Strange behavior…

I am cleaning up my bedroom that currently looks like a poorly organized law office, full of documents, cds, usbs, printouts that are marked up with highlighters and post it notes.  As I go through some of the stuff, I can’t avoid the obvious.  What an unnecessary and vicious attack imposed on my family, especially my child!

I hope some of my observations from pre-kidnapping of my child by the State of Florida are eye-openers for other parents.  Prevention is key.  However, you need awareness first in order to prevent.

Here are some of the things I noticed about my child’s behavior that I think parents/guardians should be on the lookout for.  It’s not stuff the ordinary person walks around knowing since most of us don’t think this can happen to our children:

(The period of time the below behaviors took place in, approx. Jan-July 2009. This occurred before she was removed from my home, and placed to live with the alleged sex offender, a non-relative, in the home he shared with my child’s father.  My child had been spending court-approved overnights with the father hence his contact.)

1) We live in Florida.  In the middle of Summer, insisting on wearing layers and more layers of clothing.

2) Stating, “I’m pushing”, while she is actually holding in her stools.  Saying she is “afraid” of going potty.

3) Urinary Tract Infections.

4) Sexualized behavior you wouldn’t expect a young child to know (i.e. intense kissing, masturbation, attempting to insert objects to genitals-vagina/anus).  Undressing dolls and having their genitals touch in “play”.

5) Violent tantrum outbursts (i.e. drawing “the monster” and stabbing the drawing with the pencil then transferring the anger toward the nearest person).

6) Refusing to be assisted with pull-up cleaning by day school staff, insisting only mother can help.  Stating to cleaning staff and other caregivers “are you going to hurt me?” as indicator of why child refuses help.

7) Sudden behavior change reported by school to you (i.e. biting children, throwing chairs).

8 Suddenly afraid of going to the father’s house (had to literally be buckled down by father when he picked child up for visitation).  At other times, she cried when she stated she did not want to leave school.  Usually on a Friday, when she knew it was time to see “daddy” on Saturday.

9) Sudden increase in clingyness and fear of being anywhere without mother present.  (My child had two violent outbursts at the Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center (SATC) , one in which the organization across the street – Broward County’s Children Home Society – had to call the SATC to inquire about “the child screaming” right outside their entrance.  Of course, the SATC did not note this critical example of something that deems more questioning, in spite of the outbursts occurring directly in front of the eyes of Counselor, Emily Lawler and Child Protection Team worker, Lucia Zanabria.)

10) Self depreciative comments: “I am an ugly monster, I am a bad girl, I am dirty, I am sick, you hate me…”

11) Changing clothing/panties every 5 minutes, stating “I’m dirty, I’m dirty”.

12) Sudden regression in potty-training.  I’ve read that children tend to get fully potty-trained at a slower pace in day school/care than children who are being taken care of at home.  But the workers at my daughter’s day school and I worked really well together in trying to get this going.  Who doesn’t want to save the very expensive weekly expense of wipeys and pull-ups, if possible?  So we got my child to work on wearing panties, although with accidents, but making progress.  Why did she all of a sudden regress to her pull-ups?  There were several of us at work with this, yet we couldn’t stop the accidents’ frequency from increasing.

(As of February 2011, pleased to report child is significantly more in control of her anger, thanks to professional therapeutic assistance.  However, there is a lot more time and work needed.)



LOST CHILDREN! Florida’s Department of Children and Families / the children they have lost.

Yes, let’s not use the language the web site uses.  It really downplays how serious this matter is.  Below is a copy/paste of the DCF’s web site regarding this “special initiative”:

  • If you have information on any of these missing children, please notify local law enforcement.
  • The above is a partial listing of children missing from their current placements. Prior to listing any children on this web site the Department must receive approval from the court for release of information. In addition, the Department and its community partners are locating many of the children reported missing. As a result, this list may include children who have been located within the past week .
  • Additional information on these children may be found on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement web site.
  • Information regarding the Department’s efforts to locate these children may be requested by calling (850) 410-8543 or writing to the Missing Children Florida Department of Children and Families, 1317 Winewood Blvd, Building 1, Room 206E, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700.

**Good luck calling the Tallahassee office for information about what they are doing to find these children they have lost.  I’ve been trying since September of 2009 (and wont’ stop trying).

