Getting Kya out of Foster care
Organized by: Christopher Sean
Well, my story is different than most and difficult to tell, but I feel it necessary to tell. I moved to San Marcos in April of this year after my daughter was taken into CPS custody and placed in foster care, where she is currently at with her 2 younger sister's. Due to the un-safe and unsanitary conditions of the property that there mother had decided to make their home.
I have completed some of the required services ordered by the court and working to complete the rest, as my daughter is extremely important to me. I am the only parent out of 4 to be negative for the drug screens, and the only parent participating in drug classes. As a parent I can always use more tools in the tool box to be a more affective and compassionate parent.
Now for the back story..... As I said I moved to San Marcos in April, from Dripping Springs. Before that I was living in Washington state, and I jumped on the opportunity to have a father/ daughter relationship with my eldest of 3 kids, after 10 years of no interaction between us, (not by choice). My daughter reached out to me on Father's Day of 2014 on Facebook, unknown to her mother. We began to chat regularly for 3 months, before her mother discovered our chatting and she stopped our communications entirely. I pleaded with her to allow the communication to resume, and it was with conditions such as I was not allowed to ask about her living conditions, health, education, safety and the like, as I was assured by her mother that all was taken care of. The conditions did not bother me as my daughter and I had already had those discussions in the month prior to her mothers discovery of our communication. Admittedly I was extremely disappointed by what I had discovered, like my daughter had lived in several states, for short periods of time, had not been in school, had not seen a doctor, forced to sleep in a closet due to the mothers promiscuity, was a parental figure to her siblings cooking, cleaning and bathing them (when they were able to take showers or bath's), doing the laundry, basically giving up the majority of her childhood to raise her siblings.
My daughter, her mother and I chatted and Skype'd for 4 month's before I relocated here, and when I did, I left behind 2 other children, because I was not going to relocate them into situation that I really had no idea of what was in fact reality from fiction. I could not risk putting my other kids into a potentially dangerous environment, it hurt very badly, but their safety is/was of my utmost importance and it almost hurt more than, them asking me for years as to when their big sister was coming home. They only know her by pictures, my daughters don't remember being together for almost 9 months, my son has never seen his eldest sister except in picture's (this I want to change). In January, the mother asked if I wanted to have the relationship with my daughter that I wanted, being there for her, getting to know her, helping her, giving her a chance to be a child again by being daddy and I jumped at it, as long as I understood that the mother was in charge. I agreed to that, but that changed when I arrived. I arrived January 20th in the late evening. I was shocked, as to what i discovered the next morning. The mother had seriously down played the living conditions in which they were living in. No running water, no septic system which of course means no toilet. The bathroom consisted of several 5 gallon buckets, that when full, were emptied and those contents burned.
The overall condition of the house and surrounding property were unsafe to say the least, and dangerous in multiple spots consisting of several trash piles reaching almost 5 feet in height. Needless to say I began immediately to fix the house by sealing cracks repairing holes in the walls, one of which required the entire wall to be removed and replaced, flooring joist to be repaired, electrical wires being secured, creating a functional kitchen area. All of which caused arguments with the mother, especially when I informed her I was working on building a suitable septic system, and establishing some semblance of running water that could be used for bathing and a toilet.
Our main arguments were primarily on how I was prioritizing my time and energy on projects that I felt were of more importance than what she felt was a priority. I got to spend 62 days, with my daughter before CPS stepped in and removed her and her sisters. That happened because I had spoke to the other father's involved, and informed them of the conditions in which there daughters were living in and that I was doing my best to fix those problems, as fast as I could with my limited resources and constant disagreements between the mother and myself. I informed them that I was dependent upon the mother for shelter and that I couldn't make the call myself. March 26th, the kids were removed, I left the residence April 2nd under threats of violence by the mother and her numerous associations, because obviously, I had made the call and I had cooperated with the CPS investigators, against the mothers instructions. Despite everything I maintain a positive attitude and hope that the court will see, that I have the proper character and integrity to raise my daughter. I have been a Social Security applicant for over 5 years, and my attorney has recently appealed to the Federal District Court. My medical conditions are bilateral carpal tunnel, bilateral cubital tunnel and bilateral inguinal hernias, in the not so distant past I have had 5 surgical procedures and they have all failed repeatedly, so I also have surgical anxiety
. However as a requirement for consideration to obtain custody of my daughter, I have recently become employed, which, (I am proud of), but also aggravates my conditions, but my daughter is worth it. (the above is posted on Facebook) As a parent who is working hard to get his oldest child out of the Texas Foster Care system. I can no longer keep things to myself and I admit that I need help. I have been extremely humbled by the experience of surviving the San Marcos Flood, I lost everything that I possessed, I have recovered some of the things lost, I am just glad I maintain memories of the things that cannot be replaced, i.e. photos, first haircuts and mementos of my children’s first and most formidable years. I have asked for assistance from just about every organization that has assisted the survivors of the flood, just to be turned away, because either I was not a home owner, or a written lease holder, I had a verbal agreement with my roommate, to contribute towards the bills, rent, and utilities. ADRN, is currently assisting with (2) months rent.
I relocated here to be a father to a daughter that I had not been good to. I failed her 10 years ago, by not fighting hard enough to keep her. I made mistakes. I did not think of my child first, and for that I have been truly sorry. Allow me to clarify, what I mean that I was not good to my eldest. For 10 years, I lived in Washington State, I did not have a relationship with her, I had no contact with her, and I was not a good father to her, for those reasons. That is probably my single greatest regret as a father. And I have been working my butt off to prove to her and the State of Texas that I am a Good and decent father and that I should be given custody of her. I have finished my Protective Parenting class, I am less than 2 weeks away from finishing the rest of the court ordered services to show how committed I am to being a good father and Dad, all before the next court hearing in mid-September.
I have (1) recommendation for reunification. What about my other children? They are still in Washington. Hopefully, I will have them soon. As I said above, I have (1) recommendation for reunification however, I do not have what I consider to be adequate accommodations for us both, let alone for my other children. I currently live in a camper that is a 1972 Prowler with a trade in value of $500. And that is what Crestview RV in Buda is willing to give me, despite their bank saying $0, trade in value, it is falling apart, the a/c freezes up, the toilet is broken, and the floor has several weak spots.
Bless, Crestview RV for being so gracious as to give me a trade-in value on the 72’. They have also reduced the price on a newer bunkhouse camper, with 2 separate rooms, that would be more suited to have my children in. The cost of this, newer camper is $9143.64, and that is after trade-in. Why a camper and not a house? Expense, I cannot afford to rent a house on my income. When the court ordered services are completed, I do plan to get a better paying job (God willing), to be able to provide a better life for my children. If I have a better living situation, by the Mid-September court hearing I may get custody of my eldest daughter. However, I cannot afford to pay for this newer camper on my income. I do work, up to 20 hours a week for @ 8.00 per hour, for a local company. Unfortunately, I lose a good portion of my income to back child support. And I barely make enough to support myself currently, as it is. Once the services are completed my hours will increase as will my, bring home income. What I am asking for is help, help to secure this camper so I may be able to be the father that my daughter needs, as well as my other children. I ask humbly for this help, please share to all… I pray that I may be able to get my daughter out of foster care… Thank You and God Bless