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So it has come to my attention that there is forum protocol and not having an introductory post is troll-like. I never did one because they are long and tiresome. I have many forums (non-blended family) and its just so much to type LOL. but the family is asleep so here goes.
My Dad and BM got pregnant young. Dad was 20 or so, BM was 16. They got married while BM was pregnant with my sister Crystal. then about 2 years later I was born. At the age of three (Crystal being 5) parents divorce. BM is from a different state down south, Dad is from up north. Dad goes home, up north, and enlists the help of his weathy family to help him get custody of his girls. BM, has custody in her state (this is pre-interstate juristdiction of the early 80's). Dads sister Patty calls BM, whom she used to be great friends with (and Patty is my god mother, and chose my name in the delivery room) and asks BM to have a visitation with us. BM drives up and brings us in for a few weeks. When she returns Patty, her husband, and my dad had aquired an emergency custody based on trumped up reasons claiming best intrest of the child and BM cant get us back. She makes the mistake of trying to kidnap us from school to get us back to her state where she has custody and she fails.
Dad is a regular visitor to our house. We are raised our Aunt Patty (who is henceforth known as MOM) with her two children Ken and Samantha who are almost twice our age. No, Sam is 10 years older than me, strike that. anyway...Moms husband Butch died when I was seven. That was horrible. I loved him like a dad. It crushed the whole family.
Mom married again, very fast. I mean within years. She was not good at being alone, and she was very depressed from the death of her husband. She married someone who loved her husband as much as she did, and missed him as much, his brother Jack; who had a daughter Shannon who was almost exactly my age. We were practially the best of friends. She came every other weekend and stayed with us on holidays. We shared a room when she came.
My Dad went on to get married again as well. Her daughter was 10, I was 12. We didnt get along very well because she was an only child all along and she was coming into a very big family.
Because My mom and dad had no animosity between them, (the big joke with the kids tword Crystal and I was our mom and dad were brother and sister, and we were born in the south LOL) Anyway, there wasnt any issues umong them so we spent all our time together. Christmas, Thanksgiving, ALL family birthday parties, all the siblings were together, because we were family.
I met my husband Junior year of H.S. there was some history there but it didnt last because he kept bouncing back and forth with BM. Funny thing though, it was her breaking up with him, trying to date someone else, then seeing him with me and wanting him back. Or seeing him with anyone for that matter. But even though she and I werent good friends, we traveled in the same small circle and I knew full well she knew I liked him and he liked me. I got the look here and there too. you know the one I'm talking about.
Well life went on after H.S. for me, but for DH and BM it stayed kinda the same. I guess they dated for a total of 5 years counting all the off and ons. And one night I was out at a bar with some friends and I ran in to DH. He was pretty broke up about something, but because we hadn't seen eachother in forever he quickly cheered up and we talked and danced. He asked for my number. Next day (yeah I know, suprising) he called and we went to dinner where he layed it all out. He and BM had gotten pregnant, she didnt find out until after one of thier break-ups, this one lasting a few months aparently, and he married her before the baby was born. They attempted to live together and it was a hot mess. They were seperated, and he had moved back to his parents house and she had moved to hers. Thier daughter spent half the time with him, and half the time with her. and oh by the way, this split up just happend around 2 weeks ago.
I still liked him so we took it slow. At first when I saw SD she was always sleeping. then a few months before her 2nd birthday we started going out with her. Dh told me once that when he told BM he was dating me she said "oh god, anyone but her" LMAO! DH was amazing though, and so was his Daughter.
Here lies the problem, I joined the military. I was buying time before I shiped out for basic. I was in a delayed entry program. Essentially it looked like our relationship was going no where. I was active duty, so I wasn't going to stay in town. DH and I tried to see it for what it was, and hoped that we could stay good friends when I left. He promised to write me every day while I was in training. I left in September (I will never forget that day because it was the morning they found my stepfather Jack passed away in his bed, and they also had to deal with me leaving and the MEPS guy coming to pick me up and take me away)
He did write me everyday. And absense made the heart grow fonder. While I was in training they had a winter exidous were we were sent home for around a week or two, I forget. But Dh and I eloped to Vegas during that holiday break, and I went back to training a married woman. From first date to marriage, DH and I were dating for a whole of 9 months, his divorce was final 2 months before our wedding, and SD was 2 years old. We were young and we were in love. My parents thought I was crazy. DH told BM about the wedding and she said since SD was so young they could continue a liberal visitation schedual inter-state starting with all of summer.
