custody

‘My daughter has a sister, it’s complicated. I was almost ‘Mama’ to that sweet girl.’: Adoptive mom ‘heartbroken’ after daughter’s biological sister not placed with their family

“Seven months ago, my husband and I were in the back seat of a friend’s car on the way to dinner when the phone rang. It was a social worker. She told us that a baby had been born into foster care– our daughter had a biological sister. We could take a couple of days to decide, but we needed to let her know ASAP if we were interested. I had a full-blown panic attack.”

‘I was accused of murder. Twice.’: Mother of 6 recalls murder accusations brought against her after gaining custody of half-brother in wake of parent’s deaths

“My father signed over custody to me. The judge granted it one day before he died. We were settling into our new lives when I heard a knock at my door. A USPS worker handed me a certified envelope. I read the horrific accusations. Homicide. Someone is saying I murdered my father. Murdered. That I killed him. Me. His daughter. I hit my knees, sobbing, wanting to die. ‘This is it. I’m going to be arrested.’ I was petrified. What if someone actually believes this?”

‘Explain this.’ It was printed copies of every text I’d exchanged with my previous girlfriend.’: Single dad’s harrowing experience dating a narcissist, urges ‘even the strong can succumb to the cunningness of this evil’

“She had brainwashed me. She made me go through my social media accounts to explain my relationship with every female friend I had. If they didn’t meet her criteria, they needed to be deleted. My girlfriend ruthlessly pounded away at me with accusations of not being honest. It was torture. We would stay up all night arguing, the sun would rise, and I would go to work. She was obsessed with it.”

‘What the heck is going on? Have we been robbed?!’ I walk through an ocean of toys and books. My husband and baby are hidden among thrown sofa cushions. Sheer panic sets in.’

“‘She’s fallen asleep. Should I carry her to bed?’ Lunchtime. My phone pings again. ‘She’s woken up. What should I give her for lunch?’ I tell him she likes the pre-made pouches of baby food in the cupboard. Another text. ‘I can’t find the pouches.’ I can’t wait for Daddy to realize that staying at home isn’t all about box sets and playtime.”

‘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 had to leave, I had to be a single dad, to be a better father for my daughter.’: Single dad explains his relationship was ‘vulnerable, beyond repair,’ despite being determined to have a ‘strong co-parenting relationship’

“My girlfriend of 9 months was pregnant. ‘I need to tell you something.’ She slid a card across the table. As soon as I opened it, I saw pink and started tearing up. I was disappointed in myself and embarrassed I was careless. I had always dreamed this moment would be joyous. It was not.”

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