Thursday, December 2, 2010

How do you define faith, hope and love.....

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Ever since I heard that scripture, several years ago, I have held onto it to remind me that even though I don't know what my plans are for myself, or my kids or our futures together, God does.
Yes, it's hard for me to “lean” on God when I know that is what we are suppose to do in our darkest hour. But, I have had my share of disappointment with knowing that as well. I have shared with you that I was raised to be a God fearing, Bible devoted, church going Christian. To count on God and to put our faith in him, and believe that without him we won't make it to the pearly gates that await us upon his glorious return. But after I lost the rights to my children, I have lost so much of that faith, hope and love that I have been raised to have. Well, not so much love part, I still have that ability.

Every time I entered a court room or faced an attorney, I silently prayed for strength, guidance and wisdom. Even though deep down inside I was about to loose my ever loving mind. We all know, that when we pray God hears our prayers? Or so we are taught, duh! It's frustrating to know, that the same things we pray about day after day just seem to go unnoticed, and unanswered. I don't know why, and I don't know how to find out. But I have been told that when we least expect it, God will answer our prayers. But is it God or is it just a coincidence? Was it because all the stars were lined up the right way? Was it that penny we threw in that magic fountain at the mall? Or maybe it was that fortune cookie at the Chinese restaurant. Whatever, or however you choose to believe how, “what you prayed for somehow came true,” we were thankful at that moment for a miracle, and we all thanked God for answering “that” prayer. Right?

I had so much faith, or so I thought, each and every time I was about to head into the lions den.
I thought I was able to fight like Daniel did. I put on my invisible breast plate of righteousness, and pulled out my invisible sword and was ready to take on this lion. But unlike Daniel, and the happy ending he had with slaying that lion, I didn't get so lucky. Instead, I was left feeling more like the lion on “The Wizard of Oz.” afraid, depleted and with no courage left to fight. I had no happy ending.
So much for that armor! (by the way, I know he didn't use a sword to fight that lion. He used his sling shot)

We have all heard the saying, “faith can move mountains.” Well, I use to believe that. But that same stupid mountain just never moved out of my way. It always blocked me from getting to the other side.
There was always some reason why I couldn't move it to the other side, knock it down or push with all my “faith” to move that dang mountain out of my way. And it still gets in the way to this dang day. Stupid red tape!

Without faith, nothing is possible, but with God all things are possible. OK, I've had a hard time with this too. We all hold on to faith. We all hold onto it with all we have. When we are waiting for a job promotion that we've worked hard for. When we have a loved one that is sick, we hold onto our faith that God will see us through. We hold onto hope for a breakthrough, or a healing. But how long do we hold on? We don't have to be “religious” to say “it was faith that got me through the hard times.” We don't have to be raised in church to know that hope is what we hold onto when we see no end in sight.
I think it's our own abilities that get us through the hard times. It's how we deal with it will determine the outcome. It's our environment and experiences that mold us into who we are and how we handle situations.

I was recently told to stop counting on God to help me because it doesn't hold us accountable for our actions. It took me a few times to read it to really understand the meaning behind it. But when I finally got what it meant, I realized she was right. Even though, I know that we will all be held accountable for our actions on judgment day. But trying to cry out to God hasn't worked for me in the past, why do I keep crying out to him now for help? It's a touchy subject. One that I choose not to touch on today. I am going to put it in my “I don't know file” and move on.

But everyday I wish I had an ounce of faith to believe that one day I will see my kids. That one day, I will not be judged on what I have or haven't done to protect my kids. But by the person that I have become. By my character, my determination, my perseverance and my ability to continue to love those who choose to judge me. My ability to forgive and love without questions, without conditions. This ability I have to smile when I should have a frown. Or this is a crazy thought, maybe I have to be thankful for the life that I have been given. The time I had with my kids. The love that I showed them when we were together. Maybe the one thing they will remember is that I did love them. Maybe it's that little bit of hope we all posses, religious or not, that ounce of faith, God or not, that ability to love no matter what....maybe just maybe those qualities I have passed onto my kids. And maybe, just maybe they have faith, hope and love too.

So how do I define faith, hope and love? I believe that it doesn't have to be a religious thing. I think we all posses the ability to hold on to hope. We all have a form of “faith” we cling too and we all love in our own way. We all won't agree on what the definition is because we are all individuals with different backgrounds, upbringings and beliefs. But we all want good for each other. We don't want any ill will to come to even our worst of enemies. (well...maybe.....)

I will define it this way. I will see my kids someday. Someday I will be reunited with my boys. Someday, all of this will be put to rest and our lives will back to “normal.” Someday, someone will pay for what they have done. I will see my kids graduate, I will see them married and I will see them happy. I will see this happen in my lifetime. Call it hope, call it it what you want.

I call it a promise!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Handling a situation......the Parental Alienation way

I know, I know it's been a few days since I updated you on what was going on, and I will. But first, I would like to thank all of you who are supporting me and my efforts to reconnect with my son. All your prayers are appreciated and still needed. Keep it up, I will need all the prayers and support in the next weeks, and months ahead.

I called to find out if the “cop” that called me was legit, and he was. I asked for a copy of the complaint, and was told that it was sent to the states attorney’s office and that I cannot get a copy.
I was not happy to hear either one of those things.

So, I started doing a little research myself. The OP that was issued in February 2009, states that “I can't contact the minor children.” until January 2011. As of November 12, 2010 Cody is no longer considered a minor, he is now an adult. Legally an adult. Which means that I have done nothing wrong.
Which also means that it no longer applies to him.

I wanted to clarify this so I spoke to several attorney’s in that surrounding area that would know the laws. It was confirmed, and I was right.

As for the complaint. I am waiting to find out if the complaint was made by the “petitioner” of the original OP, or if it was made by Cody himself. If it was done by the “petitioner” that person can't legally do that on his behalf. Which again, is a plus. If Cody filed it (which we believe he didn't) and he decides to file an OP on me, I have his words stating that “I want to talk to my mom but my dad gets mad.” The attorney’s also said that the judge will throw his OP out, believing that he does want to talk to me, and he is being forced to file it. Which is called coercion and intimidation. He is an adult, and is capable of making up his own mind, especially if he expressed he wants to speak to his mom and his being denied his right to do so.

I found out that the “freedom of information act” gives me the right to ask for, and receive a copy of that complaint. Didn't know's called civil rights. Or so I was told. I am finally getting the right information, from the right people. People who are on my side and willing to go to bat for me. Go to bat for my kids, for my son Cody who has been silenced. Who's voice is not allowed to be heard. Who's rights are also being infringed upon and who desperately is crying out and no one is listening. But I am, and I won't be silenced or told to that what I am trying to do, or tried to do was wrong.

This is no longer “What I did wrong” but how wrong it is for this kind of behavior to continue to go on in our society. How wrong it is to file complaints against someone when there is no grounds to do so.

I was told that the original OP wasn't warranted for the entire family. I didn't try to contact “them” back in 2008. All I did was call my son for his 16th birthday. We talked a few times during that week, then it stopped. Then came the OP for the entire family. Throughout my findings, I have been told a phone call to my son, didn't warrant an OP. I wasn't harassing or stalking him. Or anyone in that family for that matter.

As for the warrant and violation that happened when I innocently signed up for FB back in 2009.
We all know about that....anyway, I was told do I actually know I have a warrant? Or am I just believing what I was told by those 100 attorney’s that sent me letters begging me to hire them to help me.

I spoke to a friend at another police department (but in that area) asking what happens in the case of another violation of an OP. I was told that all they could do was just issue another warrant. So do I have a warrant or don't I? I don't actually know for sure. Working on that too.

I am not going to be hauled off to jail. The state of Illinois has better things to do then extradite me to Illinois for a violation of an OP, that really shouldn't have been filed in the first place. Not to mention that this “violation” really wasn't or isn't a “legal” violation since according to the OP Cody is no longer a minor as it states in black and white.

So what's next? Well, I have some great people working on my behalf to get all this stuff figured out. My hero's in the fight against Parental Alienation. It feels great to finally have someone willing to go to bat for me. It's not just my fight, but a fight for all the parents who have been alienated from their children. This is my chance to give parents hope, and to keep the dream of being reunited with their children alive. We have a voice and we have rights.

Who knows where I might be going with this voice of mine. This campaign to have parents charged with abuse when found guilty of Parental Alienation, needs to be passed as a law. This is a crime, and children are being silenced.

Parents every day are being alienated from their children and the courts will do nothing to stop it.
Until we can get all the states to recognize this as a crime, it will continue to happen. But, with our voices, we can be the voices of all those children who are silenced. We can be the voices for all the mothers and fathers who have been alienated from their children.

