Archive | June 2013

The Flashbacks

I could be shopping, taking a drive, cooking dinner.

I will suddenly see in my mind’s eye my niece’s face, I will see the park where I had to leave her after a 3 hour visit, I see Letty’s pudgy face and glasses and I hear the hurtful things she said to me and to my family after we found out about her dirty deeds.We were completely unaware that she was the snake in the grass.

I see my sister cradled in my mother’s lap weeping, I see the piles of paperwork I have to pour over, I have nightmares of all the bits and pieces.

The flashbacks are awful, and really anything can trigger the memory.

Not just the holidays hurt. I don’t just miss Grace and need her on special occasions.

I hardly celebrate any holidays anymore. I feel so incomplete and it’s a struggle to be festive and happy when all you want to do is just crawl under the covers and disappear into a dark room. There is someone very important missing…. a little girl who should be with her family, our family.

I can’t believe I have been feeling like this for almost 9 years.

I can’t believe how much it is still a struggle to get through each day.

It is worse than experiencing the death of a child. Because when a child enters into rest, sooner or later you must accept it, you must say goodbye and find some sort of absolution. But when your niece is being held just beyond your reach, living amongst strangers, in a place she was not meant to be, it is impossible to accept or move on.

 

Why was this adoption just thrown together with complete disregard for the mother and child that would be torn apart?….

 

 

 

LOVE IS THE STRONGEST FORCE ….

My darling niece….

I miss you more with each passing day.

I called and started the process of enforcing visitation today. It has been 6 years since I have held you in my arms, held you close to my heart.

Dealing with your absence, the injustice inflicted upon your mom, the absolutely consuming heartache that we all feel day after day, night after night, has shaken me to the core.

After a visit with you, the overwhelming hurt of having to leave you behind with strangers makes me an emotional wreck and makes me physically ill.

Literally the moment I found out about you and what had happened, I fell to my knees and became sick. I cried, I screamed, and I felt my body shake and become weak. It has only gotten worse as the years have gone by. I believe a broken heart does tremendous damage to the spirit, it dims even the brightest of lights….

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Going through the visits, the courts, the meetings with attorneys, paying a monitor to visit with you, having to abide by ridiculous rules by people who have no business in your life in the first place, it all has taken an enormous toll on my health.

Physically I have developed fibromyalgia, post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. I suffer nightmares. I have days where I am able to look at your pictures, and others it is too painful. I have to keep myself from crying because it’s so hard to stop once I’ve started. I have to choke the pain down, close my eyes, and pray.

It is all because I miss you so much. I feel that what has happened is so wrong that I will never accept it. Paperwork or not, I am your auntie.

I am preparing for it to be difficult to set up our visit, because it always has been. The people who have you have been awful to us, delighted to take you from your family to put you in theirs. They are desperate for you to be their child, but God gave you a mother, and her name is Serena.

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I just had a baby 6 months ago, I just had nasal surgery, also preparing for another nasal surgery at the end of the year. I am having a tough recovery and the fibromyalgia is so difficult to manage.

This adoption and all the ugly contained within it has made the seconds of time tick by. I am constantly restless, and the way I am able to spend time with you is through my writing. I am able to connect words with the feelings in my heart and someday you will read everything I have written to you, for you.

I have always needed you, and being forced to leave you at that park we have to visit at literally gives me nightmares.

I know it will take many months for me to be able to function when our visit is over. I know how the pain and emptiness will make me cry myself to sleep.

But it’s worth it to me. I would travel a million miles over a million years to see you for just one minute. Your are my blood. My life. My Niece.

 

 

UNJUST ADOPTION …. THE SEVERING OF A FAMILY ….

I’m trying my hardest to get through this pain. I wish it would all just go away. All the hurt. All the anxiety. All the heartbreak I feel about the absence of my niece.

I think the only thing worse than my pain is having to see the people I love the most, hurt so deeply, so often, so much that getting through each day is still a struggle almost 9 years later.

No matter how long it’s been, I still cannot accept that this has happened to us. How can such a devastating thing be true? How could someone we trusted do such a thing to us?

