Just before Thanksgiving 2017 I got a call from Child Protective Services that my children had been placed in foster care on the basis of a “failure to protect”. I was away from home because of my job. I was completely blindsided by this and, of course, headed home immediately. When I got there I couldn’t just go and get my kids, as no one would tell me where they were. I have 4 kids, a 13 year old boy named Noah, a set of twins, Adysan and Gunner who were 4 at the time and 3 year old Maximus. I was heartbroken for many reasons. Maximus went to one household. The twins to another and Noah to another family. I could only imagine how afraid they all were. On top of that the court made no assumptions that I could protect my children. Why didn’t I have any awareness of what was going on? I get that, and I’m so remorseful.
I finally got my children back on December 7th. It was clear that they had been traumatized, they wouldn’t let me go for days. We all slept together for at least 4 weeks. I left my job so I could devote all the necessary time to my kids. I learned that the 3 youngest had never been immunized or even visited a doctor since they were born. As I sought to inquire about preschool I could not find any birth certificates. The whole thing was overwhelming, but I could see that with each day they were getting brighter and happier than the last. Three months later, the kids are happier than I’ve ever remembered. This week the three youngest started preschool together, and Noah made the basketball team. I’m not saying I did this alone. There are many friends and family who were amazing to us, to include my wife’s parents.
On February 27th I was granted sole physical custody for the next twelve months. The court strives for family reunification, but to date their mom, my wife, is not complying with drug testing or any of the required rehabilitation terms.
My plight is that it is impossible to live on unemployment. I have the opportunity to work, but everything I earn goes to childcare and gas. Even with the kids attending preschool, I can’t work. The kids have to be brought to school by 12:30 and picked up at 3:30. My job does not allow that kind of flexibility. Fortunately, I have a guardian angel (family friend) that can care for the kids. She is able to take them to school and pick them up so I can work. The kids adore her and feel safe and secure with her. She has been helping out for next to nothing, but can’t continue doing this, even though she does.
This go-fund me page is an appeal to friends and family to make a small donation to help ease financial tensions in my family. If it was just for me, I would never ask. The money collected will go to childcare and incidental household expenses. I’m calculating that help with 3 months of childcare for 4 children for 65 days of preschool X $75 for 4 kids = $4,875, would be beyond wonderful.
- Monica Rohrer
- Barbara Zepeda
- Karen Rehkop
- Celesse Johnson
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