Reuniting Mother and Daughter

Friends, Family, and Community,

For those of you that may not yet know, I have been fighting for custody of my daughter. Ahna’s father and I offically separated in April 2018 and shared custody for four months. We agreed on a custody schedule and effectively co-parented for four months. However, in July 2018, just two weeks after I started to fully wean Ahna, her father refused to return her to me claiming I was unfit and posed a danger to her. I have not seen her since. It has now been two months since I have seen my daughter. I have not harmed anyone and have never put my daughter in danger.

I have always taken pride in my ability to provide for myself and others. Thus, asking for financial help is not something that I enjoy doing. Yet I have tried to resolve the disagreements with Ahna’s father multiple times without unnecessary court intervention, however he has refused and would like to go through the court to resolve this matter. Under Colorado Law, withholding a child away from either parent for more than 14 days without court order is considered parental alienation and emotional abuse. However, when I went to the police station I learned that because Colorado is a 50/50 state, they cannot take her from him in order for me to see her unless I have a court order.

In this final year of my undergraduate studies, I am student teaching and all course credits are earned through observations. After having to miss days to attend court, UCD and the Daniel’s Fund representatives have advised me to take a leave of absence until this court case is over.

Since this leave of absence, I have started to work full time, but the court fees are piling up quickly and I do not have enough income to also afford legal representation. I have sought out free paralegal support and have been advised that I need to find a lawyer. I have reached out to all possible Colorado pro-bono legal aid resources, however since they are in such high demand, they do not have the legal population to support me at this time. I have found one attorney who is willing to provide legal representation at discounted rate. Even with the discount, I need a $2,750 minimum down payment and I have to put up an additional $125 per week to continue receiving legal assistance throughout the case. This does not include the court fees for mediation and other expenses that are an additional thousands of dollars that I need to come up with as soon as possible.

After graduating as valedictorian of my class, I went on to study Teaching, Learning and Human Development specializing in Elementary Education at the University of Colorado at Denver. I am two semesters away from graduating and becoming a licensed elementary school teacher. I chose to pursue education because of my passion for children and investment in the future builders of the world. I believe that education is one of the strongest sectors of this system where I have the ability to fight against systematic injustice. I put myself through college as a Daniel’s Fund scholar, recognized for my character of ethics, integrity, honesty, respect for people, loyalty, reliability, dedication to community, entrepreneurial spirit, patriotism, excellence, and etiquette. I was also named as a Better Business Bureau Student of Integrity which has a similarly lengthy and rigorous selection process to ensure recipients have strong character and integrity.

In addition to being a student and educator, I am also a mother of a beautiful, brilliant two-year old named Aliahna. Anyone who knows me, knows the mother I am. The kind of mother who always put her child first and did what she knew to be best for her baby. In Ahna’s first two years of life, not a day went by when we didn’t bathe together, sleep together, eat together, run errands together, go to meetings together, work, or even go to my college courses together. She was with me all the time. I breastfed her for those two years. Ahna and I have a bond like no other.

While I am not the type who feels comfortable asking others for help, in this dire situation I am turning to friends and community to help with financial assistance to support me with my living expenses, as I am going to have to spend my entire income on getting the legal aid I need to get custody of my daughter.

Ahna is my heart and my world and being separated from her has been the greatest obstacle of my life. I deeply appreciate you for your willingness to support me and help reunite me with my daughter.

Genuinely grateful,
Bobbi Rucker

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Bobbi X Eyam 
Denver, CO

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