Ramblin’ Rose doesn’t have an easy story to tell about her seven children. She doesn’t have stories of birthday parties, confirmation classes, first dates or graduations. She has stories of other people taking her children and raising them for her. The minister of the small church she attended in Alabama must have known some of this story because when his sister wanted to adopt and then later kidnap Rose’s baby boy he supported and even orchestrated events to make that happen.
"For a while," Rose fidgets as she tells this part, "I allowed the minister’s sister to babysit my two children. One morning when I dropped them off she said, ‘I’d like to invite you to stay for dinner when you come to pick up your kid this evening.’ So I agreed to it." This young couple, who had tried to have children but were unsuccessful, asked Rose if they could adopt her son. Rose replied, "I appreciate your concern but NO!" Rose continued to attend that church and several months later she was asked again if she would allow this couple to adopt her son. Again, her reply was an emphatic, NO!
Boundaries were something the Rose was just beginning to explore however, she was going through a lot of stress as a single parent and no real support system. The minister and his mother offered to help her with her stress by performing "what is called, in the Pentecostal church, a deliverance service." In preparation for this service Rose fasted for two days on bread and water. She was told by the minister that anything that was said or done during the service was to be told to no one. Trusting the minister and his mother she agreed.
In the service Rose was put into hypnotic trance. She doesn’t recall the events that transpired during the following five hours but afterward she was told that five different demonic spirits had been cast out of her. She was told that a cauldron of witches had cast a spell of sexual perversion on both her mother and father’s side of the family. She was told to read a book "Why We Speak in Tongues." She was told that if she didn’t follow everything that this book said the demons would come back to haunt her "seven times worse then when they left." With this information the minister and his family felt equipped in justifying their decision to kidnap Rose’s children.
Before she could even tell the receptionist at the Russell County Sheriff’s office her name a big, strapping deputy walked down very tiny stairs into the office. He asks Rose her name and he told her that he wanted to talk with her upstairs in his office.
Rose continues her story, "The deputy started the conversation. He said that somebody saying they were the ministers of My Fathers House Church in Ft. Mitchell, Alabama had called him and said that they had my children. And that they had taken my children from the babysitters in because I had physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally abused my three year old daughter and my six month old son. The sheriff told me, he said ‘I don’t know you from Adam’s cat’ those were his exact words but in other words that I’d never been in trouble with the law. I guess he did a background check on me and found out I hadn’t been reported for anything. He said that he told the people that had called from the church and had my kids ‘you know what you need to do is tell me the location where you and these children are at so that we can send out the D.H.R. worker and a sheriff’s deputy.’"
"Well they didn’t even want to tell the sheriff where my children were. They said ‘oh no, the children are fine they are away from this wicked mother and we’ll just keep them.’ Those aren’t direct words from the sheriff but basically that is what they said to the sheriff. The sheriff told me he had to threaten these people on the phone. ‘Do not tell us where these children are and when we find you; you will go to jail for not following the directives of a law officer of the state of Alabama.’ So with the threat of that they did tell them where my children were." The Sheriff’s department sent a deputy and a social worker to the house.
The nature of the accusations against Rose resulted in the children being immediately taken to a physician who found no sign of abuse. Rose says that she could have told the intake worker that. However, the accusations and the events in Rose’s life resulted in the children staying with foster families for almost two years. Rose states, "That basically is the spiritual, mental, emotional trauma that I went through when I was getting out of the army and resulted in my two children being taken from me."
Rose did get out of the army. She did get a full time job at the mall. She did everything her social worker told her to do. On the day she was moving into public housing, just weeks from getting her children her social worker died. He had helped Rose move some furniture into her new apartment. He had left to go to another clients house for a home inspection. The social worker, who was slightly overweight, smoked and had a very stressful job, was found dead outside of his car behind a local hamburger store.
Rose was the last person to see him alive. Although she had nothing to do with his death, this fact caused red flags and suspicion against Rose. Most everything her social worker had told her had not been put in writing. The chances of her getting permanent custody of her children and her confidence in being a good mother, quickly faded. Rose’s children were gone and she did not have the resources mentally, emotionally, physically, financially or spiritually to bring them back.
If you would like to hear more about Ramblin' Rose please leave me a comment. Thanks and as always -- Kyle