Hello friends near and far,
While it is completely out of character for me to ask for help, I know when I face something I can't tackle alone. Today I am facing just such a circumstance. As some of you know, I have been caring for my nephew since April. He came to me as a little bitty, almost four-month old, and is now a slightly bigger, wiggly, almost eight-month old. He is an absolute joy and has a smile he freely gives that lights up a room and the brightest blue eyes that will lock onto yours until you smile back. I took him in so that his mother could get her life together, but thus far that has failed to happen. She is still using drugs, intravenous methamphetamines in particular, but thinks recreational use is okay and will do no harm to baby Dillon. Science (and common sense) tells us otherwise. "The children of methamphetamine users experience a chaotic home life, with inadequate supervision, inconsistent parenting, chronic neglect, parental aggression, violence, and other safety risks (e.g., exposure to chemical and toxic fumes from home-based methamphetamine laboratories, to weapons, or to criminal activity; Amatetti and Young, 2006; McMahon, 2005)" She has been offered rehab and has refused.
The state so far has been unable to remove him from her custody because of the policies and procedures they must abide by. She recently failed another drug test and is blaming everyone else for her getting caught and is possibly planning to leave the state with him. As of right now, I have no legal means to stop her from removing him from my care. I went to the courthouse to file for emergency removal ( the case fully meets the criteria) but was barred from petitioning the court without legal representation. While Dillon's mother will be provided with free legal counsel, I must secure my own. I have called many lawyers and it is going to cost me $2,500 just for the emergency temporary custody (to keep him in the state and in my care). Shortly after the initial removal, there will be a hearing to determine the best interest of the child which will require a retainer. I am in my very last semester at university and working a part-time minimum wage job and there is no way that I can afford to hire a lawyer on my own. This is why Dillon and I need your help.
While there is no guarantee I will win, I feel very confident that the courts will act in Dillon's best interest. This will not be an easy or short fight, but with your help, I believe Dillon can have the life he deserves; one where he is safe and constantly fussed over, and most of all, a life that is free from the destruction of methamphetamines.
Friends, I come to you humbly asking for anything you can spare, and to please keep us in your prayers. Additionally, I ask that this post not be shared publicly due to the sensitive nature of my request. We may not be able to save every child from a life full of unnecessary hardship, but we can save this one.
- Honelie Harper
- Ashley Cummings
- Tracy Prestwood
- Sonila Gochnour
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