Child Protective Services (CPS) took my daughter Jesilyn from me on March 23rd, 2004.
Jesilyn should have never been taken. I don't know why CPS officially took her. I was given many reasons including risk, neglectful supervision, and an unstable home. Jesilyn and I were living with my mother, sister, and my ex-boyfriend. My mother was never a stable person and on the 17th of March she attempted to commit suicide and checked herself into the hospital. She left me with my sister who is cognitively delayed. My sister ran away, she told a Karate studio that I had kicked her out, and the studio called the police. When the police came they asked where our mother was and if I was able to care for my sister until my mom got home. I was honest and revealed I couldn't care for her.
My sister was taken to Boys Town. A CPS investigation was opened on my mother. Subsequently a CPS investigation was opened on me. I had taken Jesilyn to a sitter for a while due to my work situation and having no sitter (my mother was my sitter).
Two weeks after Jesilyn was taken I went to my first court hearing. I stood in front of Judge Sakai terrified, waiting for him to tell me whether or not my daughter could come home. I was ordered to complete a service plan that included counseling, parenting classes, anger management, weekly visits, and more. I was also ordered to quit my job because I was working in the adult industry.
I lost my home because I wasn't working, I lost everything I had, and was forced onto the street. I lived day-by-day struggling to keep up everything CPS required of me. If it weren't for a very nice bus driver who let me ride for free on the day of my visits with Jesilyn, I might never have seen her. I begged my caseworker Fernando Martinez, my Lawyer Patricia DeVeau, my counselor Sylvia Moreno, and my CASA worker Rosa Linda Martinez for help. No one helped me. I was alone and fighting an uphill battle for my child.
I found out Jesilyn was being starved and abused in foster care. Rosa Linda noticed my daughter always had bruises and was loosing a large amount of weight. The issue was taken to court. Jesilyn was ordered out of the foster home and it was ordered that within two weeks she be back home with me. I had secured a stable home, completed my entire service plan, and had gotten back on SSI for my heart condition. In November of 2004 I moved into a shelter for single women and families. In February Jesilyn was returned to me and I was assigned a new caseworker named Sherry Caperton.
While Jesilyn was back in my custody I found that she had many issues. She was argumentative, she threw wild temper tantrums, and she was found touching another child's private parts in daycare. The child she touched was the child of my roommate at Peacock Village. I asked Jesilyn why she touched her, she told me because a man at Momma Jackie's touched me. Jackie Brown was her foster mother. Jackie Brown continues to be a foster mother and no action was taken against her.
Sherry secured a safer home for me at the Salvation Army's Peacock Village While at Peacock Village I reunited with my friend named Samuel Hall. Samuel and I are now engaged and planning on being married very soon. I told Sherry about Samuel on Feb 15th, the day after we got together. She refused to run a criminal background check. I was ordered to stay away from home. CPS ordered me to put Jesilyn in daycare. On the daycare list I had to put down people who could pick up Jesilyn incase of emergencies. I put Samuel on the list. My daughter didn't like Sherry and I didn't feel comfortable allowing her to pick Jesilyn up from daycare.
In March I made a bad decision to visit my mother with Jesilyn. Sherry took Jesilyn away from me. I was forced to move out of Peacock Village because I no longer had a child and once again found myself homeless. When I asked Sherry why she took Jesilyn, she never gave me a straight answer. She told me two different reasons. 1. Because I took Jesilyn to my mothers, and 2. Because I wrote Samuels name on the daycare list over hers (which I didn't).
Samuel and I moved in with my mother the day Jesilyn was taken. I wasn't allowed to see Jesilyn or talk to her. I made a very hard decision to move to my grandmothers in Albuquerque, NM in April. I was in contact with Sherry on a daily basis. I called my uncle in Virginia and asked him if he would be willing to adopt Jesilyn in case something happened. I was battling with the idea of signing over my rights because for 15 month I was told I was a horrible mother and I would never be able to give Jesilyn the life she deserved.
My uncle hired Patricia's associate Dorothy Diaz as an intervener. In May I went to court and told Patricia I was going to fight for Jesilyn. That is when Patricia and Dorothy began telling me I would never get Jesilyn back and I needed to sign a voluntary relinquishment of my parental rights. I was pregnant with Taylor and they told me that if I didn't sign the papers then they would make sure that Albuquerque CPS would take my unborn child from me. They told me it was either sign away Jesilyn or lose both my children. I was forced to sign the relinquishment.
I am currently in college to earn a Bachelors in Human Services/Management. I'm pulling a 4.0 GPA, and I'm planning on continuing my education at Harvard Law School after I earn my Bachelors. I am engaged to Samuel and plan to be married by the summer. I live in Albuquerque, NM. We live in a four-bedroom home with my grandmother, and our daughter Taylor. Samuel has a job and pays all of our bills. I am now financially stable. All I needed was help and no one from CPS would give me that.
CPS has destroyed my life and my daughter's life. My daughter was abused, molested, and starved in foster care. I never hurt my child. I had a dysfunctional home. I lived the only way I new how. I grew up in a dysfunctional home and I was abused much of my life. I was punished because I was abused. I had my child taken from me and I didn't deserve it. I will fight till the day I die to get my child back. I deserve my child and she deserves me.
San Antonio, Texas
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Child Protective Services