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If you think this is about YOU, maybe you should go reconcile with your parent and work to get back your kids instead of continuing to be a jerk. If you think I am you, or similar to you, welcome! :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Were were YOU?

I've heard from a person who claims to be an adult child who lost custody of the children to his or her parents, as well as somebody who claims to be my Ex. I can almost guarantee the adult child is not anybody I know, and can't be sure one way or the other about the alleged ex-husband. 

I still maintain control here, so I won't expose you to the full diatribe by either person. Both are tending toward arrogant verbiage, the kind that makes me glad indeed that I decided to censor the comments here. 

The adult child wants to know why I didn't work to assist my adult child in reuniting with her former children. This individual would also like to know why we insisted on adopting my grandchildren, why I got assistance from the government when my husband and I could afford to pay our grandchildren's way, why I'm punishing my adult daughter by doing this, and why the court simply "gave" us our grandchildren. I sorted this from the invectives, accusation, vulgarities and misspellings. 

The pattern of writing suggest to me this other soul might possibly be my ex-sister-in-law, not my ex-husband. I can't be sure it's either of them. The alleged Ex has accused me personally of being delusional; of being unfit to raise any child, let alone the ones we had together or the grandchildren who are now my children; of the Mister and I mistreating our eldest child, to the point where we browbeat her into surrendering custody; of having had an affair that ended the prior marriage, as well as being "at fault" because I entered the petition for the dissolution.

I suppose I could offer an explanation to both of them. 

However, I don't feel I owe either person an explanation. Quite frankly, I'm tired of offering explanations of why the Mister and I adopted our grandchildren. Some of the information is already here, in past entries. Why should I give into their lazy reading habits, simply because they render malicious demands against me without proof?

I will pose a question to both of them: Where were you?

Where were you, alleged ex-spouse, when our daughter and son were four and three years old, and you decided you hadn't had a sufficient adolescence at 25, and that you planned on having one? For that matter, where were you when you and I were both in military service, and you sampled the wares of the young women in your unit? Want to talk about why you couldn't re-enter the military after discharge? 

I ask because, if you don't remember, I do. I have proof of infidelities, as well as your helping yourself to government tools and the money in the coffee fund. I've stayed in touch with the women who told me they indulged you during our marriage, and intend to stay in touch with them until the day I die. I expect that someday the adult children who share our biology might ask for real proof, instead of choosing to believe you. And I'll be ready to give them that proof.

I do believe it was the Mister who stood beside me when the son of your and my DNA was hospitalized no less than 8 times. It was the Mister who went with me to all those sports games Madame claims we never attended. The Mister was also there when Madame didn't come home one night in high school until 3:00 AM, when she flunked out of college the first time, when she became pregnant prior to marriage, when she chose to marry her now ex-husband via elopement. Where were you? You were off riding motorcycles and spending your money as any man who was married without kids might. He isn't the cravenly, henpecked coward you and Madame attempt to paint him. The coward would be you

By the way, the Mister paid for all of that, and private school, and classes, and party dresses, and driving lessons, and hospitalizations, and everything else that these adults had as children from the time Madame was 10 and the Boy was 9. Prior to that, I paid for it. As you owed child support for seven years from the date we divorced until the Mister adopted our mutually-biological children, you paid for nothing during their growing-up years. You managed to pay off the balance owed in another six years. It took you a total of 13 years to pay off about $25,000, which came to $297 a month you were an absent father. During that time, you changed jobs, from a big-box toy store manager to work in semiconductors during the personal computer boom. It was the only money you spent on our biological progeny. A lot of it was money either I or the Mister and I paid long before that in basic housing, food, clothes, day care. When the last payment came, Madame was in college. 

By the way, that divorce I petitioned because you left- it contained a visitation schedule. Why did you think you were exempt from that schedule? Why did you think you could skip visitation dates without letting me know, and in the converse, when we lived in the same town, show up at my front door unannounced, demanding your parental rights? Why did you fade off into the sunset so willingly, and stay so well hidden until your father faced cancer and wanted to see the kids?

Why did you tell my mother that our marriage ended because I had an affair when it wasn't true? Why did you write my beloved aunt a letter on sheets of toilet paper? And just how many marriages did you have after you left me and the children? Is your present wife #3 or #4?

