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Help us keep faith, hope and love alive!

Organized by: Lee Oakes

Lee's Photo
Lee's Photo
Lee's Photo

THE STORY:

My name is Lee Oakes and I'm a 31 year old automotive technician in central Virginia. I have a LONG history in the Richmond City Juvenile Court system trying to gain custody of my 7 year old daughter Candice. Candice's mother and I initially separated just after Candice's first birthday because of my lack of attention to my families happiness. I was the previous owner of Professional Towing & Recovery, Inc. out of Mechanicsville, VA so I was traveling all across the state most days and nights, sometimes working 18-20 hours a day to keep clients happy but I didn't realize how bad my family was suffering and feeling abandoned. I thought at the time that my income could somehow keep my family safe and happy while I was out working but quickly found out that it was time that family needed from me and not just the money. After my ex and I separated things were going fairly smoothly between us for about a year until I had talked to Candice's mother about adding time to my custody so that may could spend more time with daughter. What a huge mistake that turned out to be, and one that I still suffer from today. Candice's mother and grandparents immediately teamed up and hired a lawyer who drug me through the mud for 2 years and made me look like a horrible parent. We had been through 2 guardian ad litem's and I tried everything I could to try and remedy the situation and bring out the truth, even bringing my family and members of the church that Candice and I attend to try and explain the real situation and show the court that I was not the man they had tried to portray me to be. Those were honestly the worst 2-3 years of my life, the courts thought I was a bad person, had no relationship with Candice's mother or grandparents and I couldn't seem to get anywhere in life but I never gave up. I had a wonderful woman at church tell me that she could see what was going on and that I should never give up, and I am still fighting today due to those words even though there were times I just wanted it all to go away. Early in the year 2014 I was given alternating weeks with my daughter through the summer and we had some of the most amazing times of my life with her even the court dates were still coming, but by this time my ex had completely severed contact with her own family and her parents had stopped paying for her lawyer and joined my side because they were finally able to see the truth in the situation and they knew that I only wanted what was best for my daughter. After a couple court appearances with my family and my ex's parents speaking on my behalf, we were given a new guardian ad litem and she turned out to be a true blessing from God. After meeting with Candice, myself and Candice's mother a few times we were finally in court this past March of 2015. With prayers from my church family, my family and my ex's family, we headed into court unsure of what would be recommended by the guardian ad litem or the judge. March of 2015 turned out to be the day where all my hard work came to light and the court system was finally able to see through all the smoke for the past 6 years and I was awarded full custody starting in July 2015, but it turns out that this may be the biggest challenge of all. I was awarded full custody as long as I have a home where Candice and I will be able to live and be safe with approval of the guardian ad litem. I have always had a roommate because of the amount of child support I pay and now I need to find a home where Candice and I have a place of our own so we can concentrate on building our family, our faith and our love for others as our Father would wish it to be, and always hope for the future to be a great time for our family.

This is why I am asking for your help. Candice and I need to come up with a down payment for a small home of our own or help with rent and bills until we can sort out our future since I am still paying rent where we are now. Friends, please, help Candice and I keep faith, hope and love alive for future generations to come.

I would love to start a non-profit organization in the future to help other families build their lives like I am trying to do myself.

Please don't hesitate to E-mail me at LOakes13@yahoo.com with any questions at all, and thank you so much for listening.

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