Mar 14 2013

Timothy Ward and Trystian Doss…The Beginning

Before I tell about the horror that has left my life in constant fear and panic, let me begin with a little background on the most amazing boys ever brought into this world.

I was almost 19-years-old when I gave birth to my first child. Timothy Douglas Ward graced us with his presence six week early and after 25 hours in labor on August 23, 1998. Unfortunately, my divorce from his father was final a week later, but it didn’t really matter to me. All that mattered to me at that moment was that I had a beautiful baby boy who I just knew was going to do something big in this world! By the time I was 21, I had remarried and gave birth to another amazing child, Trystian Kole Doss on December 21, 2000. I was married to his father for close to four years before we separated.

Being extremely young and stupid when I began, I made a whole lot of mistakes as a parent. What young parent doesn’t? I never made any mistakes I thought would hurt my children, though. I never abused them and always made sure one way or another that they had food in their bellies and that they had clothes on their backs. I always made sure we had shelter and that they had beds to sleep in. I always tried my best to make sure they had all of their needs met.

After my second husband left me, I still tried to do what I thought was best…..until the worst happened…..

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Mar 13 2013

The Worst Period of My Life

My second husband left me in the summer of 2004. Soon after, I realized that due to my mental disabilities and my emotional instability, that I would not at the time be able to take care of my boys all by myself.

Map of Tennessee highlighting Rutherford County

Map of Tennessee highlighting Rutherford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I moved in with a friend in Rutherford County, TN. She had children who were about the same age as mine, and she and I had been friends for years. Soon after I moved in with her and her family, I got a job. While I worked, she kept my children, even if I had to work a double or triple shift. 

We got into a routine and it felt like everything was going smoothly. I  had become more emotionally stable and even had enough money saved up that I was finally thought I was going to be able to move my kids and I into our own place. The next thing I knew, my life was being ripped from me. A friend of mine had given birth to my goddaughter, so I got the boys ready and took them with me to Clarksville to see her. When we arrived back home, my roommate informed me that DCS had been to the house and had told her that all three of us (my friend, her husband, and me) had to be at their office in the morning for a meeting and that we had to have our children with us. It turns out that they had received a call that she had abused one of her children. Anyone who had seen my children would be able to tell that they weren’t abused, but they still insisted that I had to be there.

What occurred at the meeting and afterwards was absolutely shocking. They had not received any complaints about my children or me, but yet, they still had to label me as if I was a horrible mother. JUST BECAUSE I LIVED WITH THE PERSON THEY HAD GOTTEN A CALL ABOUT, and even though I had made sure to tell them and show them that I had enough money to move us out, Rutherford County, TN DCS decided that they had to take my children from me and throw me in jail!!!!!

What’s worse? 1.My friend’s husband got out on bail without paying anything up front AND wasn’t there more than two days, AND 2. My friend got out on an O.R. bond a few days before I did! I was stuck in what most people just call “940” for 33 days.

Oh wait, it gets worse!

Now remember: I had done nothing wrong. My children were not abused, there were no complaints about me, I had a steady job, and I had enough money to move us out.

English: Rutherford County Courthouse, Murfree...

English: Rutherford County Courthouse, Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had been appointed a horrible criminal lawyer. When I finally found out what my actual charges were, I about died. I was being charged with neglect. I obviously was not guilty, but the lawyer, who was supposed to be on my side, was either lazy or she was assuming that I was actually guilty. The woman told me that it would only make things worse if I plead not-guilty. She said that the State would only drag it out as long as they could and would use my mental disabilities against me to prove me unfit. She also told me that if I did that instead of just pleading guilty, that my kids would only be in foster care longer, which would make it harder for me to get them home. So I did the stupid thing and listened to her. I plead guilty so I could hurry up and get my babies home.

Oh, I’m not even close to done.

I began working on the family plan so I could just get them home. I went above and beyond. I tried to do everything I could possibly do to make sure I got my babies, and they just kept telling me it wasn’t good enough and piled on more and more. You know, I thought losing the man who had been my first real love was hard mentally and emotionally when he left the summer before, but this definitely took its toll on me. The more I was told my babies couldn’t come home, the more it broke me. Not only was I also a foster child and knew what it was like, but I was also still suffering from PTSD that began when I was a child. I began having a minimum of five panic attacks a day. The harder I tried, the more they told me no. I was a total and complete mess.

It still doesn’t stop there.