My first duty station was Hawaii, yeah I know...go ahead, get jelouse LOL. When DH and I got there and got our house and hooked up the computer for the first time there was an e-mail from BM. She recanted everything about liberal visitation. She had primary placement in thier joint-custody order and she said she decided that summer is too long for a child to be without its mother. DH and BM fought over the phone back and forth. I kept consoling him, but he was convinced that his dauther would think he chose me over her. and we both didnt want her to feel that way. Small shrines to SD started goign up around the house. I decided to be positive, and start painting her room and decorating it. Dh didnt see the point, he was a broken down man. I hadn't spoken to BM since H.S. I didnt push my way into pick ups or drop offs, If I was at his house when she came by I just busied myself in the room or watched TV. I was just staying out of thier buisness, SD was fun to play with and I loved her, but she wasnt mine, she had an involved mother. But after all this, I decided to break the silence. I was literally going to lose my husband I could feel it. I couldnt sleep one night and I sat at my computer much like I am now, and drafted up an e-mail to her. I tried to be polite, but explain to her how broken up DH was without his daughter, and keeping her from him will only hurt everyone, including SD. That one day she will ask why DH didnt see her, and what should we tell her? We woudl be horrible people if we showed her your e-mail and said because mommy said we lived to far. And I just really wanted to know what she was hoping DH would do. Did she want him to come home?
I expected the wicked witch of the west to respond to my e-mail. Instead I recieved an e-mail from a tearful girl claiming her mother told her she couldn't send SD and she doesn't know how to stand up to her. We wrote back and forth for weeks. She said things like "my friends dont know how I've done it this long". She didnt want to raise SD, she never did. The truth started coming out that when she went to DH to tell him she was pregnant she never expected a proposal. that she asked him to give the child up for adoption and he didnt want to, he promised they would make it work. They both said they got married for the baby, and not for themselves, and thats why it fell apart. and when they fought she told him if they ever split, she wanted him to take SD. But in the divorce, she knew her mother wouldnt stand for it. She didnt love DH anymore, but he was a good father she said. And having talked to me, she decided she wanted to reverse custody and send SD to live with us full time. She only asked for two things; summer visitation, and that I love her like shes my own. I contacted a lawyer, BM asked me to keep it a secret and then we can suprise DH with it, but how could I keep something like that from my husband? BM and I went back and forth with the lawyer one day and hammered everythign out. The custody order went before the judge when none of us were even there. SD flew out with my sister Crystal to Hawaii after her third birthday
For the first few months I called BM over every little thing. She laughed at me alot for being overprotective, or because she would call right while I was doign something gross, yuk. Oh like the one time she called and I was cleaning up pumpkin because SD thought she could throw it. She said "better you than me" and chuckled. Bm talked to SD one day when she was acting out and wouldnt go on time out for me and she told SD that I'm her mom too now, and she needs to listen to me. (SD was still calling me by my first name, she actually started calling my mommy around 4, but her point was I was the mother role in this house) and she continued to send me e-mails saying she is happy SD is in a two parent house. She didnt want her to see her struggle like her cousins or somethign like that. She talked about her cousins alot but that was vague.
Any who. Bm went without seeing SD the whole tour in Hawaii. The phone calls got fewer, as well as the e-mails. She kinda moved on. Then one day I get a call from an angry boyfriend who thinks I tricked BM and took her child, and brainwashed her into calling me mommy. He was yelling things into the phone about how I have no right, and I will get my due justice. And that SD will NEVER call him daddy. I had no idea what this guy was talking about. I asked him, do you even know whats going on here? he said BM told him everything.
(all those conversations about wanting us to take SD, and all that jazz, were in e-mail form and I never got rid of any of them, to this day. In fact, currently I have 864 e-mails from BM and I, that I saved.)
So we move on to our second duty station in Texas. Now stateside, and engaged to missinformed boyfriend, BM calls and asks if she can excersise her summer visitation rights. Sure! SD comes back and tells us (infront of DH's mother who adopted him) that boyfriend told her you cant be a mommy unless you give birth, thats the only way. That kinda hurt DH's feelings that she said that in front of his mom that cant have children. He said he didnt want her to grow up thinking that way because what if SD cant have children? Even though we all know it was aimed at me...it offended DH. (anouther time SD told me that he told her she was an accedent and she wanted to know what that ment)
Next year BM calls and says that her boyfriend's mom bought SD a christmas present, so she thinks it would be nice if SD was there to recieve it....can she have Christmas too. We offered an everyother year thing. Not in the court order at all, but whose gonna split hairs? does it really matter? We also offered spring breaks every year too but she has never taken it. I'm pretty sure if her in-laws or mother knew she was offered spring break it would tie her hands to actually take it though.