We can take a stand.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A call from the popo

So, my phone rings a few hours ago and it's from an 847 area code. I just froze, thinking that it might just be Cody. It's a Saturday night, he's out with friends and he's gonna call me. WRONG!!! It was from an officer at the Dundee Police Dept asking me to “cease and desist” my efforts to make contact. Apparently, although Cody is now 18, he is still under the protection of the OP.

I told the officer that he's 18. He told me that since the OP doesn't expire until 2011, he is still part of that order, therefore it's a violation and I violated the OP.

I knew that I wasn't exactly out of the line of fire, I was taking a risk. But did ask all the questions before I did, just to see what my options are, what's at stake and what the consequences might be.
If it's just this “cease and desist” I can live with that. Come January 2011, I am no longer under the OP and I will probably just let it all go. Each and every time I think I'm making the right decision, it backfires and once again I am being reprimanded.

If anyone knows the law regarding this situation, please feel free to share what you may know. I need all the help I can get.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God does answer prayers.......

So life is a little bit brighter for me tonight. I have my hope back, I have my spirit back and I have NOT fully lost my son.

Knowing a friend of a friend...this friend started talking to Cody via IM ...he knows who she is, but doesn't know that she is helping me out. Anyway, I receive a message on my phone from her, with an email attachment, I open it and it's a conversation between her and Cody.

They talk for a few minutes and she asks how he's doing, he says “shortly declining, long story short, my REAL mom wants to talk to me and I want to talk to her, but my dad is pissed and doesn't want me too, but I do.”

She encourages him too, and he says “ya, she lives in Alabama and either I text her, IM her or email, but if I do my dad will get mad, if I don't my mom will get mad.”

First of all, I won't get mad if he doesn't....I am sad, but not mad. I totally understand and don't want to put him in a position that he doesn't need to be in. BUT HE WANTS TO TALK TO ME!!!!

By this time in the email I am in tears, balling my eyes out. My son wants to talk to me, AND contact me but his dad won't let him, or will get mad at him if he does.

So this is where I am at with this.....I want to reach out to him....I want to tell him that I want to reconnect with him.

So she and I are working slowly with this. She gave him her number for him to call her/text her. She is going to slowly start encouraging him, and eventually she will tell him that she is working with me to reconnect with him. But we are doing this delicately.

All I care about are the words “I want to talk to her.........” Those are the words that I have waited for for 2 years.

He has thought of me, he remembers me …....... THANK YOU GOD for answering my prayers. Giving me what I have prayed for, dreamed of and imagined. This is a small step, but I will take it and always look forward.

*I didn't ask this person to FB him nor did I ask this person to start a conversation with him. She did all that on her own. I had no idea that a frined on my FB had a sister that graduated from the same school that he attends. SHE took it upon herself to ask her sister if she knew him, and it went from there. I didn't know this was going on until after she received his friend request confirmation. I never spoke to this person directly over the phone, or email. She and I texted just a few times. She got my number from her sister who I gave permission to share it with her.

*any other thrid party contact that was made to my son,  was done so by that individual and I had no control over what they did or said.

It finally hit me......

Here I am, it's 10:30 on November 17th 2010 and I can't sleep. It's early for some, yes, and I just turned off the TV. Up until 10, I was watching one of my favorite shows, Seinfeld. I could barely keep my eyes open during the last episode, but I fought the sleep and watched till it was over, then turned it off. Thinking that I will just fall asleep, and into a nice dream. Well, I was wrong. My mind wondered off and it finally hit me. One tear, then two....a sniff, sniff and well..... here I am.

I kept telling myself while I laid there, that I actually did set myself up for disappointment. I actually wanted to believe that Cody would call me, text me or email me...SOMETHING!! But, he didn't. I am truly heartbroken. So this is what it feels like? It's painful. I don't want to move, I can't move, I'm paralyzed and numb. I am truly one hears my cry, sees my pain or wipes my tears.

I set myself up for 2 years thinking that my son would call me when he turned 18. I was so sure of it. I knew in my heart he would. I never did anything to him for him not to want to contact me. Or did I?
This is the guilt, the shame and humiliation that I struggle with all the time. It's deep down inside my soul, the guilt, the pain. I haven't cried in over a year about any of this, but tonight I couldn't hold back the tears. They hate me. They don't love me. They don't want to know me, or see me ever again. It truly is over. I am no longer a thought or a memory in their minds.

I thought that November 12 would be the day of celebration, joy and happiness, but it wasn't. I thought by now I would have talked to him, made Thanksgiving plans, possibly Christmas plans. I dreamed of the day. All was forgiven and life was normal. I was mom again. I heard the words mom....he would call me mom. It's a faint whisper.....

I set myself up for heartbreak. I convinced myself that nothing could separate us for too long. That the bond a mother and child have is inseparable. I thought........I told myself to hang on to hope. It will happen.

I was sent about 70 pictures of Cody the other day. He has grown up so much. He's a young man. He's tall and handsome. He has a girlfriend. I am missing his life. It's been stolen from I cry. I am mad, disappointed, frustrated, bitter and heartbroken. I need to just scream so this pain goes away. I need to run and hide, I need to just let it all go.....but it's so hard, I CAN'T!!! I want my son....I can have him now, he's 18....right? But he doesn't want me to be part of his life. I try to tell myself that I am the last thing on his mind, that he's busy with school, a girlfriend and maybe even a job. I am consumed with this now, knowing he's reached that age, the age of promise, the age of truth, the age that gave me hope. It's all a nightmare....did any of this really happen? Am I just in a horrible nightmare that's lasted 10 years? AHHHHH..............*this is my own nightmare*.....

This isn't what I had planned.....this isn't working. I've been sad deep inside, hiding it away from everyone, quiet and secretive....not showing my true feelings, but my heart is breaking and I have to let you know this SUCKS......!!!! I WANT TO SHARE THINGS WITH MY SON … with my son. Be his mom......

I was raised to believe that God hears our cries, and answers our prayers....what do I have to do in this lifetime to get him to hear these cries, see these real tears and feel this pain of mine? What do I have to do, to get him to answer my prayer? I've been down the road of the “good christian” girl. I've read and studied my Bible, went to church and fell on my knees begging for him to hear me. Where are you at now? I'm so bitter, I am mad at God. Is that OK? Isn't that aloud? I tried to “walk the walk” believe in faith the size of a mustard seed... a God that can move mountains and part the red sea can surely give my son back to me. IS THAT TO MUCH TO ASK?? I have been quiet and sat in the back row for to long now.....I want to see my son! GIVE ME SOMETHING PLEASE!!!

I don't understand this, I really don't!

I feel like a failure. I have failed my boys. They have been fed the worked.

What happened to my positive thinking....?? REALITY IT's not gonna happen!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I am not alone....

I'm not alone

When I started doing research on the Internet, about what I had been through, I had no idea it had a name. So I just started searching about single moms, noncustodial moms, mothers without children. Anything that I could associate with what had happened to me.

I found a book that Alec Baldwin wrote. He had been in the media for his message that he left on his daughters phone. When I read what was in his book, he nailed everything that I had been through. When I searched his name, he was on the view talking about his story and PA. He has been a victim of PA and is a huge advocate. He isn't afraid to share his story. When I read his book, I wanted to meet this man. Not because of who he was, but because he and I share a connection. Well, OK, maybe a little because of who he is, and if I just happen to have his book in my hand with a sharpie, and he just happens to sign my book...well then I would be OK with that too. I'm only human, I get star struck too!

After I read his book, I knew there had to be more book, or stories about PA. So my search changed, I was no longer looking for books about noncustodial mothers, or parents without custody. When I came across “The Look of Love” by Jill Egizii, and read what is was about, I immediately ordered it on Amazon. I couldn't wait to read it. Once I did, I thought she knew who I was, and wrote my story for me. I was amazed at how similar our stories were.

