Posted by: chicagoshells | October 7, 2013

It Shouldn’t Be Luck

I’m working right now, on a project that basically consists of an hour or so of total craziness every morning followed by 3-6 hours of sitting at my computer listening to other people discuss fictional characters I couldn’t care less about, and reminding those other people to take breaks from their discussions every hour and a half.  This means I’ve had a lot of time to mess around on the internet, gnashing my teeth over the fact that I’m paying other people a dollar more an hour to watch Mulberry than I’m making to be away from him.  But that’s a vent for another time.  Or not, because I’m not going to do these kinds of projects anymore.

Anyway, in my internet travels I came across this beatiful, horrible blog  I started reading it and became completely sucked in.  It’s the story of someone else living through my worst nightmare…having her (non-bio) child taken away from her and not being able to do a thing about it.  I found it because someone else posted it in the NGP group I’m in…because another member of the group is (or if not quite yet, will shortly be) going through a similar ordeal.  Years later, a different state, different circumstances, but the same damn thing.  People using unfair laws against someone they used to love, at the expense of children they claim to love.  I will never, ever understand.

When I read these stories, I think of how lucky I am…how lucky to have Trouble, how lucky to live in a state where I quickly and easily became Mulberry’s legal parent before he was two months old.  But see, it shouldn’t be luck.  Something as essential as not depriving a child of one of their parents shouldn’t come down to what state that child was born in, whether their bio-mother has PPD or finds “religion” or decides she just doesn’t want to share.  Luck should have nothing to do with it.  And I know things are getting better, that it is now law more than luck in many places, but I just fear it will never be enough.  That there will always be people who don’t know what they need to do to protect themselves and their children, or know but can’t afford it, or can afford it but think they just don’t need it.  I think people on some of the parenting boards I post on must be tired of me preaching about why second-parent adoptions in states that allow them are still essential, even with the recent progress, DOMA falling, etc.  I know it’s a lot of money and it’s all kinds of unfair, but the possible alternative is just…unthinkable.

Anyway…there’s no real reason I’m writing this, I guess, other than needing to get it out somewhere.  I say it to Trouble, but I think when I talk about stories like this she interprets it as fear that she might do something like that if she had the chance, and her usual response is “I’m not a cunt.”  I know she’s not, I trust her completely, but…these stories tug at my heart and soul in an incredibly profound way.  Maybe this is just one of the “things” about being a NGP that I just can’t expect her to understand.  The tiny kernal of fear that is always there.


When I logged in to write the above post, I had forgotten that my last post was a long vent.  I’m happy to say that things are far better than they were a few months ago!

-Knee surgery complete.  Not without being rescheduled several times, and an extra week with stitches in, and now possible insurance fraud on behalf of the greedy surgeon’s office, mind you.  But complete.  And I don’t feel the weird little “pop” in my knee every time I go up stairs.  We’ll call that a success.

-Trouble not only passed her boards, but got her first choice job, at the hospital where one of her clinical internships was.  She likes it and has a “grown-up” paycheck, including little things like health insurance and a pension.  I’m not the sole wage-earner for the first time in years, and it feels like a gigantic exhale.

-Mulberry is thriving. As my friend Bionic of mentioned, 9 months is wildly better than 7 months.  The biggest difference is the simplest, I think– we’re sleeping more.  I’ve deliberately not written much here about “parenting style” because when it comes down to it, our “style” is “keep doing what works for our family” and not much more, and I don’t really have the desire to debate our choices with other people.  But just in case anyone who reads this is taking Dr. Sears’ words as law…our lives improved dramatically once we let go of the idea that our child crying in his crib for a few minutes would actually lead him to a lifetime of using drugs or sex to fill that void left by his parents allowing him to cry.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.

-NO MORE BUGS!!!!  On some level, it really is the little things.




  1. Reading that blog really makes my blood boil.I can’t imagine keeping my sons from their Mommy (DW). She is their parent every bit as much as I am. We creating them together – from picking a donor, going through IUIs and an IVF cycle and several FETs, seeing them on ultrasound for the first time, 18 months of pregnancy (between the two of them). We were both there, we both planned for and wanted and love these babies. It is horrific to think some women would ever do this. Both on a personal level and on a bigger level – letting hetero people believe that we ARE different from them. Our families are NOT the same if you can simply cut off the other parent when you feel like it. I know I’m not being very articulate here, but i’m simply FILLED WITH RAGE! UGH!

  2. Wow. You’re terribly brave to start at the beginning. I’m not sure I could do that. But I’m happy to read the outrage because having this happen to ANY of us (& especially our children) is unacceptable.

    The Utah Supreme Court overturned my lower court ruling in Feb/07 and I immediately lost my, then, 5 yo daughter. I kept blogging to, not just share the story but, begin to heal through writing. I did my best to write about my ex in a respectful way – knowing her personality would only drift if I publically expressed anger.

    In June of 2010 (over 3 yrs later), she and my amazing daughter showed up at my doorstep – literally. After another 3 years, she calls me her fairy god-mother. I don’t parent her on any level but I do get to see her grow and know how she’s doing and witness some of her favorite things. These are a few things I would’ve given anything for those first 3 years so I just try to be grateful. – knowing so many others just imagine spelling bees and shoe sizes and hand holding.

    The ultimate tragedy is that my daughter now believes that parents DO go away. She’s 12 and she explains to me that “you used to be my mommy when you were married to my other mommy but now that you’re married to (my partner), you’re just our friend.” It breaks my heart. And I wait for the day – when she’s old enough to not be taken away again – to tell her our story.

    • Keri, I’m so glad you commented, and so incredibly glad to hear that you do have some– not enough, certainly not even a fraction of enough, but some– relationship with your daughter at this point. Thank you for sharing.

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