C3 Custody Of Joy
Hope received custody of Joy. She was happy. It was a life-changing event for her. She never had a child and now she has Joy. The first thing she did was buy decent clothes for Joy. All the clothes she had was used. Faith had bought them at yard sales. Sometimes people at church would give her clothes for Joy. Hope wanted Joy to have the best of everything.
Faith stood trial for murder and has found guilty of first-degree murder. Faith planned to kill Steve. She had target practiced for weeks. She called Hope to take Joy so she would not be there. She sits and waits for him to come home from work to kill him. She waited until he took his last breath before calling 911. Faith had it all planned out. She is found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Joy would be 26 years old when faith is released.
Faith thought about the effects of not being with Joy for twenty-five years. She knew Joy was better off. It was destroying her life to watch her dad beat her mom every day. Steve could hurt no one again. Faith was afraid that when Joy was older, Steve would start beating her as well. Faith was at peace that she did the right thing to protect Joy and herself. Joy would be a loving home.
Hope could give Joy the life she deserved. She would raise Joy like it was her own child. She could give Joy a better life than she would have ever had with her and Steve. Faith called and asked Hope to bring Joy to the county jail to visit. She wanted to see her for the last time. She was being shipped away to prison. Faith offered to sign adoption paper for Hope to adopt Joy. Hope wanted Joy to know Faith was her mother. When she was older, she would understand why she killed her dad.
Faith started going to the Chapel at the prison. She created a support group for others that had been a victim of abuse. Domestic violence is one of the most silent crimes in our country. We live in a county where violence is not tolerated, and yet people do not report violence that goes on within their home, between spouses. Faith did not leave because she was afraid that Steve would take the Joy away, she would never see her. She was afraid that Steve would hurt Joy the same way he was hurting her. The only way to stop him was to kill him. Faith knew she was guilty of murder, but he deserved it. She only killed him before he killed her. Faith was determined to appeal her case and find a lawyer that would understand. She was afraid for her and Joy. She had to kill him first.
Faith filed an appeal in her case. An appeal means that one party is requesting that the decision in her case be looked at again by a higher court. Faith believed that the court did not take into consideration that she was a victim of domestic violence. Every night as soon as Steve came home, the first thing he did was beat her. The only reason he did not beat her that night is because she shot him. Faith had Hope watched Joy so she would not be in the house when it happened. No one could blame her for sending Joy to stay with Hope.
The Court usually decides cases within two to six months after oral argument, but there is no deadline. If the Supreme Court reviews your case, your appeal, of course, will take more time. It did not matter to Faith how long it took since they sentenced her to twenty-five years in prison. It has been five years since she had been sitting in prison. Her little girl was growing up fast. This year, she would start school. Faith would not be there to see it. She had already missed so much in her life. The video visitation just did not take the place of being able to see and touch her little girl. Faith only wanted video visitation. She did not want Joy to see her in prison. It would be difficult for Joy to leave at the end of the visit. She wanted to spare Joy of that pain. She prayed one day Joy would understand. The court denied Faith’s appeal.
Joy was five years old and wanted to see her mother. She wanted her mother at her birthday party. Joy never understood why her mother only visited with her on the computer. She had never questioned it before now. But she wanted Faith at her Birthday Party. Hope scheduled a video visitation with Faith to tell Joy what was really going on. It was one of the hardest days of her life. She had to look at Joy and tell her. She killed her father. She was too little to understand. She was having questions. She wanted to know why she was living with her aunt. Why her mom could not be at the Birthday party?
Joy trusts Hope and Faith to be honest with her. It is better to be up front with Joy than to “protect her” from the truth. Joy will have her own process to go through as she adjusts to learning that her mother killed her father. If they lie to Joy, it will hurt their relationship with Joy. When Joy finds out the truth, she will no longer trust Hope and Faith. It can also lead to Joy feeing ashamed of Faith.
They need to reassure Joy that just because Faith killed her dad does not mean she will kill someone else. She will not hurt Joy. Faith killed Steve to protect herself. He had been beating her for years. Even though her father is dead, she needs to know what kind of man he was. She must tell her everything. It is ridiculously hard to explain to a child something that happens in the adult world. When Joy asks questions, it is time to tell her the truth. Joy might not understand everything that happened. But it is better to be honest.
Sometimes children like Joy might need counseling. It is a traumatic experience to hear that your mom killed your dad. Joy needs to know that Faith loves her. Joy was not at fault for anything. Sometimes adult relationships are hard to explain. Faith loved her dad and at the same time, she killed him. She did it to protect herself. But the court has found her guilty of murder. That means what she did was wrong. A counselor can help Joy understand her feeling.
Whether kids have traumatic issues or are struggling with the brave and simple act of being human, qualified professionals can help kids deal with hard subjects. Faith killing Steve is a hard subject for Joy to understand. People consider child therapy for huge topics like abuse, neglect, and trauma, but it can have an equally weighted focus on growth and strengths. Joy attended counseling and gained the understanding of why Faith killed her dad.
Hope continued to give Joy the love and support she needed to deal with the abuse issue. Joy gained the understanding of what abuse is and how it affected the family. Even though she was just a baby and does not remember her father. Abuse still played a big part in her family. Hope believed that Joy learning about abuse at an early age would give her the knowledge to escape an abusive relationship. During counseling, she would understand what abuse is. Hope knew that later, when Joy was older, she would discuss with her the signs of abuse.
Domestic abuse comes in all sizes and shapes. Physical, sexual, financial, and emotional. Physical abuse comprises hitting, punching, kicking, shoving, choking, and slapping. Anything that brings physical harm to you. Steve was physically abusing Faith by beating her. He was also psychologically abusing her by not allowing her to have a relationship with Hope. He insulted Faith on the wedding night by calling her a whore. Trying to make her feel she had deceived him. She never told him she was a virgin. She never told him they raped her. Steve was the only one Faith willingly had an intimate relationship with. Faith wanted to forget about the rape. She wanted it to be a part of the past and not a part of her future. Steve threatened that if she ever left him, she would never see Joy again. They subjected faith to physical and mental abuse.