FIGHT AGAINST THE CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
began on March 31, 1994. At 9:00 AM Pat Swanson from the LaSalle County Department of Children and Family Services and Sgt.
Mike Crane of the LaSalle County Sheriff's Department came knocking on our door. Knowing that they were responding to an allegation
and that I had nothing to hide, I let them in, figuring that if I told them my side of the story, they would believe me and
let me go.
they take in my wife, my six year old daughter, and my three year old son to be interviewed for three hours at the local police
department by Ms. Swanson and Sgt. Crane. After that, they returned and took me in for questioning. All the while, I began
to think "should I request a lawyer, or should I wait for them to read me my Miranda Rights?"
about three to five minutes we arrived at the police interrogation room. Sgt. Crane was the first to speak, saying "do you
know why you are here?" I said, "yes, I believe it is because of something related to my conduct with my daughter," to which
he replied, "that's correct. While you are not under arrest, we need you to answer some questions regarding allegations made
by your daughter about your conduct toward her." Having nothing to hide, I was always taught to tell the truth - even if you
were indeed guilty, because the truth of a matter always had a way of finding you out.
before I could say anything, Sgt. Crane and Pat Swanson then proceeded to tell me how my daughter said that I put her hands
down her underwear on her crotch and put my hands on her hands and started rubbing her hands up and down. They claim that
she said that I told her that Mommy doesn't like it when I do this to her. They claim that when I do this to my daughter,
she says "no," but I say "yes." She is claimed to have asked me why I do this to her, and I was to have told her that it was
all a dream. I was to have later told her that it was all a dream and not to rub herself in public. I was supposed to have
done this to her three times while she was in bed asleep.
told them that my wife had informed me of our daughter's statement to the doctor, and that I was shocked that she could say
such a thing as that. I told them that the only times I would go into her bedroom were either to listen to her bedtime prayers
or to go in whenever she called for me if she had a bad dream.
then asked me how my sexual life is with my wife and me. I should have told them that my sex life with my wife is none of
your business, but as it would have added more fuel to the fire, I told them that it was not as I felt that it should be,
only having it on the average of three times a month. They had asked me about my financial status, and I said that it also
was not good, but that we were doing the best that we could with what we had.
Swanson also mentioned that for awhile my wife has wanted a third child, but that I said "no" (at this point, the kids were
getting to be a handful, and that a third child could land me in a mental ward; besides, we could not financially afford a
third child). It was at that point that I said that I felt the need for a psychiatrist. I told them that we all were close
to qualifying for the Medical Card, and that I was intending to seek out the services of a psychiatrist that took the Medical
Crane then said, "But she said, 'Daddy did it.' Do you know who else she could have called 'Daddy'?" I then said, "I Am A
Christian, and as God is my witness and my eternal Judge, I did not do this thing to her!" I reminded them about how my daughter
lied about picking the flowers to them, my wife, and me; but it made no difference to them, saying, "Children never lie about
sexual encounters they know nothing about" (I found out several months later that this is a dictum that they espouse). Ms.
Swanson said, "Maybe we should take your daughter away and run some tests on her to find out why she would lie about this."
I told her that our daughter is our concern. I reaffirmed my innocence to them.
Crane then asked, "Can you sit here and look me in the eyes and tell me that you didn't do this and expect us to believe it?"
I said yes. After 15 seconds of silence, Sgt. Crane said, "Well I don't buy it!" He then said, "Let me tell you what you did
to your daughter!" He then said, "Because of your financial strain, marital strain, and infrequency of sex, you gave in to
a moment of weakness, went into your daughter's bedroom while she was asleep, and sexually molested her!" Again, I called
upon God as my witness to maintain my innocence, to which Sgt. Crane said, "We've got a jail full of Christians who've been
convicted of sexual molestation who say they didn't do it!"
then asked how I could get things back to normal. Ms. Swanson then said, "Admit to sexually molesting your daughter, go in
for sex abuse counseling, and we'll return you home." I continued to tell them that no abuse occurred. Sgt. Crane then said,
"I believe that you are a good father and want to be a good father. The way that you can help yourself is to take responsibility
for your actions and tell us and your daughter, 'Yes, I did it, and I'm sorry for what I did.'" I told them that I had nothing
to gain and everything to lose by lying to them (my position in reality was that I was telling them the truth, and that if
I lied to them and said I did it, I would be lying to God). They said, "You're right, so tell us the truth and take responsibility
for your actions." I asked, "How can I, when nothing happened?"
