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YOUNG MOTHERS RIGHTS
TAKEN MY CHILD, MY SOUL
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TAKEN MY CHILD, MY SOUL
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I got pregnant at 14, my Mom was in Germany on a tour through the Military. She left me and my brothers with our step father in Georgia. She had no idea after being married to this man for years he could not be trusted with her kids. To make a long story short at 13 I had to run away to be safe from this man. I called the man I thought to be my father in Ohio and he sent me a bus ticket to go to Ohio to live with him. My brother had also took off and went his own way.

When I got to Ohio and meet my so called father things got worse. He was in and out of bars, drunk all the time. That is how I meet my sons father, in the bar my father worked at. Though I was 13 I looked like I was 19 and that is just what my father told everyone so he would not get into trouble for having me in the bar with him all the time. My sons father was 24 when I meet him, He thought I was 19. I started spending more and more time with this man because he took care of me and did all the things for me my father did not do. He gave me shelter, feed and clothed me. I would go days without eating at my father's. I feel in love with my sons father. As much in love as one could be at 13. Right after I turned 14 I found out I was pregnant. It was ok that I was sleeping with this man, all my father told him was to wear condoms so I did not become pregnant. He and my father were best of buddies, however he was black and I white. My father made it clear he did not want a (chocolate drop) grandson. Meaning a mixed grandchild.

It was all so confusing because one day he praised my sons father and the next he wanted nothing to do with him. When my father found out I was pregnant he told my sons father I was only 14. Things took a turn for the worst then. While really upset my sons father knew there was that could change what was done now, even though I was 14. We stayed together and wanted to get married, we wanted our son. When my Grandmother got wind of everything going on, she called Children's Services. My father never put me in school and had no food in the house, nothing but beer so the state took me away from him. I then called my mother in Germany and told her everything that had happened from the time I got to Ohio. When I ran away at first I called her and she knew I was with my father in Ohio. At that time she could not take leave because she had taken one before and had to finish her tour. I assured her I was ok now and she need not worry. The state did not contact my mother to tell her anything about removing me from my father's home, or that I was pregnant. I had to do all that myself. I was placed in and out of foster homes but had several family members right in Toledo, Ohio willing to take me and my baby when I had him. I kept running away from those foster homes because everyone keep telling me, when you have that baby, the state is going to take it and you will never see it again. My sons father and I went on the run, to keep our child, to be together and raise him. I would get caught and be put back in another home and take off again. These people were not going to get my baby, if I could hold out a little longer my Mom was coming to get me and take me home and I would have my child. My mother did come to get me, my sons father and I had just got our own place and it was time for the baby to come. The day my mother got to Ohio I went into labor with my son. Less that 13 hours after having my son, the state came and got me and put me in jail. My Mom had my sons father put in jail because of his age. My mother had to go back to Germany and the state was supposed to keep her up to date on everything until she came back to the states. The state never called my Mom once. They kept me locked up for 9 months and brought my son to see me one time. At that time they told me the foster home who had my child wanted to adopt him, I would not do it. I got out and was placed in another foster home. I was lost inside, I wanted my baby and his father, I wanted my family. My son his father and I to be together, like it was meant to be. The state did not offer to help me in any way, they keep my son from me and told me nothing. I was not offered parenting classes to learn what I needed to know to be his mother. All of my family wanted to take him and me, us together, the state would not give them the time of day. I ran away again, I could not handle all of this. They picked me up and locked me up again. Months went by no word from no one. Then the case worker shows up with my son for the second and last time. He is around 2 now and we do not know each other, he's crying, I'm crying because he won't let me hold him.

The case worker again tells me, the foster home he's in still wants to adopt him that they have had him since birth and they love him so much. Again not once have they ever spoken to my mother or anyone in my family willing to take my son and I together, or just even my son, until the state thought it ok for me too. I say no again.

A couple months later they tell me I have to go to court for my son, they said my mother is home from Germany and I can get out of jail and return to her in Georgia, but first I have to go to court on my child. All this time I have had no contact my mother, I don't have my child everything I have ever known has been no where in site and I feel like dying. I have nothing or no one to live for. When they took my son they took my soul.

So I get to court and they say do I want to go home to my mother. Hell yes I do. They tell me I can go but my son can't. They say I will never get my child, ever. They tell me because my son is mixed that no one will want him and he will be bounced from home to home until he's an adult, and how much that will mess his life up. That if I really loved him I would let these people who's foster home he's been in adopt him and he would have the best life he could ever have, reminding me I could never have him myself. It's the best thing for him Angel they would say, sign these papers and you yourself can go home and be with your mother. My mother, oh how I missed her, her love, yes I wanted to be with my mother, I needed her comfort after all I was going through, she would help me, my mother would fix everything. Not knowing or understanding what I was signing, I signed those papers they begged me to sign for two years. I had no lawyer to explain I was giving my child away. That child that was the only thing keeping me going for two years, the thought of holding him in my arms, seeing him walk, hearing him say mama, seeing him open his Christmas presents, reading him a story to sleep. No one said you understand by signing these papers you will never see him again. Sign these papers so you can go home to your mother. You can never have him, this is best for him, those people love him and want him. Your Mom is waiting for you. I signed and was sent home to my mother, who did not even know what just happened. The state said to me do not come back to Ohio or we will lock you up again. My mother explained what I signed and now it was to late to get my son back. We did not know that we could fight the adoption up to a year after signing those papers. Had I been given a lawyer like the state requires, I would have known. I only found that out at the age of 30. Also that if the minor was in anyway pressured by anyone to sign adoption papers, the adoption was not good. But I have until the age of 21 to do something about it. If I had a lawyer I would have known all this. Finding out at 30 is just a little to late I guess. When I got back to my Mom, I had changed, my life was not the same. I was incomplete. I was so hurt, I wanting my son, nothing or no one could take that pain away. Life was meaningless, I had nothing to live for. Who could live day to day with pain so bad you wanted to die? I couldn't. The I found my new best friend who never failed to take the pain away,  No one could help me, I didn't want to see my Mom, I felt like she could have done more, I blamed her for everything, but it was not my mothers fault she came to get me and the baby while I with child.   Even during this rough period of my life I would keep in contact with the adoptive parents on my son. One day I woke up and said to my self, "you have to live for him" (my son), "not without him" I pulled my self together and tried to move on. I had never stopped or gave up looking for him, so this time my Mom and I hired a person to find my son and he did. He was 13 maybe 14 when I found him.

