I am 24 years old and my story is very long. When I was 17 I married a guy that I went high school with. He was white and I'm a Black and Puerto Rican female which may be playing a role in the way things are going. He joined the Army and we were stationed in Lawton, Oklahoma. In 2001 we had a son. Six weeks later I had picked my son up out of his crib and went to feed him. When I laid him down I noticed that his arm kept continuously flopping around so I woke up my husband who was asleep at the time and asked him to look at it. He said he didn't think much was wrong with it and that maybe we should just mobilize it (At the time I didn't think it may be a sign that he may have caused the problem). I was concerned and said we needed to go to the hospital. We took our son to the emergency room. They performed an x-ray. The results were a spiral fracture. I was so young and dumb that at the time I didn't even know what a fracture was. I kept asking the doctor what that meant. He said my baby's arm had to have been twisted. I was so confused. The doctor said we needed to stay overnight to make sure my son didn't catch a fever. Overnight turned into two weeks. We received visits from social services case workers. They eventually determined that it was child abuse and took my son into custody. We were devastated. A couple of days later I received a phone call from the police department requesting that I come in to take a polygraph. I was excited to do so because I knew I would pass and I assumed I would be able to get my son back. I took the polygraph and passed. They never asked my husband to take a polygraph. My son stayed in custody for about 7 months. During that time we were required to take parenting and anger management classes which we completed. We were tricked into pleading guilty. The case worker called it stipulating. She said that all it meant we were doing is saying that when his arm broke it broke in our home. I didn't realize what we did until it was too late. We couldn't afford the lawyer we had at the time so he was ready to give up. Our child was then placed back in our custody.
When he was 10 months old I was at work and my husband came running in my job appearing as if he had seen a ghost. He said something was wrong with our baby. I ran out to the car to see my son looking as if he was having a seizure and he was not responsive. Something in me told me that this was the beginning of a new hell. When we made it to the emergency room we were not allowed in the room with our son. He was flown out of town. The doctors there determined that it had to be shaking baby syndrome. My now ex husband was arrested. But because of how nave I was I just couldn't believe that he would have hurt our child. I just couldn't see the man that I went to high school with, the man who had never hit me could be able to hurt our child. The only way I was able to explain it was that the injury had to occur from him falling. Let me take a moment in the story to better explain what type of man my husband was. He was a master manipulator. NO One could imagine him doing anything to hurt his child. I have found out so many things since this case about him from people not even knowing he was married to not knowing he had kids to him being in debt with many people. It's like he had multiple personalities. I don't understand why it's so hard for DHS to not understand how I believed him because at one time they even believed him. Oklahoma DHS was very nasty through out the whole situation from beginning till now. Let me take another moment and explain some of the things they have done. In most states DHS will automatically place the child with family. In my case when my mother tried to get her grandson out of the system the director of DHS called her and told her they would never give her custody. She was told that her best bet would be to get a lawyer. Unfortunately my family cannot afford an attorney. At one of my jobs coincidently I ended up working with an ex case worker. When she got fired for embezzlement my boss explained to me how she had pulled up my case file and showed it to her. She had also told my boss that I allowed my husband to abuse my children and myself. Many of the workers and supervisors speak freely about my case with who ever(which is a breach of confidentiality). Because Lawton is so small much of it gets back to me. I also at one time was able to have a legal aid attorney because honestly we cannot afford a lawyer. Once I won my trial and my parental rights could not be terminated the judge said that I could not have a legal aid attorney based on my new husband's income. My current lawyer said that the judge knows I can't afford a lawyer and their hope is for me to come to court without a lawyer so they can do what they want to do. The foster parent in my case has been allowed to behave in a way that I didn't even know was legal. People that go to her church have come to me with the lies that she tells. Also many people involved with making decisions in my case are buddies with her so that also plays against me because she wants to adopt my children. I've been called everything but the child of God by case workers as well.
Our son was taken into custody again. My ex eventually made bond and I stayed with him because I believed him. Our lawyers and everyone around us told us we needed to stick together and get our son back. Nobody told me to leave him. So that's what I did I stuck by him. I eventually became pregnant again. Because I feared that my child would be taken away if I gave birth to him in Oklahoma I went to South Carolina where my mother is and had my second son. My husband stayed in Oklahoma. Unfortunately when my child was 4 months old I went to Oklahoma for a court date and brought him with me. DHS workers found out I was there with my child and they showed up at the apartment where I was staying. I lied and said he wasn't my baby and eventually they had to leave. I then took off with my baby and hid out for about 2 days before they found me. I spent the night in jail and my second child was taken into DHS custody for the fact that they already had my first child in custody. My friend's father was friends with the judge and was able to get me out. My only request was that my baby be placed in the same foster home as his brother so that they can know each other. We were allowed visitation with our second child but not our first child. During this time I still believed my ex husband.
