My Story/ First Time

In 1989 I had my first child and 11 months and 13 days later I gave birth to my second child; heck it went like this for the next 4 years after that for a total of 6 children. Yes I had six children, all 11 months and 13 days apart from each other. People have asked me how I did it, how could I take care of 6 children; to tell the truth; I don’t know how to take care of only one child. But this is not telling my story;

The first time I ever had any involvement with CPS was in Colorado, Colorado Springs; I went out here after my third child was born because my now ex-husband had taken my children from me and an attorney had told me the only way for me to get custody of my children is to have them in my physical care before filing for divorce, after being told that I set out to get my hands on my kids. I set up a visit with my kids and when he brought my kids to see me the ex-husband asked me to go out to Colorado with him to start over. Of course thinking of what the attorney said to me I left, going back to get my children.

After being in Colorado for about a month and a half my ex-husband and I got into a big fight that ended up spilling over and involving my youngest child in the fight playing tug of war; here was my chance, calling 911 the children and I where taken to a woman’s shelter. After staying there for a week or so I was able to leave with my children safely, I was staying with a friend when my eldest son came down with a heavy fever and without having anyone else there to stay with my other 2 children I opted to continue to try and get my son’s temperature down until my friend came home from school or work wherever he was at, at that time.

By the time the roommate returned home and I was able to take my son to the emergency room it was late in the evening, all I knew was that I had to go; I look at my roommate and told him that the two babies were sleeping and should be fine till I got back but I needed to get my son to the hospital, his fever won’t break. He looked at me saying “Go, I got this. The babies will be fine, worry about your son.” Trusting him with my other two children we took off and at the hospital the doctors did a head to toe examination (for a fever) “which turned out to be tonsillitis”.

I guess I should explain; my son at this time was two years old to begin with, and into everything like normal two year old; and a swat on the pants was nothing back in my time. During this head to toe exam the doctors seen fit to perform on my son, they found a small fingerprint bruise where my finger over reached his diaper (no, I wasn’t the greatest parent in the world, and yes, I did make mistakes. Spankings was the accepted norm while I was growing up, it told you no, it told you ouch, it told you off limits etc.) Anyways when the doctor seen this, he thought I was abusing my child and called in the CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES AGENCY (CPS); I was assigned a worker that used to work in Detroit, Michigan. After she questioned me she proceeded to go to where I was staying, telling my roommate I told them that I said “the kids were there by themselves” ¬†and they had orders to come take remove them from the home.

This worker removed my children from my care and told me I was an unfit mother and I was not allowed to see my children. They took my children and gave my 4 month old a cat scan, x-rays, and all kinds of tests because he had a birthmark (one of those big puffy purple ones) saying it was a bruise. Let me tell you this was the worst Christmas in my life! On December 21, 1991 there was a knock on the front door of were I was staying; at 9:00 am a CPS worker and two Colorado Springs police officers where standing on the door-step. I was asleep, along with my Aunt and Uncle that I was staying with; I made it to the door before they could even think about opening their eyes because something didn’t feel right in my gut about the knock on that door. When I opened the door I remember looking at the CPS worker and asking her right out what is wrong with my kids? She didn’t take me inside, they didn’t tell me to sit down, they didn’t prepare me for what was to come; she looked at me and said “CODY IS DEAD.”

I don’t remember much of what happened around me the next few days to be more exact I didn’t start coming around until well after the New Year started because we brought my son home to Michigan and buried here. CPS did, however; have an emergency court meeting that day where both my other children where released back into my custody and I was allowed immediate access to them. However; we all decided together that with everything going on with the arrangements of getting home, it was best I leave them in the care of the foster home, and that I did agree with because then that became my decision and at the moment I didn’t have to answer the question “where is Cody?” The children would be returned to me at the time we were to bored the plane to come back to Michigan; which was good for me.

This story is not over though; in the meantime while things were in the fog, I do remember the case-worker I had was wonderful; in that, during the time of the funeral arrangements she paid for a Baptismal outfit for him to be buried in and the State of Colorado paid for his casket, Red Cross Paid to fly him and his 2 siblings and I home so that we could bury him here. Also; side note (it was mentioned in court, at that emergency court hearing, that “MY KIDS SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM ME”).

I was told later on down the road that I should have sued the foster family, DHS, and everyone involved. Well, I guess now looking back at it now I should have at least sued CPS for negligence, and so much more. However; there is no way in the world I could or would ever sue the foster family. You see, I needed closer (frankly so did they) I asked my caseworker if she would ask them if they would meet with me. She did and the only one willing to so so was the foster mom and daughter. When the mother walked in she broke-down and I couldn’t understand, I was all set for it being this woman’s fault like you all are assuming; but no, her guilt was consuming her, her pain was killing her. She said that “If only I had gotten out of bed when I had heard him whimper!” OH MY GOD! No parent goes running every time a child whimpers in their sleep. This foster mom wanted out, she was walking away from all those kids that needed her, I seen so much love in just that first 15 minutes; I grabbed her hands, I looked her in the eyes and told her “Look, just because my kids shouldn’t have been taken away from me and put with you, doesn’t mean you can quit, yes he was taken away while in your care but there are other kids out there that need you and you cannot quit!” Yes I said that, and in my own time of grief. I think that was my turning point on how I looked at the death of my child. God in all his mercy knew that I could not handle him taking home his angel so he place him with another that I could help stay strong in helping those in need; THE CHILDREN…

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