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A last change of happiness
by rebecca newman
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OPENING Background information on Ashley Reed:

Young Ashley Reed is 11 years old. She lives with her mother in Canada, where she was born. Her mother had been a long time drug addict all her life. Ashley couldn't remember a single time when her mom didn't use drugs. She couldn't even remember when her mother started using meth, or heroin, or any drug for that matter. Ashley couldn't remember when the last time she and her mom spent a moment peacefully together. All she knew was the anger and hostility between her and her mom. She'd grown used to being yelled at all the time and after awhile, it became second nature to her.

Ashley was always an outsider in school and had no friends that she could depend on or turn to. She barely knew about her extended family. Her grandparents on her mother's side had pased away when Ashley was little. Her grandfather had passed when she was four and she couldn't remember anything about her grandmother. All Ashley knew was from what she had seen in pictures.

Her grandparents on her father's side lived in the U.S. and, as far as Ashley knew from what little her father had said, her grandmother had been living in New York. As for her grandfather, Ashley knew nothing about him. Ashley tried to talk to her father on several occasions about his relatives, but her father never talked about his family much. He seemed to always want to change the subject whenever she'd ask.

Her parents had seperated when Ashley was five and both had gone thier seperate ways. Ashley was forced to loose contact with her extended family ever since she left the U.S. when her mother won full custody. She was younger then and had moved back to her mother's hometown in Canada.

Ashley had always been close to her father and loved him dearly. Before her mother gained full custody, she used to spend the summers with him in the U.S. at the 4-H ranch where her father worked.

Ash starts at 11 living w/ mom. m & d are seperated. dad is us citizen, mom is canadian citizen. ash is currently a canadian citizen. mom is always high on dope. dad calls ash and mom is p.o. on couch and dad calls cps and races to ash and kn her back to us. dad gets arrested at border crossing for kn. ash goes into foster care. ash starts exp. w/ drugs. ash develops bi-p & self mutilation. ash runs away from f.c. & gets in touch w/ dad. dad files for full custody.
Shortly after ash's mom had won custody of her though, they moved back up to canada. The visitations stopped, but ash would still secretly call her father whenever her mom was strung out on drugs, which seemed like all the time. Her father was paying child support but instead of going for things that ash needed, it seemed to be going for the drugs that her mom needed instead. Ash was too young to really understand what was really going on though but she understood enough to know that she had to get out of that situation. Ash missed seeing her father during the summers and being able to work with the horses.
Her father had no idea though that hannah was on drugs or that she was using the money that was suppose to go for things that ash needed was instead going into hannah's arm.
David had no idea when he first met Hannah that she was a drug addict. They had met on aol personals. David had put up a personal ad but he didn't think that he would get any emails since he hadn't had much luck with any of the other dating sites that he had chatted on before. Hannah had caught his eye because she was canadian and had an exotic look to her. From Hannah's pictures though she didn't appear to have a drug problem.
They had dated for several months before David had made the trip up to Montreal to come see her, when they had first met it was love at first sight. David didn't want to go back to New York without Hannah, but he knew that it would take time for her to get a visa to come to the U.S.
Hannah was nervous about moving to the U.S. for the simple fact of not knowing english and not knowing anyone there besides David. She was estranged from her parents, so there really wasn't anything in Montreal for her anyways. So she applied for a visa and got it. Once she got the visa, david drove back up to montreal to get her and her belongings. They married several months after she got settled into the house that he had recently purchased near the ranch where he worked.
Flashforward to the present day
David desperately wanted to see his daughter ashley again. She was the reason he got up in the morning, his world revolved around her. He had her pictures all over his house, among those pictures are those that were taken at the ranch while she was riding the horses. she seemed so happy and carefree than. she loved going with him in the morning to the ranch to take care of the horses. One particular horse she loved taking care of, the horse was pure black and her named was beauty. Ash told her father that beauty reminded her of the horse in black beauty. The owner over heard her and her father talking one day, and told them both that the horse beauty was the offspring of the horse in the movie blackbeauty.

Several months after they had gotten married, she found out that she was pregnant. Hannah's drug problem had began to show, david didn't think anything of it though. Hannah went to all the doctor appointments etc for the baby.
One night though david and hannah got into a screaming argument over something and hannah up and left without any warning or anything. David of course was devasted by that, he worried about his unborn child. What type of danger was hannah putting their unborn daughter through, when she shot up the coke. To get away from David, hannah ran back to Canada where she was from. She didn't want to deal with david and his nosey parents. Hannah had no relationship with her parents, so she wouldn't have to answer to anyone.
When Ashley was born though it was evident that hannah had been using drugs while she was pregnant. Ashley was tested to see if there were drugs in her system. Her blood results proved that hannah had infact been on drugs. David had no idea when hannah had even given birth to his daughter.

no way out that was an easy escape. She was too young to get her own passport without her mother's consent, and asking her mom was out of the question, not that she'd help anyways. To Ashley, her mother was just a low-life roomate that she was forced to live with.

The only thing Ashley had that gave her some comfort was an old stuffed animal she was given by her uncle that she named "Mr. Lion."

They signed paperwork giving up their rights to Ashley because it was the best thing to do.

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