After I read her book, I sent her an email telling her about me, my boys and our story. Until this book, I had no idea that something like this even existed, that it actually happens to other parents. Other moms. I wasn't alone. I had nothing to loose by sending this email to her. She was just another person that I was trying to contact. Someone that might care that this happened to me too. Someone to listen. In a million years I never thought that I would hear back from her. But in March 2010, I got a phone call from a co-worker, she said that she received a phone call from a women named Jill, and that she was looking to talk to me. She gave me her number and I immediately called her back. Silly me, I forgot to give my phone number on the email, thank goodness she had my company name. When I called her, I didn't know who it was at first. I didn't know of any Jill, or anyone who knew where I worked, let alone the company I worked for. When she introduced herself, she said “I am Jill, the women who wrote that book you emailed me about.” I was so happy to hear from her. We talked for about 30 minutes or so.
She told me that she has been trying to get a hold of me, and wanted to talk to me about Parental Alienation. She was alienated from her kids too. She was an attorney, and an alderman in Springfield Illinois. “was this really happening to me?”
I didn't know what to say to her. She wanted to know why I relinquished my rights, and I gave her a summary of what happened. She asked me if I would be willing to share my story with her for another book. I said “absolutely.” Inside I'm saying to myself, “this is the break I wanted, I wanted my story told”. Then she wanted to know if I would be willing to travel to New York City sometime to talk on the View with her about Parental Alienation. Again, I said “of course, that would be so great.” A trip to New York City, and the View. This is what I have waited for for so long.
We exchanged emails and phone numbers and we have been in contact ever since. I haven't met her yet, but I know that I will. She gave me the Parental Alienation website, and asked that I get involved, and share this information. She told me that April 25 is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. “They have a day for this?” I had finally been recognized, and I finally fit into a group of more then a thousand mothers and fathers that have been alienated from their children.

I got off the phone with her with a sense of acceptance. I was no longer in a category where I didn't belong. I had a purpose. This meant something to me. It meant that I am free from feeling guilty, from shying away from the subject, from not allowing myself to share my story with other people and feel ashamed, embarrassed or afraid. I can stand proud and tell my story with understanding, compassion and truth. I had Parental Alienation to back me up.

With a deep breath, and an extra skip in my step I was able to look forward and not behind me. I called my Aunt as soon as I got in my car that afternoon from work. I wanted to share with her what Jill was offering me. What she shared with me.
My Aunt is such a wonderful person to talk too. She will always give 10 or more reasons to look at the positive side of something. That's what she did with me. She was encouraging and excited for me. I was so overjoyed when I talked to her, I couldn't help myself. Thanks so much for your encouraging words on that day. It made it even better.

I had hoped to share my story with the View too, but that hasn't happened yet.
A about a year ago, my Aunt, the one that is so encouraging, introduced me to the “blog” world. I started writing a few paragraphs, but never did it again. It just wasn't my time. I didn't feel like sharing it with anyone. I felt if I kept it all to myself, I won't have to face the criticism, the finger pointing and the whispers. So I just dealt with it on my own. It was better that way. No body asked me, and I didn't offer to share. It was like nothing ever happened.

I didn't share any of my story, or struggles with any one until now. It took me a long time to be at a place in my life to let it all out. I wanted my family to know, my friends, my co-workers my FB friends. I didn't want to hide behind a shield anymore. I didn't want to hide behind the speculation, the gossip and the finger pointing. This is the reason why; A few months ago, well, it may have even last year. My mom, sister and I were sitting outside on the patio and we were talking about the boys. My mom acted like she wanted to ask me a question, I can tell when she has something on her mind, but just wasn't sure how to approach it. Well, finally she asked me “It had been rumored, she said, that Brandon isn't T's kid.” First of all, I wanted to know who said this? I had my own idea of who, but I wanted to know why? I told her straight up, “Oh my God, yes, Brandon is T's.” It bothered me so bad that I wanted to make the announcement to my entire family to stop the rumors and gossip. All they have ever done was speculate, they never asked me. Come to me!! I told my mom “if I knew for one minute that Brandon wasn't T's, I would have said it a long time ago, and he would be sitting here with me today.” I don't know where some people get their information. This infuriates me! But it won't ever stop. That's OK, what comes around goes around!!

But I am not going to let that bother me, I know the truth. All the lies in the world they want to believe won't stop me from telling the truth, setting the record straight and getting it all out there. I am happy with my life. Yes, it is sad sometimes without my kids. But overall, I live a pretty blessed life. My husband is good to me, he provides for me, he loves me. He allows me to share my feelings and thoughts about my kids. He knows that he is free to share his feelings about the boys too. The boys he grew to love. The boys he misses everyday too. We laugh and share memories of each one of the boys. Each one has touched our lives in so many ways. When we see something that the kids would love, we both know what each other is thinking before we even say it. “The boys would love this.”
I don't ever want to forget about my kids. And I don't want them to forget about us.
I am thankful for the opportunity to share with the world what happened to me and my boys. It's important to share, you never know who's going through the same thing, and felt they were alone, they were the only ones. But we are not. This is a problem on a global scale. If I sat back and just pretended that this didn't happen, or that PA didn't exists, then I would be allowing the courts, attorney's and the parents that are the worst influence on their kids get away with child abuse. And I won't sit back and allow this to happen. I will let my kids voices be heard. I want my voice to be heard.

If we had judges and attorney's that cared about the “best interest of the children” then so many families wouldn't be suffering the way I am. If parents knew that when they keep children away from the other parent, or brainwash them into thinking the other parent is the reason for their problems, it hurts the children the most. Parents need to learn to get along, cooperate and not seek revenge on the other parent during a divorce. It hurts the kids. Parents that alienate children, don't care about the kids feelings or how this will effect them. All they think about is themselves. The game. The power.
They will not stop until they have won.

All I wanted was fairness. I wanted my kids to be able to love me without limitations, without fear. I wanted nothing but to be the best mom I could for my kids, to love them without limitations. I wanted to be someone they could trust, depend on and talk too. I wanted to be the football or soccer mom cheering on her kids as loud as I could. I wanted to be supportive, encouraging and a friend.
I wanted to laugh with them and protect them, wipe their tears and mend their scrapped knees. I wanted
to see them have a girlfriends, go to prom and graduate. I wanted to see them laugh, smile and catch them when they fall.

But that was all taken away from me. Taken away from them.

Thanks to everyone who took time out of there day to read my story. All your comments and encouraging words meant the world to me. But don't stop following me. This story isn't over yet. My son Cody will be 18 on November 12 and I am hoping to contact him on that day. I am hoping that we will spend the Thanksgiving Holiday together. Wish me luck.

I will also start posting on my other blog as well. I have been so focused on this story that I have neglected my other blog. I am hoping to share with you, who I am through my blog. My likes and dislikes. Travel, food, recipes, and shopping. I hope to keep up with that weekly, and will post it to my FB when I have a post finished.

This is for you
Cody, Brandon, Austin and Dalton
May the road lead us together again.
I love you - Mom

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trying to move on

Moving on is easier said then done. Have I moved on? Yes, but it isn't easy. I struggle everyday with so many emotions. I struggle with birthday's, holidays and Mothers Day. I struggle to answer questions from people when they ask “do you have kids?” I struggle with the answer sometimes. Do I say no? If I do I will feel so guilty. If I say yes, but.....that's hard. Then I have to explain why, or what happen. Then comes the looks, the speculation. It's just plane hard to explain sometimes. And sometimes I just don't want too.

Last fall, I lost a dear friend that I have known since kindergarten, because she couldn't get past the fact that what happen to me, wasn't all my fault. She also said some horrible things to me. “How could you just give up your kids?” She asked me. I simply told her what I have told in my story, but she was having none of it. She said “I don't think I can remain friends with you since you gave up your kids.” It was her loss really. It's easy for her to sit back and point the finger at me, but never walked a mile in my shoes. She was getting upset with me because I was posting on FB that I was going to Florida for the weekend, or that I made a trip to New York. She questioned me, “how is it that you an afford to make all these trips and not pay to fight for your kids?” I told her I did fight for my kids, as hard as I possibly could. But she didn't want to hear it. She had her mind made up that I only did it because I wanted freedom to travel, and have money in my pocket. Little does she know that I am still paying on a $9000 credit card from the last attorney. That the trips we go on are small weekend getaways. New York, I accompanied my grandma who was 83 so she didn't have to travel alone. Not to mention I was the only one available to make the trip with her. I thought her reasons for terminating our long time friendship was inconsiderate, and hurtful. I haven't spoken to her in over a year.

People like her are not worth my time. They are unhappy with their lives and with themselves. I believe they are jealous. But they have no reason to be. If anything, I should be jealous of them, they still have their kids. But I am not jealous. There is reasons why this happened to me. Maybe God is preparing me for better and bigger things. I can hope, dream and expect, can't I?

I experienced what some parents go through when they loose a child to death. When I got home, I kept the door to their room closed. I couldn't walk in there, it was to hard to see. It was left the that way for a while. Then I needed to make that move and open the door. It was hard. Their beds still unmade, clothes in the closet, favorite stuffed animals on the beds. Their shoes, belts, socks. The TV, games and books. It was all once alive and now it's all dead. I laid on one of the beds and held a stuffed animal that one of then slept with. I smelled it, hoping to get a scent of them. I looked around the room and it was silent. No more sounds of them playing, singing or yelling. No more smelly socks, dirty clothes or lost shoes. The life they had, what we had was gone. I didn't want to touch anything, but knew I had to make the first move to healing. I packed up all their favorite things, and put them in boxes and placed them in the attic. The last pair of shoes they wore, I kept those. I kept the skateboards and bikes. The beds are down and gone. I needed to get rid of what I could, to let go. I kept what I thought was most important to them, and now it's so important to me. It helps that I don't have to look at it everyday. The room is now filled with a bookshelf, filled with pictures and albums. I had to let it all go. But it was part of the healing process for me. It still saddens me to walk in there sometimes, knowing it once was their room. Where they slept. Where I found Austin sleeping on the floor the morning I took them home. The last morning I would wake up my kids.