As for our "stealing" the children we now legally claim as ours, Madame instigated the adoption. We suggested it in a letter to her. She was living with a couple as a roommate. Prior to that, she'd had three roommates, each of whom kicked her out, one with the help of the police; and then in what is known as a SRO. We hadn't seen her in months, almost a year. Her response to our letter was to contact our attorney, to whom we had spoken once on the matter, and demand he set up a date for her to go to court and terminate her parental rights. 

Yes, you get to play Grandpa now with Madame's child born after we adopted these children. Big deal. You didn't raise Madame or the Boy, you weren't there. So, guess what? You and your family have absolutely no right to judge me or the Mister. She's an adult now, a diagnosed bipolar adult. If you'd been there, you'd know. Legally, you are still not her father. Your parental rights were terminated. That boy who calls you Grandpa is legally the Mister's and my grandson. You are no legal relation to him, to the children here, to the Boy or to Madame. Even if you were to rescind the Mister's adoption somehow, or to adopt her and the Boy as adults, it wouldn't change the legal status of the children here. 

As for the adult child: If you were as neglectful of your children as my daughter was of hers, I can only hope your parents took the precautions we did. Parenthood is not creating a child, and showing up to take credit later on. The person who claims to be my ex-husband seems to think that's true, too, so it's not an unusual thought. It's simply wrong.

Children need permanence, a sense of security. They need to know that they aren't going to wake up in a strange bed in the middle of the night, hungry, or in a dirty, dangerous place. They don't need to be afraid they are going to be suddenly taken away from that familiar world and dumped into another strange one at the whim of the adults who are supposed to love and protect them. So yes, we obtained legal guardianship, and yes, we adopted them.

A judge I know deals everyday with whining, demanding noncustodial parents who want the judge to order the other parent to send photos to the noncustodian, to write letters to the noncustodian, to make airline arrangements, to put small children on air flights alone, to pay for the custodian's airfare and that of the small children. You know what she tells those noncustodians? "It is not your ex-spouse's job to have your relationship with your children. Use your visitation to get to know your children, to take photos, to learn about them." 

I conjecture it's not your parents' job to have your relationship with your children, any more than it was my job to have my adult daughter's relationship with her children. 

If you have not done what is necessary to regain custody of your child or children, don't expect your parents to do it for you. Haven't they done enough for you, and yet they are doing more on behalf of your children? When was the last time you paid actual support for your children, not $25 here and $10 there, as if you were giving a friend gas money for a ride? Do you realize how much it cost for a week at day care for small children? When was the last time you bought not a pair of pants or a top but your child's whole school wardrobe? 

When did you honestly take care of your children when they were ill, walked the floor with them, took them to the doctor? When was the last time you obtained health insurance for them? Went to school for them, and didn't make an jerk of yourself in the process? Helped with homework not one time, but on a consistent, constant basis? Made them eat veggies instead of "spoiling" them and allowing them to eat junk food?  Staying night after night after night, instead of giving in to your own "need" to go out, do drugs, drink or have sex, leaving them alone the minute they fell asleep or even before that?

Your parents have been doing what is best and more for your children. You should be down on your knees grateful your kids are not part of the System, being shifted from foster home to foster home. Good foster parents are luck of the draw, and even the best are subject to the whims of child services. 

It is not your parents' fault you have chosen to abdicate your parenthood. It is not my fault, or my husband's fault, that our adult daughter chose not to actually be a parent to her older children, or make the effort to retrieve her children; any more than it was my fault my ex-husband preferred other pursuits to parenthood, only to regret his choices later in life. Let's face it. It's a lot easier to whine, complain and blame than to admit our major transgressions and attempt to correct those. Better to blame the ex-wife, the parents, the courts, the lawyers, Society.

Thomas Paine is quoted as saying, "Reputation is what men and women think of you; Character is what God and the angels know of you." Say what you will about me. I will challenge your assertions, and ask for proof of them, presenting proof of my assertions against you. God and the angels were there, both Ex-husband and somebody else's adult child, when the Mister and I did what we did. Our consciences are clear. 

The questions remains, where will you tell God you were when explaining all this to Him, someday? He knows. He knows. You can push it away from your mind now, but sooner or later, you will meet Him. And someday, He won't need to ask you. And you'll know where you were. And you will be ashamed if you didn't rectify the situation. Your excuses won't do. 

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