If you follow this blog, you already know that my family has been forcibly separated for the past six months. If you’re not already familiar with the situation–or if you would like more information–I have published a couple articles that go over my personal story, as well as different problems that compound each other to create a system in which these types of gross miscarriages of justice are common.
Read about the ways in which jurisdictions across the nation are incorporating computer analytics into their child maltreatment substantiation processes:
“In 1956, author Philip K. Dick published a short story called “The Minority Report.” Set in a near-future U.S., the piece describes a felony prevention system called “Precrime,” which harnesses the psychic powers of three mutated humans, dubbed “precogs.” The precogs predict egregious crimes like rape and murder before they ever take place. Then, Precrime detectives arrest the future assailants before they have the chance to complete the act. The targeting of people who haven’t committed an offense is justified by an inspired faith in the precogs’ psychic abilities. “The precogs are never wrong,” is a narrative refrain.”
Read about the ways in which child protective agencies act as an arm of the War on Drugs, often in negation of our federally-protected rights and medical science:
The ground feels unsteady, like there’s some dark ocean lurching beneath the wide flat floor tiles. I don’t want to be here. It’s early July, the second day of my dependency trial, when a single judge will decide whether or not I’m fit to parent my three- and four-year-old daughters.
Several people have also reached out asking how you can help my husband and I while we battle an unjust, stacked system to get our daughters back. It’s been difficult to answer that realistically because I don’t know anybody who can afford to retain a private attorney for us, nor do I know anyone with the ability to dismantle the incredibly broken and corrupt United States child welfare system. But now, I have an actionable answer to the question “how can we help you?”
How You Can Help My Family Reunify
A lot of this situation is out of my control. That has been making me feel helpless and crazy. So I want to focus on what I can control, which is myself and my immediate surroundings. I have been exercising, eating healthier, and reconnecting with my extended family. All of these things have been slowly improving my mental health. Of course, that improvement looks like peaks and valleys, because I am still separated from my daughters. I am still experiencing devastating discrimination and emotional abuse by almost everyone in my immediate life. I still only get to see my daughters twice a week, or occasionally three times a week–a paltry handful of hours compared to the time I spent with them as their primary caregiver. So I still have my bad days, when everything feels hopeless, and when my lack of ability to go anywhere or do anything meaningful eats at my soul.
Fortunately, I was able to make another positive change my in life. Yesterday, I signed the lease on a new apartment with my husband! It’s a 20-minute bike ride from the beach, and close to the public library–so I’ll be able to take solace in the books and the ocean on those bad days. We are also one step closer to getting our daughters back. But–and here’s how you can help–we have nothing; no furniture, no kitchenware, not even a bathmat. We left almost everything we owned in Seattle. I prioritized the girls’ toys, and for myself took only clothes and a few small, sentimental items. We have some books that we’d stored in Florida previously, and a few pieces of poster art for the walls, but that’s it.
I put together this list of items we need and plan to buy. Left to us, this will take us the rest of the year and probably longer to fulfill. Which is okay! I’m not complaining about that, but if you’d like to help our family, any item off this list, however small, will be a wonderful gift! Don’t worry about the high vs low priority stuff–that’s just the order we plan to buy these things for ourselves based on need. But ultimately we plan to get it all, so sending us anything from this list will help us achieve that goal. Gift cards that we can put toward the bigger items are another way to help, and if you’d like to do that my Amazon account is linked to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hesitated to turn this into a public wishlist because I’ve done fundraisers in the past. At the beginning of the year, you helped keep our rental record free of evictions. Several people have suggested I create another fundraiser but I’ve declined because I just didn’t want to ask again. But as more and more people reach out and wish me well, I realize that a lot of people care about our situation, and feel horrified over it. Horrified, and helpless. And I am finally registering that people do care, and do want to help, but don’t really know how. These items are things we genuinely need. They won’t fix the broken CPS system, and they won’t immediately get our daughters returned to us, but they will help us create a safe and comfortable home. Even the least expensive item on the list, or $5 on Amazon, is genuinely helpful.
Ways You Can Help For Free
And if even $5 is out of your reach, but you still want to help, here are some things you can do that won’t cost you a dime: –share this post –share my articles –recommend me to people you know who hire writers at professional rates –leave an encouraging comment or send me a kind message (because I am so physically isolated from my friends and family, these have been some of the only things holding me up lately) –follow me on Twitter (@elizabethbrico) and share my articles when they come out
If you do decide to buy something from this list, and think it will arrive before November 1, please reach out to let me know so I can ask the manager to put it into the apartment for us.
Thank you <3