Crane then said, "I have to go to the judge with this case. I can either go to him and say, 'Here is a father of a six year
old daughter who made a mistake and sexually molested her and is willing to go in for treatment;' or I can say, 'Here is a
father who is a sexual pervert who went into his six year old daughter's bedroom and sexually molested his daughter while
she was asleep!' Now, which file do I take to the judge?" I continued to maintain my innocence.
that point, Sgt. Crane stepped out of the Interrogation Room, and I just sat, looked directly at Ms. Swanson, and said nothing.
She then said, "Don't play your staring games with me--you don't scare me!!!" I then looked away from her and stared at the
wall behind her, saying nothing. She said, "You must think I'm a bitch!" I continued to say nothing.
returning, Sgt. Crane asked what Ms. Swanson wanted to do with this case, and she said that she wanted to take this to the
State's Attorney's office in Ottawa, Illinois and then to criminal court. She then said that I was a high risk case and that
the kids could either be taken from me or that I could leave and go for sex abuse counseling. I told her that I would leave,
but I would not go for sex abuse counseling, since nothing happened. She asked me where I would go, and I said that I had
parents in Tennessee I could live with. That option was no good to her, since she was afraid that I
would do the same down there; so I said I would stay with my younger sister.
this, we exited the Police Department, and I used what change I had to call my sister. I called her number and spoke with
Jan who said she wasn't at home. I then told Ms. Swanson and Sgt. Crane that I was out of money and needed to go home to contact
some people I knew. They allowed me to go home long enough to make the phone calls and get picked up. At no time during questioning
was I ever read my Miranda Rights or allowed an attorney.
that point, I left my wife and children without ever getting the chance to say good-bye to my children. From there I went
from place to place. Three weeks into my separation I contemplated suicide, but thanks to my friends in Northern
Illinois, they listened to me and got back with me in a couple of days to make sure I was still alive.
weeks into my separation, I went to live with my nephew, his wife, and their three year old son. Guess who came knocking at
the door four days later? DCFS of DeKalb County, Illinois!
DCFS investigator John McCue was a whole lot easier to talk to. I explained to him of how I was alleged of molesting my six
year old daughter. I told him that I did no such thing and do not know why she would say what she did. I told him that I was
raised by good Christian parents, and that as a Christian, I would never do anything to hurt any child. I told him that I
am not a danger to my nephew's son, as he is never alone with me. I asked him if he knew who it was that informed him of my
being here, and he said yes, but that he was not at liberty to give out that information. He did say, however, that "it was
the same person who's been informing us of your every move." He said that if I continue to maintain my innocence, that I should
file for an appeal and seek counseling. I told him that I wanted no part of DCFS counselors, since they would be biased in
their assessment of me. He then said that I could go to a counselor of my own choosing--in state or out of state. I then asked
him, "Out of state? You mean I can leave the state?" He then answered, "If you haven't been arrested or ordered by the court
to remain in Illinois, you can leave the state." I then
told him that Pat Swanson of DCFS LaSalle
County said that I couldn't leave the state of Illinois,
but he reiterated what Steve Krentz had been telling me all along.
then, my nephew had come home, and I ended up explaining to him why Mr. McCue had come, since his wife had not yet called
him. He then interviews my nephew, who stated that his goes to a babysitter 3 days a week and to work with his wife the other
two days. He said that since I was never alone with his son, my nephew feels that he is safe. He also told Mr. McCue that
my daughter has been in trouble for lying before. Around 4:30 PM, my nephew's wife and son arrive home; and she told Mr. McCue
that I would never hurt my daughter or their son, and that I haven't been alone with their son for the five days that I have
been there. She believes that I am innocent of any wrong doing.
my nephew's son is being interviewed by Mr. McCue, I go upstairs to their master bedroom to use their phone to call my supervisor
and tell him that I can no longer stay in Illinois and will move to Tennessee. I therefore submitted my resignation over the phone--effective immediately. Since
I had previously told him of my situation, he understood and wished me well.