Right around January of 2006, I was told that my children had been in custody for too long. They told me if I didn’t give up my parental rights, that they were just going to take them from me. I was told by Rutherford County DCS that I had to make the choice. I really should have known better since I wasn’t given a deadline to decide. I should have know since I was in custody almost my whole teen-aged life.

Length of stay in U.S. foster care

Length of stay in U.S. foster care (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That is exactly where they used my disabilities against me to manipulate me.

If I really look at it in a completely clear view, I guess they seriously coerced me into making the hardest/worst decision of my whole life. Since they had made it very clear it was already a done deal, the only reason I didn’t make them take me to court to in order to take my rights was because they told me that if they took my rights, the files would be sealed forever, but if I signed them over, the files would be unsealed as soon as my children reached a specific age, and as long as I kept the records up to date, they would be able to find me. In a nutshell, they promised me a reunion. They promised me that I would be able to have them come home someday, but that if I didn’t do it willingly, I’d never see them again.

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Mar 13 2013

And Now I Can Never Get My Boys Back

English: The lost boys Photo of the lost boys ...

English: The lost boys Photo of the lost boys who are buried near their home (Church Farm) 1503486 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where are they now??? 

I was smart enough to see that the foster family my boys were living with were not only people who were at least financially waaaay better off than I was at the time, but to also see that they seemed extremely happy in their home. My boys seemed to be thriving in a way I had never seen before. So when I finally did make the decision I did, I thought I was doing what would ultimately be best for them. Before I signed anything, and again at my last visit, I begged Jay and Judy Rowles to be the ones to adopt them. I didn’t want to end up making my final decision without knowing that the chances of them doing it were high. I didn’t want to leave much room for the risk that my boys would end up in some strangers’ house in which abuse or any other horrible thing would be considered a norm. 

I got very lucky that the possibility became a reality. In 2008, I very nervously contacted Judy Rowles. I was scared to death that they hadn’t adopted the boys, and even more afraid that my call to her would end up being considered against the law. She was very nice during that call. She told me they were doing great all around and that yes, it would be okay if I called from time to time to ask about them. She even promised to send me pictures of them as they were growing up.

I really must be a glutton for punishment.

I actually believed her. I even sent cards with money in it for a little while. At first, I even called about once a month to see how they were.  I have not received one picture. Ever. I have asked her to mail them. I have asked her to email them. I even asked her to just send me one through a picture message on her phone. She always promised she would, but never sent any. I have some that are semi-current, but I had to FaceBook stalk their adoptive family and all of their friends to find any.

That really hurt/hurts but then a few months after I found out I was pregnant with Fiona, I  had to call Social Security (I’m on disability now for physical and mental disabilities) to change my address and found out that the Rowles had changed their names! I had fully expected them to change their last names, but never in a million years did I expect them to change their first names. It seriously wasn’t even the name changing that bothered me, though. It was that I had been talking to their adoptive mother for two years, and she had never even thought to mention it to me. You know how you always hear people say that omitting facts is still lying? Well, I think those were some pretty big facts for her to not disclose. I still feel so utterly betrayed.

Granted, I guess I should have realized that she really didn’t want to talk to me. She gave me two pretty good hints: When I would call to ask her how they were doing, she would only say that they were “fine.” Judy would never give me any real details. The other hint was that I kept begging for pics and she kept promising she’d send them, but always broke her promises. So why would I ever think she would tell me the truth about anything?

It’s not like I have ever in any way asked her to let me have a relationship with them. And I’ve never remotely hinted that I would kidnap them or try to approach them. I’m not in their town stalking them. So why is this woman acting this way? Why is she treating me like I’m a crackhead whore who sold her kids for drugs? Why is she treating me like I was abusive? I was the one who was done wrong!!!!! I didn’t deserve to have my children taken from me, and I am the one who gave them to her in what I thought was a selfless act. Why is this woman doing me just as wrong as DCS did?

A Glimmer of Hope?

I recently, and it was totally by accident, found their older adoptive brother’s YouTube page. I sent him a message that basically explained who I was. I told him that I did not expect him to respond to me, but that I was about to start uploading videos of Fiona to my channel and was hoping that he would find a way to show them to my boys so they could see their sister. In addition, I also asked him to possibly upload videos that at least caught glimpses of my boys from time to time. He has not responded, and I’m okay with that because I told him I didn’t expect one, but he hasn’t uploaded any videos, either. I’ve already uploaded between 12 and 15 of Fi, though. I guess I can say that I still have one glimmer of hope…..he hasn’t blocked me from his channel, so maybe I still have a chance?

 

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