Savannah Garcia, or Hannah, as she is known to those who love her, is a fun-loving young lady who is an important part of her community in Traverse City, Michigan. The 20 year old is a regular fixture at her neighborhood ballpark, where she cheers on her favorite players, and she is well-loved by all who know her. She loves her dog, her family and friends, stuffed animals, frappes, and her fiance. Even though she is autistic, she has been living in an apartment attended by a care team, and has been involved in making many of her own choices. Until September 4, 2015. That was the day that 2 doctors at Munson Medical Center filed a petition to remove Hannah's mother as her guardian and to name a person completely unknown to the family, Stephanie Strehl, as her guardian. She is now a prisoner being held against her will, and the will of her family, at Munson Medical Center. The guardian Stephanie Strehl has forbidden every single one of Hannah's friends to see her. Her family, including her brother and grandparents, aren't allowed to visit her. Her mother has been the only loved one permitted by the new guardian to visit her, for 3 hours per day. At the end of last week, Hannah's sister was granted the privilege of visiting her for up to 1 hour a day. She lives and attends medical school 5 hours round-trip away. Her attorney can see her, IF he notifies them 48 hours in advance, and then he is only allowed 30 minutes. When she goes to the bathroom or takes a shower, she isn't even allowed to shut the door. She isn't permitted to attend meetings where people other than her family are making decisions for her life and future. Therapies that were previously scheduled before her confinement at Munson have allegedly been cancelled, and her caregivers all dismissed. Even the right to receive mail, another right retained by convicted felons, has been taken away from Hannah since around September 21.
Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than being accused of abusing the kids that you would lay down your life for. I knew we never hurt our kids, as they are our whole reason for being, so what was wrong? I would have these moments of complete devastation and outright panic in the reality of what was happening. I remember being in CVS one day and the reality of the State of Michigan wanting to terminate my parental rights hit me. I became paralyzed and sobbed uncontrollably thinking I was going to collapse and trying to figure out who I could call to come get me. This on top of the countless nights I cried myself to sleep in Tony's arms. Everything we do is for them. How this could be happening to us was beyond my comprehension. Was it really necessary to show up at my house with 3 police officers unannounced and traumatize my kids forever? How does a system set up to protect the children not take into consideration the fact that what they are doing potentially causes an irreversible emotional damage that nothing could repair?
A Michigan family which had dreams of camping during the summer in the great outdoors was horrified when state officials seized their six children simply because they were temporarily living in tents, according to Off The Grid News. “The government has tried to standardize what a home is and what a home must have, without consideration for if the children’s needs are being met or not,” Christopher and Antonia said in a joint statement. “This was not a case of neglect, but a case of the government telling us how we have to raise our children — that we must have running water, we must have electricity and we can’t stay in a tent for the summer. To the government it makes no difference if the children are happy and healthy. We need to conform to their idea of normal or they can take your children away."
WDIV in Detroit Michigan is reporting on a medical kidnapping in Novi Michigan (outskirts of Detroit). The parents of 5 children, including two premature baby twins, appeared in court today after police and CPS removed all 5 of their children from their home last night. Many members of their community turned to support the family, saying the children were being taken away from loving parents. Doctors found injured ribs on one of the twins, but the parents say it is a result of brittle bone disease. The mother was told to pump her breast milk because she can now only see her babies twice a week.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting today that Child Protection Services has taken four small children away from their parents, and that a court appointed attorney is asking a judge to force the children to receive the measles vaccine, even though the biological parents do not want them to receive it.