Mr. McCue being finished interviewing my nephew's son, I returned to the dining room. He said to us all that I should be out
of the house that night or else the DCFS would start a separate investigation on my nephew and his family. We then agreed
that I should move to Tennessee. My nephew's wife then made
a phone call to the Greyhound Bus Depot in Chicago and made a reservation for me to go to Memphis, Tennessee.
John McCue left, my nephew, his wife, and I all decided that I was my then estranged wife who made the phone call to the DCFS--especially
when she wanted me to prove my innocence over the phone to her. We decided that she should not be told of my move to Tennessee. We also said that no one at church should know where I was
going--since they would probably tell my wife where I was at. I then packed my things to go to Chicago and my nephew then took me to the Greyhound Bus Terminal and gave me enough money
to get the ticket and food for on the way.
about two years I spent my life going back and forth to Illinois
trying to prove my innocence to specialists and my lawyer. On November 1995 - two weeks before the divorce proceedings commenced
- my daughter and I talked about her school work and a few other things. She then said, "Daddy, I want to move down to Tennessee to live with you!" I asked what brought this on, and she
said, "I just miss you and want to live with you." I spoke with my son, and he also expressed the same desire, with one exception--he
wants his mother to come down so that we can be a family again, but he understands that it can't happen. I asked him if she
told him about the divorce, and he said yes, but he couldn't remember all the details. I asked my daughter if her mother said
anything to her about the divorce, and she remembered that they were in the car discussing the divorce, but that's all she
remembers. I told them that their mother and I would have to sit down with them and tell them about the divorce. I tried to
stress that they were not to blame for us splitting up and said that it was between their mother and me. At that time, my
mother-in-law broke in and said, "Don't you think you're getting too deep for these kids?" to which I said, "I don't know
what to say to these kids anymore." I then said to the kids, "when you go to bed tonight and say your prayers, remember to
pray, if it is God's will, to let you kids be returned to me." Before saying good-bye to them, I told them that there was
nothing that I wouldn't do for both of them, and that I loved them and missed them. They expressed the same to me and said
few days later, who calls? My wife! She called me to say that everyone was going to be out of town on 11-18-95 and that I
was not to call the kids. I asked if this involved taking the kids with, and she said that it did. I asked if her sister was
going with them, and she said yes. I told her to give the kids my love and said good-bye.
all of that, it was a back and forth problem until everything got sorted out. By March 1996, my wife and I were divorced.
By the following year I was able to see the kids on a monthly basis until she figured out that I filed for protection under
the Bankruptcy Act (before the Republican Congress passed the recent changes to the Bankruptcy laws). At first, she was going
to revoke my visitation rights, but then she changed her mind and limited my visitations to their birthdays and Christmas
(if that's not a case for Parental Alienation Syndrome, then I don't know what is).
August 30, 1996 I was scheduled to have my Fair Administrative Hearing (I don't know what's fair about it) in Ottawa, Illinois - the county seat of LaSalle. To make it
short, my lawyer made life a living hell for Pat Swanson and got her upset because he wanted exact answers for his questions
and all he got was "DCFS Policy Answers." He did ask Sgt. (now Lieutenant) Mike Crane if there were any charges filed against
me or any charges that are pending, to which Lt. Crane answered both questions in the negative. It was mentioned that I took
a Minnesota Mulitphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test and the results were submitted to my lawyer and me. The DCFS representative
wanted them, but he refused to give them over to her. According to their own DCFS policy, the Administrative Law Judge is
supposed to issue a decision based upon the hearing - which I need to receive via Certified Letter no later than 30 days after
the hearing! So, I waited...and waited...and waited...and waited...and I am still waiting - they never sent me that decision!
It should have come on September 29, 1995 - 30 days after the hearing, but it never happened!
