Dear Judge Campbell,
It is 1:25 am.
I am writing this letter to you because there are so many things that I feel and I need to get this out before it consumes me more than it already has.
My name is Elizabeth, I am the eldest sister of Samantha. I am sure that you are familiar with the case. I am deeply disturbed by what took place between my sister and Lupita Stamos.
I know about the home for unwed mothers that you are in charge of so I know that you have expertise in dealing with these young girls that are often confused and scared about their conditions.
It sickens me to think that Lupita, a family friend of over 10 years, a woman who lived directly across the street from us betrayed us in such a way that has changed everyone in my family forever.
I will start at the beginning.
My sister left my parent’s home in early 2004. She was the typical teenager, wanted to be out on her own.
Even though she was not living at home, our family as a whole did not worry about her, as we knew she was staying with another family friend that knew my sister since she was three.
She was staying at Judy Olsen’s house, next door to Lupita.
Some time in late September of 2004, my sister found out that she was pregnant. My sister was in her eighth month of her pregnancy when she found out, she gained about 15 pounds total and was in complete denial of her pregnancy. She confided in Judy and asked her of course not to tell anyone. Judy broke the confidence and told Lupita, as she did not know what to do with Samantha at that point. Samantha was at this time living in a motor home on Judy’s property. When Lupita was made aware of Samantha’s pregnancy, that’s when she spoke to you about Samantha’s condition.
Lupita then called my sister on her cell phone because she was at work.
She called her five times until she finally reached her that day.
When she called her, she said that she didn’t want her to be upset with Judy, but that Judy had told her of the pregnancy.
She also said that she had great news, as she had spoken to you and found her a place to go. Samantha was adamant about not going to the City of Refuge.
Lupita then met my sister at Locust Park, and discussed with her that since she was already in her eighth month of pregnancy, that abortion was not an option. She then told my sister that adoption was the only way to go. Samantha did not want to go that route either, but thought she should consider it, she did not know how to tell us she was pregnant and kept saying that she did not want to break my dad’s heart.
From that point on, Lupita ran with the ball, for lack of a better term.
Judy and Lupita kept pushing my sister to move into Lupita’s house, which she did not want to do. A few days after this was made known to Lupita, she sent her two boys over to Judy’s house. They just started moving my sister’s things to Lupita’s house, saying that it wasn’t good for her to be in the trailer.
Three days later, Janelle Conner from Adoption Alliance called and made an appointment with Lupita because my sister was not returning her phone calls.
This should have been a red flag to Mrs. Conner, as the person who wanted this adoption so desperately was not even calling her back.
At Lupita’s insistence, Samantha went to a doctor’s appointment to determine her exact state.
Lupita signed her in and was present during an ultrasound which my sister repeatedly stated she did not want to be there, Lupita told her she had to do it to determine the state of the baby.
Immediately after her doctor’s appointment, Lupita drove her to meet with Mrs. Conner, without telling her where they were going or what their business was.
Mrs. Conner stated in her deposition that Samantha seemed like she didn’t want to be there, as she barely spoke. Lupita was present at the meeting stating that there were no secrets between herself and my sister.
During the weeks that followed, my sister was sleeping all the time. She began to change so much that our daily conversations quickly turned into arguments.
There was so much tension that I could not understand.
Lupita had found a couple from Valencia, CA, that wanted to adopt my sister’s baby.
My sister had never made a final decision or even so much as talked of adoption further, yet the adoptive couple had already been found. It was not until later that my sister found out that Lupita had known them, which accidentally slipped out during a meeting with Molly Winter.
Lupita had stated that she didn’t want to tell my sister, but that she knew them.
This adoptive couple came up to meet with Lupita.
They, along with Lupita met at a restaurant. My sister kept saying that she didn’t want to go, but Lupita kept on her until she eventually persuaded her to go.
When they finally arrived, my sister informed the couple that she did not want to meet them, in which they responded that they didn’t want to meet her either.
My sister was there for a few minutes, then became sick to her stomach and left.
Lupita and her husband went and had dinner with the couple. Again, if my sister was so set on this adoption, wouldn’t she have been the one to sort out the details, not Lupita and her husband?