So Texas was the end of my contract, and we decided we wanted to move somewhere to stay so I would join the reserves instead, but I opted to be full time at my unit, not just one weekend stuff. We decide that we will move back home, which is 2 miles from BM's. 4 months home and BM moves to Virgnia. in that 4 months she takes everyother weekend with SD, and the last weekend she says shes moving away. Shes moving because boyfriend's mom lives in VA and they are going to go live with her.
She continues everyother Christmas with SD, and summer visitation. When she was 7 and BM and boyfriend got married, we drove out to Virginia to attend the wedding. DH and BM danced together, BM and I got drunk together, and SD was the flower girl, we took a family portrait of SD and her parents.
Shes 9 now. She will be 10 in 4 months...she calls me Mama, she calls BM Mommy, she calls DH Dad and she calls SF.......by his first name, because she says she doesnt really care for him. Every year she comes home there are stories about how she acted out while she was there, mostly from SF. he says she disruptive, disrepectful, and an istigator. No one else ever says that. and he always makes it a point to say "she came here that way" as if he was trying to break her of it the whole time, and its our fault. The last thing SD will be is disrepectful, she knows she will pay the price. Shes been an army brat for as long as she can remember and she knows she will pay me back any ounce of imbarrassment from disrepect. But apparently she has a camelion shell, because BM has stated that she has thrown herself down in a store of all places and thrown a fit like a toddler. BM and I have picked that apart six ways from sunday in e-mails and over the phone...and pretty much just think she tests BM, and BM doesnt really want to punish her given her limited amount of time.
I recently found my BM on Facebook, and her 5 children. The kids (ranging from 16 to 23) have each been flying out here one by one and spending weeks with me. I recently drove down to Georgia at my little brothers request to have his NCO sister watch him graduate from Infantry school. We all stayed in a hotel together, including BM. Even my father came with as my co-driver. My brothers and sisters loved him <3 and he and BM hit it off like nothing changed in the past 30 years. My sister Brittany comes to stay with me in January for a week with her fianace that I never got to meet because he was deployed. ( he comes home in 3 days! ) Hes never been up here before, boy are they in for a suprise with thier thin blood this time of year!
I've been able to finally put the whole story together on where my BM was, and why she didnt want to be with me. I think I've come to the conclusion that custody is a battle over who fights harder and has the means to keep fighting, while in the end you have to do whats best for the child.
Wow, that was a long story for you all. If you made it all the way to the end and are reading this now...congradulations. I'm sure I have missed a whole lot of pieces that I didnt think of that will come out later but that is the jist. (a 20 page jist) at least the parts pertaining to my Blended Family.
Last edited by schoolyearmama; November 29th, 2010 at 10:58 PM.
Reason: grammatical errors
I think I've come to the conclusion that custody is a battle over who fights harder and has the means to keep fighting, while in the end you have to do whats best for the child.
I think this is true for the most part. But like your SD BM, some moms just don't have it in them to be full time care givers or like my boys' mom's case, she found herself suddenly single and wanted to party like she should have when she was in her early 20's and started having babies. I think in the end most of the time, kids end up where they are supposed to be. I don't think that's always the case, but most of the time, the person who fights the hardest, has the most to lose; the most invested. Does that make sense?
Anyway, your story intrigues me! I think you have the best situation than the rest of here on this board. That's a good thing, though! I'm glad you have been able to have a good relationship with your SD's BM. I have a super relationship with my ex-husband and I long to have that sort of relationship with Neely's ex, but I don't foresee that happening. Not unless she gets some mental health treatment, anyway. But my ex and I are cool. I mean we got married at 17 and 18 and really were friends before lovers and eventually we figured out that we were better friends than lovers and could co-parent our kids better not trying to make our marriage work. There was some infidelity on his part, but I think that was mostly a symptom of how he thought of me, i.e., as a friend and not a lover. He has three other kids besides our two who were conceived during the course of our marriage with the same woman, and we always made visiting arrangements (he is no longer with their mother) so that the kids could see each other. They consider me their step-mom and I really do love them. Can't stand their mother, though, but I can be civil with her. She's on my Facebook friend's list, as is my ex-husband's current girlfriend.
Look, I've gone and turned your introduction about me. Seriously though, thanks for sharing your story! I think it gives us a little insight into your perspective on things.
Originally Posted by schoolyearmama
Ha Ha Ha, congradulations for making it that far!
BTW, I did forget something. My brother Jim Jr. My dad had his first girlfriend pregnant when he met my BM. Hes six months older than my Sister Crystal, and lived with his mother. But hes the best <3
My 19 year old has a half sister that is 3 months younger than me. My scandalous ex-husband got us both pregnant in the same year. I find it mostly funny now, but at 18 years old, and only being married for less than a year at the time, it was definitely not funny. We were, however, the talk of the neighborhood.