October 1998 I met another woman, and within one month married her. We went to my parents' place for Thanksgiving where I
spoke to my daughter and asked her "what would you think if I told you that I got married?" Dead silence came over the phone,
as if she couldn't believe that I got remarried. A few weeks later, she and I returned to my parents' place where I called
the kids. I asked them if they wanted to talk to their stepmother, and they said that they did. After talking with her, I
asked them "So, what do you think of her?" They said together, "WE LIKE HER!!!" I am sure that my ex-wife didn't like it,
but that's too bad! On the following month, my sends me a letter saying that she remarried, and they call her husband "dad."
I went up to Baldwin, Illinois
to visit my kids and saw their stepfather. To say the least, I wasn't too crazy about him, but more about him and my ex later.
February 1, 2000 my mother called me to say that I needed to call a Diana Yancey to find out some information on the kids.
I called Diana and found out that the kids were in the Foster Care system and had been there since November, 1999! I had asked
her what happened to make them remove the kids from their mother's care. She said that the caseworker Tena Phillips had that
information and that I would have to call her. She also gave me the phone number the Juvenile Court Judge named Cynthia Sanderson.
She then asked me if I wanted full custody of the kids, and I said YES! The next day, I attempted to call Tena Phillips, but
they had a collect call restriction on their number, so I called Diana Yancey again on this. This time she asked whether I
had any charges brought against me. I asked her if she was asking about formal charges, and she said yes. I then told
her that I never had any formal charges brought against me. She asked me if there were any allegations against me, and I had
said yes, but that I had appealed them on August 30, 1996 and should have had their decision by no later than September 29,
1999, but that the decision never came.
then told me that my ex had told the caseworker that I had been formally charged with molesting my daughter and that I was
convicted and put into prison. I told them that if they wanted to do so, they could get the tape and transcript which said
that there were never any formal charges brought against me, nor were there any charges pending at this time.
then told me that I could call her at lunch tomorrow and give her the number that I was calling from and she would give that
number to Tena Phillips and the conversation would go from there. I was told to ask about visitation, since I had the right
to visit them.
called Tena Phillips concerning my kids on the next day. She informed me that the kids were removed from my ex's care for
reasons of sexual abuse. IMAGINE THAT - THE KIDS WERE REMOVED FOR THE VERY SAME REASON THAT I WAS KICKED OUT OF MY OWN HOUSE!
WHO'S THE GUILTY PARTY NOW? I told Tena about the allegations and that she could get the reports from the DCFS Office of Legal
Services in Chicago, IL.
I told her to insist that she receive a copy of the transcript of the Administrative Hearing. If they should fail to produce
that, the next step would be to have them call Lt. Mike Crane of the LaSalle County Sheriff's department, for he will tell
them that no charges had ever been filed, nor are there any charges pending. She asked about my older sister, and I told her
she was willing to take custody of the kids if they could not give them to me. She told me that they would have to do a background
check on them before they could do this, and I told them that I understood, but that if they couldn't give them to me because
of the allegations, that it would be better to give them to my sister, for she said it was okay to do this. She asked me how
long it had been since I had visited the kids, and I told her that I last saw them on the third Saturday of January last year.
I told her that my ex's new husband wrote to my sister and said that none of us were welcome to come up to visit the kids.
She told me that she would do some investigation and get back to my wife with this information.
April 10, 2000, my older sister, Mom, Dad, my wife, and I went up to Paducah,
KY to the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children's Department of Community
Based Services (DCBS) to see the kids. We haven't seen the kids since January 1999. As soon as my son saw me, he ran
up to me and just hugged me to death! We caught up on a lot of things and had a great time seeing them. The kids really looked
great; even better than when they were with my ex and her husband.
we had a conference with Tena Phillips. I had asked her if she had received anything from the IL DCFS, and she said that she
had not. I said that since she needed the reports to see if I could be cleared, I would give them to her (little did I know
that by giving her the reports, that put the nail in the coffin for me to ever get the kids back). These were the copies of
the original reports where the names of mandated reporters had been blocked out. I reemphasized that if they had problems
giving the kids to me, that they would be welcome to live with Chris and Bill until they turned 18.