Soon after I relinquished my rights, I started receiving motions in the mail from T's attorney. These would come almost weekly for then next 4 months. Each one more heartbreaking then the next.
The first one I received, was the final copies of the termination. Two sets of signatures, mine and his. What a sad thing to see. They also stated, that until the finalization of the adoption, the boys were now wards of the state. I was confused, sad and angry. How can they be wards of the state if T was still their legal father? I didn't understand and I didn't want to find out what my kids were going through, it was to painful. So I tried to block it all out. It was out of my hands, I was done. He got what he wanted. I just wanted to be left alone. I needed to heal.
But the motions just kept coming. Finally after about the 4th one, I sent a letter to his attorney asking him to please stop send me an update on all the progress of the termination and the adoption. I told him that I just wanted to be left alone. I felt that this was deliberately done just to harass me and torture me.
I received 2 more after I sent that letter asking him to please stop. The one I received on November 2, 2008 sent me over the edge. In it, it stated that they have changed the boys names. As I read that line, tears started falling. I was shaking so hard I couldn't focus on what I was reading. My eyes pouring with tears I. feel to the ground and on my knees, I screamed WHHHHHYYYYY?????? I was devastated. He just wasn't going to stop....what next I thought, total blood transfusions to suck all the life of me out of them? He had lost his ever lasting mind.

I was home alone when I got the letter. After I read it, I immediately called Brian, who was on his way home from a race. I was crying, so he didn't understand what I was saying, he said “calm down, what does it say?” I told him one by one what their new “middle” names would be.

Cody James ” will now be changed too “ Cody James Robert”
Brandon Timothy ” will now be changed too “ Brandon Timothy Sven ”
Austin Jeffery” will now be changed too “Austin Richard William”
Dalton Jon ” will now be changed too “Dalton Jon Anthony”

I don't understand his reasons for changing their names. But it hurt me so bad that he did. The worst part about it was that my son Austin, had my dads name for his middle name. They totally removed my dads name from his entire name altogether. It was like T was trying to erase everything that was associated with me and my family out of the boys lives. I felt this was the lowest of the low for him. He took away his identity, who he was. Austin knew he was names after my dad, his pa-pa, and now he was this totally other person by name.
After I was over the shock of this information, my mind starting racing. OK, I thought, he's changing their names to get new identity’s. They had too get new SS# 's this was so I couldn't have access to those. Is this why he did it? Can you change your SS# ? I guess he has been able to do everything else illegally, why not this right? Then I immediately thought, he's going to drain the DNA out of them so they can't have my blood flowing through their veins. Was this possible? Could someone actually do this?

Then I pictured T and his wife sitting down with the kids and reprogramming them one by one with their new names. I heard each name being told and programmed into their heads, “Austin, you will now be known as “Austin Richard William” no more will you carry the name of “Jeffery” you don't remember who that person was, or why you had that name.....”
I don't know how or if they even knew of the change. But how do you explain, to a then, 10 year old that your new name is now.......” A name that he carried with him for 10 years. Why would you want to do that to your child? T was worse then I thought. Bastard! “Oh ya and by the way, V is your new mom now too, welcome to your new world!!”

In my heart, I knew who they were. They knew who they were, I hoped. Brian just kept telling me it was just a piece of paper. They may have changed their names, but they are just names. Deep down I knew he was right, but I was just so pissed that they changed Austin's name totally. They took away my dad's name. When I told my parents what T had done now to the kids, it infuriated them. My dad's emotional anyway, so this made his eyes fill with tears. He cried, I cried. It just hurt so bad.

On November 5, 2008 the adoption was made final, and they were one big happy family. All with new names, new identity’s and no more recollection of who they were. Where they came from, or who their REAL mom was.

The last motion I received in the mail was the final adoption papers. After that, I didn't hear from them again. Thank God too, I didn't know how much more I could handle.

Things were starting to look up for me. I made a trip to California with my friend Michele in September which for me was such a nice relaxing getaway that I needed. I was able to just let go of everything for a few days and not think about anything. It felt good to let loose and enjoy life. I was able to see a friend that I hadn't seen in over 22 years. So to finally see her and meet her kids was so wonderful. I felt like I was finally able to live life. I wasn't afraid anymore. I was free!

In October of 2008 I was hired on as a full time phlebotomist making a lot more then $9.00 hour. My dad called to congratulate me. He was happy to know that I had finally got a full time job. Although it was nice, it was a little late don't you think? I was thankful nonetheless. That's the way it goes right?

November was a hard month for me. It was Cody's 16th birthday and the twins would be turning 11. I didn't know how I was going to exactly handle that. But, I made it through. Since my nieces birthday was November 5, I decided that I would have my family over for a celebration. I bought a cake and ice cream and we sang happy birthday to Hannah, Cody, Austin and Dalton. If felt good to sing to them. I took pictures of the cake so when I am able to see them again, I would show them that we celebrated their birthday. Every year I have set balloons off with a note attached. It's just something I do to help me celebrated with them.

I also had a plan for my son's birthday. I was going to call him on his 16th birthday. I still had his cell number from when Tony gave it to me and I held on to it until the morning of his birthday.
On my way to work that day, I called him, he picked up. “Cody, it's mom!” “MOM!” he said with surprise, shock and excitement. He said “oh my God, is it really you?” I said yes, baby, it's mama, happy 16th birthday!” “Thanks mom!” He called me felt so good to hear that word. He remembered me, he didn't get brainwashed to much, he didn't forget me, who I was.

We were both so happy to talk to each other we were at a loss for words.....he was at school so I knew I had to make it short. He told me that he had his permit, and would be getting his license sometime in March. I told him that I was so happy to hear his voice.
I told him that if we can keep this quiet, we can keep talking to each other. I quickly explained to him that I was so sorry for they had been through. He said he understood. That gave me piece of mind. I asked him if he knew that his middle name was changed? He said “no, to what?” I told him and he was just as shocked as I was.

I told him that I would buy him a cell phone if he wanted me too, and he said yes, that would be cool. I told him that I would have to send it to a friend, and she will meet you at school with it. I told him he will have to keep it at school at all times. But by the time I sent the phone to him, he had already been busted out on our phone calls. I don't know if he just got scared, or if he got caught and they took his phone away. But later he and my sister would exchange texts, and from what I read, he was caught. I believe that it wasn't him talking to my sister. I believe that it was his step mom. The texts were very hurtful. If they were from him, then he was being told what to say. One of them said “Ange had an attorney, why didn't she help her?” Another one said, “I will see you when I am 18.” and “She isn't my mom anymore, V is.”

But I told my sister that I believed that it was his step mom texting that information to my sister. Cody wasn't being cold with me when we talked. He was nice to me, and didn't say anything hurtful to me. So I believe that it was his step mom who was saying all the ugly things.
After that, I didn't hear another thing from Cody. My friend sent back the cell phone, and I returned it.
I was sad, but knew it was to good to be true. I also understood, he was scared too. I didn't want to put him in a position where he would be in serious trouble. But at least I tried.

Around Christmas time 2008, I had a knock on the door. When I answered it, I noticed it was a police officer through my window. When I answered, he asked “are you Angela Kadow?” I said “yes.” He said “well I have this restraining order for you, just make sure you read everything that is in it.” I said “OK, thank you.” I said thank you? I knew what it was. I immediately opened up the envelope it was in and started to read it. It was your typical restraining order, even though I had never received one before, it had all the legal jargon on it....bla bla bla!!!! Basically it said that I have to stay away from their home, schools and place of business. “Really, ummm if they hadn't noticed, I live 700 miles away.” I can't have any contact with the boys until they turn the age of 18, or until the restraining order is no longer valid, which ever comes first...bla bla bla....and it expires in January of 2011. It was for two years.

It was all because I called Cody and talked to him a few times back on his birthday. “Give me a freakin' break!” But then I thought, “hey, Cody turns 18 in November of 2010, does this effect that?” I wasn't going to worry about it at that time, but started counting down the days. I put that restraining order away with all the other crap I had accumulated over the last 8 years with them.

