Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How can you help?

If I am going to get my daughter back, I am going to need help.

We had lots of circumstances happen, including replacing three vehicles in three months due to mechanical issues, and we cannot come up with the retainer in any timely fashion at all. We are still paying medical bills from my other children.

These are the needs we are facing:
Prayer needs:
*Kiersten. No matter what happens, she has lost her father.
*wisdom and discernment for the judge in this case.
*God's will to be done.
*comfort and strength for everyone involved in this case - no matter who "wins" there will be a losing side, and it would be nice if it could hurt just a little less.
*peace. This is a very hard situation, and I would like you to pray for peace for this situation. I don't want this to be a bitter battle that does irrevocable damage to the relationship between her grandparents and me.
*my children and husband at home. This is stressful for them, too.

Monetary needs:
*3,000 dollars for the retainer to try to win back my rights.
*1200 dollars to recover the costs that we lost in the scam and repay my parents.
*75 dollars for the visit with the local lawyer here.
*gas money to travel back and forth to court and lawyer appointments - one trip costs a little over 50 dollars.

If you can help monetarily, I have included a button below to donate to a secure paypal account. This account will be monitored *CLOSELY* and this button will be removed once we have made it to our goal. Every little bit helps. Five dollars here and there - if you have a change bucket like I do, I rolled eight dollars in pennies! Anything is so greatly appreciated and would help.

The legal battle I've had so far

I tried, immediately, to hire a lawyer for Kiersten. May 19th, my van broke down halfway between North Carolina and my dad's house. We had to stay at my dad's house for a week while we waited for my husband to have a day off work to be able to pick us up.

My parents helped me pay a large portion of the 1200 dollars to hire a legal team to file papers requesting custody of my daughter. They turned out to be a scam. When I got the paperwork back from them, it was totally wrong. They stopped returning phone calls and emails and seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. They are still charging 50 dollars to my checking account every month, like clockwork, and I am fighting with my bank to try to get that to stop.

July 1st, the North Carolina courthouse cashed my check to send the original paperwork for custody of Kiersten, but I never recieved my papers. I called them in August, and they said to give them time. October, I called again, only to find out that they sent the papers to the wrong address.

The day I got the papers in the mail, I went to see a local lawyer, but she said there was nothing she could do for me - she couldn't even advise me how to begin, much less just draw up a set of papers for me to file myself.

So I made an appointment for the soonest available with a lawyer in North Carolina, four hours away from here. This lawyer is willing to help me, but he needs a 3,000 dollar retainer to start. He said that the lawyer the grandparents have hired is a high powered attorney that will do anything to win and has lots of connections. This isn't going to be an easy fight, and it will be quite costly, too.

Where we are now...

I drove to North Carolina a few hours after I found out that Adam had passed away. My dad and I stayed with his parents for several hours, and Brendan played with Kiersten.

My husband and I were there for his funeral, and Kiersten was supposed to be at the house after then ... she never showed up. I was told that Kiersten should have been on her way. After nine o'clock, we had to leave so that my husband cound get to work. I never did see Kiersten.

I called Kiersten's grandparents to discuss her coming to live with me. They hung up the phone on me.

We were at his parents house on Memorial Day. Kiersten was sleeping, so I didn't get to see her then either. We were going to try to take Kiersten home with us, but we couldn't even see her. We had a long discussion with her granddad, and he made it quite clear that he intended on keeping her at all costs.

I have called several times, and only until recently have they not been answering or returning phone calls. After a week, I finally got ahold of Kiersten's grandparents, and they told me that I can't see her until I sign custody papers giving them legal and physical custody of my baby girl.

the beginning

I will try to make this brief. At the time my daughter, Kiersten was born, I was living in Florida, and her father was living in North Carolina. We had agreed that we each would have her six months a year. When Kiersten was born, that all changed; her father said he wanted to work things out and make us a family. He said he was going to move my older daughter and myself to North Carolina, but that never happened.

I traveled back and forth from Florida to North Carolina every other week from March until the end of June. Kiersten's father was giving me gas money a lot of the time. In May 2004, the four of us traveled to my family reunion in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where he told my aunts, uncles, and cousins that he wanted us to be a family, but I was the one holding up the deal.

The next month, he begged me to come back to North Carolina even though I told him I wouldn't be able to for a little bit because of my job. He said if I got fired, that would be great because I could just move in with him. So I went ... just three days later, I was in North Carolina, and I could tell things were very different. When I had to tell him I was pregnant again, he tried to make me get an abortion ... he made several vain attempts to try to force me to do it, and that is when I confronted him about a girlfriend I had long suspected he had.

July 2, 2004, Zola and I left for Florida. Adam stopped returning phone calls, and I tried to get a lawyer to help me file to get Kiersten back. No one would help me. They said Florida didn't have jurisdiction (I have since found out that they did because Kiersten had not been in North Carolina for six months.) One woman at legal aid told me that I deserved to have my daughter taken away from me because I sent her away.

When Adam finally answered my phone calls, he said I would not be allowed to see Kiersten until I signed papers giving him custody of her. So he filed for joint custody of Kiersten, and I had no money or resources to hire a lawyer or even travel to court. I lost her, and the court ruling was that we had to agree when I could see her. I got to see her that Thanksgiving. And that was it. He proceeded to stop returning phone calls again.

I called him almost a week after our son was born in February 2005. When I asked to see Kiersten, he said he would only let me see her if I left Brendan with him, and he hung up the phone. At Christmas, I showed up on their doorstep just after Christmas, hoping to see Kiersten. I saw her for about 45 minutes. Since Adam was working, he didn't get to see Brendan. He never called. His dad called and asked me to send him a picture of Brendan, which I did, and then didn't hear from anyone in the Wallace household again until Christmastime 2006.

Something changed with Adam, and he started returning my calls and letting me see Kiersten a lot. I even got to see her for her 3rd Birthday; that is when I found out that she broke her arm when she was about a year old! I tried so hard not to show that I was angry and upset. My little baby girl had broken her arm, and no one even bothered to tell me.

Kiersten spent the night with me several times, and she even came to Richmond with me for three days in September 2007. After that, Adam kept saying that I would be able to see her at Christmas, but I was left on bedrest for fear of miscarriage. Adam said he didn't want my husband to pick up Kiersten, so he would drive her down here. He kept contact with me for a while, but I didn't get to see her. Right around Christmas, his contact with me was getting less and less consistent. We had quite a bit of health problems with my newest baby in the beginning, so I could not travel to North Carolina to see Kiersten, but I was confident that Adam was going to show up at my aunt's house for her annual Memorial picnic. I became less and less confident as time went by, and I had decided that if he didn't show up, I was going to contact a lawyer to try to revisit the custody order.

I got a phone call May 19, 2008 from his father. Adam died in a very tragic way, only one week before my aunt's picnic. Thus started the situation that plagues me now.