So I was asked today on my blog about why Ben and I signed the rights away to his children. It was nice for her to share her question with me. I figured I would make it the subject of today’s blog since at some point either you have experienced this decision or you might have to at some point, if you are dealing with a HCBP.
I would have to say I knew before anyone else did that this decision was coming. Bringing this up to Ben was hard. Telling a man that we needed to do this because it was the right ADULT thing was hard. He did not want to give up on his children. I could not blame him. We continued to fight for our children.
A year goes by and he brings it up. At this point the children were ignoring his phone calls and starting to hate me. We had seen recordings of the interrogations their HCBM was doing to Xander after spending time with us. We would see him squirming in a chair at the dining room table avoiding eye contact with his HCBM and Step-Father. Xander was under the impression he could choose whether or not to follow the court order. When he decided he did not want to come to our house, an officer and Ben had to inform him that he had no rights to choose where he wanted to be and that he was required by the court to spend the week with us, he started yelling and screaming and resisting. It took Ben and officer taking him on either side and placing him in the car. He was 11 at that point and we live in Texas so the cop was going to follow the law.
Tori was trying to steal stuff out of our house. She kept asking for things that she thought belonged to her mom. When we would ask why she wanted it she would tell us she wanted to give it to her mommy because she was crying about it. Mind you at this point Tori is 5 years old. I never forget the time in the car when she told us about her HCBM trying on her old wedding dress and crying. It broke my heart that my stepdaughter had to see that. All she wanted was for her HCBM to pay attention to her and spend some girl-time with her.
All we wanted to happen was for their HCBM to follow the decree as written out. When school started that year Xander refused to go to the after school program that we had arranged for him to go to. He was told by his HCBM he did not have to go. So every time we went and he was not there we had to get a police report. We spent a lot of time without seeing our son. We took the HCBM back to court for violating the custody decree something like 36 times in a span of 90 days. We had police reports and evidence for it all.
When we were finally ready to see a judge, Ben was informed that because the HCBM did not have their psych witness that he had two options. The HCBM had stated that our house and family was not safe for the kids. So the judge told Ben he had two options. He could allow the children to live with their mother and he would have to forgo seeing his children until it was resolved by the court or he could turn his children over to CPS custody. For Ben that was hard. In one aspect he wanted revenge and make the HCBM feel his anguish but what overrode that hate was the fact he LOVED his children. He told the judge he would forgo seeing his children until the next court date.
We missed their birthdays that year. Ben finally broke down and brought up the topic again I had mentioned a year earlier about signing our rights away. We prayed for several weeks and talked about it. We both knew that even if we had made every concession that the children’s HCBM wanted she would never be happy until he was gone. Finally Ben sent an email to his lawyer to draw up the paperwork to sign his rights away. He was tired and so was I. We had been in the battle since 2014. It finally ended on October 19th 2016 with the following Facebook post.
October 19th, 2016
So after over two years of trying to do what is right for my step-kids my husband and I made the decision after several weeks and months in prayer to sign the rights of his children away so the children can not worry about honoring mother and father who did not agree on any life style choices for the children. The children will now have to worry about honoring the ways and rules of one parent. We did our Christian duty baptizing them. Introducing them to God and Jesus. The last thing their father did for them was to give them their copies of their bibles. We continue to pray that the seeds and sacrifice we made today providing them peace, at last, will flourish and they will seek us when they turn 18.
Until then we pray.
O GOD, whose fatherly care reacheth to the uttermost parts of the earth; We humbly beseech thee graciously to behold and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to thee, may be bound together by thy love in the communion of thy Holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
3940 days and counting.