When Gage was two and a half years old his mother married Zack. It was around this time he was diagnosed with Autism. He had lost the window of time to learn to chew and still drank from a bottle. Gage was not able to sit up or stand on his own. Zack accepted, cared for and loved Gage as if he were his biological child. While married to Gages mother, she and Zack had two other children. Zack still remains 100% dedicated to all three children. During the ten years of marriage it was evident that Gage was not a priority to his mother. When the marriage ended in late 2010 Zack was awarded custody of the two youngest children. She never took Gage when she left, he has remained with Zack. She has not been back for him since. She spends no time with Gage but visits with the other two children quite regularly.
Gage did not learn to walk until he was four years old. He has episodes of self abusive behavior. He hits himself, picks at his fingers until they bleed and kicks his legs and ankles. He wears a helmet and gloves most of the time and has even had to wear shin guards to protect his legs. He still has a hard time chewing so we buy special meals for Gage that require us to mash the food and spoon feed him, he does not know how to use a fork or a spoon. We are working on getting him potty trained as well.
My name is Jennifer and I have been with Zack for almost three years. We all live together with his children and my daughter. I have so much love for Zack's children, especially Gage. In my heart this abandoned child is my child.
Gages mother has used him as a tool to torture us with threats of removing him from our home and telling us we will never see him again. She even went as far as to state in court that she plans on putting him in an institution in a different state. All this time she has received child support from the biological father and has never given a dime to provide for Gages needs.
Zack and I have hired a special needs attorney and we are currently in the process of applying for the adoption of Gage. His biological father has already signed him over to Zack and I but his mother wants to fight us. (We can only assume it is for the child support she receives each month) So now we must go to court and prove abandonment. We were recently awarded temporary custody by the court. We wanted to be sure she could not remove him from the only home he has ever known out of spite. We want to be sure that Gage is allowed to remain at home with his family without threats of being taken away and abandoned in an instiyution. For this sweet child who cannot see or speak it would be a complete tradgedy.
My husband works long hours for a grading company, but the paycheck doesn't go far when providing for a family of six and one is a special child with extra needs. We paid all we had towards the retainer but unfortunatly isn't enough. We are asking for help raising the money to pay the attorney and the fees that come along with the adoption.
We love Gage and our family would be broken without him with us.
Jennifer and Zack Hogue
- Donna & Barry Lee
- Sherry Rahmus
- christina fishback
- kenneth bryant
- Jana Fleming
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