By: Lynne

Loving a child, to losing a child, to loving that child again when . . .

Back in 1988, I had my third beautiful daughter.  Unfortunately, she was born out of wedlock.  I had three wonderful girls, 8, almost 2, and now a baby.  I was with her father until she was almost 4 years old.  Things were going good.  My old neighbor and I started talking again after I had moved.  We were all going to church.  I went back to work and my neighbor/friend was my babysitter.  We became what I thought were good friends.  As time went on, we were all on a bowling team/league together, and I found it odd that my boyfriend would stand behind her and rub her shoulders, but he said he was just being nice.  She was in a bad alcoholic marriage.  I was always there for her and her kids; she watched mine.  Soon I would get off of work and instead of me picking my girls up at her house where I dropped them off, she would bring them home when my boyfriend got home.  But as soon as I got home, she left.  My neighbors would tell me things, but my boyfriend denied it all the way.  Then one day, I seen for myself what others were telling me.  I confronted her and she yelled, screamed, and cussed me out for accusing her of such a thing.  Then I thought maybe I was wrong.  So I tried to apologize, even writing her a letter and she would never talk to me again.  Then trouble started at home.  Soon, my boyfriend was storing his stuff in her garage, but had his own apartment because she was still married.  Her husband would call me and question me about them. 

Well before I knew it, she was divorced in December of 1992, and they were married in February of 1993.  I had stopped going to church because I didn’t want to see them.  In the spring, around April of 1993, I was served custody fight papers.  My life just turned upside down.  I, along with my children, had to go for psychiatric evaluations, but so did they, and from day one, I told my pro-bono lawyer that this psychologist and I clashed.  But I had to deal with it.  Needless to say, the entire report was in his favor.  He was married, they both worked, and had no house payment because her ex-father-in-law had bought that house so his grandchildren had a place to live.  They were a “more stable” family than the one she had grown up with for almost 5 years now.  I really turned to God for strength.  I knew I was a good mom, and I knew that God knew that also.  I knew he didn’t have a chance to get my daughter.  Then after going to court and being questioned by my lawyer, then his, and the judge, the judge took the lawyers and my almost 5 year old daughter into his chambers.  He came out and talked to us.  He said he couldn’t ask me to choose between my children, so he would choose for me and granted full custody to her father because he felt my oldest daughter was too harmful to have her around. 

My oldest daughter was diagnosed as manic depressive three years before that while her father and I were still together.  But our household and family were fine then for my youngest daughter and my friend and her kids.  So after that knife into the heart, the judge twisted it even more by taking my maiden name which he and I both gave to my daughter away from her and giving her his name.  He, the judge, said, “Your other kids don’t have that last name, so what difference does it make.”  Then I had to pay child support also.  I left that court room a complete wreck.  I hated everyone that had anything to do with the custody battle.  I even turned my back on God.  The one I trusted - the one I counted on - the one I knew would never let that happen.  I lost it. 

I started partying and going out to try to forget about my pain.  The hurt was so bad, so indescribable.  But after a few months of ruining my life, I started being a mom again to my other two girls that needed me.  As the following year went by, I had gotten so involved in my girl’s school.  I was a volunteer, PTA Vice President to PTA President, to even a cub scout leader even though I had no boys of my own.  Then one day while I was in the shower, it was as if there was a person there with me and hit me in the head and said, “I am still here for you.  I never left you.”  Oh my, did I cry and cry and cry for probably an hour.  All I could do is ask God to forgive me for what I had done and ever since then, I never turned my back on God and I have learned to trust him and know that things happen for a reason.  I really never could figure out why I lost custody, but I knew there was a reason for it.  For the next 2 or 3 years, they were, actually the step mom, was very mean to my daughter.  They would go visit my neighbor and she would make my daughter sit outside on the front porch and not come over to our house or yard to even talk to her sisters or myself. 

Then one day out of the blue, I had CPS at my door saying they got a call saying I was neglecting my children, and that I had no food for them.  I may not have had a refrigerator full of food, but I had food.  This happened about four different times of them coming to my house.  All cases were unsubstantiated.  The last time they were at my house, my mom was there.  She had moved in with me for some time, and the officer for CPS, my mom, and myself all talked.  We found out in  a round about way that it was the stepmother calling on me with these lies.  We were told if she kept calling in, and they kept finding nothing, she would be arrested for false reporting.  Then I had bought my daughter a swim suit and wanted her to try it on.  Oh, my God.  After I seen her with the swim suit on, she was full of bruises.  I called CPS and got temporary custody back.  I just knew this was it.  I would get my daughter back.  Oh no, before the last court date, somehow his lawyer got everything dropped.  Over all the years she had to live over there, she would beg and plead for me to talk to the judge to get her back. 

Finally when she was about 16, 10 years of not living here, we went to court and she said she wanted to live with me.  The judge listened to what she wanted and granted custody back to me.  Ten years of heartache and pain finally stopped.  But then in court, her father asked me how could I do this to him, and all I could say was now you know what you did to me, but this is what my/our daughter wants.  She wants to come back home to mom.  I give God the credit for me having her home again.  My heart breaks though for my daughter because he has not spoken to her for the last three years and has even moved out of state.  I am just so grateful and thankful that God never left me or gave up on me when I was at my worst.

I just want to tell anyone who may be going through or have gone through something like this, never give up on God.  He never gives up on you.

Real Life Stories - Chapter 27:

LOVING A CHILD

 


Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.

To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God.  What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.  Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life. 


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