Heather's And Chyanne's Story
This is the story of my little girl who is now three years old and was wrongfully taken from me by Child Protective Services and placed with her biological father on October 4, 2007 in Rockville, Maryland. Yes, you read that correctly. An innocent child has been ripped away from the only family she has ever known and given to a man who was virtually a stranger, taken by an agency that is supposed to have a child's best interest at heart. Some people may question how such a horrible injustice might occur...well the answer is simple. Chyanne's father Michael vowed to take revenge on me and he has done just that, with the help of his position as a Security Guard with the United States Secret Service, along with the aide of his girlfriend Lora who just happens to be a Supervisor with the Department of Social Services in the county where this case mysteriously originated. I would like to tell you the story of how this unfolded; begin with how I met Michael. Let us go back to the start, from the time when I met Michael on August 13, 2004. I was at Cancun Cantina (a bar in Glen Burnie, MD). When I met Michael that night, he was smart and funny and I loved that. He kept me on my toes. Before he left that night on his bike, we exchanged phone numbers so that we could set a date to go out. Something was said before he left that sticks with me to this day. He told me that he may bend, but will not break, I told him there is a first time for everything, and little did I know I would be getting a run for my money. Over the next couple of months, I fell in love with Michael; I could not wait to see him and things like that. By October of 2004, we were living together and on December 4, 2004, I learned that I was pregnant with Chyanne. I was overjoyed with life and the miracle that was growing inside of me. Michael, however, was not happy about it and wanted me to have an abortion, which I told Michael that will not happen. That Christmas, Michael told me that I did not get everything I wanted because I was just going to get fat and nothing would fit me. How could I be fat only being one month pregnant? I was led to believe that Michael was divorced and was the father of a two-year-old little girl. I would later find out that he was still very much married to his wife Yvonne of thirteen years and still carried on as they were married and living together. On Christmas day, Michael went to visit with his daughter at his other house in Glenwood, MD. Michael was to be home at two pm for our first Christmas dinner that I spent all day preparing. I was not feeling good, but I stayed in the kitchen to cook, as my family was coming over and I wanted everything to be extra special for our first Christmas together. I got a phone call from Michael saying his parents were in from New York, he would not be making it back to our home for dinner, and he will be home at five pm. That day, filled with joy and excitement and began telling everyone that Michael and I were having a baby. Over the next couple of weeks, I was getting weak and my heart was racing to the point where I would pass out. I could not be up for long and over the next month, things began to get worse. Michael was cleaning the bathroom on January 29, 2005, and I asked him to stop using the harsh cleaning chemicals because it was making me sick. Michael became very upset about this, so I got up to call my Aunt and Uncle who lived two miles away from our apartment to see if I could come over. Michael unplugged the phone so I got up to plug it in and call again when Michael ripped the cord out of the wall. We got into a physical altercation, Michael physically assaulted me, and I passed out. When I came to, I left our apartment to call the police. We were both charged with assault against each other, and were released the same day. Michael tried to explain my injuries by telling the police that I tripped over his boots. I remember being thrown to the floor and into the table. I was 12 weeks pregnant when Michael attacked me. I left Michael and moved in with my mother. I did not hear anything from Michael after that except to deal with the court papers. In April of 2005, I had my mother call Michael to let him know that I had been in and out of the hospital and was in pre-term labor. I wanted Michael to be aware of the fact that at 24 weeks, I was in danger of having Chyanne prematurely and the doctors were trying to stop my labor. I know what Michael did was wrong, but if there was a chance that our daughter was born prematurely and didn't make it, I wanted Michael to be able to make the choice on his own if he wanted to be there in case something were to happen. The day after Chyanne was born; I called and asked Michael if he would like to see his daughter. Michael told me maybe I would. I tried telling Michael that he should come see Chyanne that week and Michael agreed to come one week from the Sunday that she was born. Michael came and held his daughter for the first time on July 24, 2005. On August 4, 2005, I was awarded emergency sole custody of Chyanne. I asked Michael for