Recently, a man claiming that he is Colten's father has come forward and requested paternity testing. He is currently serving time in prison for possession and burglary. I am amicable to him playing a role in Colten's life, but I also want to make sure that Colten's rights are preserved, meaning that visitation and custody are based on a stable environment, lack of drug use and illegal activity, and that his attachment to me as his caregiver is taken into consideration.
As many of you know, Colten and Madison have been living with us and Madison was doing fantastic in her recovery and as a mom. She was taking counseling, regular drug testing, and had made it to one year sober. However, like many who struggle with addiction, Madison has relapsed into drug addiction. Although she has decided against assistance and help for herself at this time, she has made the very brave and unselfish decision to voluntarily allow Colten to live with me while she regresses into the dark place she had managed to dig herself out of. As a mother, my heart is shattered and terrified for her. However, as I have learned over the past two years, there isn't enough love to change and help her unless she is motivated enough to continue recovery. It is a lifelong battle that she has to choose day after day.
As a grandmother, my heart hurts even more for Colten. His parents have chosen addiction. However, Madison has chosen Colten by trying to afford him a better life. That being said, I'm a single mother and teacher and childcare is extremely expensive. Due to my income, I hopefully qualify for child care assistance through the state. I applied online, but was told today that it could take months to a year to receive any assistance. Childcare for an infant is between $600-$700 a month. A friend and colleague has donated the first month. At first, my pride and embarrassment over not having the resources myself, had me refusing. I have managed to overcome every obstacle in my past and it hurts in a place that no one can understand that I'm not able to do this on my own. I'm quickly realizing that I'm going to need some help. Many of you have reached out and asked how you can help and I think I've realized that this might be the time that I have no choice. I am hoping to raise some of the first few months of childcare until I can receive assistance from the state. If you're able to help, financially, I'm forever appreciative. If not, your prayers and good thoughts mean just as much. I also want to thank everyone who has helped us along on this journey already. I can never repay you or thank you enough.
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