Feb 20, 2014

The world sees a young woman...I still see my eldest little girl

To my oldest, you're no longer a teenager. For a month now you've been a young woman facing a new part of your life. Now that the court sees you as an adult, and out of the scope of all this nonsense I'll be sending you more packages like the one last week. I want you to feel comfortable when/if you decide to reach out and know that I'll be here. My first instinct is to come to see you, but people wiser than me have said that isn't a great idea considering all that's happened. That its better to let you come to me in your own time. I'll admit, that is really hard for me; but with some convincing it seems that it really is the best way to help you feel safe reaching out.

I know you have felt abandoned by your bio dad, and your mother left us all way too soon. Some people would like you to believe I have left you too, but I haven't. I won't. Since the day you hopped across the floor in front of me at two years old belting out "ribbit, ribbit"...I've been there. I'm still here, I never left. I want you to know I've seen your work on the art site you post to. Specifically the one about 'Daddy daughter time'. I can see the pain you express in your work and as brilliant of an artist as you are it hurts to see it. I do love you; I've always loved you. I have no idea what you are feeling, what you are thinking, what you have been told. Considering all that I think it would be best for me to focus on us seeing each other some day, and we can talk about the past then. For now just know I'm here. If you want to throw rocks at me, scream at me, punch me, hug me, talk to me...whatever. I'm here. If you just want to get my attention so I'll know that you're ignoring me...I'm here.

I hope you've picked out a good college; you only have a few months of high school left and I know you procrastinate. Your mother and I always hoped you would go away to college. Mostly because we both tried to stay close to home and it didn't work out for us. It may just be a "grass is greener" type situation but we felt you would learn more about yourself getting away from these familiar surroundings, especially at this time in your life. When I was sitting across the table from you as you ate vienna sausages and goldfish crackers, your feet no where close to reaching the floor, I never imagined I would be having a one way conversation with you over the 'net about college. When you went to preschool and could already write your name in print and cursive, and read short children's books all by yourself I thought we'd be traveling to campuses all over, together, all of us as a family. You and mom touring the campus while your brothers and sisters and I found all the attractions in a nearby town. Watching your face light up as you see new opportunities at each campus, the wonder and amusement you'd feel starting this next phase of your life. But those where dreams of a different future, from what seems like a different life.

Back then you and I would play board games (Candyland, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, etc.) while your mom would cook dinner in that tiny kitchen we had in our first apartment. Your artwork would cover the fridge, and the floor in your room. Your mom saw the artist in you even then. I hope that is a passion that you pursue, if for no other reason than for sake of the passion. I wonder if you remember that apartment? The first night we were there as Mom and I crawled into bed, you had been asleep for hours. Mom got up and turned on a light and said "She's going to wake up and get scared, she won't know where she's at." I thought she was being overly mothering...until about 3:00 a.m. We woke to find you crying in the Den, scared because you didn't know where you were or where to find us. I feel that way now. I don't know where we are in our relationship or how to get back to you...it's been so long since we've spoken a word to each other. Since July 25, 2011 the evening before you were taken from me. So here I am in a strange place, in the dark, crying out to you. Crying out that I love you and no matter how old you are, how "grown" you get, you will always be my little girl and I'll always be here for you.

I love you; yesterday, today, and forever!

Starting a new conversation

As I prepare yet again to go back into the court room and plead my case to have my stolen children returned to me; I'm dumbfounded at the control a Judge has over your life after giving you 30 minutes in a hearing to cram in as many details as possible. Before all this happened to me I was of the mindset that if you didn't do anything wrong...you have nothing to fear. Well, that is a complete misrepresentation.

As it's happened to me, if you haven't done anything wrong the opposing party will make up the wrongs for you. They will be caught in their own lies yet still be found credible, and you can forget having them charged with perjury. It's a laughable notion; more than one attorney has chuckled while telling me that no one in this county gets tried for perjury. Really...then why take an oath at all? I'm seriously debating the idea of posting all my legal documentation someplace on the web. I don't know what good it would do, I doubt it's even a good idea, but part of me just wants some acknowledgment that this process is completely insane! The Amicus attorney in my case told me as we headed into court one afternoon, "If justice happens at the courthouse it's completely by mistake"; or something very similar.

