Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Exposing the Oldwick Fire Company

For my husband's sake, I have not delved into detail about the major "why" behind our rejected Home Study back in January. But the time has come to talk about this, because last night I was absolutely flabbergasted by just how insensitive and cruel a group of "volunteer" firemen could be.

On January 26th, 2010, my DH was arrested. Long story short, his volunteer fire company accused him of stealing money from the banquet hall account, which he had been in charge of. (What actually happened is that the money was put into a money market in another bank, to yield a higher interest.) The town cops came to "speak" to my DH about the allegations, and then with no warning, arrested him. We got him out on bail that same evening, but our world was literally flipped upside down. (That night, I had my first out of body experience. It was not good.) Our Home Study was rejected with our adoption agency, and then when I looked into Foster Care, they couldn't even let us proceed because the situation is current.

If your mouth is gaping yet, close it back up, because it's about to get a whole lot worse.

The firemen went on to ask my FIL (current President of the fire company) to step down as President, so that none other than P. Me.lick could take over as President. PM was the one behind this entire thing, which we have learned is largely POLITICAL in nature. PM is a Town Committeeman, while his father Geo.rge is a Freeholder. Then, on February 11, 2010, another fun surprise: On the FRONT PAGE of two County papers, is an article about the situation!!! Apparently the fire company had taken a vote on whether or not to put it in the paper, and the vote was "yes." So there, for our entire community to see (including DH's business clients, my NaPro Dr, my supervisor and co-workers, all my clients, and anyone coming to our Infertility Support Group in the Diocese) was an article, mentioning DH by name, his father by name, misrepresenting information about DH (stating he was a member for only 2 years when it was actually 6), and then going on to QUOTE P. F'ing Mel.ick, "Town Committeeman" Extraordinaire.

We were crushed. Twice. Once with the Home Study rejection, and twice with the humiliation-factor. (Not to mention we got wind of many horrible rumors spreading about DH all over town by G. Mel.ick.)

But DH's lawyer quickly looked into something called PTI - pre-trial intervention. PTI is basically a way to "settle" affairs like this without muckying up the court system with MEANINGLESS B.S, therefore this situation was a perfect candidate for it. It would mean that 1.5 years after PTI was obtained, this would not be on DH's permanent record. Finally, a glimmer of hope for us!! In about 2 years, we "may" be able to start all over with adoption!! Hey, not much, but it's something!!

Well, the fire company caught wind of this, and THEY (or maybe a certain TWO members) decided to write a letter to the D.A. asking them to not offer DH PTI, because they didn't feel it was a "harsh enough punishment." Not harsh enough?? Are you kidding me?? Being ARRESTED for opening an account to earn more money FOR the fire company, and subsequently being rejected on your ability to adopt isn't harsh enough???

(Close that mouth again, there's more.)

I decided something had to be done. Because DH was forbidden by his lawyer to speak to anyone in the fire company, I stepped up to the plate. I wrote a letter to the Oldwick Fire Company, Oldwick, New Jersey, which my FIL presented to them last night, in the hopes of having them re-vote to rescind their decision.

Below is my letter:

Gentlemen,

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is TCIE. I am R's wife of four years, and these four years have been both the best and the worst of my life. They have been the best because I have had the amazing privilege to be married to one of the best men I’ve ever known- generous, selfless, charitable, dedicated, loving, and forgiving, this is the man I married in R.

But these four years have been the worst of my life for many other reasons.

When R and I got married in August 2006, we were so excited to start our family right away. My ultimate goal and calling in life is to be a mother. I knew this from the time I was a young child, and even graduating Valedictorian from my High School and graduating cum laude from Middlebury College with the world at my fingertips, I still knew in my heart that what I most wanted to accomplish in life was motherhood.

So when I did not become pregnant right away after our wedding, just as my mother, grandmother, and sister had before me, I immediately became concerned. We sought help for my health issues in November 2006, and have been seeing countless Drs all over the country ever since. That is almost FOUR YEARS of Dr’s appointments, invasive tests, blood draws, ultrasounds, surgeries (I’ve had three), and procedures. All the while my amazing husband has been by my side, more supportive than any husband could be. You see, our infertility is completely on my part. It is my body that cannot conceive. And it kills R that he can’t do anything to change that.

Luckily there was a silver, no scratch that, GOLDEN lining. We had always planned to adopt, even before we got married. We assumed we would adopt our youngest child after having biological children. But our infertility steered us to begin the adoption process sooner than we had originally planned.