I know that God will bring my niece home, that she will long for us as much as we long for her.

No amount of paperwork changes the fact that my niece is our blood, the stories of our family are the stories of her life.  The people we’re related to, she’s related to. We look alike, we sound alike. Every child wants to know where they come from, where they belong…who they belong to.

She was given to us and our family by God, snatched away and sold by Letty to a desperate, infertile couple that stopped at nothing to get “their baby.” They went as far as to take advantage of a young and vulnerable girl, knowing that it was not the fact she didn’t want her child, it was the fact that she was terrified to tell her family, like most teenage girls are. She couldn’t even bear to tell me, her sister, the closest person to her. She didn’t know how, so fragile, so emotional, so alone during her pregnancy.

The weight of the secret she carried and the distress she was under = extreme duress = a fast, immoral adoption with a million red flags attached.

Had this been my sister’s choice, our family could do nothing but accept it. Even if we hated it, we would have had to respect her decision.

But when the answer to every question is “LETTY”, you would have to be taking crazy pills to not see that SHE was clearly the one in the driver’s seat of this adoption.

This was ALL Letty’s doing. Her “help”, that no one asked her for has ruined our lives.

It has forever broken my sister, ruined the chance of my niece being with her real and natural mother which I’m sure has broken her little heart as well, it has torn me apart and has changed me and my life completely, it has ended two marriages because of the enormous strain of going through a crisis of such magnitude, it has broken the hearts of my children who long for their first cousin, it has ripped our family apart. Letty has disrupted God’s plan for Julia Grace to be given to Serena.

All so Letty’s friend’s could play house. I have nothing against adoptions done the right way. I believe that adoption is for children without homes, not homes without children. Letty did such a sneaky and conniving thing, all the while smiling, and the couple knowing full well what type of situation this was. A young girl who didn’t know how to tell her family, who felt she had no one to turn to. Promised the world, took her baby, and left her in emotional turmoil and debt.

Thinking about my baby sister having to go through such a scary thing, and what these people did to her, is too much for me to bear.

Someday I will be able to tell my niece face to face, everything that happened, someday she will read this journal, someday she will know the truth behind her adoption. That it wasn’t meant to be. It isn’t what my sister wanted. It isn’t what any of us wanted, and we never gave up or forgot her….

I CAN ONLY WONDER ….

I can only wonder what she looks like, what color her eyes are.

I wonder if she will ever be able to comprehend the love and emptiness we all feel without her.

I wonder what books she likes, what games she plays, and what her favorite color is.

I wonder what her voice sounds like, how sweet she must smell snuggled close…

I wonder when the sweet day will come that we will be reunited.

When will I be able to hold her, talk to her, play with her, read to her?

When is all this pain going to be over?

I wonder. I hope. I pray. Because that’s all I can do.

Holding Onto Dear Love For Dear Life ….

Holding Onto Dear Love For Dear Life ....

I remember standing there taking this photo. I was so overcome with emotion that I was having trouble holding my hands steady. I was choked up, couldn’t swallow, and my eyed filled with tears.

This is the first and only time our dad saw my niece Grace.
We have been in a constant battle with the adoptive parents and since they were the ones with the lawyers from the very start obviously everything turns out in their favor.

I remember my dad holding onto that baby for dear life, like he would rather have died than to ever let her go.
He held her close, breathed her in, and tried not to crumble. His was literally weak at the knees. He closed his eyes and I could almost hear his heart breaking. You can see the sorrow in his eyes. They have the same color hair….

I have flashbacks of this very scene in my nightmares.
It’s like it’s happening over and over again. I wake up and have to remind myself that at least that part is over. It’s one day closer that my niece will be of age to be with her rightful family with no restrictions, no limits on the love that we can give each other. No one to break our bond any further…..

The Smiling Face of Evil

When you have a passion for something, especially something that involves some kind of injustice, you will do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, just to make it right.

There’s things that you can let go, forgive, and move past. This is not one of them.

I cannot forgive Letty for what she has done to our family. She is worse than a bad person, she has torn apart a family, and caused the deepest heartache any of us has ever felt.

She acts so smug, and tries to defend what she did. She is a heartless creature. How could she do such a thing?