I am now being sued by his adoptive parents for breach of the adoption contract. They have tried to through me in jail! Through the years since his adoption I would write his adoptive parents through Children Services. The state, County and Children Services are also being sued by his adoptive parents. Over the years I would ask his adoptive parents for pictures or just to know how he was doing and I felt as though they were just playing with me. All I wanted was for my son to know that he WAS LOVED AND WANTED BY HIS MOTHER AND FATHER and that the adoption was not my choice. I didn't want him going through life thinking he was not wanted, that can really effect a child's life, and cause emotional problems. His adoptive parents had already said sometimes he just closes up and won't talk to anyone. I wanted him to know that I came back looking for him after I turned 18, I wanted him to know his father and I love him very much and await the day to be part of his life. I wanted him to know that the contract I signed and breached, I did not understand what I was doing. I never wanted to take him away from the only family he has ever known, I just want to know him and become a part of his life somehow. If only as his friend. I wanted to offer him the love of two families which he is so special to have. But no it has only torn his life apart. His adoptive parents and his natural parents fighting in court. Hating each other, making him choose sides. I don't want that. I want to share his love, not take away. I have never said one wrong thing to his adoptive parents, I have begged them for us to get along for the sake of the child which we both love and are bonded to forever, no matter if we like each other or not, for the record I have nothing but great respect for his adoptive parents because they have loved and cared for and giving my son a loving home and took him as theirs. I was only upset because they pushed to adopt him and took away my motherhood without giving me a fair chance. My son loves them and they are a part of him, so I could never hurt them as it would be hurting him to see them hurt.

I pray to the Lord every night to bring us together, to ease this pain of rejection after all the years I have had to live without him. Please let us love him together and not divide. I want to be as much a part of their life as his because they are his life. Please say a prayer to bring these two families together, to end this vicious war, instead of all the anger and pain, it could be love and happiness. My son will be 17 in June and although at 18 I will be able to see him, it just will not be right without amends. I have made the choice to stay away until we can all come together as one.

Now almost at the age of 32 I am back in school, though I never went to high school I am in school and plan to open a Salon. I still awake to my mind on my son and go to sleep thinking of my son, but God is giving me inner strength I never knew I had. I still hurt and cry myself to sleep as the pain seems to grow stronger every day because I am in and out of court having to relive the past 17 years over and over again, not to mention I see my son in passing and it is so hard to not grad him and hold him in my arms, not to be able to say hello, I love you, I miss you. It is all just one big kick in the face and just when I think my heart can't take any more, it shatters all over again. I know it is God's plan to bring us together, if it was not meant to be God would have never lit the way to him. So I leave it up to the Lord and question him, why it has to be this way?

To this day my son's father and I remain very close, but after all the pain and everything we have been through, seeing each other only brings back the painful lose of our son. I look at him and he at me and we have to look away from each other as tears start to form, he raises is hand and caresses my face. To see him is seeing my son and I have to run, run away from this man I thought I once loved so much, this man that took atvantange of a child who he knew had no one else to turn to, This man will remain a part of my life because of my son, This man who gave me the most beautiful thing I am without in my life, my son.  


MY SON JAMES LEE ERNST AND OTHER CHILDREN IN THIS SITUATION NEVER HAVE THE CHANCE TO KNOW THAT THEY WERE LOVED AND THE ADOPTION WAS NOT THE MOTHERS CHOICE. IF THEY FIND THEIR BIRTHMOTHER AND SHE IS ABLE TO EXPLIAN, THAT DOES NOT TAKE AWAY THE HURT AND EMPTY FEELING THEY HAD GROWING UP. OR THE PAIN THE MOTHER HAS KNOWING THERE WAS NOTHING SHE COULD DO TO CHANGE THE SITUATION.

THE LOVE I HAVE FOR MY SON JAMES LEE ERNST,(birth name) WILL GIVE ME THE STRENGHT I NEED TO HELP FIGHT FOR THESE OTHER YOUNG MOTHERS AND THEIR CHILDREN. A FIGHT TO GIVE THEM RIGHTS AND A FIGHT TO KEEP THEM TOGETHER. I LOVE YOU JAMES AND YOUNG MOTHERS RIGHTS IS DEDICATED TO YOU!! EVERY BREATH I TAKE IS BECAUSE OF YOU, I LOVE YOU.

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Angel Marie Laurel Hale
 

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