I really don't know what to say to Mrs. Terpening. I am sorry for how things worked out in this case, up to this point. From what I have read, enough happened prior to my involvement anyway, and truths and evidence that would come to light. It was not a set-up, and until I worked with her farm hand, I was in full support of Michael.
I did not have many dealings with Mrs. Terpening. She works and has 8 children. She does not have time to socialize and interact with the volunteers when we have been working. I did not really get a chance to get to know Mrs. Terpening, but she did answer Michael's phone a few times when I tried to call him. She is very polite and quiet. My heart twisted when I watched her hold my puppies and the tenderness she had for them, because I see her pain and cannot imagine being in her shoes.
I believe Mrs. Terpening's lifelong goal was probably to have a large family and to raise animals. I see that interest in her. But now, because of her husband's charges, she has lost everything except her job and her 8 children.
Ahh, her children. Her children are amazing. When I first started helping out on the farm, I had just started going around them, for the first time since they were babies. They did not have much to say to me. After I was down there quite a few times, they would help us with chores and began to talk more and hang out with the grown ups.
The children are well-mannered, and despite people's opinions on this case, she has done an amazing job, directly, with them. I played with three of her younger children for a couple hours. This was on day 2, right after the farm hand left. I hung around for awhile, in hopes of talking to Mrs. Terpening. I was playing games with the older kids, too, when they had to go in to see their therapist.
These kids would do far better do be away from Michael and many of his family members. But, I think if Mrs Terpening could just move on with her life and start over somewhere alone with her children, they will be just fine. Before this is over and done with, she may have no choice but one to keep her children. What choice might that be?
Mrs. Terpening, your only support group is not on your farm. It is NOT in the form of Jamie Moore Bell or her husband Jerry. I know these people are your family, but if they truly cared for you, then why encourage or allow these negative behaviors around your children?
Only you can put a stop to this, and when you are ready to break free, I can promise you that there is a large group of true, honest and good people waiting to hold their hands out to you and your children. The worst thing that can happen to your children now is to be split up and removed from your care. The best thing is that you can do is whatever it takes to keep all of them together with you. If they get split up, all that work you have done is gone.
You are young and beautiful. Your life is not over. It has only just begun. With your husband in jail, maybe you can start to enjoy your own life. And know that I will be here for you if you decide to take that step.