Then there was Child Protective Services….

I have never in my life contemplated suicide. Not on a serious level. Maybe when I was a teenager and didn’t get my way.

On Tuesday September the fourth my entire world shook from one phone call and on the account of one person.

After two failed marriages I gave up on the thought that love would find me, you know the type that smiles at you in the morning and kisses you on your forehead. The kind that knows all of your deepest darkest secrets and all of your lives mishaps but still loves you like their world revolves around you. I wasn’t even looking for it yet stumbled upon it without even knowing it.

It was when my second marriage was dwindling down and after the loss of my only daughter at the time.

I was in church and my then husband was being ordained as a deacon. I sat there as a proud wife but inside I was so angry because it was a scam, to me. I knew that be was not going to hold up his end of the commitment. He couldn’t even stay commuted to me, just one person. How was he going to commit to an entire organization? It was all a ploy to make me feel like he was trying so I played along like I had so many times and situations before.

After service, everyone was in their bunches meeting and laughing. Being new to this particular location, but not the organization as a whole, I didn’t know much about the people but I was is the South and I hear they are pretty nice. I walk up to a couple of people and introduce myself, make small talk, and move on. I came to a woman I had met prior. Very pretty lady. She was always kind to me and didn’t hesitate to greet me with a big smile. Genuine and welcoming, her eyes glisten as if she were proud of me, although I didn’t know her very well. I approach and was welcomed with open arms. She hugged me like a protector, I liked that. We spoke for a few when this tall kinky man walked up. His stature lean and serious. His glasses slightly hang from his nose. He was dressed in a suit that looked like it had been in the back of the closet awaiting a special occasion. His skin was the most beautiful brown I had ever seen. The woman introduced him as her son but I had never seen him before. He smiled at me and looked straight in my eyes. Locked, only momentarily. He was handsome. Skinny, but handsome.

This was in Sunday, April 12.

In June I had suffered a miscarriage. I was not too far along but I had to give birth at the hospital. I awoke covered in blood and panicked. I called my husband who had finally gotten a job at a fast food restaurant and told him I had to go to the hospital. He asked me, โ€œWhat do you want me to do about it? I’m at work.โ€ I hung up the phone and called my pastor then drove myself to the hospital. He eventually showed up relieving my pastor of my bedside.

By August I was throwing him out for his infidelities and dishonesty. This had been two years of stress of being the woman on the side yet having the title of โ€˜wifeโ€™. He stalked the house for a few days. Pacing the grounds and continuously calling my phone. Eventually he left and I didn’t hear from him.

In the fall I got a phone call that the woman from church was in the hospital and it wasn’t looking good. I drove a couple towns over to visit. I was greeted at the front desk by her daughter and the tall dark handsome son. While we boarded the elevator, she explained to me what was going on and although it did not look good, she was hopeful. There was a moment of silence and I noticed the son staring at me. I jokingly asked his sister why he was staring at me like that and she laughed and said she didn’t know. He later revealed to me, in private, that he was staring at me because God told him I was going to be his wife. He went on to say that he didn’t know how this was so because I was married. This he knew for sure because he met my husband on the date of his ordainment. I laughed and told him that we were separated and I was doing for divorce. He smiled so bright that it illuminated the room, I’m sure.

We have been inseparable every since. Although prior to my divorce finalization he insisted I remain true to my vows of the marriage.

10 children and one on the way, I am now faced with losing the best love I have ever known in my entire life.

Two years after we got married, my sister in law called me and asked if I could come to Florida to get their daughter because my brother was locked up and she could not handle a baby on her own. With my husbands hesitation, we obliged.

This was June 2012.

The baby, we eventually started calling Tiffani, was 7 months at the time. A difficult child indeed. She screamed all through the night and sat solemnly during the day. A few months in, she acclimated herself to the house and children. We had to take my brother and sister in law to court to get custody because they refused to give us paperwork for her and the refused to come get her. It out us in a jam to where only one of us could work because we could not put her in daycare. I worked because my job paid more. Then He found work and I stayed home. We alternated like this for a few years until we had proper documentation to treat her as we would our own.

This court process took a toll on my relationships with my brothers and sister but mostly my mother. We were always close but my mom has this soft spot for her boys and it just got really bad really fast. Over the years we have been able to mend it a little but I am sure the pain is still there for her because it is for me. My brother’s and Iโ€™s relationships are beyond repair and my sister and I just don’t talk about it. It was something I would not wish on anyone. Ever.

Tiffani always was somewhat of a loner. She liked to play by herself. Most times I would encourage her to interact with the rest of the bunch but it was usually short lived. As she grew older she became more and more obstinate and defiant. Sneaky and malicious. I swear it is in her genes. I was positive I could love it out of her though. As young as she was, the older she got, the less I was confident in this gesture.

One day, recently, she did something shocking and didn’t know what to do. I gave us space. Over the next 2 week’s she continued her path of disobedience and blatant disrespect. I made arrangements for her to leave my house. It was on of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. My heart is broken.

No matter how hard headed she would be and no matter how much she lied and snuck around, I promised I would never leave her feeling unwanted. I did not want it to be a pattern in her life.

But I had given her all of me. I had cried some days on my husbands chest because even though I knew I couldn’t, I wanted to heal her. He would tell me all the reasons why I couldn’t but I refused to listen. I just kept fighting. But that incident was something I could not see past atop of the insubordination she had been giving me for weeks prior.

I decided to send her to my mother. She has been there days shy of a month.

I get a call from my mom telling me that she took her to the clinic and they called CPS. (I had lost my cool and beat her butt before.)

Now, all the way in California, I am still connected to her but now in the worst way possible.

I have been crying for hours. My pregnant stomach in knots.

And all I can think about is my children.

Tiffaniโ€™s mom has lost a total of seven of her children, or all. She refused to do what cps said to do in order to get them back. I know this for sure because I have her brother placed with me as well. I never understood why she couldn’t just do what they said. I would. Now I may be faced with the opportunity.

I want to throw up. I want to die. These children are my life and I love nothing more than I love my family. I have finally found someone who felt I was worthy to be faithful to. To be honest with. To build and grow with. I am at a lost for words. My heart is so heavy.

Since I am the only one in question I will leave to be sure my babies are safe with their father. But where will I go? The shame I feel and the fear is indescribable. My husband, I know, will fight to keep this family together. But I will die if someone says they will separate my children.

What do you do when everything you have lived for and everything you have built can be stripped away in the blink of an eye?

-Rush

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