I carried on with my life as usual. I started doing research and writing letters and sending them to over 100 different attorney's in Illinois. I wanted to get some answers as to why this happened to me and my kids. Since it was close to the Holiday's, I didn't hear from anyone. I continued on after the first of the year. This time, I was trying to contact the media. I sent letters to Dr. Phil, Oprah, The View, 20/20 and Dateline. Hoping someone would pick up on my story and want to hear more. But I had no luck. So I kept on sending them. I also started writing to People Magazine, and Readers Digest. Still nothing.

Then one day in March of 2009, a breakthrough. An attorney from Chicago, received my letter and was interested about knowing more about my story. I gave him a brief summary of what I had been through, and that I ended up relinquishing my rights. He was floored when I told him this. He asked me what county was it in, and what judge? I told him. He was shocked to hear that it was Kane County. He was in a lawsuit as we spoke trying to get that same judge off the bench for unfair rulings. I was so happy to hear this from him. He gave me so much hope and a sliver of possibility. But I also knew, not to get my hopes up either.
He spoke to me several times, evening sending me emails of other attorney's that would also be willing to help me out. But none of them contacted me back. After 6 months, I never heard another word from that guy again. I wasn't surprised though, it was typical. I was up front and honest with him and told him that he has to be willing to help me pro-bone, because I wasn't going to spend another dime on an attorney that is not going to go the extra mile for me. Since I told him that, he never called or send another email. I checked him off my list.

Back to square one!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Excerpted from the book CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE

Friday, October 15, 2010

A mom no more........

I drove 9 hours alone on August 13 to face what I had feared for years. What I told the judge would happen if he was awarded sole custody of our boys. But no one listened. No one cared. I could have said those words til I was blue in the face, no one cared, no one listened.

As I pulled into Kankakee, I was hoping that I wouldn't have to go any further then that town. I didn't want to go to Elgin, I couldn't. I wouldn't allow myself too. So I walked up to the doors, took a big breath and walked in. I went through the detectors just fine....I may not have if I went to the Elgin courthouse.....I went up the wide staircase, and asked where the clerks office was. No one knew what I was there for, no one asked questions. But I heart was racing a millions miles a minute...I saw people come and go from the courtrooms, I watched moms with their kids, holding hands wondering what they were there for. I watched a man come through the hallway with handcuffs on. I wondered if he was a dead beat dad, who didn't pay his child support. I wondered if he was paying and doing the best he could do to get by, but had a wife that alienated him from his kids...what was his story?

Did anyone have the same story as I had? Was I the only one in the world that this has happened too? Why? How?

“Mrs. Kadow,” the lady from behind the counter said, “what can I do to help you?” “I am hear to have these papers signed, and I need to have a county clerk sign them or a judge.” She said “what are they for?” I said “they are papers to relinquish my rights.” She took them from me and walked to the office in the back. I sat back down to wait. A few seconds later she showed me took me to the back office where the county clerk was. She said “have a seat and she will be right in.” I said “ok thank you.” While I waited, I looked around in her room. She had awards on her wall, honors of some sort.
She had a library of books. Law books. I thought to myself, in one of those books holds the words I need right now to stop this from happening. Which book was it? How do I find what I am looking for? Can I tell this lady what was going on, what this suppose to happen?
She walked in, holding the papers in her hand. She said to me “why are you doing this?” “Have you been blackmailed?” I wanted to say, “well now that you mention it.....” but instead I just said, with a roll of the eyes, and a shake of my head, “no mam, I am not being blackmailed.” To myself I asked, “am I being blackmailed?” I wondered! Then she asked me again, “why are you doing this?” You don't seem the “type” to just give up her rights, that's why I asked you if you were being blackmailed in to this?
I started to explain it to her the best I knew how in the short amount of time we had. She went on to explain to me the consequences of signing the papers.....I knew it, I knew everything she was saying, and I was not in the mood, nor did I want to hear it again. I just knew. She was only doing her job.
After she signed and sealed it with the stamp of authenticity, it was my turn. This was it.....was I sure I wanted to go through with this???? I had no choices. I was out of was 3:35 on August 13, 2008 that I terminated the rights to my kids and turned them over to T. When I was signing the papers, my mind was like a slide show of memories running through my head....the birth of my sons, the first walk, first tooth, first word....smiles, laughter....please stop me from doing this......I see them cry the tears, I see T telling them what I have done. I see T telling them that they won't be able to see me until they turn 18...I see it all. I hear it all...This wasn't real, this wasn't happening. It was a bad dream, it was a nightmare. Please God if you can hear me, now would be good to take this pain from me...take this away, make it stop. God......where are you? You are suppose to answer me when I I doing what is right????

But it was too late....the papers were signed, sealed and being faxed to my attorney as I sat there in shock. I was without words...I was numb. But I also had a sense of freedom. Like a weight had been lifted off me. The weight of the last 8 years was gone. Was this right? Why did I have this feeling? Why did I feel this way? What's wrong with me, I just terminated my rights to my kids, and I was feeling.....relaxed and burden free! It was all gone. Inside I felt horrible, I felt sad, depleted, guilty and afraid. I didn't feel like living anymore. For what? Why? I had given up the most important things to me on this earth. God's gift's to me and I just handed them over to Satan himself. What have I done?

Even though I left that courthouse that afternoon with a sigh of relief, my heart couldn't stop feeling like it just had been ripped out of my chest. But as I got in my car, I took another deep breath laid my head on the steering wheel, and let loose, I let it all go, and gave it all to God. He was now going to protect my kids, keep them safe and remind them in his own way that I love them. He, in his own way will remind them that they have a mom that loves them more then anything in this world.“she saved all of you from being put in the middle of the battle. I know it might not make much sense to you right now, but you will understand why she had do let you go.”

I was raised to believe God will not give you what you can't at that time, in my car, after it was all said and done...I was ready to let God take it from here. It was not longer in my hands. Even though I was still angry with God, I knew that it wasn't his fault. He had a purpose, he has a plan for me. For my kids. I like to look at it this way, God knows something I don't. He is all knowing. With that I like to believe that maybe he is preparing me for something greater. Maybe he knew something terrible was going to happen and knew this was the only way out for me. I believe that, I have to believe that, I need to believe that.

It wasn't easy for me to sign those papers. I live with the regret every single day. What if I hired one more attorney, one more chance to be heard. One more opportunity for my kids to be heard....but it didn't matter. I had tried it all. I had hired the attorney's that I thought were there to help me. But they were not. They all work together to help themselves. T's attorney didn't work for T, he worked for his money. For his parents money. He wouldn't have been able to keep this going if it wasn't for the deep pockets of his parents. His attorney knew this and took advantage of T.

I felt comfort in knowing God was now in control. I was hoping for a call from my attorney saying that T had a change of heart. But I never got such a call. What makes me think that he was going to have a change of heart? He didn't have a heart to change. He was Satan as far as I was concerned, no he was the spawn of Satan. I didn't like T at that moment. I didn't like myself either. But I had to move on....I wasn't going to let him continue to control my life from that day forward. Even though I was sooo angry with God....I aloud him to take my kids. T will someday have to face God, and be punished for his wrong doing. For his lies and evil ways. He will pay. But I am free from that. But oh what a day that will be.

I left the courthouse that day and went straight to my mother-in-laws house. She was the first person I saw after I signed the papers. She knew what I was there to do, and it made her sad too. She loved them as if they were her own grandchildren. She also knew my pain, felt my heartbreak.
I don't think she knew what to say to me. But she did say, “God only knows Ang, what lies ahead. The truth will come out and you will be reunited with your boys. You will be OK and so will they.” That's all she needed to say. It was simple, I would be OK! She was right, I would eventually be OK. I was capable of bouncing back, even with a broken heart, I will go on. But how will the boys feel? Will they bounce back? What lasting impact will this have on them? Will this forever ruin relationships for them? Will they be able to trust again? Will they be able to forgive me? Trust me?

I like to think again, that I will one day be reunited with my boys, and it will be like nothing ever happened. We will just pick up were we left off. Will it be that simple?

The next morning I left Kankakee, with a broken heart. I left my life behind in Illinois, and gave up the kids I gave birth too. It wasn't easy. But I said good-bye to all the good times, and the memories and hit the road and didn't want to look back. I was on a new mission now, I wanted my story heard. I needed to share it with the world...I wanted to to it for my kids.

….......But my nightmare wasn't over just yet, I was not going to be get away from the harrassment.
They were not finished torturing was just beginning.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lets break it down.......

Let's break it down.......

It wasn't long after I arrived home, that I received an email from my attorney, stating that I need to pay up or she was going to withdraw from my case. This would be the 3rd attorney that I hired who promised me that they would work out a payment plan with me, then turn around and file a motion to withdraw from my case. Up until that point I had been paying her monthly, what I could on top of the child support that I was trying to pay. But I guess, that wasn't enough.