December 5, 2000, my wife and I came home from shopping and discovered that we had a message on the phone from my nephew.
He said for us to get to St. Francis Hospital in Memphis,
as Mom had a massive stroke due to her diabetes. We hung up the phone and went to St. Francis where we found Mom lying in
a coma with her mouth open. Dad, my older sister, and her husband were there. We told them that we had just found out about
Mom. Two nights later, Chris asked us to get together for a family meeting. We had seen Mom before this night, and the doctor
said that there was nothing more they could do, and asked us if it was permissible to take her off life-support, as she would
die anyway, so we all agreed it would be better for Mom to die with dignity.
December 12, 2000, I get a call at work from Dad at St. Francis. Mom died at around 5:00 AM that morning. I quickly sent an
email to friends and coworkers informing them of Mom's death. (I think I still have that email as a remembrance and tribute
to Mom.) That night, I called the foster parents and told them that their grandmother had died. They shed many tears, and
then I spoke with the foster mother, who said she would talk with Tena Phillips, who would give them permission to bring them
December 14, 2000 Mom's funeral was held in Ripley, TN.
The foster parents brought the children, and both kids just hugged the fire out of me. As we went to view the body and then
sit down, the foster parents allowed the kids to sit on either side of me. My son asked my wife if she wanted to sit with
them, and she said no, that they needed to sit with me and comfort me. He then said to her, "Mom, we want to come live with
you and Dad in Memphis;" I'm sure it was in earshot of the
foster parents, as you will soon see.
April 10, 2001, my wife and I visited my children on a supervised visit. We were late because we got lost along the way to
the Center. When we got there, we hugged and talked a lot for awhile. About 5:15 PM, social worker Tena Phillips had my sister
and her husband go out because the kids had something to say to me. When Tena returned, she motioned to my son, who said in
tears that they wanted to be adopted, but that he would understand if I was going to fight this. My daughter said that I couldn't
be trusted. I told her, "how can you trust me when they took that trust away from you these past seven years?" Soon afterward,
she changed her tone and said, "Let's play Yatzee!" Tena then said to them that the visit was over. Before my wife and I left,
I went to my daughter and told her, "Promise me before God that you will come look for me when you turn 18." She said, "I
will, Daddy." When I went out with my wife to talk to my sister and her husband, I told them what happened, and I said, "convince
me that what I just heard wasn't rehearsed or forced out of the kids' mouths by Tena Phillips!"
December 10, 2001, my wife, my sister and husband, and I went to Kentucky
for the Termination of Parental Rights Bench Trial at the County Family Court building. The Cabinet presented their case to
Judge Cynthia Sanderson against my ex and me. They told how their stepfather sexually treated them and that their mother had
showed my daughter how to use a vibrator. My ex admitted to being naked with my daughter, but she said that she only touched
herself with the vibrator and never touched her daughter. As for the stepfather, he sexually molested both of my children
and made them have sex with each other! My ex's counselor said that "she didn't appreciate her problem" to his satisfaction;
I could have told my ex that it would have been a losing battle, but I believe that this is God's vengeance on her for doing
what she did to me. When they presented their case against me, they tried to submit the DCFS reports into evidence, but my
lawyer objected and said it was hearsay. The judge agreed and disallowed the DCFS reports (win one for the good guys!). When
asked by the judge if the kids were adoptable, she said that they were (Lie #1). After the kids' psychiatrist testified, the
foster mother testified of incidents that happened. My lawyer asked her if she had intended on adopting my children, and she
said that they considered themselves therapeutic foster parents and did not want to take on the responsibility of raising
my children (remember this, for it plays an important part later).
children later arrived and just hugged the fire out of their mother and their grandparents. I didn't realize it, but my wife
told me about their arrival before they had their chance to speak with Judge Sanderson. When they spoke with the judge, they
did it alone without having to be cross-examined - to the objection of my lawyer (if I had only known about "Re Gault," this
would have been different). They said they didn't remember much about me, except that I came for birthdays and Christmas.
