Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Writer's Workshop Wednesday ~ Sarah from The Momisodes

Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday!  This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.

I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.

Sarah is awesome. She's funny and kind and is the genius behind The Momisodes. You can find her on Facebook here and on her blog here. She's one of the people I have never met except through my computer, but I am proud to call a friend. 

Today, she shares something deeply personal and important in her life. Her strength is something that leaps off the page here. With much love and respect, I give you Sarah.

What's in a last name?
When we have children, we never really plan on anyone BUT ourselves and the person we had the children with will raise them. We are creating a family, doing something magical.

Amazing.

What's that phrase? "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray."

When I was 21, I got pregnant by my boyfriend of only 3 months (we'll call him Jon) as a result of too much drinking on my 21st birthday. We got more than we bargained for, because I found out a month later that we were having twins. Jon said he was ready, that we'd be together forever and that he couldn't wait to be a Daddy. That was short lived, because when they were 5 month old, he left. He saw them sporadically, until they were 2, then he moved out of state. A year later, he came back and he saw them on Christmas, when they were 3. 

In January, I relocated and met a man that we'll call M. He fell hard for me and the twins and we fell hard for him. That September, M and I got married. Shortly after, he expressed interest adopting the twins and legally becoming their Daddy. We got in touch with Jon and he consented. However, that December, I got pregnant and we had to put it on the back burner. 

In January of 2012, we finally took the steps to get the adoption process started. We hired an attorney and paid him in full. At this point, Jon hadn't seen or spoken to the twins in 4 years. They didn't know anything about him and, as far as they were concerned, M was their Daddy. We got the paperwork signed and mailed to everyone. We didn't know where Jon lived, so we had it sent to his parents house. His father signed for them, even though he wasn't suppose to. This began the fight.

As I'd said, Jon hadn't seen them in 4 years. He also wasn't paying child support. He had, legally, abandoned them. You'd think it would be an easy battle. 

It wasn't.

We had our home study done by a social worker and we spoke with and had a visit with the attorney for the twins, the guardian ad litem. They both agreed that the step parent adoption was in the best interest of the twins. With all that out of the way, they had what they call a status hearing, which is where the judge sits down with our attorney, the guardian ad litem and, if they came, the non-custodial parent and they make sure everything is on the up and up. If it was, then we'd get our final hearing court date and get it all nice and legal. Our status hearing was in May of 2012. A few hours after it was over, we got a call from our attorney.

Jon showed up. And he contested it.

He was living on the West coast and had absolutely no contact with me. He still wasn't paying child support or anything like that. Then, out of nowhere, he showed up here in Kentucky to contest this adoption, but while he was here, he didn't even try to get in touch with me to see the twins.

Because he contested it, we had to proceed another way and petition the court to have his rights involuntarily terminated. We drew up the paperwork and get it all processed and were about to send it out when Jon called my attorney and had a change of heart. He gave his consent. So they drafted up the paperwork and sent it to him.

He never signed it. He never responded to any calls from the attorney, no emails from me, nothing. We finally gave up and decided to submit the paperwork to have his rights terminated. Of course, during the wait, they changed the laws on us and made things even more complicated.

Now the law states that each child had to have their own petition. So we had to make a motion to sever the petitions and drop one of the kids from the case and open their own. It took FOREVER, but the judge finally agreed. So we separated the petitions and got them filed. 

It is now June of 2013. Jon is almost $25,000 in arrears on his child support. He still isn't responding to any attempts to contact him. We had another home study done by the social worker. We spoke to the guardian ad litem and he agreed to split his report and give the kids their individual reports. We are hoping to have it resolved before August, but we aren't sure if that will happen. All we are waiting on is the reports from the guardian and the social worker, as well as M's background and child abuse check. 

The twins are going to be nine this year. Last year, we told them the truth, that M isn't really their father. I showed them pictures of Jon and told them the truth about why he wasn't around. They decided, based on what I told them, that they didn't ever want Jon in their lives and that M was the only Daddy they needed. They ask, almost daily, when their last name will be the same as ours. 

There is a warrant for Jon's arrest in another state, due to nonpayment of child support. Unfortunately, he still lives on the West coast and they won't extradite over that. 

It doesn't seem right, but what can you do about it? The law makes it hard to do the right thing by children. The kids ask, daily, if the adoption is over. This has worn us all thin and, when it is all said and done, it will be a happy, happy day.

2 comments:

  1. Practically my story (even twins). Add to it: Now that the donor is on "disability" (ROLLS EYES...do not get me started) the kids get "child support" ($30/month/child) so we cannot prove he's abandoned them financially. Great.

    The other part that chaps my @ss?? He can be deemed unfit, the kids given to me 100%, but I can't designate in my will to whom they should go if I were to die. They AUTOMATICALLY go to him. W...T...F?!?

    Damn the system. Just damn the system.

    ~Adrianne

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an incredible story that will, I'm quite sure, have a very happy ending.

    ReplyDelete

Some of My Most Popular Posts