This is my first cousin, Kris and his lovely family. Kris and I are only a year apart so it of course made sense that when we were kids on family vacations we were buddies. We got along pretty well and I always loved spending time with him. A lot has happened in the last decade since I've gotten married and we don't see each other very often, but when I got to see him last summer I realized how much I truly missed my friend. They have had a quite unfortunate battle for his son Reghan because of issues with Reghan's birth mother dealing with abuse. Kris is an amazing father and is a hero to his little guy (who btw is a spitting image of his dad) I was fortunate enough to meet his little family last summer and his lovely partner, Loleta. They are so sweet and love their kids more than anything and now they are fighting to get their children back because of unfortunate events out of their control. Please read the following which is written by my other cousin (Kris's sister) who explains the situation and started a fund to help them get their children back. They really need our help! I put the widget in my sidebar (unfortunately I couldn't edit it so that it looked normal, but at least it fits for now) OR you can....
Click the link to take you to their funding page.Written by: Kelsie Rosekrans
"This is my brother Kris’ beautiful family.
They have been torn apart by a flawed system, and the road to getting them back together is piled high with roadblocks.
The system which is supposed to help children has taken theirs; taken them from the people who love them the most.
Nearly six years ago, Reghan was born. A spitting image of my brother, he brought a light to his life – a happiness I’d never seen in him. Despite splitting with Reghan’s birth mother, my brother was bound and determined to give him the best life possible.
Soon, he met his partner Loleta. She brought with her two of the most caring, smart, and respectful children I’ve ever met.
Together, they would have another son, and their family was complete.
And then everything changed.
Reghan was growing up fast. He was incredibly smart and so loving. But they realized that he knew, said, and did things that no two year old should know anything about.
They soon realized the signs were of serious physical, mental, and sexual abuse – at the hands of his own birth mother.
Kris and Loleta began documenting everything they could, taking him to doctors to show the things they couldn't, and enlisting the help of the local courts.
It seemed insanely difficult to get anyone to take them seriously.
For the past three years, they’ve been fighting battle after battle in court, disrupting their family, putting strain on their relationships, and emptying their wallets.
Over 2 years ago, Reghan was placed solely in the care of Kris and Loleta, and the birth mother was stripped of any and all visitation rights. But they still haven’t gotten to a final decision with the courts, and she still has legal rights.
Early this summer, Reghan was hospitalized with stomach pain and a distended abdomen. He was later air-lifted to the University of Michigan Mott Children’s hospital, 60 miles away, and emergency surgery was performed.
He had a ruptured intestine, they removed his appendix, and they found tons of scar tissue – only some of which they were able to remove safely. The scar tissue, they were sure, was from the past abuse, and Kris and Loleta were sure they finally had the proof they needed to put his birth mother away for good, and to terminate her rights completely.
Some of the doctors, however, felt they couldn’t explain the injury. It’s usually something seen with a sudden or intense impact, yet there was no bruising or any other evidence of such an impact. At the very least, they thought they would see internal bruising, even if external had not yet appeared, but there was nothing. The scar tissue could have been the cause, and was documented as such, in the report Dr. Markman, a member of the University of Michigan Child Protection Team, gave to Shiawassee County Child Protective Services.
Dr. Markman only spoke with Kris and Loleta very briefly, while Reghan was prepped for surgery. She told them that she was there to help walk them through this and to be their liaison through the process. They never saw her after that initial interview, but she sent CPS to speak to them immediately after surgery, so Reghan came to after surgery, without his parents by his side. CPS was called because Dr. Markman felt that Kris and Lo weren’t forthcoming with information – though clearly distracted by a child about to undergo emergency surgery, with life threatening injuries. As well, she has asked if there was a history of abuse, but didn’t care to hear the circumstances.
Nearly a week later, they were ready to release Reghan from the hospital, but in a twisted mess of policy, they decided that since the doctor’s wouldn’t say for sure that the injuries were a result of the prior abuse, they wouldn’t release him to Kris and Lo. They took him to stay with my mom – Kris and Lo were not allowed to accompany him there.
And then, to add salt to the wound, a few days later, CPS decided that because they wouldn’t allow Reghan in the home, they also couldn’t allow the other children in the home, even though CPS was clear that they had no concerns of the safety of the other children.
While Dr. Markman, who barely saw or spoke with Reghan, states that his injuries were from a trauma, a specialist has stated otherwise. The only thing the doctors agree on is that the scar tissue is from past abuse, and that the scar tissue weakened him and made him more susceptible to injury. There were no signs of an impact, or trauma, except the previous abuse, and yet Dr. Markman believes there is reason for inquiry.
All of the family was separated. My brother and Loleta could not be there to console their son as he healed from major surgery. The other kids were taken to stay with different family members, Reghan now in a foster home. Everyone’s world has been ripped apart. My brother and Loleta are left with an uphill battle.
Kris and Lo are prepared to fight as long as they have to, to have their family whole again. They are hard working and dedicated, but doctors and lawyers come with a hefty price tag. Reghan will need more medical care, more therapy, and more lawyers to fight for him. This on top of all of the medical bills and lawyers’ fees they’ve already racked up in the last 3 years.
Please help me, help them, to finish the fight. To get Reghan, and all of the kids, home. To get Reghan every ounce of help he needs. And to finally, and fully terminate his abuser’s rights, so he can feel safe."
Please do what you can to help! They deserve to have their family together! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.