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For those of you who are new to the story and coming here from other blogs, the original story is here.
We are continually amazed and humbled by the number and amount of donations coming in. As of 9:45 MST January 14th, we are at $20K in donations hand and $2K waiting to clear, just $8K short of what we need. We also have an unknown number of checks en route. This is thanks to the bloggers and forum members who linked our story and the over 300 contributors who have come to our aid so far.
Honestly, when we posted our request for ideas we had no idea we would get this kind of response. We were expecting some ideas and maybe a few dollars, not the outpouring of support received.
My apologies to those of you who have not received my thanks individually; I have 180 thank-yous done, and 150 left to go.
Our oral arguments have been tentatively scheduled for within the time period expected. We can't be sure until we get the official notice; but it's not the two weeks we feared at worst.
We're not posting the date and time here; the calendar is public and includes names, and the name of the case would reveal the legal last names of the children. However, several other bloggers that we know personally can vouch for the fact that arguments have indeed been scheduled.
Now we have paid our lawyer the back fees we owed; and we know for a fact that we can at the least, afford to continue fighting the appeal, which is a huge weight off of our backs.
All monies are being held in reserve to pay for legal fees as they arise. If we are able to raise more than we eventually need for the appeal itself (something I'm still absolutely floored by. I just can't get my head around the concept); we still have the rest of the state case to go through, and the funds raised will go to cover that.
Our most deeply felt thanks to all of you; we can now afford to keep going. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
UPDATE- Midnight Tuesday/Wednesday the 15th: Well, we're 23 hours short of a week since we posted our appeal, and we have $21,000 in donations clear in hand, another $3000 clearing, and still an unknown amount in the mail.
At this point we're just $6,000 from our goal; and I have every confidence in all of you to help us reach it.
We've implemented several good suggestions (and taken advantage of offers of direct professional assistance) from several readers to reduce our costs; and we are starting to take additional measures against frivolous and malicious court filings (or as much as can be done anyway). We met with our lawyer today, and he is "as confident as I can possibly be and still call myself a lawyer".
Things are really looking great, and it's all thanks to all of you folks who have helped, and are helping. We're really going to win this one.
UPDATE January 17th, 8 pm
Assuming all of the checks I deposited today clear, we have made our goal. Our thanks to the 350+ people who helped us in our time of need, and all of the bloggers, forum members, and others who spread the story across the internet.
Several people have asked what will happen if the ex somehow manages to drag this out even further, and exhaust our funds again. Certainly an important consideration.
We have had three different people (who we have verified have the independent means necessary to make such promises) come forward, and offer us interest free loans for as much as necessary to ensure that we are able to continue this fight no matter what, should the donations not cover our expenses.
We have won in court at every turn; until their only hope was to bankrupt us. We now have a guarantee that will never happen.
They have lost utterly, and now we just have to clean up the mess.
Thank you all so much.