They say that it’s not the person behind you that you have to watch. It’s the person smiling in your face. That could not be more true.

She had no right doing ANYTHING she did. She had no conscience about what she was doing or the pain it would cause us by her playing God and barging into our family and causing utter destruction.

I despise her and she disgusts me. I cannot help it, and I cannot blame myself. Forgiveness is something that I can’t fathom, especially because she seems almost satisfied that our family is in ruins.

She WILL have her day of judgment, and she WILL stand before God. She WILL answer to Him. God’s timing is perfect, and He will make all this wrong into right someday. Letty took advantage of a young, scared, vulnerable girl…and I hope and pray that she is given the same courtesy that she bestowed upon us. She betrayed my sister and our family after we trusted her for so long. Many years of living directly across the street from each other, more than 15 years of our homes being open to each other. We never dreamed she was capable of such a thing. Receiving gifts and goodies for facilitating this adoption, that’s exactly what she did. She should be so ashamed of herself. She really did turn out to be the TRUE neighbor from HELL.

Just Some of Letty’s Involvement… Moral Support or Baby Seller??

◾When Letty found out about Serena’s pregnancy, by another neighbor and trusted friend, she immediately went to Judge Gamble and was inquiring about the Home for Unwed Mother’s which he oversees. She then called Serena 5 or 6 times while she was at work, calling over and over. Her plan was about to be set into motion.

◾Serena was staying at another neighbor’s house, Letty and her sons showed up and proceeded to move Serena’s belongings into Letty’s home next door. Serena had no say. She was alone and extremely vulnerable.

◾Letty was the one who initially & continuously contacted Adoption Alliance, and they in turn dealt with her since Serena was not calling them back.

◾Letty literally wrote out a list of “Goals” for Serena’s life in her own handwriting. Sounds like the person in charge.

◾The adoptive couple already had an attorney, they then decided to use Letty’s lawyer friend, Jennifer Yturbide. Letty attended approx. all meetings.

◾Letty arranged and attended the couple Dr. appointments Serena had.

◾Letty took Serena to get public health insurance, knowing full well she was covered under my parent’s insurance.

◾Adoption Alliance claims that Serena chose this couple from a stack of profiles. What a coincidence that the “chosen” couple were friends of Letty’s sister.

◾Letty arranged and attended a dinner with the adoptive couple at one of the few nice restaurants in town, her husband Sal also in attendance. Serena was present for a very short time at this dinner meeting. Letty and her husband Sal stayed with the adoptive couple after Serena left. So what were Letty, Sal, Kimberly, and Frank discussing? The adoption of a child that they had no business getting anywhere near, let alone taking her from her mother and family.

◾Letty works as a court clerk in Douglas County, and she was using county equipment, on county time, Adoption Alliance faxing Serena’s confidential information into Letty’s hands at her place of employment.

◾Letty drove Serena to a hospital over an hour away when she went into labor because she was aware that our mother is a nurse in the local hospitals.

◾Letty introduced herself to hospital staff as Serena’s guardian, even though she was 18, thereby making important decisions that she had no right to make. Letty ignored the repeated requests Serena made for our father when she was in labor and delivering.

◾Letty immediately called the adoptive couple and they went to the hospital.

◾Adoption Alliance violated their “72 Hour Rule” and allowed the adoptive couple to have contact with the baby, although they were to have NO contact with the child or Serena for 3 days, days intended for mother and child to bond.

◾Letty continuously took my niece from my sister’s arms, handing her to Kimberly because “she had a sad look on her face” watching Serena hold her child.

◾In Letty’s possession are all of the adoption documents, they were never in Serena’s possession until our attorney obtained them.

◾Also in Letty’s possession are the hospital mementos; my niece’s lock of hair, baby bracelet, and announcement card.

◾Letty was given an engraved Tiffany & Co. bracelet engraved to “Auntie Letty” by the adoptive couple. Letty called Serena and said “Ooh la la, WE got Tiffany bracelets.” Serena did not accept hers, and I’m certain Letty has that bracelet too. Letty is NOT my niece’s aunt.

