CLOVER, SC (WBTV) - For months, Tammy and Edward Dalsing have been caught up in a custody battle for the 3-year-old girl they have been caring for almost her entire life. On Saturday, the community held a prayer rally to show their support for the adoptive parents.
Since she was three weeks old, little Braelynn has been in the care of the Dalsing family. They originally were her foster parents, but adopted her after her biological mother gave up her parental rights.
Now, Braelynn's biological father - Andrew Myers - is trying to gain custody of her.
Myers went to prison for fraud before Braelynn was born, and had his parental rights stripped after a judge ruled he didn't do enough to provide for her. In November, he was released from jail, and a month later, a judge reinstated his rights, meaning he would gain custody of her.
The Dalsings have filed for a new hearing, hoping to regain custody. Right now, she still lives with them.
"She hasn't had a voice in this whole thing, and we're praying for a voice for Braelynn," said Edward Dalsing.
Back in February, Myers' attorney, Nathan Sheldon, spoke to WBTV about this case.
"If the parental rights aren't terminated, that child needs to be returned to the parent," Sheldon said.
But the Dalsings said this doesn't make sense, because their home is the only home Braelynn has known her young life. Tammy Dalsing said she and her family have received so much support throughout this case.
"She belongs here in my eyes. It's her community, so all these people are her community people," Dalsing said.
While the Dalsings are going through an emotional roller coaster during this legal battle, they said Braelynn is the one who has the most to lose.
"Taking her out of her home, out of her family, I don't know what it's going to do to her," said Edward Dalsing.