co-parent

‘I choked out, ‘So, their dad and I are no longer living together.’ 8 months into fostering two of the girls, and 2 months after saying ‘yes!’ to adopting, my children’s father and I separated.’

“We had 5 kids and had just celebrated 6 years of marriage. Our entire life crashed, the walls built with facades and fantasies. I was secretly dying inside. It was silent, painful. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be taking family photos without a husband, my children’s father.”

‘My birthmother went into labor. Her secret would soon be out. Lying on the floor, she called her sister in pain. ‘What’s wrong?,’ she frantically asked. ‘My baby is coming. I need the hospital.’

“My birthmother graduated 5 months pregnant, lived at home with her parents and even shared a room with her older sister. But still, no one knew about about me. She hid her growing bump. Her parents were on a trip when the drama began. ‘I can’t keep her. She’s not mine.’ she told the nurse.”

‘Nobody dreams of being a single, middle-aged dad swiping on Tinder. When I entered Single Parent Land, half my brain was sobbing. The other half was thinking, ‘I can run free!’

“As a single parent, every decision takes on a new meaning. If I give my child an applesauce pouch made in China, will my ex bring it up in court? But back to the easy stuff. Remember naps? You know, those times when you could sleep in on a weekend without your ex coming in and yelling at you? There’s a silver lining in all this.”

‘I knew our marriage was over. He began feeling the weight of not being true to himself as a gay man. We were now entering uncharted territory – co-parenting.’

“I got off the phone devastated. Bawling. I felt like a failure. Losing a partnership like that, a friendship, felt like death. I began to picture all the holidays – separated as a family, and the awkward meet ups to switch the kids on our given days. I pictured being cold and disrespectful to other. It was the most painful things I could imagine.”

‘I was okay with him having a daughter, but NOT an ex. ‘I wonder where she’s sitting? Are they on the same couch? Why hasn’t he texted me? They’re back together, in Vegas getting married.’

“If there was a woman coming into MY daughter’s life, I would need their social security number and 20 references. When I met her, she said ‘hi,’ and walked away. Hi. Hi? That’s it? Where’s the interrogation? Where’s the drug test? I told Sam, ‘She hates me! I should text her.’ I was a total crazy person.”

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