I am part of a pretty amazing group that gets together to learn how to deal with their co-parents; my case is a little different but the asinine details are pretty much the same. One thing became very clear to me tonight during our group; the system isn't designed for justice or even for the best interest of the children involved. Instead it just wears on you...and no one wins. The court awards more concessions to the one who refuses to quit, but both parties lose. The kids lose. Society as a whole, in the long run, looses.

My Teen is no longer a teenager. She has recently celebrated her 18th birthday and is a young woman of her own now. I doubt she knows the plans I had in store for that milestone in her life. I doubt she realizes much of anything I wanted for her anymore. Until her birthday I was restricted from contacting her. I guess the opposing party was afraid she might want to come back home. In any event, I have missed out on her big day. I haven't been able to help her pick out her potential colleges. I wasn't there to take her to get her driver's license.

Sugarbear is almost a teenager now...just a few short months away. I wish there was some way I could whisper in his ear every night just to let him know that I love him and that I think of him constantly. I wonder what amazing things he's doing at school. What does he do for fun these days? What are his favorite sports; things I took for granted when he was with me each day. I want to be there for all his accomplishments, and to be a support in his shortcomings. I want him to learn from failure, and grow to be a great man of character much like he always was as a young child.

My princess looks more and more like her mother each time I catch a look at her. The latest picture of her she is smiling just like Mindy. I miss her bubbly personality and unexpectedly large vocabulary. She always used the biggest of words so accurately. I wonder how much like her mother is she becoming? Does she remember her mother's traits and behaviors? What questions does she have that I could answer?

My Little Angel, my youngest daughter is just three years old. I was with her each day even after my older three were stolen away, until her mother decided to betray me as well. Not that I'm perfect, our relationship was doomed. But it's one thing to have a failed relationship...it's something completely different to alienate a Father from his children and file for termination. My Little Angel has always been a little performer. She loved to dance and sing; just be the center of attention. I would love to watch her dance around right now, just to hear her call out to me again...

Then the baby of them all, my Little Man. He is an old soul in an infants body. I miss his deep guttural laugh and all knowing smile. He has had two serious surgeries in the past year; both of which I found out about after the fact. I'm not sure how he's doing, request for pictures have been ignored...it's as if they think I'll just go away at some point. I just want to hold and comfort my boy. I want him to know that my arms are still a safe place for him to fall asleep. I need to smell his baby skin as I rock him and soothe him.

I miss them all dearly and I'm so close to being reunited with them, but it hasn't happened yet. With the way things have been going I am reluctant to get my hopes up. But I hope the court accidentally does something for their good, such as follow the recommendation of the counselors involved. Review the outlandish allegations and the stark absence of any evidence. Moreover, the perjury that's been committed by the opposing side in both the remarkable and seemingly insignificant points made over the past several years.

For all my children...at some point if you find this, just know; I may loose in court. I may be ordered to do things I don't want to do just to appease some unknown man in a suit making rules for your life. But above it all I never gave up. I will fight for you until you are home with me, or I'm home with God; whichever comes first. They can take all my money (they're doing a good job of that), all my power (seems I have none left), but they can't stop me from fighting for you. They won't stop me from loving you, and they'll never take away what we are...family.

I commit to writing something for each of you here, sometimes all together. Sometimes to each of you specifically. But I want you to know I'm searching for ways to communicate with you, to let you know I'm still here for you when the court says we can't have any contact. I wish I had started this sooner, but make no mistake my thoughts for you are not new or reappearing...I'm just finding a new way to reach out what I've been thinking and dreaming about every minute of everyday since you were taken from me.

I love you yesterday, today, and forever.