The first attorney withdrew from my case and I owed her close to $15,000 if not more. I don't exactly remember the exact amount, but I paid it with Brian's visa. The second attorney Brian and I hired cost us roughly around $8000.00. I also paid her what I could, also with child support being deducted from my check. She eventually came back to finish out the rest of my case. Her total bill was $11,000 which I put on Brian's visa.

Now, I was facing another attorney, who was threatening to withdraw from my case if I didn't pay up. But I was paying what I could to her, but like I said, it was never enough. How did he do it? How was he able keep forking out the money to keep his attorney for as long as he did? His attorney made a killin' off of him. While T and the boys survived off my child support, his attorney was driving a Lexus and going on exotic trips, buying expensive suites to wear in court. T was stupid for spending, or should I say wasting money on trials, and motions. But, his attorney just kept on taking the money...I hate attorney's!

The bill that I now owed this attorney was close to $5000.00 just from April to June. She still need to go back to court. By the end of it all, I ended up paying, or should I say, Brian and I ended up paying close to $10,000 for her to do absolutely nothing. On top of all that money I had to pay, don't forget I was made to pay back over $4000.00 to his attorney for the first round, and the two motions he filed trying to find me in contempt. So over all, it was well over $40, 000 dollars that we paid 3 attorney's to help me, to represent me, to advise me, to protect my rights, to guarantee me that I will NOT be alienated from my kids....and I have nothing to show for it. Each time we got no where. We lost money, and they got richer. Now, if I was gaining something from all that money and time spent in the court room, like more time with my kids, phone calls that were not ignored, ….need I go on?
I wouldn't complain one bit. But since I spent all that money, and got nothing from it. Then you can see why I am pissed off. (By the way, I still owe $9000.00 on my visa, from 2008 that I am still paying.)

Now lets see what else I was facing....
Along with my attorney's little reminder to pay up or she's done with me. I was also informed that If I didn't start paying that now new child support amount” by the next pay period, T and his attorney would be filing contempt charges against me again, and this time she promised that I would be put in jail. Here we go again with the jail threat. Or she said, they have also made the proposal again, if you choose to relinquish your rights, you will owe nothing and they will leave you alone. My attorney actually advised me to except the proposal, but made it clear in “legal lingo” that she's not making me do it, or advising me to, she just said, if I were in this situation, I would do it. How in the hell is that NOT telling me what to do? Unreal! She knew, that I wouldn't be able to keep up with that amount of money I was being made to pay. She knew, that I would be targeted from here on out, with every possible thing they could think of to keep me broke, in the hole, always on the defense and always living in fear. She knew...what was ahead of me if I didn't go thru with the relinquishment.

If I was to do this, I told her I don't want his wife to adopt my kids. She said, that will be impossible. Once I relinquish my rights, she then had the right to adopt them. Like always, denied. I also told her, that if I do decide to go thru with this, I want to exercise my last visitation with the boys, which was coming up August 4. Denied. She told me that “in the best interest of the kids, they don't think it would be wise for the last visitation to take place.” “But I promised them, they were looking forward to it. Cody was coming this time.” Austin is going to be so disappointed......I promised him I would be there to pick them was a promise! But it didn't matter to T. They knew they finally had me where they wanted me. I was hanging on to a limb over a cliff and it was either let go, and be free from the harassment, the fighting, the war, the would all be over and I could just move on, and never be bothered by them again. Or hang on by a fingernail, until each one turned 18? All the suffering, the misery, the fear of going to the mailbox each day to see what they will file next, what accusations are they going to come up with next......I didn't know what to do.

As much as I liked the sound of that, living in peace and all. It was the pure sadness, and heartbreak I would feel, and what the boys would feel....was torture. But, was it any worse then what we were all ready feeling? They would no longer have to live under the fear of having fun with me, loving me out loud, seeing me. The pressure of taking information back to their dad about me. Spying on me.
Having the uncomfortableness they felt when they returned back from a visit with me. This would make it easy on them. It would keep them out of the middle, I would be doing this to save them from a life of misery with their dad. How in the hell does that make sense to someone who had never been faced with this type of decision?? Was I being crazy for thinking this? Was I being selfish? Again, once you are facing this decision, faced with actually knowing what your future holds either way, you can't judge the decision I made, a decision a lot of parents, mothers and fathers face daily.

Then she tells me that I will also be receiving a motion in the mail from his attorney stating that I took the kids out of the state of Alabama and took them to Florida without T's permission. Are you “F^&*#@!” kidding me....this just keeps getting better and better. Also they were wanting more information about that argument that happened between my mom and brother on 4th of July. Of course they were, so dang typical! They just wouldn't quit!

All of this was happening way too fast. My mind couldn't keep up with all the crap that was being thrown at me. I knew I had to find another job, full time, part time, it didn't matter, I just needed to find another way to make this money so I can start paying it. After I would leave my part time job at 1pm I would go around looking for another one. I would just drop my resume off every where. But I had no luck. But of course I could look and try all I wanted, when it all boiled down to it, I was screwed and had no way out. Here I was being forced to pay an unreasonable amount in child support, or relinquish my rights to my kids. It was a decision that I tossed and turned over night after night. There was no way around, under or over paying this amount of child support. It was the amount I had a problem with, not the child support itself. I can't emphasize that enough.

I knew that even working two part time jobs would barely scrape the service of the child support I owed. Plus I had to come up with another $1000.00 for his attorney by October 1st... and pay mine! How in the hell was I going to do all of this? I couldn't....even if I tried, it would always be something else. Another motion, another accusations another contempt charge. It would never end. I figured, it would take me until after each kid was over 18 before I would be able to see at least a dent in the amount of child support I owed, and that is if he didn't file anything else on make my child support bigger or be ordered to pay his attorney's fees for filing some stupid motion. It would never end.

How in the world does a judge do this to a mother and her kids? How does a parent do this to his own kids? In a million years, if someone told me that getting involved with T, would be the biggest mistake of my life, I would have laughed in your face and said you were wrong! He's innocent and weak. He doesn't have a back bone. But.....
Ask me now?”

I have never witnessed such evil in my entire life. For a father, to allow his children to suffer the way he as allowed, is wrong. He has committed the ultimate hate crime against a child. What he did is a “legal” form of child abuse, and got away with it. Just like he got away with raping that girl.
He knew what he was doing from the very beginning, he just didn't think it was going to take so long.

See when a parent who has an agenda, to destroys another persons life, they never give up. They push and harass until the other person gives in, and gives up. They are the bullies in our society. They will make another human life suffer for the pure gratification of their own. These people have social and mental issue that can't be repaired. The are sociopaths and narcissists. They don't have much sympathy for human life. Like a person who cuts to ease the pain, the alienator bullies and harasses the victim until they finally can't take it anymore, and they cave. They fall victim to the evil work that the bully has done. His plan all along was to make me relinquish my rights to the kids, to be rid of me, to have me out of the picture. He tried many, many times and failed. He never asked me too, he never even offered that to me. He just knew that if he pushed me hard enough, long enough and if he had me right where he needed me, right where he wanted me, I would cave. He played a smart hand. But unfortunately he didn't play with a full deck, if you know what I mean. These people are capable of committing murder and able to get away with it. However, they do eventually get caught. And in a lot of ways, T did commit murder. He killed me, and he killed his kids. Figuratively speaking.

I didn't know what kind of man T was when I married him. I didn't even have a pretty good idea of what kind of person he was. As the years went on, and I started to learn more about him, I would see things that just didn't seem right to me. Like when he was afraid to face his parents about my pregnancy, about his adultery and the rape. His inability to bathe every night, to have proper hygiene.
The way he would curl up in a fetal position when we got into an argument. But I didn't see what was behind all these issues. He had some very deep emotional issues. They all stemmed from his child hood, the way he was raised. He didn't have a loving supportive family. Both of his parents were bullies in their own way. His father bullied his wife and his children. When he was mad or upset he withdrew from the family for days. Then when he was supportive of his childrens decisions, he put them down and belittled them. He would criticize them even if they gave their best effort. His mom smothered him, wouldn't let them breathe without her. She pacified them, picked up after them, bent down to them, and would never discipline him. Instead of telling them they loved them, they just bought them what they wanted. Instead of embracing him, and comforting him when he needed it, she shied away from his emotion, and made him suck it up, and act like a man.
His parents didn't have a loving relationship either. They slept separate from each other. They didn't speak to each other lovingly, they never embraced each other or said I love you. He was raised to believe he was going to be this big football star, and he was afraid to tell his parents that’s not what he wanted to do. They brain washed him into thinking he was Swedish, and had to live up to these expectations. He had a sad life. He had a sad childhood.
I always said his family was like their own little cult. If you didn't belong, or believe their ways, you were not part of their cult. You were shunned from their family. Maybe that's why neither one of then associated with their extended families?
One can only wonder.

