Hi, my name is Merranda.
I have always been a sentimental and loving person, those of you who know me have likely watched as I carved out time to help my family and friends in any way that I can. As the oldest child, I naturally fell into the role of nurturer. As a pre-teen, I became the go-to babysitter because of the unique way I connect with small children, and the genuine love that I have for them. By the time I turned 12, I knew that I wanted to be a foster parent when I grew up. By 15, I was helping my aunt raise her son, whom I still share an incredibly close relationship with. The relationship I shared with him reinforced my dream of being a foster parent. I knew I wanted to be there for children during some of their toughest times, to offer love and support, the way I have for my little cousin, who has grown up without a father.
In September of 2016, I began my dream to foster a child, who just so happened to be another cousin of mine! He is a beautiful baby boy who was forced to start life in unfortunate circumstances. In efforts to protect his privacy, I'm going to have to leave out most of the details.
He was very new to Planet Earth when I was told he was going into foster care.. My heart broke & swelled with love all at once. I believe in second chances. At the time I was a new&first time mommy Hoping that his mother would do everything in her power to regain custody when she became clean. After talking with my boyfriend, we agreed that the best place for "Baby" to be fostered was in our home, surrounded by family. Loved.
It took nearly two months, but in September we finally welcomed him into our home! We got to celebrate his first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas together! I watched as he grew from a precious newborn to sweet baby boy. Always flashing that big, sweet smile. Naive as I was, I didn't imagine it was possible that a parent could let go of such a sweet lil' guy.
Unfortunately, after only a few months, it became apparent that neither of Baby's bio. parents had plans to do the work required to regain custody of their son. After much consideration and sleepless nights, my boyfriend and I decided that adopting "Baby" was not what was best for Him. It was the hardest decision that I have ever made, but I wanted what was best for him. I knew it would be selfish keeping him, when a family was able to provide more for him than I could.. I also knew that there was potential for his biological parents to show up unannounced, popping in and out of his life throughout his childhood, and I felt that would ultimately be damaging for him. Instead of adopting "Baby", we waited for his perfect adoptive family.
After choosing to let him go, I was informed that I was had been placed on the Child Abuse Central Index. I was so caught off guard, it made me physically ill! (Again, I am trying to "sanitize" details here to protect his privacy.)
Today, I need to pay my attorney, an expert in child welfare-- who has graciously agreed to work with me, in spite of the $4,000 that I am already indebted to by her. In Late November of 2017, I paid my attorney a retainer of $5,000 and I just don't have the means to do that again- let alone double it.
Thank you so much. During this time, you wouldn’t imagine the stress and hopelessness I am left with. If I cannot prove my innocence, I will wrongfully remain on the Child Abuse Central Index listed as having neglected a child. Not only will this negatively impact me for the rest of my life, it grossly contradicts my nature.. any support is greatly appreciated.
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