Originally Posted by KyDanielleTowers
Hi, my name is Danielle Towers & I am Frank's sister. I am feeling rather honored & blessed that my brother would do this and that so many of you are considering this! We know that God has a plan for my sisters' children & we can see his mighty hand at work in their lives already. Our nephew, Nathaniel, has Arnold Chiari Malformation that was thought to be caused by Shaken Baby Syndrome. He had brain surgery at the age of one with only a 50/50 chance of surviving. He must wear a helmet for any type of contact sport. He will be 15 on Dec. 23rd yet has the mentally of a 11-12 year old, he has a 5-6th grade reading level, & only scored a 1 for his state tests for ELA (English Language Arts) & math. He receives his education at our local Boces because he needs a smaller setting & a LOT of help educationally & behaviorally. He receives 1:1 attention weekly to help him learn how to behave in a social setting. He attends a twice weekly after school program run by a local organization that assists children & families with his kinds of needs. Nathaniel has a love for music & can play drums by ear...he has begun to receive drum lessons & we have purchased an electric drum set for home as this is what DRIVES him, music! To touch on this subject a bit...his step-father bought him a drum set as well, but subsequently destroyed it as a "punishment" along with all of the other children's toys & such...this was months before our sister passed. We found out that Nathaniel was actually abused by his step-father. Nathaniel has blossomed in the 4 months & 10 days that he has lived with us. He is thriving on a non-threatening home environment that teaches love, respect, & consequences! Our nephew, Christian, just turned 11 years old...he is living with his Father, step-mother, & 9 siblings. As Frank explained, there was limited contact between Christian & his Father. His Father felt that he was doing the "right thing" by demanding to take Christian home with him only hours after the funeral. Since that time, the Pastors of our respective churches and our family met with Christian's Father & step-mother regarding this horrible action. We have all forgiven them & have decided to make the "best" of an already bad situation. They have been very agreeable to visitation for us so that he can spend time with his siblings & other family. This summer, we have taken all 3 of the children to the State Fair and other family functions including having a fantastic combined birthday party for Christian & his sister, Eleckta..they were SUPER blessed with the outpouring from friends & family! Our niece, Eleckta, just turned 8. Her Mom was raped, but no charges were ever filed as the assailant was unknown. Eleckta is only aware of her step-father as being "Daddy"; however, "Daddy" has not spoken to or seen her (or the other children) since June 25th. She is now aware that he is NOT her Father & that we don't know WHO he is. She is unaware that her Uncle & I are intending on adopting her as soon as we have the funds to make it final. We need this to happen to truly move on! We have custody & placement of Nathaniel as his Father freely gave it to us, I believe that he knew that we would fight for Nathaniel & would likely win. We have begun the adoption process, but need to meet with our lawyer (which requires money, lol) soon so that we can at least obtain temporary guardianship in the meantime. Since the children have been residing with us (the day of our sister's death on May 29th), we have painted & made rooms for the two children...Eleckta's is pink & green with a chalkboard wall and Nathaniel's is green & orange. We still have some work to do in his room and also for our 17 year old son's room. Speaking of our son, Drew...he has been amazing! I can't say enough about him & how proud of him through all of this! I mean, our house has been in an upheaval for the last 4+ months! Just before our sister passed, my husband went out of work on a much needed medical leave of absence as he struggles with Major Depression, Anxiety, & PTSD. He was seeing his doctor regularly, then my sister passed...my husband basically put his own mending "on hold" to be available for my family. He was nearly as close to my sister as I was! Okay, so I knew her 38 years (from birth) & he only knew her for almost 21 years (from the time we married in 1992), she was as much his "sister" as she was mine. Our loss was GREAT! We praise God for the most generous people who stepped up in those first few months to help us! They helped us financially, they helped out with things for the children as their step-father wasn't giving us any of their things...these helps during this time hid the financial losses that we had taken. During the last 4+ months, we have lost my husband's monthly military income due to his MLOA (then they cancelled this month's drill due to the shut down) & his VA disibility benefits (occurs every year for a few months, just had to conveniently happen during THESE few months). Luckily he continued to receive a base paycheck from his civilian job. During his counseling sessions, he decided that his civilian job was part of his problem & so he resigned and started a job assisting disabled teenagers & adults. He's happier, but the salary loss has hurt us. We know that God has everything in control & that our family will be okay. Thank you for taking the time to read our story & for your consideration.