And so we began. We filled out piles and piles of paperwork. We got fingerprinted. We had blood tests and urine tests. We compiled several letters of recommendation from friends and neighbors. We sat through long interviews with our Social Worker, where very personal questions were asked of us. The entire process was just as invasive as our infertility treatments and tests had been, and left us just as exhausted- mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We were literally at the end of our rope when the end of our 6-month Home Study was drawing to an end. There was finally an end in sight! Once we were Home Study approved, we would officially be “waiting” to be matched and placed with OUR CHILD!! We would be “pregnant on paper.” We would be parents, in just a matter of time. All of the waiting, all of the testing, all of the pain and suffering would be so worth it.

And then came R’s arrest, January 26th, 2010.

At first, we felt completely defeated. This was it. Our Home Study was rejected. We would never again have the opportunity to adopt a child. After four years of never conceiving, and being told by 9 different Drs that we have less than a 2% chance of conceiving, there was no hope left that we would ever become parents. Ever. In any way.

But in answer to fervent prayer, God gave us a glimmer of hope where all hope was lost. Pre-Trial Intervention, PTI. It meant that after a certain amount of time, R’s permanent record would not be tainted, and we may once again be able to pursue adoption, and he would finally be able to make me a mother and finally become a father himself. We hesitantly put all our eggs in the PTI basket… because there was literally nowhere else to put them.

And now? We are being threatened once again with a future of childlessness.

Gentlemen, I urge you not to do this to us. Your decision will not only affect R, but will affect my life, and affect it DRASTICALLY. I ask you to remember the day your wife became a mother for the first time- remember the look on her face as she stared at the tiny face of her child- the tears in her eyes – the joy in her smile. Remember how your joy of being a father for the first time was magnified by the joy of seeing just how fulfilled, just how complete your wife looked in her perfect new role as “mommy.”

R is sorry and remorseful. He knows that he made some poor choices, and he wishes he had the opportunity to speak with you all himself. However, he is under strict advisement from his attorney to not discuss the matter at all. He will be returning all funds to the fire company, and PTI will require him to do this, as well. Ask yourselves if the alleged crime is worth ruining two young people’s lives. Ask yourselves if you could endure seeing the joy of parenthood (or the joy of the promise of parenthood) ripped away from two people who value life so much that they have devoted their lives to helping and serving others’ lives. I find it difficult to believe such honorable gentlemen who volunteer their time for their community could make such a decision.

Our immense suffering has lasted four years already. Give us a chance to move on with our lives. Please, don’t make our suffering last a lifetime.


My FIL spoke briefly after presenting the letter to them, telling them that he hopes for the opportunity to have grandchildren through his only son, so that his family name may be carried on.

And after asking my FIL to leave so that they could "discuss" the matter, a vote of 14-4 remained in favor of prolonging our suffering over a lifetime.

....Aaaaaaaaand NOW you may insert the expletives.

I am mostly upset that these animals (let's face it, they are not the "gentlemen" I presume to address them as in the letter) could read this heartfelt letter from a young woman they have NO personal, political, or any other connection to, and could still be so blatantly VISCIOUS. Am I wrong? Is this not the most cruel and unusual thing you've ever heard of??

I know that publishing this on my blog will not do much of anything, except inform my readers of what's been going on. What I really want to do is get THIS in the county papers, but I will wait for advisement from DH's lawyer (who is on vacation for another week).

I am dumbfounded. I truly am. I may have failed to mention that a) DH and FIL built the fire company their brand new building for NO profit, b) the member that decided to go "tattle" to the Me.licks instead of asking DH straight out what happened with the $$ was the same guy who wrote one of our adoption reference letters, and c) DH's bff from childhood is the son of a VERY prominent NJ woman, who has never politically supported the Mel.icks.

We prayed a rosary last night, me, DH, and MIL, while my FIL was presenting the letter. Sorry, Prayer Buddy, but last night's prayers were for us. Apparently, it doesn't matter if I'm praying for us or if other people do, because prayers offered for our intentions never seem to be answered.

48 comments:

Xan said...

Hey Sweet Thing...I wish there was something I could do. I want to post this in papers around the country! How heartless of those men to hear your side and how it affects your lives and still refuse to re-examine their actions. Jerks.

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

Oh sweet girl. Oh I am so so sorry for your pain here. Cling to God's promises that the mouths of LIARS will be SHUT. Psalm 63:12 The Psalms are full of prayers to protect and defend one's reputation. I am so so sorry for your pain.

mrsblondies said...