I do want to make clear the part about his mom smothering him, and picking up after him. I don't have a problem with picking up your kids, or smothering them to and extent. But, when it interferes with a persons growth and development, that is when I have a problem. I picked up after my kids all the time, but I also made them pick up too. They had to put their clothes away, clean up the bathroom after a shower and take shoes off at the door. Things that you teach them hoping that it will stick with them.
From what the boys told me, they were not aloud to have friends spend the night because their house was a mess all the time. So who's fault is that? T was just teaching them the same things his mom taught him.

I am in no way saying that my family was perfect. We had our own personal issues when I was growing up. My parents fought all the time. I was raised in a very religious home. We went to church every Sunday, and Wednesday night. But, if my mom was “ill” we wouldn't be able to go. It was a functional dysfunctional family. If that makes sense. Both of my parents were loving and affectionate with each other,(when they didn't fight) and with us. We had chores, and earned money for each chore. We were not aloud to listen to rock music. I had to convince my mom that “Wake me up before you go go” was a Christian song about the rapture just so I could buy the tape. I still think that is the funniest thing ever.
But my parents told me they loved me. It wasn't bought by material things, it was the words they spoke to me. They encouraged me, supported me and held my hand. They provided a shelter for me, a place of warmth and kindness. They taught me to love and forgive, not to judge my neighbor. Not to be prejudice. They gave me the tools growing up to deal with what lies ahead for me as an adult. The ability to handle what life throws at me. Yes, I had it easy, I didn't want for anything, it was provided for me. It's what I got accustomed too. But I also learned how to bust hump when I needed too.

But regardless how we were raised, we all have to be accountable for our own actions. We will all face God someday who will then judge us. But what I have shared with you in my story did not warrant the way I was treated. What me and my children had to go through and what we are still going through to this day. I hurt everyday. I think of children everyday. When I grocery shop, when I get my nails done, when I am working, talking to a patient, when I drive, when I watch TV.....I am thinking about my boys. Everyday I have to live with the decisions I made, whether they were good or bad. Everyday I have to live with the questions, the finger pointing the stereotypes of a mother who doesn't have her kids. The “how could yous” the “I could never” “I would do anything it took for my kids.” I hear all of it.........this is why I had such a hard time with telling my story. I have already been through enough, and I didn't want to share this with the world. It was fear.

When I was finally sent the relinquishment papers, I didn't even want to look at them. I didn't even want to know that in my hands held the life line to my kids. These were the “apron strings” this was the artery that kept my heart beating. Signing these papers would heart will forever be broken, the apron strings will always be cut, my artery to my kids hearts would be severed. We would no longer be connected, always be disconnected. Always be separated always be left with questions, and doubt.

I was screaming inside, but it was a silent one would know what I was feeling. Except or Brian. I didn't tell anyone that I was doing this, not my parents, my sister....a one. The only person who knew, was Brian. I would get up in the middle of the night, and just cry..and beat a pillow. I was sad....I couldn't believe that this was happening to me....happening to my kids. WHY??

I didn't want to make the drive to Elgin and walk in the doors of that giant courthouse. I was scared this time. I knew that if I had to walk in there again, I wouldn't go thru with it, I would break down and cry. Or worse, I might have just went crazy and started screaming at the top of my lungs how unfair this judicial system was. Maybe if I SCREAMED it someone would here me....someone would finally listen. I was afraid that if I saw his attorney, I would want to beat the crap out of him. I would want to inflict the most pain on him for allowing his client to manipulate him and the system the way he did. Scratch his eyes out with my bare hands begging him to listen to the cries of my children.
But I didn’t make it to that courthouse.

I made it as far as the Kankakee County Courthouse.........

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I would have....

When I picked up the kids that Saturday night from their dad's, I had no idea that it was going to be the last visitation I would spend with my children.

I was on time picking up the kids. Come to find out they didn't go to that “planned” activity that he said they were going too. Which was so typical, he lied to his attorney, lied to me,and lied to the kids. But no one was going to to anything about it. I even wondered if my attorney was going to still bring it to his attorney’s attention come Monday morning? I highly doubt it.
The boys told me that they just hung out at grandpa's all day long. Which made me so mad. I would’ve been home by now, but since he was in control he decided to make us all wait. What a jerk!
When I pulled up at the house the boys ran out, all excited with big smiles. My mom wanted to say hi to Cody again before we left. She handed him a card with some cash in it. That was the last time my mom saw her grandson.
As the kids were piling in the car, I noticed that their step mom was walking up behind my car, but kept her distance. She apparently didn't think that I was paying attention to what she was doing. But I caught on real quick. She was writing down my license plate number. I don't know exactly for what, or what they had planned, but I got so mad I peeled out hoping I would spin up enough gravel to hit her in the face. Then I pulled out, and said “stupid bitch.” I know I shouldn't have said it with the kids in the car, but I was so mad. I apologized to the boys for calling her a bitch. I told them that I just get so sick and tired of being under a microscope with them. I felt bad for starting off our visit like that. But we all got over it really quick, and we moved on. Not another word was mentioned about it.
In the back of my mind, I was hoping that a rock did hit her though!

As soon as we left, I called Brian's mom to let her know we were on the way. Since it was going to be 7:30 before we got to Kankakee, we had to stay in a hotel. So, Brian's parents met us at the hotel where we ordered pizza and the boys were able to swim again. I told her how court went, and she and my mom started crying because they knew what this outcome meant for me. I was really left with no choice after this last judgment. Brian's mom said, how in the world is this legal? You can't afford to pay that much in child support! We all agreed, it was impossible. Even if I was to just pay what I could, I would still be in arrears and would never be caught up. Besides that, this just left the door open for T to take me back to court on content charges since I wouldn’t be paying the full amount. I would never be in the positive, always in the negative. It was a loosing battle. But we prayed about it, and asked God for direction and for his will to be done. Bla, bla , this point I was blaming God for allowing all this to happen to my kids. What have I done to wrong, so terrible that I deserved to be facing this?
Praying about it and asking God for his will be done, wasn't on my prayer list.

I wasn't looking to God to help with this since he hadn't been there to help me out a long time ago. Don't we all go thru this at one time or another? I was raised to believe and to call on him in our darkest hour. Well God were are you, this is my darkest hour? I was holding on to hope until the very last minute. He never showed up, he never saved this disaster from happening.

Brandon rode with me to take Brian's mom back to her house. This was the last night Brian's mom saw the boys. After I dropped her off and Brandon and I were heading back to the hotel, he wanted a shake from McDonald's so I stopped and got him one, and brought the twins a sundae. When I had a few minutes alone with Brandon, I told him how much I loved him. That no matte what happens to us, no matter how far apart we are or how ever long we are apart I will always love him and his brothers.
I also told him what his dad was trying to do. Was I wrong for telling him all this information? I don't know. But I told him with compassion, and it was from the heart. Most importantly, I was telling him the truth. He needed to know what was happening and what I was facing. Brandon, in his quiet little way, just said “mmmmm!” And continued with his shake. It was a sad moment for me, I wanted to tell him so much more. But I just wanted to make sure he knew that I loved him. That Brian loved him. That I will always be your mom. Always.

I told the boys that I was taking them to Florida while they were with me. It was a huge surprise for them. I had always wanted to take my kids to the beach. I dreamed of the day when I would be able to watch them swim in the ocean. I dreamed of the happiness, the smiles and the laughter. It was a dream that I was about to make come true for my boys. It wasn't going to be the same, Cody wasn't going to be with us. But I knew that I would be bringing them back again during our next visitation and Cody would be with us then.
I also had to work while the boys were with me. But thank goodness it was not all day. I was able to spend the rest of the afternoon with my boys. My mom would come and sit with them in the mornings and then go home after I got home. I think a couple of times she took them back to her house to spend the day. They also spent time with my sister, and went swimming. They also had a chance to spend with distant cousins that moved to Florida a few year back. So it was a good visit for them. My aunt even offered to let the boys stay with them a little longer, and would take them to my moms where they were staying the night. Which I thought was nice. I know the boys enjoyed that too.