For all children,


Welcome Ms. Tonya Springer…

Tonya Springer

I am happy to report that my dear friend, Tonya Springer, will become my first guest blogger at SpiritsonFire. Tonya will be adding, what I believe to be, a sort of spiritual balance to this, our (yours and mine) blog. What my family and friends endured is something that is very difficult to just put aside as one would some old clothing. So I realize I may at times seem one-sided. But hey, you can’t blame me; and, I am working on it.

But in staying true to the original purpose of this blog, as I share my opinions on the activities of child welfare organizations and workers I cannot forget that there are also very good people embedded in the same system that I distrust. Also, I have to account for the children and families that are not only seeking information about what happens in the system, but are also looking for some spiritual comfort and reflection on what is going on in this mad world overall.

I think Tonya is the perfect person to help me (us) bring some of those important elements to this blog so that it doesn’t become just some hateful reflection of what is going on with the child welfare system according to muah and those folks whose stories I share.

Ultimately, as I have repeatedly said, I’d like to see both sides work together in reforming this broken system. Resistence does seem to come mostly from “the system”, but it is a New Year and anything can happen.

Here’s hoping 2011 is the year of “Child Welfare Reform” along with some human-spiritual rebirth! Alas, such high aspirations.

Won’t you help us attain them?

God bless,


Senator Chuck Grassley from Ioha is my new hero

Check out Senator Grassley’s interview with Anderson Cooper regarding Pentagon and child porn.

Wishes come true.

I remember exactly what I was doing last Christmas and New Year’s (2009-2010). One of the most notable memories is counting down the New Year with a dear friend, closing my eyes and wishing I could see my child. I made a wish to God that said “if I only had my daughter in my arms, I wish I could spend the New Year with her alone, and only her”. The countdown ended, I got my New Year’s hug and the 2010 New Year began with a feeling of emptiness.

I am so blessed that this year I had my wish come true. I never gave up. It was through my friends, strangers now friends, family and of course my ever powerful God, that I found the strength to fight, and fight harder I did.

This year, as I held my daughter in my arms, both of us alone, our little family, amidst the busy strangers surrounding our location choice for celebration, I acknowledged God’s direct work again, when I realized my wish, exactly as I wished it, had come true except it came true on His time, not mine.

I argue with myself often trying to understand why bad things happen to good people and I admit I can’t comprehend it. Like most, I try to understand and I struggle with opposing thoughts on the matter. But the one thing I have to believe in, based on personal experience, is the idea of hope as a critical component of survival.

Whether you believe in a God, or not, I see hope as a “tool” at the very least that should be used and taught to everyone at an early age, for those “just in case” days, those days that one cannot ever imagine will happen in their lives. Without hope, there is truly nothing. My wish came true, was it hope? I don’t know. But was hope a part of it? You bet it was.

May your wishes for your families to be reunited come true this New Year. May we unite in saving our children. May hearts turn to the righteous ways and change things for the better.

“Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me…” (Written by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson Circa 1955)

Tonya Craft negotiates on behalf of her children’s best interests.

What a wonderful story to hear today. Two parents, meeting in a private room with no attorneys present. Tonya Craft and her ex-husband making decisions that will affect the rest of their children’s lives. In an excellent display of maturity and in looking out for their children’s best interests, these two got together and worked out the custody agreement. But Tonya, what a woman! Even after all you have been through to be of such solid mind to go through with such a meeting and even drop your ex-husband from your lawsuit.

I pray that Ms. Craft’s lawsuit brings light to those innocent people that have fallen victim to the system, myself included, that are or have been falsely accused of crimes against children and have suffered from the unjust removal of their children. Just two days after Craft was cleared, I was too. I had my daughter in my arms after almost ten months of the court nightmare while Craft had a trial that lasted over two years. But when Craft went to sleep she knew where here children were and that they were at least somewhat safe. When I tried to go to sleep I thought about how my child was living exactly with the person she continuosly told officials had abused her sexually.

My prayer is that Ms. Craft’s family continues to heal from the trauma imposed and that her post-trial actions inspire others involved in custody disputes to work things out for the sake of the children; especially in cases like Craft’s and mine in which innocent parents have been put through an unfair, traumatic nightmare.

Happy to share, once again, Ms. Toni Hoy’s federal lawsuit…

Thanks to Ms. Hoy for providing full document access. May victory come quick, and may you continue working with government officials on positive change.