I'm so sorry to hear what is going on, but it's good that you are able to share it with us finally. I can't believe that those "men" (they don't even deserve to be called that) would not even reconsider after hearing what you had to say. I agree with Lauren about the Psalms. I wish there was something that we could do to help. I'll definitely pray that they'll have a chance of heart. I'm so sorry.

Chasing said...

I am so horrified by this situation. I can't believe this men are allow politics to cloud good judgment and compassion. I am so sorry.

Complicated Life said...

I can't even believe this TCIE. These volunteer firemen need to be humbled. I'm not sure I've seen such little power go to people's heads so quickly. Shame on them.

When I get frustrated with people, when I see them act cruel and heartless as these men did, the only thing that provides me with mild comfort is imagining them being faced with Truth and pure Love after they die and realizing how much they failed and how unworthy they are to be in His Presence.

More Than Anything said...

Oh TCIE, I am so sorry. I was praying this situation would be resolved and you could go on to adopt. We can all tell you have so much love to give. I am sorry you and your DH are facing this battle. I hope and pray these "men" have a change of heart.

I'm not giving up hope that God will answer our prayers for you.

Cathy said...

This makes me sick.

I am so sorry.

Second Chances said...

This makes me sick too. But can a judge override the "boards" decision? Just wondering if it's brought to trial instead of just being taken care of outside of the courts, maybe the outcome could be different?

Hebrews 11:1 said...

That is HORRIBLE! This is driven by evil, and I will continue to pray that truth and goodness prevail.

some how, some way, some day said...

Yeah, some explicit words popped into my head all right! This is terrible, just terrible! But it sounds like some really awful humans are wielding way too much power in your town. I don't know what to do to help you nor do I have any advice. I will keep praying for you guys!

Second Chances said...

Your letter is beautifully written, by the way, and I hope and pray that it IS published in your local newspaper soon. Or somewhere where it will make an impact. I know you don't feel this way now, but I just feel like this could be resolved so you can adopt someday. Lifting you in prayer.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

SC, if we go to court, the max. penalty faced is 10 yrs jail time. Not an option, even though highly unlikely he would get that max penalty, with the way our luck is going, NOT an option we want to entertain.
There is still the chance that a letter we submit to the DA can be just as equally "considered." We'll see...

Nick and Kristi said...

Im so sorry you are going through all this...def does not help the stress levels....People can be so unforgiving...even when best intentions were used...this world can be cruel...thats whey you have to let god get you through it...give you strength:)

prayerfuljourney said...

Geez..I'm at a loss for words on this situation. Lord willing..it will be cleared up and put behind you so you can move on to build your family. It sure does not seem right or fair. Praying justice prevails for you and your dh!

Little JoAnn said...

Can't you sue THEM for libel and slander? Why is their problem? Is it NJ politics at play here? This is horrible.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

I am so very sorry... There is no mercy, is there? Not in this case. :( :( Praying....

Patiently Waiting said...

I'm wondering the same thing as Little JoAnn...can't they be sued for libel and slander? I mean, it sounds like you could have a good case.

I'm so sorry. We have a volunteer fire department...sometimes I think some of the volunteers feel they possess a power that isn't there.

Praying like crazy for you.

My Heart Exults... said...

Reading this makes me cry for you and your husband. You have been through enough already - what else do they want...your firstborn child! You would think the DA would use his common sense to do what is right and not cave to political pressures. I'm sorry this is happening to you. I will pray for your continued strength in this matter, and may our Blessed Mother turn her eyes of mercy towards you and your husband.

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

I'm so sorry, Those are such horrible men to be able to do that to your Husband and You. You remain in my prayers, and I believe that God has a great plan for you. *hugs*

JellyBelly said...

I am crying tears of anger for you TCIE! I cannot believe how merciless these men, sorry animals, are!!!

I am offering up more prayers for you and I can't wait to give you a GREAT BIG HUG in person!!!

Kelly said...

That is so horrible. I am so sorry! I hope you can expose these men in the newspapers. Or better yet - Bill Oreilly on the Fox News Channel.

It is so sad that your husband was accused without being able to give his side of the story. What ever happened to being innocent until proven guilty?

micasgirl said...

I don't even have words. Just that I'm so, so sorry. :( Sorry that such horrible people have power over your situation. (((hugs)))

expatbarrenness said...

