The hardest experience that I ever had was when my son, Noah, was a baby. He was four weeks old. I had a c-section and I was breast feeding him so this was the first night I had enough milk pumped for my husband to do one feeding. I was exhausted. I awoke from a dead sleep because of a curdling cry from my brand new baby boy. I got up and went into his room to see my husband trying to feed him. He had to work the next day and I was up anyway so I grabbed Noah and told his dad that I’d feed him. I sat down in the glider and consoled my infant, feeding him without the bottle. I thought it was odd at the time that (I don’t know what to call him since I probably shouldn’t use his real name so I’ll just say “ex” from now on.) my ex didn’t go back to bed. He sat there and stared as I stroked my sons face and watched him eat. I’m not sure how much time had passed until my ex said “Is his arm broken?” That was the moment everything in my life changed in an instant.
I had no clue that the second I walked into the hospital that I was being viewed as a child abuser. I had no clue that when they did the ex rays, they not only saw the broken arm, but 4 broken ribs as well. I did know that it was extremely odd that my ex did not come with me to the hospital that morning but went to work. I had no idea that, for the next 6 months, I’d be in and out of court. That my child would have a different lawyer than myself and that everything in my life: habits, character, experiences, friends- would be picked apart by strangers who were fighting to take my brand new baby away from me. I was clueless then to how corrupt CPS is. And if you would’ve told me that I would spend 18 months after that living on eggshells because strangers from 3 various agencies would be popping in unannounced to check on my kids – I would’ve never believed you.
You see, I just had a new baby! I was so happy because we lost one before that and it took about a year to get pregnant again. My ex wasn’t a good spouse and, though I knew marrying him wasn’t God’s best for me, I loved him with all my heart and I didn’t believe in divorce. So despite all the women he continuously betrayed me with, I was a Christian and I wasn’t going to let my heart get hard. I was going to love him and be an example to him because we were a family and divorce wasn’t an option. Until he hurt my son.
It took 3 days in the children’s hospital for me to start waking up to the fact that my husband may have done this. For 3 days they treated us as one. We got interrogated separately but other than that, we were both suspects. As my baby boy was hooked up to a million wires and monitors, there was someone watching us the whole time. I couldn’t even breast feed with a blanket or go to the bathroom alone. For 3 days I didn’t sleep. I worried Noah had a disease and even about the effects of all the testing they were doing on him. Then the CPS worker told me that if u didn’t leave my husband, I would lose my son. They already took Malachi from my immediate custody. The only reason that isn’t such a huge factor is because I knew he was with my parents and he was safe.
I called her on a Sunday. It took 4 hours for her to return my call. I told her “I think my husband did this.” She told me that was all she needed to hear, and one hour later, my ex was escorted out of the hospital room by six officers. I didn’t get to say good bye. I had no idea how our lives would turn upside down after that. CPS forced me to file a PPO (even though I had to lie because my ex had never done anything to threaten me), forced me to file for divorce, and forced me to change my locks. My ex was immediately granted a restraining order and lost his physical parental rights to Noah. He was given only 3 years probation due to the fact that he had a clean history. He was let off after a year and a half for good behavior. The second he was out of the hospital room the person watching us left too.
Noah is now 6 years old and he wouldn’t know his dad in a crowd of people. He’s only seen him a handful of times. The sad part is there’s no legal issues surrounding my ex not seeing his son anymore. My lawyer just asked that he show proof of the 3 things he was required to do per the court 6 years ago. He refuses to do it. He has another daughter who is a couple months older than Noah (yup, figure that one out) and as far as I know, he pretty much gave up his rights to her as well.
I’ve been through a lot of hard things in my life. You can read my story of you click here. This was by far the hardest. But I have learned that sometimes the hardest things end up making us a better version of ourselves. I was a fairly new Christian back then. I walked in fear. I worried. I cried a lot. You know what else happened though? I prayed a lot. I read a lot. I got mentally healthy and healed and whole. I learned to be a much, much stronger person. I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I even was able to impact some of those random agency workers who showed up at my home for those 18 months. I also have a huge heart for single mothers. I learned how to speak good things over my life. I no longer give in to what the world would say is “normal” but I put God first no matter what. I am now a better version of myself. And who knows, maybe all of that was really for someone else’s benefit. Maybe God just knew I was strong enough to handle it and he used it to refine me.