The closer and closer it got to my ex husbands trial date the more he began to change. For the first time he was giving me a reason to question if he was capable of hurting our son. The verbal abuse towards me became outrageous. I also learned that he was subjected to a lot of abuse as a child. I even became bold enough to ask him if he hurt our child and he flipped out and told me I was just like everyone else. Then one day I said a prayer due to all my confusion and not knowing what to do. I asked the lord to please show me what happened to my first born. I explained in my prayer that I didn't know what else to do or where to turn. Two days later my ex husband and I had an argument he attacked me and kept me hostage in our apartment. He didn't let me leave for hours. The next day I called my mother and told her what happened. She told me I needed to leave. The next day when he was out with friends I gathered up my things and left. I never looked back. When I left him he would call threatening to kill me, to blow up my apartment and much more including trying to run a friend and myself off the road. Eventually he went to trial and was found guilty of child abuse. He was sentenced to 10 years. The foster parent wrote a letter to the judge requesting more. This is pretty odd to me now because now she's trying to convince people that I may have been the one to injure my child.
Even though he is in prison my fight for my kids has not ended. Because I believed him they are using it against me. They have even stooped as low as to say maybe I did it. Lawton, Oklahoma is a place where it is all about who you know. Oklahoma DHS took me to trial to have my parental rights terminated. During the trial everyone that took the stand lied, but I still prevailed and won. I won my case over a year ago and I still do not have my children. At every meeting that my lawyer and I have attended with DHS they spend that time degrading me and expressing how upset they are that the jury did not terminate my parental rights. One of the men at the meeting even said that he commends my lawyer for defending people like me. I remember him saying that like it was yesterday because it hurt my heart. This case has been going on for 5 years. I've done parenting and anger management classes for the second time. I've done two psychological evaluations. I've had every type of abuse training you can imagine as well as individual counseling. Every time I complete a treatment plan they create a new plan. I believe their goal is to hope I give up, but it will never happen. I'm going through all of these things for the fact that I believed my husband. The case has gotten so ridiculous that case workers are making false accusations. My case worker has lied about things as small as my phone calls. I now have to keep track of my phone records and write down what we talk about to cover my tracks. Since this I have remarried. We had a son in Oct. 2006. We live in Georgia. Oklahoma DHS has even tried to take this baby. WHY??? They ran checks to find out where I live because I refused to give them my real address because I knew they would try to take my baby. They even sent South Carolina officials to my mother's house looking for me. The case worker there had received the impression that I was a fugitive. After my mother explained to her what was going on she was in shock and disbelief at Oklahoma's actions. Georgia to closed the case and could not understand why my children have not been returned to me. I haven't been able to go to Oklahoma to have visitation with my son because my husbands is in the Army. He deploys back and forth. If I go to Oklahoma I need to take my baby with me. If I do that they will take him just like they did my second child. I have also had a lady which was appointed by the judge to kind of be a mediator in my case. The first time I spoke with her I felt that she would be a help. I though I finally had a direct voice to the judge so that he would know exactly what was going on. She called me again and I found out the hard way that she to is a snake and cannot be trusted. She called me today to tell me I should give up and give my children up for adoption. She said in such a calm and sweet voice that I had to sit and just really absorb what she had just said. She asked me why I would want to take them from a place where they are happy. I told her that I couldn't even believe she had the audacity to call me with some crap like that. I'm writing because this case has gotten out of hand. DHS in Oklahoma plays the role of God. The judge lets them do whatever they want. The sad thing is this is not an isolated incident. There are many cases where children are in the system that shouldn't be. Do I regret believing my ex husband?..EVERYDAY..Because of my ex husband my son will never be the same. I'm not even sure of the extent of his learning disabilities because they don't tell me. There are many things that I look back on that maybe could have been a sign. I have a 5 year old that I have not been allowed to see since he was 10 months and a 3 year old that doesn't know me. I'm their mother. I'm at a point to where I don't know what to do. I have a lawyer but it seems like it doesn't matter. I will never give up on my children. PLEASE HELP ME!! Because I didn't want to send a 10 page letter I shortened it. There are still so many parts for me to tell. Please contact me. I need help!!
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