which had a profound impact on our family.
So profound, in fact, that it changed us very deeply.
Watching it all happen was very difficult and a great burden for me.
So difficult, in fact, that it moved me to a very quiet place in my heart.
I could not find the words to write about it.
All words seemed incredibly shallow and unable to fully express the horror of what we watched unfold.
I stopped writing all together. It was easier to get caught up in the tsunami of life.
But now, nearly 14 months later, I want to share. To remember.
I want others to know what is happening in our country.
On a quiet morning in November 2013, I was at my dining table, with my mother-in-law, homeschooling my children.
We had just finished up breakfast, and reading through another chapter in a storybook, when I heard a rapping on my front door.
Before I could even get to my door, I seem to remember my friend, Christina, just step inside my living room in a bit of a panic.
"This is an emergency. CPS has just taken all my children away."
I still get the chills when I think back on that moment.
"What?!" I gasped.
"They just came to my door and said I had to let them go. They shuffled all the children into police cars and they are gone!" she said waving her arms and fighting back tears.
I instinctively threw my arms around her neck and hung on, I think more for me than for her, honestly.
"Go!!" I said. "Go after, them. Do you need anything? What can I do?"
"My phone needs to be charged," she said hurrying back to her van.
"I'm going to call Trevor!" (her husband)
And with that, she jumped in her vehicle and was gone.
And with that, her 7 children were gone.
For the next month and half.
They missed Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year together.
One child they haven't seen again.
Another child still remains in foster care.
STILL to this day.
But let me back up to when the children were taken.
You must understand the back-story.
It is not an easy one to sort out.
There are lots of facets to it.
Of course, one would ask, "What did they do that CPS would take all the children?"
Time does not permit me to go into all the details.
But the Texas Homeschool Coalition was notified and they stepped up and went to bat for this family in a BIG way.
You can read the facts of the Tutt case here.
When Christina left to go after her babies that morning, my heart broke.
These were friends of my children.
My children had played in her home, and her children in mine.
The oldest girl is so much like my own 10-year old and they love to play together.
She is so brilliant and responsible, and loves her family.
She doesn't fear much of anything, and is willing to try most anything new.
But she knows how "the system" works.
Because her family has always (for her entire life anyway) helped under privileged children or children in crisis, Emma is very aware of CPS and how things work with them.
It was a nightmare for me to think how frightened this child was to be snatched from her home and not allowed to see her mother for several weeks, and to be put into the very "system" that her family preferred to keep children out of, yet had worked amicably with for years.
And how terrifying for Christina to know that all these children would be biasedly questioned, and put in the homes of complete strangers who know nothing about the likes and dislikes of her children and would be subjected to all sorts of intrusive physical exams and educational testing.
We all knew that.
But there was absolutely nothing we could do.
And we were all horrified by that thought as well.
What had begun as a simple welfare check on a wandering autistic child, quickly turned into an attack on and stripping of their parental rights in Nazi-like fashion.
To be continued.......
To read more about this selfless family and their background, go here.