To say my sister has led a hard and troubled life would be a vast understatement. Worst of all, is that she cares little for her well being, and allows people to use her in whatever way they wish. This includes being with men who treat her like garbage and inevitably impregnate her. To date, she has had 6 children. The first was when she was 16. She dropped out of HS and left one night about 9 months later. Her daughter was raised and eventually adopted by our parents. A couple years later, she had kids 2 & 3. Those kids live with their dad and his family. The twins were next, and now, at age 26, another kid in April.
On June 17, 2016, we picked up the twins from my sister. She had asked for us to watch them for a few days while she dealt with some "legal problems".
She was walking around with them downtown in a stroller. The heat index was 105° F. They wore nothing but full diapers, were sunburned, dehydrated, and slumped over in the stroller. It was one of those most horrifying things we've ever seen. We knew she was probably lying about why she needed us to take them, and it turned out that we were right. She disappeared with a new boyfriend, and we didn't hear from her for nearly 3 months. When we finally did, it was a message on FB saying, "I'm so sorry".
In September 2016, we filed for guardianship. She has fought us every step of the way. It's been a nightmare. Anyone who has dealt with any legal process knows it takes forever & is insanely expensive. Every cent of spare cash we have has gone towards court fees, filing fees, Guardian ad Lietem fees, and most of all, lawyer fees. We've paid everything out of pocket since that first $600 filing fee.
Earlier this month, we had the final hearing for guardianship. The worst, most grueling 7 hours of our life (on a Monday no less). We received the final judgement this Tues, and have been awarded guardianship of these sweet, beautiful children.
Our whole life has changed and though I know it's a bit cliched, our whole world revolves around them. They're 2 1/2 now, and they're the smartest, spunkiest, most amazing kids we've ever known. It is a privilege and an honor to get to raise them. It's been a whirlwind, and we wouldn't trade it for anything! (Have to stop now, because we can almost never stop talking about how wonderful these babes are. As most of our friends and family know...)
We still have a hefty balance with our lawyer, as well as some additional last minute guardian ad lietem fees. At this time, we owe about $3450. We expect more to come, but this is what we're trying to pay down right now. We can eventually pay these fees off, it's just going to take time. Until then, we're going to be scrimping, saving, and using every cent left after all the other expenses of life we have, to go towards this. It's hard to ask for help. It's really really hard to ask for help when it comes to money. If you could possibly send a little help our way, we would be forever grateful. We've spent a fortune in clothes, toys, books, Dr visits, cribs, crib mattresses, carseats, high chairs, potty training seats, ALL THE BABYPROOOFING, and what feels like the GDP of a small country in diapers and wipes. It would be a tremendous relief to lift the weight of these legal fees off of our shoulders.
We've had the most incredible support from our friends and family. All the continued love and acceptance of these kids into our family has meant the world to us.
Thank you for reading our story, and thank you to these two beautiful children who show us every day what unconditional love really is. <3
- Missy Hardman
- Mark Miracle
- Terri Meeker
- Stacy McClure
- Michael Stith
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