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TITLE: Forever My Sons
By Teresa Collins

Roman 9:2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief. NLT
I watched their blonde curls dance in the early morning breeze as they played together. I sat amazed at how much they had grown over the past couple months. Keith was almost three and his brother Jay was sixteen months younger and followed Keiths every move. Since their dads accident we were all learning to depend on each other and forming a close bond. I was glad I had the boys to help with the long wait. Their dad’s recovery would take months possibly years.

I looked curiously as a car came up the drive. As the car got closer I could see it was Granddad and Maw. What a pleasant surprise, I thought. Keith stood close by my side and Jay hugged my knee.

“We were on our way to see Aunt Mary and since we were so close thought we’d come by and pick up the boys, she’d love to see them.” Maw said.
Keith glanced at me for a reassuring look to make sure it was alright. Jay hung tight to my knee.
“It’s alright honey.” Maw said as she took Jay’s hand. Jay looked unsure but went with her. Granddad was poking fun at Keith in the car and I could hear his giggles. Jay was quiet but I could see a hint of a smile as he watched his brother’s fun.

“I’ll see you guys in a little bit.” I said as I gave them each a kiss. “Have fun!”
“We’ll bring them back in a few hours.” Granddad said as he got another giggle from Keith.
When they left I felt a little lost as the boys were such a big part of my life. They we’re my life! I eagerly waited for their return.

Two hours…four hours… the time was growing longer and longer. It was dark and late and I was getting worried. I paced wondering about all the possibilities. I decided to call their home although I didn’t expect them to answer.

“Hello?” Maw answered.
I hung up quickly. I sat there confused, trying to figure out what has happened.
Why would they take them to their place? Why?
I have to go get them. My mind was racing. Why didn’t they call me? Did they take my boys? Questions kept running through my head. I got in the car and drove. I knew it was going to be a long drive that would take me into the morning hours.

Through the early morning fog I read Justice of the Peace. I rushed in, out of breath, I stood at the counter. “Please, I need help!”

“Ma’am, slow down, what is the problem?” the officer asked curiously.

“My in-laws came yesterday morning and asked if they could take the boys to see an Aunt who lives about an hour away and never came back then I called and they answered the phone at their home.” I said running out of breath.
“I think they’ve kidnapped my boys.” I said sadly.
“Are you married to their father?” asked the officer.
“Yes, he is in a rehab right now because he broke his neck in an accident and is paralyzed from the neck down.” I explained.
“Ma’am he has just as much right to the children as you do.”
“It wasn’t him it was his parents.” I said
“Ma’am it’s a civil matter, we can’t get involved. He said firmly.
I’ve got to get my kids! I stated.
“You can take them back just the same.” He said.
I was scared that they wouldn’t help me but confident that the kids were mine too.

It had been awhile since I had been on that long dirt road but it was familiar. I could feel the butterflies as I saw the house. I pulled in the drive and sat for a moment to gather my courage. I knocked on the door. Maw opened it.
“C’mon in.” she said.
“Mommy Mommy!” Keith screamed with delight as he tackled me with hugs. I scooped him up giving him kisses and hugs as I held him tight. “Where’s Jay?” I asked.
“He’s in the back bedroom taking a nap.” Maw said.
I put Keith down, took his hand and walked back to get Jay. I peeked in the bedroom and when our eyes met Jay laughed with excitement. I picked him up and cradled him in my arms. I had Keith by the hand and Jay on my hip. When I stepped in the hall Granddad was standing there with Maw behind him.
“Where do you think you are going?” Granddad asked.
“I’m leaving with my kids!” I said as I pulled them close.
Granddad pried Keith’s hand from mine and Maw took him to another room. “Mommy Mommy!” he cried wanting me to help him. I held tightly to Jay with both arms.
“Give me the boy.” Granddad said sternly.
“NO! “Why are you doing this?” I yelled as I tried to push by him. Jay began to cry.
Granddad pushed me and Jay against the wall and started pulling Jay up by his arms. I held on tight around his waist.
“Please! Don’t take my babies!” I begged. I felt a blow to my head and then to my stomach. I kicked and fought to no avail. Jay was peeled from my arms with another crushing blow to my stomach from Granddad. Maw took Jay from Granddad kicking and screaming as I fell to the floor in a ball.
I was hurt, humiliated and defeated. I could hear my babies crying desperately for me. I begged again through my sobs, “Please don’t take my babies!”
“It’s time for you to leave now.” Granddad said as he forced me to stand, pushing me and half carrying me out the door. I sat in my car numb, confused and angry about what had just happened.

I could hardly see through my tears as I made my way back over to the Justice of the Peace office.
“Ma’am, what happened?” the officer asked.
I had the kids and they assaulted me and took the kids right out of my arms. I’d like to file an assault charge.

When this case came to court Maw and Granddad said they had a house full of company that day and had several people, lie under oath that no one touched me. I was also issued divorce papers from my paralyzed husband and Maw and Granddad was awarded temporary custody because they had possession of the children at the time.

This experience was one that drew me ever so close to my Savior. And here are some of the scriptures that gave me strength.
1 Peter 1:6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.
John 14:18 No I will not abandon you as orphans – I will come to you.
Matthew 10:37 If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. NLT

Father, for anyone who has experienced this horrible act of injustice please teach them as you have taught me that sometimes we will experience bitter sorrow in our lives but you are there. You want us to love you more than anything or anyone else in our lives and when we do you will give us blessings and wonderful joys. You will help us to look to you through the great pains of this life.
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