back and change this one thing.
I was so afraid of Fallon possibly being hurt that I did not say anything to my wife. After a day, he had no bruising or swelling in his arm, so I convinced myself that this would just pass. I felt so heavy inside that I told my wife the next day what had happened. We had been getting onto the older kids the previous weeks because of jumping on the bed and couches. They had been addicted to watching, “How To Train A Dragon”, and they loved jumping around like they were flying dragons.
So, we sat them down and talked to them about how they needed to be careful around their baby brother.
A family member, who does not care for me, for reasons I do not know, decided to call CPS on us. And, this time, I admit, they had a reason. We were charged with medical neglect for not reporting Fallon’s injury. They were really swift in their actions this time. It was only a week and they had the full extent of their powers laid on us and Fallon was removed from us.
I let my family down. It does not matter that our interaction with CPS the first time put a bitter taste in my mouth for the whole “system”. I allowed that experience to cloud my judgement and put my fears in front of my son’s health. It was later ruled that Fallon’s arm was not a bad injury. If I would have just taken him to get checked, our situation would have never happened. We would have been well on our way to getting Elijah back home and making up on lost time together. Instead, we were further separated, and now I put me and my wife in a situation where we were now convicted felons.
I sometimes think that I am the worst parent, husband, friend, and man that has ever existed. But, God has been good. He is a God of redemption. He has used this situation to help us see just how much we really love our children. We have come so far in seeing how much our character has changed for the better. But, the past few years on probation have been tough financially. They demand quite a bit from us each month that it is hard to maintain any kind of stability.
Since on probation, we have had two cars stolen from us, I have been injured at work twice, which required surgery, putting me out of work, and subsequently meant losing a stable job due to the loss of transportation. We have had no consistency in payments at the probation office, but we have kept on fighting.
If you have made it this far into the description of this page, bless you. I know it’s a lot to take in. I’m really leaving out so much that has happened to us, but the point is this…
Alicia is eligible to get off probation in January. This is great! She can start working on getting the kids back. I will still be on probation for another year, but Alicia has a chance to live normally in just a few months. But, in order to get released, she has to have all probation and court fees paid 60 days prior to release.
We have one month to raise the funds or she could face going to prison for 2-3 years. The system just wants the money and will let her off. I’m pleading with you, humbly, as a man who put his wife in this situation, to help her. I am the leader of the family, and one bad choice has sent my wife’s life into an uncontrollable spiral. I already have to live with this decision for the rest of my life, but please, stand with my wife and help her from facing further punishment.
I wanted to note, that if we are able to raise more than we are asking for, the money will be used to retain a lawyer and approach the courts to get custody of our boys.
Thank you in advance. I owe you all an endless debt of gratitude.