They quickly forgot that I called them on almost a weekly basis until their mother married their stepfather and cut off all
connection to them. They said that they would return to their mother if she got her act together.
was recessed until December 12, 2001. At that time, they allowed my ex to present her side of the story. They called her dad
to the stand who did nothing but bad-mouth me right and left just to make his daughter look good. He tried to read a letter
in court, but my lawyer objected to it and to its submission as evidence. The judge agreed. After that, an elder of the church
where my ex attended went to testify on her behalf. Then my ex took the stand and told her side of the story, bad-mouthing
me all the more (what did that have to do with the defense of her actions?).
recess, it was my turn to take the stand. I told my side of the story and told them that I was ready to do what it took to
take care of my children. I also told them that I had a job which allowed me to put the children on my health insurance. I
had also told them that I was suspicious of my ex's husband due to what I had read on http://www.childrens-justice.org/myths.htm concerning the fact that "Children are most likely
to be physically abused by their mothers, and are more than twice as likely to be killed by their mothers than their biological
fathers. They are most likely to be abused sexually by their stepfathers or mother's boyfriends - men who were invited into
their home by their mothers!"
I was cross-examined, I was asked if I was able to afford a lawyer. I said that I had contacted Legal Aid of Western Kentucky
and they said for me to contact Legal Aid of West Tennessee. When asked what Legal Aid of West Tennessee said, I replied that
I made too much money. They asked if I had taken a psychological exam, and I told them that I did not have the money to afford
the exam. When asked if I knew that the Commonwealth of Kentucky would have paid for it, I replied that no one informed me about that.
they asked why I didn't report my ex's husband to DCBS, and I told them that I had no proof at that time that he actually
molested my children, and that I do not report on something that never happened.
they asked me if I knew what was in the DCFS reports. As a point of order, I asked Judge Sanderson if this had already been
objected to; so she asked the lawyers for the Commonwealth what the purpose of the line of questioning was, and they said
that they want to know if I was aware of the content of the report. The judge saw no reason to object to this line of questioning,
so I told them that I knew what the content of the report was about. This led to the follow-up question "can you state in
your own words what the report was about?" so I related to them what the content of my report said.
a recess, Judge Sanderson made her decision. She said that based upon the Best Interests of the Children, my parental rights
and those of my ex-wife should be terminated if the children have any chance of being adopted. My ex just lost her composure
and cried over the decision. My lawyer told me that I lost on two points: first, the judge believed what my daughter and son
told her about me, and second was that they thought I should have attempted to rescue my children from the torment they endured
because they believed that I had prior knowledge of their actions, based upon the above link. My lawyer said that the Cabinet
told them that my last visit with my children was to commence immediately.
I arrived at the place where the final visitation was to take place, they gave me their school pictures. I felt like asking
them, "do you realize what you have just done?" but all that could come out of my mouth was "am I still your daddy?" They
said that I was still their dad, so I accepted the pictures from them (shown below) and gave them my contact information (I
believe that the foster parents immediately took the information away from them as soon as they arrived home). As I was receiving
a form to fill out for their medical history, I prayed the prayer of Mizpah with them: "May the LORD watch between you and
me when we are absent one from another." I also asked them both to remember to look for me when they age out of foster care,
and I quickly added "and I hope by then I will not be found in a mental hospital!"
May 5, 2003 I received an email from a prospective adoptive family interested in adopting my children. In a previous
email, he told me that the Kentucky DCBS told him that the mother's rights were never terminated. I responded to him
that this was a lie because when my rights were terminated, their mother's rights were terminated as well. In this email,
he told me that when he asked about my children, the DCBS told him that after two years of saying they were not going to adopt
the children, they decided that they would go ahead and adopt my children.