I read the article - what a hack job. No independent confirmation from the police and it doesn't even appear that they tried to contact your husband or his lawyer. (Aren't newspapers obligated to do that? It would be one thing if they declined comment, but normally, there would be a indication of that in the article.) And obviously there were no critical questions - has it been located, how much involved - oy.
I am sorry.

Praying for Hope said...

Have you ever noticed that when anything is remotely political in nature, it's never a positive thing. That's horrible. It sounds as if they have power and want little more than to lord it over those who don't. Pathetic. And why would they publish the thing in the newspaper? It's just wrong.

You're right, you need to get your side known. If they want to play that way, you can, too. They wanted to make it public. It's your turn - if your lawyer agrees - to tell everyone the rest of the story.

Things like this make me want to slap peopel. Honestly.

Thankful said...

Great letter - they are clearly heartless. You have been in my prayers, dear.

Anonymous said...

I am just blown away at their viciousness. While I was reading your letter, I thought, SURELY they will have some compassion! Then, when you said they still voted against...I thought, do their wives know how they are acting?
I really hope you're able to publish your letter in the paper and that the DA allows the PTI to happen. I'm so sorry that you've been dealing with all of this - what a horrible thing to have to undergo for so many months. Thanks for sharing the story, and I'll be praying for a quick resolution!

Sarah @www.callmemama.wordpress.com

Awaiting a Child of God:) said...

Oh my! I can't imagine being one of them, reading this letter, and continuing to go against you and your dh. That is just HEARTLESS! Continuing praying to sweet Jesus...he knows what it is like to be in your place. Hugs

Right Said Red said...

Have you considered sending a copy of that letter to their families/wives? I only ask because sometime heartless men are moved with a change of heart when their wife knows the particulars of the situation. I would maybe change a few things, and address the letter specifically to their families. Just a thought. If you do decide to go this route, I would recommend that you send it to the wives prior to going public with the papers.

In addition, since you have an attorney you have probably already considered this, but you might have an action against them for defamation of some sort. Sometimes a counter suit helps others to back off a bit.

Finally, if the person responsible for the vicious attacks is a very political sort, there is probably some dirt on him that could be used to "persuade" him to stop the attacks against your husband. I would consider spending some money to hire an investigator and see what you can dig up...

Lastly, do the people who voted against you go to church. If so, I would take your letter to their priests/pastors and explain the situation. Ask them if they would be willing to sit down with you and their religious leaders to reach some sort of a compromise.

These are just some random thoughts from a former attorney (I'm currently in retired status in the great state of NJ!)

Joy Beyond the Cross said...

I am sorry for the continued pain and suffering. My prayer is that the Lord will bring healing and hope to all involved.

Sew said...

bastards!

Megan said...

Very well said, Sew!
TCIE, my heart is breaking for you. I will never understand how people can be that heartless. You are in my prayers!

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

RSR, all excellent suggestions!! I actually wanted to send the letter to their homes, NOT distribute it at the meeting, but FIL wanted to distribute it. Seeing as we wanted to keep it "quiet" before the big reveal, I didn't send it via email form to the "big mouth" wife ahead of time, but planned to. (I used to work with her in an elementary school.) I may do that now.

And we are planning on suing when all is said and done, but were advised to not do anything yet. Defamation of character may be tricky to prove since DH has not lost any work/$$ over this... but we will definately see what we can do. I'm scared to sue now because of how much power these men seem to have. They even kicked the "treasurer" and only lawyer in the group out of his office as acting treasurer and fire co. lawyer, because he is a good friend of FIL's and was at our wedding. Instead, they had a guy who had never done books in his life come up with a figure almost double what the actual amount was... and interestingly, when he needed a "favor" several weeks later from the Meli.cks and they didn't do it for him (get his son out of a traffic ticket), he quit the fire company. Furthermore, they had the clout to persuade the DA to rescind the offer of PTI... no small feat. I'm afraid of what they'll push for if we counter-sue right now. But you'd better believe we'll sue when it's over.

Thanks so much for the suggestions, will definately run these by DH, and our lawyer, too.

the misfit said...

Haven't read all the comments yet, so I apologize if someone else has suggested this, but if the evidence really is all on your side, have you considered filing a malicious prosecution suit against these people? Adding slander and libel charges from publishing all this in the newspaper (I hope it said "alleged" every other sentence in that article) might give you quite a case. Of course, it depends on the facts, but if what you have here is people who literally don't care one way or another whether they ruin people's lives as long as they can seek political advantage - well, then maybe you can motivate them with political DISadvantage. Sometimes the best defense really is a good offense. I don't know the specific facts and they'll have a lot of bearing on whether these options are feasible, but maybe it's something you could look into with your lawyer. This is an injustice, and you should fight back.

the misfit said...