money for a crib mattress and some financial assistance, and his response was if I could not care for Chyanne he would come over after work to take our daughter. I needed to make sure that Michael could not just take Chyanne from me. At that time, I hired a legal counsel for my custody battle. Michael started sending me emails saying he could not afford the child support and if he could not see his daughter, he would see me in court or handcuffs or simply quit his job so I could not get the child support the judge ordered. Michael paid his child support every month on time, but I was told that I was taking him to the poor house. On March 27, 2006, I was awarded sole legal and physical custody of Chyanne and Michael declined any right that he had for visitation. Over the next year, I would email Michael pictures of Chyanne and in March of 2007, Michael talked to Chyanne for the first time since she was five months old. Michael and I talked a couple of times on the phone after, but on April 19, 2007, Michael sent me an email saying that I could email him pictures of Chyanne if I wanted to, but don't call him because he hates me for everything I have done, but will always will love Chyanne like a father should. I was living in Virginia at this time since moving there on February 23, 2007. In July of 2007, I moved in with a friend who lived up the street because there where things wrong with my house that needed to be fixed, but the property owner refused to make the repairs and it was unsafe to live there. In the middle of August, I was talking to Natalie, the wife of Chyanne's godfather Alan. Natalie said that Chyanne, my mother, and I should come back to Maryland where we belong to be with family, that they would help me find a place, and in the meantime, we could stay with them. On August 20, 2007, I went to Rockville, MD, and stayed at their house until I could find a place. Little did I know that my world would be turned upside down. Natalie never helped us as she said that she would. Natalie was rude and verbally abusive. On September 1, 2007, her husband Alan (Chyanne's godfather) told me that we needed to leave that night because Natalie was not coming home until we were gone. I called Chyanne's other godfather who lives in the White Marsh area and who is a police officer with the University of Maryland Medical System. He told me that we could come and stay with him until we got a place. On Labor Day, I was checking my email when I learned that Natalie posted a blog on her MySpace page that contained many horrible accusations against me. Natalie wrote that I was making my daughter sick and was suffering from Munchausen’s by Proxy. Natalie also wrote that she was going to call CPS and contact Michael, and that she would not rest until Chyanne was taken from me. Natalie even went as far as to write that she thought that I was going to "cause death" to my daughter. I was contacted by a social worker from CPS in Rockville, Maryland in the middle of September of 2007. She requested to meet with Chyanne and I, which I agreed to and I set an appointment to meet with her. I had a strong gut feeling that I should contact my child custody attorney and advise him of what was happening. On September 26, 2007, I met with the social worker and I provided all Chyanne's of medical records that I had. Cindy King who works for CPS asked if I would be willing to take my daughter to the State medical doctor for an exam and I said yes. They wanted to do the exam the same day, but I scheduled the appointment for October 3, 2007 at eleven am in Rockville, Maryland. That day was the worst day of my life. They had an order signed by nine am to take my daughter from me stating that my home was contrary to the child's welfare, without ever coming to the place where we had been staying in Baltimore County. When my lawyer asked what was going on, we were told we would find out at the court hearing. We went to the court hearing on October 4, 2007, and Michael was there with his girlfriend Lora ,who works for the Department of Social Services in Montgomery County. We were given papers from CPS and in those papers, it stated that Michael could not care for his daughter because of the responsibilities that he has to his job. When my dad and step mom requested to take custody of Chyanne until this whole thing was over, that is when Michael decided that he wanted his daughter. Within days of being placed in temporary care of Michael, his girlfriend Lori was already asking how I go about adopting Chyanne. Hello red flag! The judge stated that if it were not for the allegations of me giving my daughter adult doses of Benadryl and Motrin, my daughter could have came home with me. Despite standing in open court and stating that Michael did not want to care for Chyanne because of his job responsibilities, he was awarded temporary custody although he had not seen her since she was five months of age. When the Judge asked how Michael would care for Chyanne, he stated that he would put her in daycare and with the help of his girlfriend who is a county social worker. Lora stood up