Christmas 2005, my younger sister showed me a frame with two pictures in it. I recognized my daughter's picture immediately;
but after I took a look at the other picture, I asked my sister if that was my son, and she said yes. I couldn't believe
how much my son had changed - and for the better. Both of my children look great. However, I was to find out later
that my children signed the pictures using the last name of their foster parents.
then, I have endured a second failed marriage and have moved to Chicago to seek
help from Karissa Elizabeth Ann Lowell - a Family Rights Advocate who herself has endured many marriages, relationships,
and persecutions by the Alabama CPS and Virginia CPS. We both have been sources of comfort to each other during these and
other trying times in our lives. We are both active as unpaid Family Rights Advocates for the United Family Rights
Association and stand ready to comfort those who are in trouble with the CPS system. We cannot guarantee that your children
will be returned; but if they give you a Service Plan to complete, inspect the Service Plan and see if all of it is really
necessary to complete; then take it to a judge to have him determine whether the questionable parts are really necessary.
The judge more than likely will throw out the unnecessary parts of it (to the CPS' dismay of course) and tell you which parts
to complete. The completion of the Service Plan will not insure that you will get your children back - and
even if you do get your children back, CPS will still be in your life for at most two years, for even if you get Physical
Custody of your children back, CPS will still have Legal Custody of your children for at least one year and at most two
this point, I refer you to the Navigation Bar at the top of the page so you can get a fuller understanding of the system and
just how corrupt it is.
Diane graduated in May of 2007 from Marshall County High School in Benton,
KY. Soon afterward, she went into a Vocational Rehabilitation Live-In Program at the Carl D. Perkins Vocational
Program in Thelma, KY, about 30 miles from the Kentucky/West Virginia border. This was at
the suggestion of her high school counselor.
January 7, 2008 I sent Diane a late Christmas card with a letter asking how she was doing in school and if she made any friends
at the Carl D. Perkins school. I then gave her my email address and the link to my Yahoo 360 blog space in hope that both
she and Charlie will read it and take it to heart. On her 20th birthday, I sent her first card from me in seven years with
more contact information.
May 17, 2008, Charlie graduated from Christian Fellowship High School; and on July 24, Karissa and I took a trip to Benton, Kentucky to speak with
my son Charlie. The reunion was very successful, but he told me that my Christmas card and letter to Diane spooked her.
I then told him that it was not my intention to scare her, but to reconnect with her.
the results of our fact-finding trip regarding my daughter Diane and my son Charlie.
received Karissa and me with open arms.
and I got caught up with what we both were doing.
said that he wasn't ready to discuss DCFS or DCBS with me as yet, so I agreed to table that subject until he was ready to
talk about it.
said that Richard and Shirley Rich treated Diane and him very well.
also said that Richard and Shirley decided two years after the TPR that it would be in Diane's and Charlie's best interests
if they went ahead and adopted them outright so as not to cause them to feel uprooted once again and have to readjust to their
said he was going to West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah to study Aviation and take most of his General
Education courses there. He would then transfer to Eastern Kentucky University where he would continue his major in Aviation
and minor in Music (he loves playing the guitar - learned that from me!)
Diane, Charlie has said that she went to Carl D. Perkins in Thelma at the suggestion of her counselor at Christian Fellowship
out learning about being a Teacher's Aide.
did not realize that there were rules to be followed and assigments to turn in, for she did not obey the rules and did not
turn in her assignments in a timely manner.
rule obeyed, credits were given, which could be used to go off campus to Wal Mart or to the movies with a group.
rule disobeyed, demerits were given.
Diane got too many demerits and was suspended for six months.
said that Diane could return after six months, but the following happened to complicate matters.
got rebellious with Richard and Shirley and demanded to return to her real mother - a consequence of allowing Diane and Charlie
to keep in touch with Macy
has been living with Macy and her 3rd husband for a few months, but is under stress because her new stepfather is verbally
abusive towards both Macy and Diane.
believed that Diane is easily led and will do everything her mother says.
it is the considered opinion of Karissa, Linda Weston, and me that we go to Sparta, Illinois and convince Macy that it would
be in Diane's best interest to return to Thelma, Kentucky and get it right with Carl D. Perkins with regards to her homework
and her attitude towards authority and the campus rules.
