Judge orders 6-year-old to be taken from family who raised him

The room adorned in Transformers decor was quiet and empty. The name "Jordan" was hung in letter art on the wall, and all the 6-year-old boy's toys, clothes and electronics were organized neatly and untouched. It was the same way he left it when he left for school Tuesday morning, but he would not be returning.

Connie Dorsey, Jordan's mother, sobbed inconsolably, clinched his stuffed animals and exclaimed between sobs it felt like her baby had died.

Custody battle

Connie and Jason Dorsey began raising Jordan in March 2007, when he was four days old. His teenage mother signed legal documents to give the Dorseys custody. But when Jordan's 17-year-old father turned 18 in May of that year, he filed for custody.

The Dorseys fought to adopt Jordan for six years, and the case was met with many complications. Tuesday they lost their rights to be his parents, when Judge Ken Goble ruled that Jordan would immediately and permanently be placed with his biological parents, who live in different cities.

After the case was moved from Chancery Court, where Judge Larry McMillan had previously ruled but revised an order giving Jordan to his biological parents, the case was sent to juvenile court. Visitations were ordered, but the first few Jordan refused to go, according to a family friend. Connie Dorsey was held in contempt and fined $500 for not forcing Jordan to attend the visitations. Jordan attended two visitations before he was ordered to live with his biological parents Tuesday.

In October, Judge Goble, juvenile judge, put a gag order on the parties involved in the case, stating they could not discuss the case publicly. Records from juvenile court could not be obtained since juvenile records are sealed and private by law. An actual copy of the ruling was not available for review.

'Beyond devastating'

Alfreda Knight, a close family friend of Connie Dorsey, stayed with Connie after the news and has been by her side throughout the case. Knight said the ruling was beyond devastating to the Dorsey family.

"They say this is in the best interest of the child, but they take him and put him in a place where he's being split between two homes. He's left without his clothes. He has allergies they don't know about. He was taken with nothing but the clothes on his back. I've never seen mess like this in my whole life," Knight said.

Knight said there was not a transition period, no home visits conducted on the Dorseys or either biological parent to her knowledge.

"It's like a piece of her has been snatched away," Knight said. "He was a piece of her."

Saying goodbye

After the ruling, Connie left the courtroom distraught and in tears. She rushed to Jordan's school, and after an altercation with his teacher, she checked Jordan out of school and left the city with him.

Her fear was that they would not let him say good-bye to her, Knight said.

After communication with police and family, it was arranged that Connie Dorsey's mother, Erma Fenceroy, would drop Jordan at the police station and no kidnapping charges would be filed against Connie.

"He said yesterday, 'I want my mom and dad. I love my mom and dad.' He knew what he wanted. He cried so hard when she told him he would have to go," Knight said. "He said, "Mommy, I don't want to go. I want to stay with my mommy and daddy.' She said, 'I will fight for you.' And he said, "You promise?'"

In what took a few seconds, many lives changed forever.

Jordan was dropped off at the North Clarksville Police precinct, where he greeted his biological father with a smile and a hug. A group of family members ushered him across the street where they hugged and took photos.

"I don't think he mentally and emotionally understood that he's never coming back. He probably thought it was like the visitations," Knight said. "This is a child, an innocent child's life. We talk about how we want to protect the innocent, but this will cause trust issues. He may feel Connie abandoned him."

Knight said Connie fears the son she's known as her baby will never be the same, as he has been uprooted from everything he knows. His family, school and friends may become distant, confusing memories, but Knight said the fight is not over and "God is not done."

Continue to fight

Feelings of helplessness, despair and depression attack Connie throughout the day as she spends the first few days without the little boy she's loved for six years. She thinks about the promise she made, and it gives her bursts of strength to fight for Jordan - a little boy she feels the courts failed and didn't care about.

Knight said they have been reaching out to anyone who can help provide legal information or help the family in any way.

"We need to come together and get Justice for Jordan," Knight said.


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