I started up the fundraiser and a dear friend of mine made a considerably large donation. The gratitude I felt was tremendous. I didn't even think I would get the amount she had donated, let alone more. Call it an empty hope created by desperation. I have learned, however, that God moves in mysterious ways. So after receiving that amount, I called up someone that I was given high recommendations to. This person was previously a lawyer and the best when it came to family cases. What I hoped for was a weight to be lifted from my shoulders. What was returned to me instead was a blow to my dreams. He is now a mediator who works to find middle ground for those in legal disputes. He also refers you to the best in the business depending on your needs. He explains the law and what options you have. My options are not just limited. They are singular. The state of Texas protects the accused in some ways, more than the victims. I should've known this. After all, I've been involved in a case where I interpreted for a friend whose illegal deaf wife tried to kill him in his sleep, with his children present and witnessing, and she not only got out of being deported (despite those who knew her pushing for that option), but she also got out of jail and was given primary custody of the kids. If that is possible, how much more so a guy keeping his rights when he does things morally wrong with or to his children?
The legal advice I received knocked me down a peg and put me in the cloud cover of doubting my ability to be the Mom I need to be. I was told that the State would not easily give full custody to one parent over the other, if at all. They will exhaust other options, and funding, to keep both parents in the children's lives. Even fighting for supervised visits with the documentation I have would cost me in the neighborhood of $10,000. And that's just a start. Instead, I was told to document every instance in a journal. Make sure my kids tell me everything. Make sure they can reach me no matter what time or where while with him. And to pray that nothing bad happens. I have since filed an additional report with Child Protective Services. They began an investigation, but I was told that the situation fell into a slightly gray area. So they would reach out to my ex-husband and inform that certain actions are from here on, prohibited. Should anything happen again, they will look further into supervised visitation rights. As for the kids being left alone or unsupervised at the theme park, that isn't considered a bad thing that they will investigate until one of them is severely injured, kidnapped, or worse. So the training of them knowing exactly how to respond to strangers, dangerous situations, or being in a moment of feeling uncomfortable about something has taken on an urgent tone. We talk about it often. My daughter knows to yell to her brothers for assistance if her father refuses to listen to her. I choose to think that I have scared him enough with my words and actions that he will back away from ever making such choices again.
The campaign I had started, was removed. The money I had received was returned to my donors. I am focusing on doing what I can to make them safe as much as possible. I also pray that God's will be done and that I have strength to accept what I cannot control. Its a hard way to live. Its a struggle that I have to endure. May it be known, however, that I will not seek a way into the loophole I have been made aware of. I will stay ready for the moment when I can finally have them safe and be done with him. I have expressed to them and to him, that they have the ability to call me any time for any reason. I send snacks and food as I'm able to ensure they are well fed. I also feed them before they leave and upon returning to me.
I love them dearly. I may not have made all the right choices. I may still be learning from the decisions and outcomes I have been through, but I keep pushing forward. I will always do my best for them.