(Please scroll to the bottom to turn off backgroud music).
May God bring peace to those who lost loved ones in this horrible, cowardly act eight years ago. May God protect and bless those families, around the globe, who sacrifice everything to protect our freedom.
May God bless America and may America bless God!
MEET ME IN THE STAIRWELL
You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001. Neither will I.
I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say "Goodbye." I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK ... I am ready to go." I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.
I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. "I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!" I said. "Of course I will show you the way home - only believe on Me now."
I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.
I was with the Firefighters, the Police Officers, the Emergency Workers. I was there, watching each brave step they took.
I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.
I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?
I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor. Some sought Me with their last breath. Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; "Come to Me...this way...take My hand." Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.
I have been a terrible blogger. So sorry!
It seems like there aren't enough hours in the day, especially now that Daddy's working away a lot more. I am kept very busy. As always, I am compelled to give kudos to all of the single Mamas and military families out there with little ones. I don't know how you do it.
I want to thank so many of you that have emailed me privately, left comments or have even called me about Lavender. I don't know how many people ended up writing to the district attorney in Sacramento, but my prayer was that she sat back to read her emails after the Labor Day holiday and fell out of her chair because there were THOUSANDS of emails with the subject line reading JUSTICE FOR LAVENDER!
Michelle asked me for details about Sabrina and Lavender and I know a few others who have been out of the loop and wanted to know what happened to sweet Lavender, the little girl that belonged to all of us.
Here are the facts that I have gathered according to newspaper reports, and police and court documents (links listed below).
Please it is important to note that none of the information below is my opinion nor does it mean that Sabrina has been found guilty of any of the charges against her. God and she alone know the exact truth. We continue to pray that the entire truth be revealed and the person responsible be brought to justice. Lavender is very close to my heart because Sabrina and I were both in China at the same time bringing home our little girls (I did not meet her personally) and of course, because Lavender did have a cleft lip and palate and well...I don't have to tell you how near and dear those babies are to my heart.
SABRINA'S HISTORY WITH CPS & THE FIRST DEATH OF A CHILD IN HER CARE:
January 2002 - Sabrina Stafford (Banks) allegedly hits one of her children on the back and thighs, leaving marks. She admits hitting her daughter the prior month with a "switch". Investigators concluded no license violations were committed, CPS documents said.
May 2002 - Stafford allegedly burned a 3-year-old child on the hip with a hot spoon. Stafford denied anything like that ever happened. Her license was voluntarily withdrawn when she went to Visalia, but it was restored in Kern County in early 2003.
September 2003 - Sabrina Stafford was arrested on charges of willful child cruelty by Bakersfield police after foster child, Angelic Clary, 3 months old, was found dead in Stafford's home. Angelic's twin sister, Tiffany, was found suffering from a 104.8-degree fever.
Paramedics took the surviving sister to Memorial Hospital where doctors found her to be hungry, dehydrated, had low sodium in her blood and barbiturates in her systems. Barbiturates are depressants, normally used as a sleeping aid. Tiffany was removed from Stafford’s care.
Despite an extensive investigation, no charges were ever filed against her in Angelic’s death. Deputy District Attorney Scott Spielman said there was no conclusive medical evidence that the infant’s death was either due to abuse or neglect. Although, according to what Bakersfield police detective Mary Degeare said, the coroner also found evidence of neglect on the dead baby’s body. “There were multiple insect bites (on the baby),” Degeare said. Ant bites were found on her ears, and dead ants in her diaper.
The county forensic pediatrician looked at the toxicology findings and the results were inconclusive as to whether Banks was responsible.
He last reviewed the evidence in March 2004.
Stafford was to be arraigned but was later released when the Kern County coroner’s office ruled the infant’s death was either natural or accidental. The infant likely breathed in something, possibly vomit, and choked, the coroner’s office found.
The mother of the twins, Ruth Rodriguez, filed a lawsuit against Kern County, but it was dismissed in January 2005.
August 14, 2006 - Sabrina sends in LOI (letter of intent to adopt) to China for Lavender.
September 28, 2006 - China sends Pre-Approval for Sabrina's adoption of Lavender.
November 03, 2006 - Sabrina is DTC (dossier to China).
December 30, 2006 - Sabrina makes plea for prayers on several yahoo groups that she be approved to bring home a 2nd child she has found on another waiting list. This child has same special need as Lavender and is at the same orphanage.
January 3, 2007 - Sabrina advises those praying that the agency has decided against placing the 2nd child with her family because "the child has had a lot of interest from other families and they felt it was not a good idea for two children to be placed that close together".
(Friday) April 13, 2007 - Sabrina receives news that the orphanage director refuses to allow her to adopt Lavender on the grounds that she is black. Immediately, the adoption community moves on her behalf, emailing and calling Senators, Congressmen and sending emails to CCAA (the governing agency for adoptions in China). Subsequently, the agency who assisted her in bringing Lavender home loses their waiting child program with China because of this.
April 23, 2007 - LOA (Letter of Acceptance) arrives from China giving final permission for Sabrina to adopt.
June 12, 2007 - Lavender's Gotcha Day.
July 3, 2007 - Two weeks home. Sabrina updates everyone on how spectacular Lavender is doing and shares with those that followed her journey how "Lavender is a prayer come to life".
January 08, 2008 - Sabrina shares Lavender's cleft surgery had to be postponed due to congestion and a lingering fever. She again reiterates that Lavender is everything she dreamed of.
Not long after that last post, the blog and yahoo group were taken down.
May 2, 2008 - Elk Grove police said Banks called 911 and said the child wasn’t breathing and was "unresponsive". Paramedics were unable to resuscitate her and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Lavender had visible injuries that "were not consistent with an accidental death," said Office Christopher Trim of the Elk Grove Police Dept.
August 5, 2009 - Sabrina was arrested and booked into a Visalia County Jail.
An autopsy report lists the probable cause of death as "asphyxiation by smothering" and "multiple blunt force injuries," according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.
Trim said it took detectives more than a year to gather the evidence necessary that led to charging Banks with murder, assault resulting in the death of a child under 8 years of age and endangering the life or health of a child.
"It was a very long process of interviewing the mother, her friends, checking her history, working with the coroner's office," he said.
"There was one other child at home when the death occurred, that child has been in protective custody since", Trim said.
August 11, 2009 - Sabrina Banks is transported and booked into the Sacramento County Jail.
Deputy district attorney Scott Spielman said the DA is now going to forward the case back to the Bakersfield Police Department and contact police in Elk Grove to see if they can assist each other in their cases, and possibly re-file charges in Kern County for Angelic's death.
I couldn't ask for a better life filled with lots of kids, an adoring husband, chaos, laughter and more love than you can imagine! That's my life....and I love it!