◾Letty was given a plane ticket by the adoptive couple to fly down to the baby shower, as the guest of honor. After all, she did set up every detail.

◾Letty claiming to be so maternal toward Serena, did not make sure Serena had counseling or her own representation. After the birth of my niece and after the baby was gone, she politely asked Serena to leave her home, and Serena proceeded to live in her car for a week, alone, scared, and experiencing this enormous pain.

◾Letty called Serena 34 TIMES in the 28 DAYS this adoption was set up. 2 times when she had to sign overlooked paperwork. Once that paperwork was signed, she never called Serena again. And for her caring so much about Serena, she sat with the adoptive couple during future court proceedings, and did not so much as glance at Serena.

◾Letty’s main argument was that my sister was 18. Well if she was 18, she should have handled EVERYTHING HERSELF. Letty claimed to be there for “moral support.” People there for moral support aren’t making calls, setting everything up, receiving gifts, etc.

◾I saw Letty at the courthouse where she STILL works, (how disgusting is that) and asked her… “Set up any adoptions lately?” And she responded, “Nope, one was enough.” She made me sick to my stomach with her conniving, deceitful, unethical, and immoral presence. Hiding behind that phony smile.

◾Letty, handled taking my niece from my sister’s arms and leaving her completely on her own when all was said and done. It is convenient that Letty didn’t handle getting Serena’s medical bills paid, and that the adoptive couple left Serena more than $25,000 in debt, of which her wages are now being garnished. So after these people took her baby, they left her to pay the bill, of which they were to be responsible for. That is UNJUST ENRICHMENT.

◾Letty as a court clerk is NOT permitted to give legal advice, something she told me herself. Setting up an adoption and receiving valuables by the adoptive couple during and after this adoption set-up sure sounds like a BABY SALE to me.

◾3 weeks after my niece was born, and already gone in southern California, Serena called Letty to tell her that my family had found out. Letty’s immediate response was “how did they find out? If they wanna fight, we’re gonna bring out the big guns.” Who the HELL was she to decide who went and who stayed in OUR family? Where was her “love” for Serena then? Whose side was she really on?

◾When my niece was to be taken, Serena wanted to be there, and Letty told her it was too late, so she did all she could think of doing…writing her daughter a letter saying what she believed she should, not what she was really feeling. Letty and her husband went and saw my niece off, Serena once again left out. After all, she wasn’t their family, what did Letty care that she would be gone?

◾Years later, Letty is still in contact with the adoptive couple, reporting every detail about our family to them since she still has access to her county equipment.

Does this sound like someone who was just there for moral support?? I think NOT.

Why I Write at Night ….

When the house is quiet, and everyone is asleep, that is when my mind races. That’s when I keep reliving this nightmare one flash of memory at a time. No matter how long I live, I will never forget any detail, and I’ll never forget just how much losing someone I love so much has impacted my life and changed everything about me. I will remember every tear I cried, every time it felt like I couldn’t go on. I will remember how hard it is to get through each day. Almost 9 years later, I still hear the minutes ticking, counting down the days until my precious niece can make her own decision and come back to the family that loves her like no other. A family she belongs to. A family she was taken from.

I haven’t slept without anxiety or nightmares since I received that dreadful phone call in November, 2004, my mother hysterical on the other end, telling me news I still refuse to accept.

At night when I should be resting, I obsess  about this incredible injustice that has been done to us. All I know is that it hurts. It makes me so angry I feel like coming out of my own skin. My heart pounds, and I just want to get up out of bed, turn on all the lights, and do something. But what can I do?. I lie paralyzed with a burning hatred toward those responsible.

I write at night because that’s when it hurts the most. Thinking that another day has passed and another day I have been separated from my flesh and blood.

In my mind, I am screaming to God for help….

Holding a Piece of my Heart….

Holding a Piece of my Heart....

I took this picture because Frank ad Kimberly wouldn’t let my parent’s see Grace on a visit we drove 9 hours for. I wanted them to have an idea of how big she was, and I tried to capture a memory, something I would never forget, and the baby so little, would never remember…

(This picture is in a frame on our family photo wall.)