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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Southern-Style Faith (Our Story Continues)

The day after I admitted J into the hospital, I boarded an early-morning flight to Denver for a business conference. I didn't want to go; I didn't know how to stay.

After I admitted J into the hospital, my next order of business was to cancel a protective order I'd filed against her bio-dad. Having managed to get into her computer and read the emails and messages between them, and between J and the woman I previously called "S," I realized adults--adults!--had planted such disgusting lies into this child's mind, facilitating the madness, encouraging the stories her sweet, sick brain had made up in an effort to understand its own past. My first order of business was to file an injunction for protection against these two people, along with her father's girlfriend. Having filled out all the paperwork, I elected to drop the case against S because I knew it would be a "she said/she said" court case and I'd lose. In spite of knowing I'd told this woman more than once that J could not legally see her father without my supervision or without my permission, and in spite of reading in the emails and messages between them how this woman had facilitation these meetings, encouraging them even, I would lose. Because I knew that any woman who would knowingly say such things to a child as what I was reading in these messages would easily lie in court. No morals. No scruples. No conscience.

So ... no way.

With J in the hospital, and enough paperwork filed out for the time being to help get her into residential (the hospital told me we were looking at at least a year of treatment), I called the judge's office and cancelled the court hearing. "He can't hurt her where she is now," I told the Judge's Assistant. "Nor can he get to her."

How foolish I was.

And so I flew to Denver.

The first day there I received a phone call from my husband. He'd been asked to go out to the hospital to have a family therapy session with J. He was so hopeful. He couldn't wait to see her, he said. And, if she would let him, to hold her. To tell her he would take all this pain if he could. He would make everything as it once had been--happy childhood. Happy memories.

Later, he called again. It had not gone well, he said. "When I got there," he went on, "a Casselberry police officer pulled up about the same time. We went to the locked doors and rang the buzzer for entrance together. I said, 'Good day, sir,' but he really had nothing to say to me. When the therapist opened the door, she whisked him inside, turned to me and said, 'I'm sorry, Mr. Everson. We cannot meet today. J is not doing well right now.' Something is up," he said. "I think the officer was there for J."

"Why would an officer be there for her?" I asked. "There are hundreds of kids in that hospital. What makes you think it's J they came because of?"

"I don't know," he said. "It's just a feeling."

His feelings were right. Later that day my cell phone rang. "Mrs. Everson," the woman--J's new therapist--said, "This is C, from University Behavioral Center. I need to talk to you about allegations of abuse J has made against you and to tell you that, by law, I have had to call the authorities. I also want you to know that I believe J is a very, very sick child and that I don't believe what she is saying based on her case history and what I have learned from the courts about your relationship with her and who you are. But I have had to file the report."

I asked what it all meant.

"It's not good," she said. "And all I can tell you now is that your time with J. may be over. I don't see this going anywhere but south."

I told her I was a woman of faith. That I believed in a God who could do the impossible. I told her about the abuse J had sustained by father and mother and select family members, about the emails, both from her bio-dad and from her friend's mother, S. She agreed that their interference had accelerated J's illness, but that much of this was also genetic, based on hospital records. And, she told me, I should look for another call to come within the next few hours.

The following day, a Sunday, as the conference was wrapping up, I sat outside the auditorium doors, listening to the keynote speaker when my phone rang. The number was from the courthouse. A 665 number. I answered as I made a beeline down the hallway to an abandoned ballroom of the hotel where we were meeting. Looking for privacy, out of instinct, I suppose.

"Mrs. Everson," said the woman, "This is Detective D. I'm with Seminole Country Sheriff's Office Crimes Against Children. We need to speak to you and  your husband as soon as possible ..."


  1. I'm crying as I read. I really can feel the pain within your words, and it is so sad. Sometimes, the pain is so great all we can say is, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus." In the mean time we focus on the good things in life that the Lord has allowed to help us on this journey. If this is a book, what will be the title? And it does need to be a book to help many along the journey of life with someone who is bi-polar with co-occurring problems:) Peace and TGIF!

  2. Hi Eva Marie,
    I'm so sorry for all of this. I'm praying for all of you, and we know the Lord can straighten this out. Sending Blessings and a Hug, Gail.

  3. My Dear Eva Marie, Reading this blog was almost unbearable. The destruction, the pain, the pure filth of anyone to tamper and manipulate a sick child's mind. I have NEVER! You in Denver, Dennis knew ... it was serious. I continue to pray for all of you.
    Love in Christ, Lee Ann

  4. Hi Eva,
    I've kept up with you post and my heart goes out for you. You are an amazing woman. All you've been through and still able to write.
    Debbie Malone
    "Death in Dahlonega"

  5. Donna, I am working on fictionalizing this and calling it Finding Celeste Lee. Hopefully you'll pull it off a bookshelf at your favorite bookstore soon. :)


    1. I read all this and hardly know what to say... I can't imagine all you have gone through in the last few years, even though I have followed all your Gideon posts and the blogs. God has given you an amazing strength to be able to continue to fight for J and I'm sure this will be the hardest book you have ever written. Prayers are with you, my friend.

  6. Hearing bits and pieces is not the same as reading the details of your pain.

    Feeling sympathy over a tragic situation is not the same as watching it unfold layer by layer.

    Thanks for sharing the story. And for helping us see through a glass darkly--but one day, face to face.

  7. The system is terrible. Foster and adoptive parents need to have the full truth about a child's background. My extended family experienced a similar situation--and it nearly wrecked the family. They ended up having to move halfway across the country to protect their family from an abuser. The pain was incredible. I'm so sorry you had to experience this.

  8. Oh, Lord. have mercy. I can't get Jesus' words out of my mind: if anyone harms a little child, it would be better to be tied to a millstone and flung into the sea. Calling all angels to protect this child, calling on Christ to deliver freedom to the sweet captive. Calling on someone in power to heed God's Power and on the authorities to bow to The Authority. And again, Christ have mercy.

  9. Replies
    1. Thank you, Rachel. Thank you to all of you. I still believe God is not done with this story ... but rather He is preparing us all to make a difference to a broken system and a broken world.

  10. My heart aches for you, dear friend. Clearly this is all insanity, and I stand with you 100% that Christians are being called to make a difference in a broken world...just not sure about making a difference in a broken system. I just wonder if there comes a point when something is so broken that trying to repair it (fix it) isn't an effective or realistic goal? Perhaps the answer is to develop a new system with new people at the helm? Don't mean to sound like an anarchist, I believe there is a great deal of good that still exists within some areas of the "system," but the checks and balances no longer seem to have...well...balance. As someone who is currently dealing with the broken legal system in another area, I know only too well how clever Satan has been in his tactics. Yet we serve a miraculous and marvelous God who continues to do the impossible. Sorry to ramble. I love you, and I believe in you and Dennis, and I remember very well the early years with J...can still hear her sweet little girl voice thanking me for the trinkets I would occasionally send her way. I remember sitting in on one of her piano lessons, and attending one of her dance lessons (when her bio dad showed up "under the influence" of something.) You and Dennis were (and still are) the best things to happen in her life. Hang in there sweet friend, God will make a way. I love you.