Please help us get our son Liam home safely

For the past 20 months, our middle son has been at Devereaux Behavioral Health, working hard towards his goal of coming back home. As parents, our main priority has always been a safe transition back home with the necessary support and supervision to help him thrive.

However, the lack of available providers in our area has been a significant barrier, and now we’re fighting the State of Florida for the help they promised.

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Our story

We adopted Liam from foster care in 2013 when he was just 18 months old. He is our middle child of three adopted special needs children. I still tear up thinking about the day I promised in court to be his mother and protect and care for him forever. I really meant forever.

Despite our best efforts to find providers, we haven’t been able to secure enough therapists and supports to create a safe environment for him.

We’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours searching for providers and creating supports, and while we’ve made some progress—such as finding an ABA provider who is now working tirelessly to assist us—it still isn’t enough.

The Florida Department of Children and Families has responded by attempting to claim that Evan and I have abandoned our child, despite our relentless efforts to build a comprehensive safety system for him from scratch.

Why we need your help

The State of Florida is currently pursuing a shelter request against us – as well as pursuing felony child abandonment charges against us – despite refusing to give us the voluntary shelter assistance we have been requesting for months.

I was formerly an ombudsman for the Department of Children and families and it’s clear that I am now being punished for not only how well I did my job, but for the fact that I have been suing the State of Florida for the providers and care they promised and are required to provide by law.

This battle has taken a severe toll on our family. The time and resources spent have meant I’ve been away from my business, unable to maintain jobs and keep the lights on.

We’ve incurred over $30,000 in legal expenses so far, fighting off potential felony charges, with no end in sight. This, coupled with the $30,000 we previously spent in 2019 fighting for our son’s rights, has left us financially strained

In the news

Miami Herald

Article: Florida child welfare agency wages legal battle, seeks felony charge for ex-watchdog

Read article

Miami Herald

Article: Florida state ‘leadership’ involved in case to strip child custody from ex-watchdog

Read article

How FASD affects Liam

Caring for Liam has come with substantial challenges. He was born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) which has caused him significant cognitive impairment, developmental delays, and serious behavioral issues.

In addition to FASD, Liam has been diagnosed with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and more. He requires special education services in addition to occupational therapy and constant supervision.

Without intervention and intensive services Liam is prone to running away and putting himself and others at risk, violent outbursts, and explosive meltdowns.

He is a wonderful kid and we want him home – but before he can come home we need providers and supports in place to meet his extensive needs for supervision, behavioral treatment, and special education.

Even DCF’s own petition describes Liam’s needs as being intensive. From the Miami Herald: “DCF’s petition seeking to take the boy into custody said the 12-year-old functioned more like a small child. He cannot be left alone for more than 15 minutes without oversight, and “needs supervision in the same way a toddler might.”

How this impacts our family

Liam is not a bad kid by any means, but his brain lacks the ability to inhibit some of his more dangerous impulses. As a result of these issues, Liam needs 24 hours of care every day to keep him and the children and adults around him safe.

His struggles with impulsive and sometimes violent behavior has resulted in my need for medical treatment and made it difficult for his brother and sister to stay regulated and feeling safe.

Still, not having Liam at home safely also causes our other two children stress. He’s their brother. He’s our son. We all miss him terribly and he’s already been gone for nearly 2 years.

The state’s effort to strip a vocal critic of Florida’s child welfare system of custody of her own adoptive son and have her charged with a felony is being led at the highest levels of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, a state lawyer said in court Friday.


– Carol Marbin Miller, MIAMI HERALD

Paying for intensive behavioral intervention at the home – without reimbursement from the state — could cost the family $120,000-per-year, all out-of-pocket, Rosenberg testified.


– Carol Marbin Miller, MIAMI HERALD

A retired child welfare judge in Miami told the Herald she never once saw a family charged with abandonment during a two-decade career on the bench.


– Carol Marbin Miller, MIAMI HERALD

3 ways you can help

I’ve always been there to support kids and families in need, but now I need your help fighting for my family.

Many friends and family members suggested starting a GoFundMe, but I wanted to be able to offer something in return for helping us out.

Thus, I’m launching a special run of underwater-themed tumblers for sale. The funds raised will help us bring our son home, keep our family together, and help our children recover and thrive.

Because my younger sister is a pain in the ass and is also my web person, you will have the ability to simply make a donation as well.

1. Purchase a tumbler

I’ve created a beautiful new Underwater Dreams tumbler design to help raise funds.

2. Donate

If you’d like to contribute directly to helping us out, you can make a donation to help support our family.

3. Shop Online

Or you can just shop online as usual and find that perfect gift for someone you care about.


We are now over $30,000 deep in legal fees fighting the state, and this seriously limits our ability to provide care for Liam at home while we wait for providers and services to be put into place. Anything you can contribute will be deeply appreciated and help us keep Liam and our other two children safe.