I had hoped to have a discussion between Karissa, Linda, Macy,
and Diane about her attitude, but Charlie insists that we don't do anything just yet. He says that Diane is not amenable
to anything because she believes that I have always been a threat to her. She doesn't remember the good times shared
by us during our visits when she was still living with her mother and grandparents. She remembers only what her mother
wants her to believe. Charlie on the other hand believes in my innocence, although he is not ready to talk about what
happened to Diane and him during Macy's marriage to Ralph Holmes Doublin.
Early on New Year's Day, I received an email from Macy's husband saying
that she and Diane have left him and gone to live with a friend from church. He has told me that Macy and the Richs
are responsible for the state of mind that Diane is in. He realizes that everything that has been told to her about
me is a down-and-out lie. He also realizes that Diane as an authority problem; and like me, he doesn't want to see Diane
end up in a women's prison for her rebellious attitude towards society.
Sources are now telling me that Diane has returned to live with the Richs
and is enrolled at West Kentucky Community and Technical College studying the Culinary Arts. I am happy that she has
straightened out her life and has gone in a direction that is improving her situation.
I have continued to keep in touch with Charlie through emails, but he
rarely returns my emails, except to tell me that he has decided to propose marriage to his girlfriend whom he met in high
school. I advised him against it - not because she wasn't the right girl for him, but rather that the timing wasn't
right. I told him that it would be hard to juggle college and a marriage together, and told him of one such marriage
that eventually fell apart. I also told him that he would bear the responsibility of explaining to his children yet
unborn that they have two sets of paternal grandparents - one set of which does not bear the name of Rich.
His adopted father was also against this marriage until the adopted mother
was praying during the Wednesday night bible study at Christian Fellowship Church and "received a message from God" that it
was ok to proceed with the marriage between Charlie and Kara. Their wedding is planned for July 31, 2010.
I have since emailed the website and my weblog to Charlie with the hope
that he will read them and send them on to Diane. Once Charlie understands everything in there, he will need time to
sort everything out by himself - as I am sure that the Richs will tell him that I am lying about everything in the website.
When he fully understands all of this, he will pass this on to Diane, and he will bring her back to me.
Keep Diane and Charlie in your prayers in hope that one day
soon they will find their way back to me and that we can be a family once again.
Charlie has decided that it would not be in his best interest
to marry his girlfriend, but is in the process of rebuilding his life. He is currently the Assistant Manager of Arby's in
Benton, KY and is doing well. Diane is still looking for a job and has moved in with Charlie.
On May 24, 2011 I received some
wonderful news. While I was under the impression that Charlie was on his MSN Messenger, I received a response saying
"Charlie is at work and I don't know when he'll be back. It's me Diane!"
This is the prayer that has finally been
answered. After long years of agonizing and worrying about both Diane and Charlie, now Diane has broken her silence
and has answered me. She apologized for being silent for so long, but that at the time she felt like she wasn't ready
to talk until now.
Since then, she has accepted my invite
to Facebook to be on my friends list, and I have put her on my Yahoo Messenger list as well, since she has a Yahoo email address.
There is still much work for Diane, Charlie,
and me to do in order to affect a loving reunion, but Diane has taken the first step. Now I can approach her as a gentle
father would his daughter and have a loving talk and conversation with her, which I have already done by sending her an offline
message. I am hoping that she will continue to talk to me so that one day we will be reunited together in God's love.
Your continued prayers for Diane, Charlie, and me are solicited and coveted. Thank you for your
prayers in these matters regarding my immediate and estranged family.
While continuing to email Diane and Charlie, I emailed them a Christmas greeting and
tried to tell Charlie some truths about keeping in touch with me. Not long afterward I get a scathing email from Charlie
telling me he will never retake my name back and prefers to be identified with his adopted family.
This does not set well with me and causes me some great grief. I continue to
struggle with this because they are my children that God gave me. I do not know what the Lord will require of me on
the Judgment Day when He asks why I did not protect my children from the hurt, harm, or danger that was put upon them.
All I know is to let them go their way; and if I never see them again, it will be a
loss, but God will know that I have not lost them without a fight. This will be God's war, and not mine, for the Battle belongs
to the Lord!