This couple intended to have an attorney from California handle the case and Lupita stated to them that they could just use her lawyer friend, Molly Winter.
Any meeting that followed, Lupita was present at all but one or two of them. All the while, telling her that this was the best thing, that everything would be okay, manipulating her and her fragile mental state.
When my sister went into labor, Lupita drove her all the way to a hospital over an hour away, instead of taking her to a hospital nearby, a few miles from her house. Our family believes she did this because she knows my mother was in nursing school and was always at hospitals in the nearby vicinity. She drove her over an hour away, putting both my sister’s and her baby’s life at risk.
The Adoption Alliance has a rule that the mother must be with her child with no interference from the intended adoptive couple for the first 72 hours.
The adoptive couple was present immediately following the birth, as Lupita informed them when my sister was in labor.
Lupita kept taking my sister’s baby from her arms saying that the adoptive wife had a sad look on her face.
My sister was repeatedly so hysterical that the nurse had to ask everyone to leave the room.
Lupita kept telling my sister that it was too late to change her mind, papers were already drawn up, they were there to get the baby, and that she had made them a promise.
Lupita introduced herself to the hospital staff as Samantha’s guardian, thereby making very important decisions regarding her care. Lupita also had Samantha released from the hospital earlier than her expected release. All the while telling her it was too late.
The couple then fled to Las Vegas, as they were awaiting paperwork regarding the Interstate Compact. Lupita then called one of her co-workers and stated that there was a fax coming in for my sister that she needed to sign. Lupita then called my sister and told her that the woman there would give her the paper, then fax it back.
So she has my sister’s legal documents going in and out of that office, using that office to make calls, to send and receive faxes and essentially setting up this adoption.
All the while that everything was happening, everyone involved kept saying how happy my sister was, how she was smiling and wore makeup. Samantha was appeasing her captures, nothing more.
She was sleeping all the time and was becoming more and more alone.
She had no one in her corner, who REALLY knew her and loved her, to help her out with this dilemma that was tearing her up inside, literally changing everything about her.
Even for the final goodbye, Lupita told my sister that she couldn’t go, so she, her husband, and her two boys went and sent our baby off. My sister then felt her only way to say goodbye, was to go and buy a card with a little angel for them to give the baby.
In the card she wrote what any person who was being forced to say goodbye to their child would say. All the loving things she felt she should say.
This all took place from start to finish in 28 days.
Lupita called my sister 34 times in that 28 days, but after the birth of the baby, she called only twice, on the two days my sister had to go and sign papers. In my mind, not a coincidence.
On one of the phone calls that followed, Lupita said to my sister, “Ooh la la, bling-bling, we got Tiffany bracelets.”
That was what my first niece, my sister’s first child, my parent’s third grandchild was worth to her… A Tiffany bracelet.
Lupita was also flown to California to the baby shower, the adoptive couple bought her a plane ticket. Who is to say for certain that there wasn’t a nice little cash bonus for her on the side?
Why was Lupita flown to the baby shower if she was only there for support?
My sister never accepted the bracelet, Lupita’s bracelet was engraved to “auntie Lupita.”
My sister had no counseling, the paperwork was NEVER in her possession, to this day Lupita has it but denies she does. Lupita kept everything from the hospital, including the baby’s lock of hair and the hospital birth announcement card.
Lupita took my sister to the Medicaid office and filled out paperwork for her to get state aid, knowing all the while that my sister had insurance coverage from my parents, knowing that it would have been fraud for her to get aid.
We found a list in Lupita’s handwriting mapping out her goals, like get GED, sign up for traffic school, sign papers A.S.A.P., and let Lupita know A.S.A.P.
Why would Lupita need to know A.S.A.P.?
Lupita was clearly the driver in the situation. My sister had no counseling, no attorney.
Yet still, not one single person seems to care about HOW we got to where we are.
What other kinds of things are going on out of the Elliot County Courthouse? We already know that an adoption was set up on county time, at the county office, using county equipment. Lupita walked around as smug as she could be at the courthouse in California.