I'll second the other attorney's point that a simultaneous countersuit (rather than suing after all is said and done) can give you bargaining power. It can also give you something very interesting - discovery. I bet there are lots of meeting minutes, etc. that they don't want you to see; and people whose depositions they would not want you to take under oath. (And that private investigator suggestion is brilliant. Even something totally legal, like an affair, could be a significant bargaining chip, used in an entirely legal way, of course - and you'd be surprised how many apparently normal people have very ILlegal skeletons in the closet.) One other clarification question: you are acting as though it is a foregone conclusion that your husband will be convicted. Based on the facts as you've explained them, that does not seem so likely to me. If his attorney is not reasonably confident of an acquittal for a man who is factually innocent (again, don't know all the details), then you probably need another attorney. A full trial would give you an opportunity to parade all of the Melicks' dirty laundry before the local media, which sounds like a good thing for you.

Anonymous said...

Most likely they are voting from a non-emotional standpoint which is what men usually are more capable of than women. Also, it is obvious they have a plan of action in mind and that is not to let your husband off-not sure why, but it sounds like they do have an agenda-and it is definitely not based upon emotion or others feelings. God bless!

Tridentine Wife said...

WOW! My heart goes out to you, I CANNOT believe that this is what has been going on and I cannot believe you're suffering through this. I have no words except to say I am truly sorry you and your family have been put through this. I hope you get this issue in the papers and expose these punks. My prayers are with you.

polkadot said...

I am SO sorry you are facing all this. I do like the idea of sending the letter to the wives. You're in my prayers.

Vent-ilation said...

My mouth is still open. That is absolutely cruel and heartless what those people are doing to you and your family. You're extra in my prayers!

doctorgianna said...

Aghhhh! This story is too sad! It is hard to understand why God doesn't answer prayers, but there IS a reason in the overall picture that He sees. I cannot believe all of this that you have gone through. Please know that I am still praying.

The Comeaus said...

It's nice that you've shared this because now we can all unite to call down God's power and protection over you and your husband about this.

It is unbelievably horrible, and even before I had read very much of it, I thought, "This is the sort of nonsense that Satan always does."

You know, it is going to come to nothing. It is. This is what Satan does. He makes up horrible situations that arise from stupid little nothings, but before you know it, your Savior has come to help you out in ways you could never have foreseen.

I don't know how many times He has done this in my life, and even very recently. He has often saved me from a situation in ways that I couldn't have guessed. I do believe He enjoys surprising us in a way that will "wow" us every now and then, in order to strengthen our awe in His ability to overcome the impossible. Waiting for that moment is what's tough, but He will be faithful to you.

When I'm faced with something and can't possibly imagine a way out, I ask God to show me the "third" solution. It seems like my husband has one plan, I have another, and neither works, so we ask Him to do what we clearly can't understand on our own. Somehow, it's always something painfully obvious, but we still couldn't see it.

Jesus is more powerful than any of them, including the Evil One! Satan is the Father of Lies.

I am going to adoration today and will pray for you during my holy hour. Once Jesus is called into a situation, it has changed--for the better--forever. He will help you in ways He knows!

Jesus, I trust in YOU.
~Elizabeth

Jodi said...

I am APPALLED by what's going on. I know there isn't anything I can do, but I'll pray for those "animals" to reevaluate their stance. Lots of hugs and prayers to you and R too!

Jenny said...

I'm so sorry. I'm new to reading your blog and am praying for you and your husband. Take care (sometimes I describe myself as you did above). :)

Sissy said...

I just don't understand why this misunderstanding became such a big thing! But, I've been sued before over something completely STUPID, so I can relate. I'm so sorry that it has this affect on your adoption process.

I agree with Lauren (comment #2): that the Lord will shut the mouths of the liars. I need this prayer right now, too.

Beth said...

So ridiculous. I'm SO sorry. :(

WheelbarrowRider said...

No one should have to go through this. :( You have all of our support, obviously, for what its worth...

Bon said...

Just an idea....send this letter to their wives. Or better yet, read it to their wives yourself. That might get something done.


((((hug))))

Cam said...

I just found your blog tonight and started reading this post... and I am so sorry. How terrible. You and your husband are in our prayers.

Kelly Castleberry said...

Oh TCIE I had no idea... I am truly humbled.