The weekend that we left for Florida, the kids were so excited they couldn't contain themselves. They wanted to get surf boards and ride the waves. I said I will go buy you guys surf boards, actually they were small buggy boards. But I got them each a boogie board. They got goggles so the salt water wouldn't hurt their eyes. It took us 5 hours to drive to Pensacola Florida, once we got there and settled in at Brian's cousins, we went to pick up those boogie boards and we were off to the beach. Just the pure excitement from my kids faces when we arrived at the beach was priceless. I remember them saying the sand was hot, at they hovered over the sand and found a spot to sit all our stuff out. They just wanted to get in the water. I made sure they were lathered up with sunscreen so thick so they wouldn't burn. One by one, they jumped in the ocean. I was at the edge of the world with them, it was just us. I had my kids in the ocean, in Florida. I was happy. I didn't get in that day with them, but Brian and his cousin did. I just wanted to watch them have fun. I snapped pictures of each minute with them.
Brian's cousin had two step kids who came out with us too. They had a real surf board, and Austin's eyes were as big a paper plates. He wanted to try surfing on the big board. He wasn't afraid to try anything knew. So I let him try it. He was hooked. My little surfer kid. I bet if we lived here he would be into surfing. Dalton and Brandon also gave it try. But Brandon kept getting stung and decided he was done. But Dalton gave it a try a few times. But Austin, he was in it to win it. He didn't want to leave that beach. Sadly though, Brian's cousin got so stung he was sick and had to go home. I felt horrible. But he wanted to make sure the boys had fun.

But little did we know it was jelly fish season. That wasn't so good. My poor little guys were getting stung by the jelly fish all over. Brandon got the worst of it. His chest and belly was all red from the stings. As much as they wanted to get in more, and ride the waves, they couldn't stand the stings of the jelly fish. They took it as long as they could. So we decided to go over the the sound side, hopefully there won't be jelly fish.

Once we got on the sound side, they kids grabbed their snorkel gear and hit the water. They loved this side too. Austin said “mom, I think I’m going to move to Florida when I grow up.” I told him “you can if he want too.” then he was off splashing in the water. Brian and his cousin had the boys snorkeling for hours. The boys saw huge shells, and manary's. They kept circling them. The boys were able to touch them as they floated by. After a busy day splashing in the ocean, we went over to Brian's cousins house, the one that got sick from all the stings. We went there for a cookout. Hamburgers, hotdogs the works. Eddie, has real snorkel gear and he let the kids try it out in his pool. They each had a chance to learn how to snorkel with real gear on. It was so awesome. They stayed under the water until the tanks ran out of air. But like everything else they tried, they loved it and was hooked. I was happy for them to have that opportunity to try out snorkeling with real gear. It made for great memories.

The next morning, all the guys planned on getting up early, like 4 am early to hit the pier to do some fishing. I regret not going with them. Everyone caught something that morning, even my guys. Brandon caught a sucker fish. This is the fish you see stuck to bigger fish, like sharks or Barracuda. “He was a little scared at first,” Brain said when he caught it, but once he was able to see that it wouldn't bite him, Brandon let it stick to is forearm. Thankfully, Brian's cousin had a camera and was able to get a picture of that. I can't thank him enough.
They saw dolphin swimming around shark and they even saw a manatee. Which was the highlight of the morning for them. Well, besides catching all the fish. I am so glad they had that experience and I hope that it will be something they will never forget.

When they came back to the house, they told me all about the cool things they saw. The manatee, the fish they caught and the sucker fish that Brandon stuck to his arm. Then they all showered and fell asleep. While they were all asleep, I took off to walmart and developed the pictures that Harold took that morning. I wanted to make sure Brandon had that picture for his album. I wanted to make sure they had pictures to share with their dad when they got home. I also wanted one just for Brandon so he can hang it in his locker at school. Then of course one for me.
Later on that day, we took the boys downtown Pensacola, and took them to a real fish market. They thought this was really cool too. They saw the boats that bring all the fresh fish in. And saw how they gut the fish and prepare it to sell. They sampled a few things while we were there.
After we left the fish market we walked along the docks and looked at the big boats that were docked. He kids though those were pretty cool too. The twins spotted a guy with a rope and a small tube, like one you would find in a laboratory. They went up and asked they guy what he was doing. The guy was very nice and said he was testing the Ph in the water. This was very interesting stuff to the boys. The guy was so cool, he let the kids place the tube in the water, and then put drops in the tube to test the water. They thought it was the coolest thing ever.
That night, Brian and I took the boys back to the beach so they could experience the beach and ocean at night. We didn't swim that night, I just wanted them to see all the crabs that came out at night. There were thousands of them. The boys thought this was the coolest thing too. Once again, I was so happy to give them this opportunity to experience all the cool things Florida has to offer. The weekend was great. It was everything and more what I hoped it would be. I was so happy to take my kids to the beach, hear them play and splash in the water, and let the sand touch their feet. My dream of taking them to the beach came true. It was the best feeling ever.
They kept saying that when we come back with Cody we have to take him here, we have to show him this. I told them we will do it all over again and make sure Cody experiences the same things that you guys did.

After we got back home, Brian and I had to go back to work that Monday morning. But the kids were excited to see my mom and tell her about the weekend they had in Florida. Brandon kept reminding me me to develop the pictures so he can take them back to his dads house. I told him I would have it all done before I took them back home.
My mom took the boys to the fireworks tent to pick out a few fireworks for the party my sister was having. We were looking forward to the party. But sad, because the next day I would have to take the boys back to their dad. But we enjoyed every minute we had. I took the boys to the local skate park and let them skate for a few hours, or until they got to tired and hot. But they loved that. They remembered looking up this same skate park on the internet when they knew we were moving. They wanted to make sure that our town had a skate park so they could hang out there. They were having a good time, until Brielle, the neighbor girl I brought with us, fell while dropping into the bowl and thought she may have broke her arm. I immediately called her mom, and I took her home. Her mom took her to the ER, and she didn't break it, just a small sprain. Thank goodness, I was glad she was OK.
4th of July was upon us, and it was our last full day together. We left for my sisters around 2 pm and arrived at 3. The party didn't start until 5. But I got there early so the kids could swim and run around. I was there to help my sister. When we arrived, my sister told me that something happened between my mom and my brother and that she was very upset and wouldn't be coming for the party. Which made me sad because she was looking forward to spending this last day with the kids. But, my brother ruined it for her. She did come over to say bye to the boys and told them she loved them and will see them in August. This was the last time my mom saw them.

The boys had a good time letting off fireworks, riding horses and 4 wheelers. They ran around all over the place. I snapped pictures ever chance I got. It was the last 4th of July I would have with my kids. It was the last time my sister, Hannah and Courtney would see them.

After we got home, the kids just crawled into bed, they were exhausted. I had to finish packing my clothes for my 1 night stay after dropping them off at their dads house.

When I woke up that Sunday morning, I went in to the boys room to start getting them up and in the shower. When I walked in the room, Austin wasn't on his bed, he was on the floor, sleeping in puke. He was sick in the middle of the night, and had been throwing up. Poor baby. So I got him to take a quick shower to clean himself up, and took his blankets to the laundry room, got his clothes out and made sure he was dressed. The other boys followed behind.
They made sure the clothes they wore to my house 2 weeks ago were laid out on their beds.
I grabbed a few towels a bottled water and a garbage can for Austin, since he was still throwing up. Poor little guy. I felt so bad for him, who wants to travel 12 hours when your sick? But I knew if I called T and told him Austin was sick, and was going to leave the next day, he would have thrown a fit. So I did what I was suppose to do. Austin was sick the entire trip. I made sure that he stayed hydrated though, he had plenty of Gatorade, water and pepto. But he was so sick he couldn't hold any of that down. Poor little guy. I would hold his little hand as I drove down the road, letting him know that I loved him and that I was sorry he was sick. He would just say “thanks mom, love you too.”

Once we got into town, the tears didn’t' fall this time, because we knew that it was just going to be 4 weeks until we saw each other again. As I pulled up in the parking lot of their dads house, they were having a party. When they saw us pull in they started ringing a bell and yelling in excitement at the arrival of the boys. Needless to say, my goodbye to the boys was interrupted by the selfish acts of T and his family. So the boys and I quickly hugged each other I made sure they had the photo album I made for them, then, Austin said “you are coming back in 4 weeks right mom?” I said “yep, 4 weeks.” With hugs, kisses and a short goodbye, they were off. Running to see what was going on at the party. I saw Cody get up from the table to greet his brothers. I didn't think for a minute that he may have been getting up to come see me again. But I was in my car, and out of site.

July 5th 2008 was the last time I saw my boys. The last time I heard them say mom. The last time I hugged them, told them that I loved them. The last time I would hear their voice, hold their hand or sing a song in the car together.

But I didn't know it at the time. I had every intention on picking them up in 4 weeks for the 2nd ½ of our visitation. The visitation that I was suppose to have. The visitation that I was aloud to have, it was court ordered.

If I knew that I wasn't going to see them again after that day I would have done more, said more. Told them I loved them more. Hugged them more. I would have waited to see if Cody was coming down to see me.

I would have...........