Tuesday, November 4, 2008

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.

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