Mother's Day is the day we take time to honor and reflect on the aspects of being a mother. As a mother, it is usually a day to be pampered and showered with love. However, for some, it is a bittersweet reflection on how that title was almost ripped away.
I am one of those individuals. Because I experienced this heartache, I want to recognize those who may be in similar circumstances this Mother’s Day and encourage them to never lose faith.
The week before Mother’s Day in 2015 was the most devastating week in my life and the beginning of an 18-month battle that it took to have my family physically made whole. Imagine the CPS telling you; they were taking your children. Your spouse is in jail, and you are warned that you are next. Invoking what you believe are your rights, you are informed you have no right to your own flesh and blood.
Imagine also knowing you are innocent of charges being leveled against you and still being prosecuted. People are accusing you of things you would never dream of doing. Your children being told you do not love or want them. Your children are crying out, and you cannot be there for them.
You are informed that your children are behaving in ways you know they never have before. Consequently, you spend hours and hours researching the laws in your state. All during your struggle, your attorney and the judge never stepping in to do what is right. Imagine the feeling of helpless that permeates your soul. This is my story.
It took 18 long months… 18 months, of battling the system with sloppy and careless attorneys, judges and crooked CPS workers, faulty testing methods, forced treatments and therapies, perjured testimony, and most importantly, time that I will never be able to get back.
As Mother’s Day approaches this year, it is bittersweet…for me and others like me. For some, it is a reminder of one of the most devastating times in their lives, but it is also a celebration because 18 months is not a lifetime. I can celebrate with my family again.
Across the Nation, many mothers are experiencing what I was three years ago, and some of those mothers are still fighting to regain their children. Some mothers are mourning the loss of their angel babies that may never be returned to them. They are mourning the loss of their living children. Some will eventually celebrate the return of their children.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum, this day was meant to honor you. It is a day to remind you that you must stay positive knowing that even though not all days will be good days, better times are coming.
Happy Mother’s Day!
There are so many ways we can support each other. We can start by encouraging all mothers, helping each other with errands, housework, and the kids. Some like myself have decided to address what happens to so many other families by becoming politically involved. One way is by becoming part of a great organization such as Families United Action Network, in hopes of changing the way families are treated.
For all mothers, no matter where you fall on the spectrum, we encourage you to take part in our first annual “Mommy with love” event. It is easy to participate. Find our unique picture frame, take a picture of yourself, your kids, and write a short message using the hashtag #Mommylove and share it on our page.
You can also support us in our endeavors to change the laws affecting our families. By going to www.familiesunite.org, you can make a donation of your time, resources or dollars.
You can also do other simple things such as checking on friends who may be experiencing a hard time due to the loss of their children or volunteering for crisis hotlines who are subject to increased calls during holidays such as this.
Most importantly, Happy Mother’s Day and keep up the great work. To the mothers who are mourning today, feel it, live it and then use it. Use it to become better and help someone else, so they will never experience what you have.
This article is a guest submission by ToyA Johnson of Des Moines, Iowa. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in guest posts, are the personal opinions of the author. They may or may not reflect the views of Families United Action Network (FUAN) or its individual members. Note that submissions may be edited for clarity if needed.
The author of this post is ToyA Johnson, Executive Director Families United Action Network
ToyA is Iowa born and raised. She has lived in Des Moines for the majority of her life. She is a co-founder of Iowa Citizens for Justice, and owner of FreshStart Life Solutions which helps citizens and businesses bridge the community and communication gap. She currently offers services to help others find community resources as well as legal document preparation.
She is an avid DHS/CPS and Judicial reform supporter. She has a host of talents and experience in the legal research field and community involvement.
ToyA is presently studying for her Bachelors in Paralegal studies to further her ambition to become an attorney.
As the Executive Director of FUAN, she is an avid DHS/CPS and Judicial reform supporter. ToyA tirelessly seeks to inform, educate and promote positive changes in the family law arena. As ToyA says, we do this “In the best interest of children and families.” ToyA has spent countless hours meeting with concerned citizens, legislators, government agencies and other community organizations to address the concerns of the people.
She has been a voice for the voiceless and as an American with Disabilities Act Advocate, assisted people with Invisible Disabilities to navigate the Family Law System. She has a host of talents and experience and is considering a run in politics or returning to school to pursue becoming an Attorney.