and said that she has worked for the Department of Health and Human Services for the past twelve years and she is a supervisor with them. The Judge was not happy about this apparent conflict of interest and he asked why not the court was told. CPS said that they had seen her in the building but did not know that she worked for them. Chyanne went to Michael on a temporary care and custody pending an adjudicatory hearing. The only visitation I would receive was one hour of supervised visitation per week under the direction of the Department. It was also ordered by the courts that CPS wanted an in-patient medical examination at children's hospital so they could run tests on Chyanne, which was changed at the end of October to outpatient and she was to John Hopkins. During the court hearings, I learned that my daughter has been living with Michael's girlfriend, Lori, and not her father. I was told by Lori not to give my daughter money or buy her things and that "she has everything she needs.” Week after week, I saw my baby's heart break when I had to leave her. I saw the tears and felt her tears, but the social workers tell me its ok that she cries, that is normal. I was not even able to see my beautiful baby on Christmas. I was only allowed a 90- minute visit on Christmas Eve. My final court dates were to be January 14 and 15, 2008. Lori and Michael have abused their jobs to rip my daughter away from me. Michael did not bring his daughter to her visit or pick her up it is always Lori. When I pressed charges against Michael for the domestic violence, he made a vow to me that I would pay for trying to destroy his career. Michael has certainly succeeded in his quest to destroy me, by ripping my innocent baby away from her mother. Michael is even encouraging my daughter to call his girlfriend Mommy. As the pain of being without her every day is not enough. As of January 14, 2008, Michael was given custody of Chyanne, which I was not allowed to have visitation. In the opening remarks, the judge said what makes you think he is not going to get his daughter when he takes a bullet for the President of the United States of America. The hearing was cut to one day and not all my witness were able to testify, at the hearing it was never proven that I had Munchausen's by Proxy which can only be proven by a Psychologist. The State never had any one of my doctors in the courtroom to testify against me to say I was making Chaynne sick. The State only went off Chyanne's medical records and never did any of the bylaws that were written to make a case stick. On the January 14, 2008 hearing the Judge order me to file for my visitation in Montgomery County Circuit Court. As of February 7, 2008, I filed Appeal with the Court of Special Appeals here in Annapolis, Maryland. I had an Appeals hearing on July 8, 2008. It was said in that hearing that the State err taking my daughter from me and given to her father because there was no abuse or the Munchausen’s by Proxy. It has now been six months without seeing my daughter or hearing from her. Michael will not even return emails back to me. Chyanne just turn three on July 17. As of October of 2008 I was sent a letter from the State Attroney's Office saying that there were no crimmial chagres against me, this means that they could not put my name on a list for child abusers. Also, as of December 5,2008 I would have a 45 minute phone call with Michael at his work this is where I would learn more about my daughter and how she has grown up in the past year. I also asked Michael for a picture of Chyanne with Santa which was sent to me in January of 2009. That day was the best day of my life for once I was able to see my baby in a picture, but I felt in my heart the way she smile it was a smile to tell me Mommy I'm ok and I love you!This is not only a case of Domestic Violence but also a case where a State and Federal workers our using there jobs so the father does not have to pay child support. I have learned that Chyanne is living with Lora and Michael has not been living there do to him traveling with the Secret Service. It is sad that women have to fight to keep there children safe and cannot do it when you have the system against them because of the people who work in it.
This is why we need to keep the funding for domestic violence programs going. Justice for Chyanne was started to help other mother’s and families in the same place as me.Thanks for reading.Heather (Chyanne's Mommy)
UPDATE AS OF 8/27/2009
On this past Thursday I went to court in Anne Arundel County to see if I could get to see my daughter and I won my case to see her! Please go to the blog area to learn more about my feelings and what I have been going though since Thursday.
UPDATE AS OF 02/15/2010
Chyanne has moved in with me and my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and loving her new home! Chyanne will be starting Pre-K and she tells me she can not wait for school to start.
UPDATE AS OF 12/22/2010
Chyanne has brought her second report card home and is doing outstanding in Kindergraden and is almost reading by herself! Way to go little girl!