Our families go back more than ten years and she didn’t care for one second what this would do to my sister or any of us.
She even had the audacity to tell my sister that she should move out of the area because it was for families.
I have never even heard of a story like this, therefore I have never contemplated a plan in case something like this ever did happen. This has put a strain on every person in my family. My sister is now a person that I do not know, cries every day, all day, cannot even see any babies, and has needed so much counseling because we are worried that she may commit suicide.
I have had to quit my job, I have had severe insomnia, anxiety, and depression to where I have had to go to the hospital twice. My parents and my brother, along with my children have been so greatly impacted that we all talk at least three times a day, and cry daily about the loss we have suffered.
I for one moment, do not blame my sister.
I know how naïve she is and how vulnerable she was and still is. The stress has been so immense that I suffered a miscarriage ten days after I was in your courtroom. I was unaware that I was pregnant after three years of trying.
My household has been so affected by this that I never sleep, my relationship is in a fragile state because I am so emotionally unstable, and my children need counseling because my nine-year old daughter has nightmares to the point of cold sweats.
My dad got arrested for going to the first house we own, which is directly across the street from Lupita’s house, for shouting at the top of his lungs about the damage they have done to our entire family. Never threatening her, just speaking from his heart.
A dad that is still watching all the women in his life hurt to the point of sheer despair.
I and my mother have not slept and will never have a good night’s sleep again. My sister is so broken, I don’t even know what to say to her.
This is not just a simple case of regret that everyone is saying it is. It is a case of my sister being duped, lied to, and being taken advantage of by everyone who wanted her baby so badly.
Now, we’re the psychos, we’re the nuts, we’re under the microscope when these people were so desperate for a baby, this is how they got one.
We found out by sheer accident.
My mother found a picture in my sister’s car of her holding her baby. She recognized the bedding and immediately knew which hospital my niece was born at.
This has been the worst nightmare, I cannot even begin to explain the pain we are experiencing and that will NEVER go away.
I have cried from the depths of my soul, am seeing my sister, my parents, my children, my brother all cry the same way. What makes it worse is seeing everyone that I love most in the world hurt in such a way that is so deep I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemies.
How can this have happened this way, and nobody cares? I cannot come to grips with this, I will never accept this as long as I live. We get to see the baby once a year, and we have to pay a monitor for the 6 hours we get to spend with her. I cannot even see babies on television, I cannot look at pictures of my niece, it is too painful. I don’t know how to help my children when they are crying to the point of vomiting.
A piece of us is gone. We will never get back what has been ripped from us.
I am sorry that this letter jumps around a lot, but I am so full of emotions, my mind is now always racing a thousand miles a minute. I have not left my house but once in five months, I can’t hold myself together to even talk to other parents or my friends.
I have stayed up all through the night countless times.
It is now 3:57 am, and I know there’s no hope of me getting to bed any time soon.
I WILL NOT rest until something is done.
This just doesn’t seem legal. Everyone I and my family have told of this situation have told us that they can’t believe this either. From friends, doctors, legal staff, police, and so forth. I can’t even go to visit my family there because I know I just cannot for the life of me be in the same zip code as Lupita.
I desperately want to meet with you in person, as I feel I need to do something to have our story told.
If we can prevent just one family from going through this unspeakable situation, that would be enough for me.
That day when we went to court, you came to my sister and said that that was a place she could be heard. To this day that has never happened. My sister has yet to tell her side of the story and her version of events.
I am begging you, as an honorable man, to take the words I am saying to you, from my heart and soul, and just try for one second to put yourself in our shoes. You know first hand what these girls go through. I know there’s nothing you can do for us now, but still something needs to be done.
We don’t want another family to suffer the way we have and always will.
We will always feel void, never completely full.
I thank you for your time to read this, it is not easy for me to tell a stranger my innermost thoughts and feelings. I am willing to drive up from California to meet with you. I just need to find a place within myself to try to deal with this. It is tearing me up and consuming my daily life, along with everyone in my family. I will reschedule a meeting with your secretary and hopefully you will be able to point us in the right direction.