Help return kids to Mom
Call me Jane - as in Jane Doe. I wish I could post a few pictures of myself of the people who lead me to make this plea - my two children - but given my circumstances, I really can't. The reasons for my anonymity have to do with the fact that I'm a single mother and a hard worker. Like a lot of hard working single mothers, I am often broke, despite working full time and a long weekend day shift each weekend. And so last year I began doing occasional sex work - cautiously, slowly, and never near my home. It proved to be a real help. I didn't make enough to move or buy a new car - just enough to ease the struggle a bit. I don't use drugs - I don't even drink. I just take care of my kids and work. I'm not ashamed of the sex work, but given the event that brings me here, I have had to stop for a bit, and am afraid to reveal my identity here.
The father of my kids, who are now 8 and 9 years old, was never involved with them and in fact signed away all of his parental rights years ago. That made sense, given that he had only seen them a handful of times over the course of their lives. But a few months ago, he reappeared and expressed an interest in getting to know them. They had always been curious about their father and so I let them visit for what was supposed to be a short visit with his new wife in California.
I allowed this visit, and it has proven to be the worst mistake of my life.
A few days before he was supposed to return my kids he told me that he knew I had been escorting (apparently an old friend saw an ad) and began hinting that it was reason to take my kids. A few days later, on the day he told me my kids would be flying home, I went to the airport and waited to see my babies arrive. They never did. When I texted and called, it was clear that I had been blocked. He and his wife simply disappeared with my children.
Out of fear, I have removed all my sex work ads, scoured the net as best I could. In other circumstances, I would ramp up that work, but am afraid of the consequences.
I did what anyone would do. I began by contacting the police, but because they were not in Washington, they could do nothing. I called various missing children hotlines, various agencies in California, legal aid organizations, and spent hours scouring for help. I called lawyers who I could not afford to pay - nothing. And as it happens, simply having a custody order from Washington isn't enough to compel another State to do anything. And I could not figure out where exactly they had even gone. The California address I had been given was a phony. For several months, I tried to find them and couldn't.
Eventually, I found a lawyer willing to help me pro bono. In fact, he is helping me write this now. He located them - now living in a super conservative Southwest state. He also knows what steps need to be taken next. The custody order I have from Washington (called a parenting plan) needs to be registered in the State where they are, and then an emergency motion to enforce the order needs to be filed. While all this is easy enough, my attorney is not licensed to practice anywhere except Washington.
So I need to help to get these last few steps taken care of. My attorney has prepared all the required forms, declarations, and exhibits, but here is what we are missing:
1. A local attorney to present the parenting plan to be registered and to file the motion to enforce the Washington order and request for the the Sheriff to bring my kids to court.
2. A process server to serve the documents on the asshole who took my kids.
3. Airfare - I will need to go down for a hearing, perhaps two. And I will need to pay for my children to return with me. These tickets will not be advance tickets - I will need to zip down the moment he is served, as the emergency order can be heard the next day.
4. More than likely, hotel and car rental (the county they are in is about three hours from an airport).
If things go well, this should happen rather quickly, though I could be stuck there for more than a day.
I hope to raise $5,000.00 dollars for this. My attorney has located a couple of local attorneys down there who can assist for a reasonable amount, but the bigger expense will be the last minute travel costs. I am stuck, and don't know where else to turn. Believe me, I would.
Normally, I would turn to sex work, ramp up my efforts, and make quick work of this. But my attorney warns that a judge in this very conservative jurisdiction where my children are stuck might not like it.
Please help? Among the other things my attorney learned, the sperm donor who helped create and now steal my children has a recent violent criminal record - a felony assault stemming from domestic violence, and even a conviction for animal cruelty. I'm terrified, and this is a very time sensitive matter. I realize that some gofundme drives may seem disingenuous. This one isn't. My Seattle attorney has even offered to speak to anyone who may have doubts.
I'm a good mother and I am terrified. I just need help.