My daughter is starting high school in two weeks. She is excited and counting down the days. I, on the other hand, am not. It is terrifying to realize that in four short years....and they will be short...she will turn 18, graduate and fly the coop to strike out on her own adventures as a college freshman and young adult. Four years. Just four. When you say it it sounds like a decent chunk of time but if you sit and contemplate you find that chunk becomes a crumb.
Four years can seem like a lifetime and a hearbeat all at the same time. It was a lifetime ago that I divorced her father. It was a lifetime ago that her father began dating a new woman. And it was a lifetime ago that my daughters disappeared. Yet it seems only a heartbeat has passed since the police returned them to me and I brought them home. But it has been four years.
In the four years since being reunited with my daughters I have watched them grow from scared, introverted and timid little girls with emotional scars that would terrify most grownups into amazingly adjusted, outgoing, beautiful, confident and loving young ladies. They have excelled academically. They have forged lasting and true friendships. They have become skilled competitors in many arenas. And they have spent four years missing their father and questioning "why".
I can't answer that question. I wish I could. All I can tell them is that I am just as confused as they are and that I pray,daily for guidance and strength for all of us. I pray that God will become his eyes so that he can see what he has missed. I pray God will fill his ears with the voices of his children whose lives have been forever altered by his actions. I pray that God will show him the path to re-enter their lives and begin healing the rift he has established. I pray that I will be strong enough to forgive not only him but his wife for the cruel things she said to my daughters, the hateful lies she has spewed against me and the upheaval she caused in all of our lives.I pray. Daily. And I tell them to do the same.
Secretly-I hope he doesn't listen to God's voice until my daughters are old enough to handle the wave of emotions that will follow any contact from him. Secretly -I hope beyond hope that his wife will never be in a position to see, speak to or have contact with my children ever again.
Secretly-I hope. And yet I know I shouldn't.
In 2005 my ex-husband and his then girlfriend walked into Goshen Lane Elementary School in Gahanna,Ohio and withdrew my daughters (ages 7 and 8) and moved. No conversation with me. No discussion. Nothing. He just disappeared. For the next 19 months I fought to have our parenting agreement honored. I fought to see my children. I fought to talk to them and be a part of their lives. To no avail. But I continued to fight. Through every infraction against the court on his part-I fought. With all I had in me.
Finally on July 31,2007 I stood in a courtroom in Columbus,Ohio and listened in shock as the judge awarded me Emergency Custody and handed me a piece of paper. It stated I was to have local (Circleville) law enforcement assist me in retrieving my children from their home by any means necessary and that I was to take them home with me immediately. It took hours. She interfered. Her grown sons interfered. They accused me of abuse.They screamed horrible lies. My daughters screamed of their hatred for me and their desire to stay with their true family. Eventually they were dragged, kicking and screaming by four police officers each and forcibly placed in my car.
The nightmare did not end that day. For several weeks after there were incidents involving him and myself and him and our daughters. Each time the blame was placed at my feet and I was called every name in the book. The final act came October 12, 2007.
Ceara wanted to try,one last time to call and actually talk to her father. She missed him. Each time before she had tried to call him he would scream at her and hang up. He was angry. She betrayed him because she wouldn't say she hated me and was miserable here. She wouldn't tell her teacher I was beating her so she could go home. He called her a liar when she said she liked it here and was happy. But she wanted to try...one last time.
I dialed the number for her and turned on the recorder. (Each call had been recorded for safety and for court). The girlfriend (who he has since married) answered and it went South from there.
Ceara..."Is my daddy home?"
Lisa-"Daddy. Don't call him daddy. That woman has you sounding like a baby again. Are you a baby?"
Ceara-"Can I talk to my dad?"
Lisa-"What about me? How come you never call and ask for me? What about me? We used to spend time together? How about that? We used to do things togehter. How about that? What about me?Huh?"
Ceara (now in tears) "I just want to talk to my dad"
Lisa-"Well,if you mean Wade...he said he isn't your dad. He doesn't know who is and your egg donor bitch probably doesn't either. He said he is pretty sure it's some black guy she was screwing when they were married. Oh,and don't ever call here again."
I can't begin to express the look of total pain,agony,devastation and defeat that crossed my daughter's face at that moment. Nor can I convey the depths of my hatred for both her father and the horrible woman he had allowed into his life.
That was the last time Ceara asked to speak to her father and he has never tried to contact her or Cidney since. He also cut off all ties with his son more in 2006 and never looked back.
Fast forward four years. The hatred and evilness is still running amok on their side of things. Nasty comments about me,rude things said about my daughters and hateful things being perpetrated as truth. Today for instance.....the status on their FB page reads "hate women who use their children as pawns just to deprive those who love them from seeing them ". Really?
And so,here I sit....four years later. STILL praying and STILL secretly hoping that those prayers won't be answered...not yet.