Too often we hear these stories - always the same song, just sung to a different tune - of CPS legally kidnapping our children.
Matthew Akkerhuis and Janet Akkerhuis (pronounced ACKER HICE), an average couple struggling with things as best they can as a lot of us do these days, were informed 12 years ago that they would never be able to have children but were delightfully surprised to end up with SIX little blessings 12 years into their marriage.
While Matthew was at work one day, Janet felt the need to lay down. The youngest - a toddler - hadn't had his nap yet so Janet decided to lay down with him for a few minutes. One of the children was able to unlock the door of their home & the other children went outside looking for the owner of a stray puppy. A neighbor noticed the children walking from door to door but, rather than being a helpful neighbor & alerting Janet or checking to see if Janet was okay, chose to phone the police instead. Once CPS got involved, the story took a turn with which all too many people these days have become familiar.
What transpired next was a seemingly endless stream of allegations aimed at Janet & Matthew followed by a series of hoops the two were expected to jump through in hopes to redeem their precious offspring from the clutches of CPS. One year later Janet gave birth to their sixth child which, without advance notice, CPS also kidnapped - a newborn daughter - as Janet was breast feeding while she waited for hospital discharge.
The nightmare has continued to this day despite Janet and Matthew having jumped through the hoops put before them by CPS. Even after complying and producing documentation of such, the Akkerhuises have been met with severe scrutiny, criticism and more allegations that Janet and Matthew are "not trying".
This family has been ripped apart & suffered tremendous heartache, emotional, psychological & economic injury. The children have been farmed out to surrogate 'families' intent on adopting them. These children are being separated from the only parents they've ever known. The older children have made drawings of their mom, dad & their home & write on the drawings "I love you, mommy", "I love you, daddy" & "I want to come home". The family who stands to gain Janet & Matthew's toddler says that child has learned to call Janet by her given name rather than 'mommy'.
Janet and Matthew's cries for help were like a snake biting itself in the tail. The Attorney General advised the Akkerhuises to contact the Governor's office which merely forwarded the communication back to CPS with no follow up from any division to ensure the Akkerhuises received assistance in having their children returned to them. Clearly the system is intent on splitting up & adopting rather than maintaining the family unit.
CALL TO ACTION: BOOTS ON THE GROUND: 1400 Industrial Park Drive, Mountain Grove 65711 BE THERE BEFORE 9 A.M. Most of us are planning to be there around 8 A.M.
Call or email :
1. Missouri Office of Child Advocate Jefferson City, Missouri Phone: (573) 522-8683 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Stacey.M.Mathews@dss.mo.gov Case manager supervisor 417-926-4142
10. Vonda.Wallace@dss.mo.gov Case manager supervisor's supervisor
11. Linda McKinney Guardian Ad Litem 417-651-5800
12. Meridithe.Greene@dss.mo.gov Caseworker
13. Angela.Owens@dss.mo.gov Caseworker
14. Lori Jones Wright Circuit Court clerk 417-741-7121 ext 240
15. Hannah.Kelly@house.mo.gov house.mo.gov see what she's doing and what bills she is sponsoring 573-751-2205
1. We are tired of our children being legally kidnapped by Child Protective Services. The majority of cases like this are families that cannot afford a private attorney to properly defend their family.
a. We feel Judge Carter and Child Protective Services have been overreaching in this case
b. The children have been separated from their parents for OVER 2 years and want to go home
c. The parents have produced documentation & fulfilled class requirements suggested by CPS in order for the family to be reunited
d. Drug tests for mother and infant - especially in the hospital - have been negative or presumptive at best
e. The youngest child should never have been part of the suit. She was conceived MONTHS after the filing of the original case and was NEVER part of it; yet - one year later - CPS erroneously removed her from the arms of her mother after just giving birth to her at the hospital.
f. CPS should be proactive in PROTECTING (as their title implies) rather than SEPARATING families.
g. It appears the judge has been proactive in separating these children from their siblings & parents - scheduling hearings to terminate the Akkerhuises parental rights rather than helping the family remain intact.
First off, please allow me to thank each and every one who showed their support and physically showed up. We understand not everyone has that luxury but, the ones who don't, can usually show their support by making the ALL SO IMPORTANT phone calls of support to the proper contacts we'd listed in the original Call To Action. So . . . if you haven't already done so, please review the list of names/contacts & show your support for this family in need. It could be YOU next time!
We had a great morning. Although we didn't meet the # of 'bodies' we would have liked to have had, it didn't go half bad for having such short notice to plan & notify everyone. A few passersby joined us, asked questions, chatted with us, we handed out business cards & hope to see our numbers increase as a result of today's efforts.
Instead of the mother erroneously being sent to jail for a "very long time" as threatened, she has a hearing set up for some time in November. which gives us time to be better prepared. The mother plans on setting up an earlier court date as she knows each day her children are away from their parents, is SO precious and necessary to maintain that connection with her rather than a stranger CPS has chosen for them.
The ringleaders of this tentacle of the corrupt system were caught off guard by our mpromptu demonstration since it was our first showing & probably the first time anyone has taken a stand against them. They'll probably be prepared next time - but so will we. Per usual, the police said they were following the judge's orders - not ours - which shows how misguided their thinking is & they believe the judge makes the laws. NO!
We won the battle but not the war so, PLEASE, everyone that can, PLEASE call the contacts on the list for this precious family who NEEDS this! EVERYONE can STILL work on calling the contacts listed in the last updated alert. Let's show them the sleeping giant is awakening!
Once again, THANK YOU to everyone for their show of support. We can NOT rest until this pecious family has been reunited.
Area 8 Assistant
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