29 September 2010

All Dad All Day

So where were we? ummmm I was granted custody and leaving the courthouse. My lawyer explained that the order needed to be signed to be official and that should happen in the morning. He also said I could get the police to help me get LMS. He gave me a couple numbers to the shierff's office and sent me on my way. As I walked to my car I made a couple calls to spread the good news, then went home and let it all soak in.

I was chilling at home with my girlfriend around 8pm when I get a call. It's my Babymomma, she says I can pick up LMS right now. I was taken off guard and said "ok" and hung up. After I think about it for a minute I decided that it's better for me to wait till I have the signed order in my hand just to avoid anymore drama. I call her back and say I will pick LMS up the next day. She replies "No, this is your game, if you want her you can have her... I will just drop her off" click. Fast forward 20min later and my doorbell rings. I ignore it, it continues to ring, I continue to ignore it. Then I hear the door open! I left it unlocked!!! I run upstairs and LMS is standing there with her grandfather, she runs in and gives me a hug and he leaves.

At this point my mind is mush, what just happened. I woke up that morning hoping I would get custody and thinking I would have some transition period till I had LMS full time. Now I'm standing in my living room at 9pm looking at LMS in her granddads shirt and some underwear. I tried to gather my thoughts and figure out what happens next. My girlfriend headed home and I put LMS in the shower and made a plan for the next day.

The next morning I planned to go buy LMS a new backpack and some shoes then take her to school then try and track down my signed order. (remember she was dropped off with nothing, no clothes, no backpack, just her beat up torn up shoes) Then my BM emails me and says she is going to withdraw LMS from school.

sidebar *LMS was in a school about 20min from my house, I had every intention to keep her there so she didn't have to deal with even more change in her life. Even though I have a school 1 min from my house.*

So once my BM said she was going to withdraw her from school I figured I'd try and talk to the school to see if she could stay. Otherwise I would have to transfer her the school near my house. Also if I was ever unsure that my BM didn't care about LMS this confirmed it. This only hurt LMS, I have no clue why she did it but I'm assuming she felt like she was getting back at me. Creating more work for me to get LMS settled. Either way LMS was now not in school.

Thursday... We went up to her school and they explained that she couldn't continue to go there. I lived outside the schools zone and she had already been withdrawn. Also school was closed on friday. So I a day to get her enrolled in a new school and figure out what I was going to do for aftercare. I spent the day running all over town, dragging the poor baby in and out of the car getting court docs, enrolling her in school, buying new shoes and groceries. Plus we went to like 5 aftercare places, None of them would work. Either they don't pick up from her school or they had a waitlist. Just when I was about to say f*ck it and be a stay at home dad selling weed brownies out my house like the chick on WEEDS I found a lady in the neighborhood that does daycare. We went over there to check it out and it seemed to be ok. It wasn't perfect but LMS like it and instantly started playing with the kids. Plus the hours are good and they do homework with the kids. It's a good place.

Luckily the school I put her in is the same one she was in last year until her mom withdrew her. When we walked in everyone remembered her. Its good that even though its a different school it's not a brand new one and she seemed excited to be back. Besides being tired from me dragging her around all day.

Friday... My sister agreed to watch LMS while I ran more errands. The new school requires everyone to wear uniforms. I had none, so I had to go shopping. I swear I came home with more bags over the weekend then I have all year. I found GAP uniform shirts on sale for $3.46 a piece, I cleaned them out then went to find some pants and jumpers. I found pants but they were all too long. I was tired of shopping, I HATE shopping, I just like new stuff, I want it to magically appear in my house. The whole process of shopping is overrated. Reason #25785 why I need a wife.

So after I spent a bunch of money, I went to go pick up LMS from my sisters house. luckily my sis cooked dinner and she had eaten, we headed home and went to sleep.

Saturday... I promised LMS we would do fun stuff since the we had not done anything but run around. We went to buy some play shoes, a raincoat and ran around chuck e cheese for a while. Then we got some frozen yogurt and life was good. I still had problems finding uniform jumpers but I figured I'd do that on sunday, my mom agreed to watch LMS for a lil while and hem her uniform pants. I also had a long back to school list of supplies I had to fill. I ended the day taking out LMS's braids... this took me like 2 hours to do half her head, she was tired and so was I.

Sunday... We woke up, ate breakfast and I finished taking out her braids. I knew I had to wash her hair and my GF gave me instructions on how to condition it. She offered to come over and blow dry it for me. LMS had never had her hair blow dried before so after some crying and negotiations it got done. My mom came over and took LMS out for ice cream, me and the GF went uniform and school supply shopping. I finally found a spot that sells jumpers and bought a bunch of them. LMS officially has more clothes then me. now she needs hangers for them all.

In the end the weekend was kind of a blur, LMS got everything she needed to start school on monday. While I felt a bit overwhelmed with how quickly it all happened I'm lucky to have a support system of people who love me and LMS enough to help. She's been with me a week today and we are starting to settle into a rhythm that can work. Besides she seems to be really happy to be with dad.

27 September 2010

Then it All Changed

Last week I went back to court to conclude my custody hearing. I had a billion things on my mind. I had no idea how it was going to turn out or how the outcome would change my life. All day I ran scenarios thru my mind and none of them ended with Busta Rhymes lol.

I was worried my baby momma wouldn't show, that she would find a way to drag this out longer. That I wouldn't get custody, That I would get custody and not be able to handle it, That I would get custody and it would ruin my relationship. Basiclly I was worried about everything. when I get nervous I just kinda zone out, I prepped for that day and I need to just stop thinking and live in the moment.

When I got to the courthouse I had to wait... we waited over a hour before our case was called. The judge took us last because he knew we were going to take a while. If you remember the last time we were in his courtroom things didn't end so well, he was in a bad mood and was having a horrible day. Thankfully he reconigzed that and apologized for it. He explained his actions and we progressed on with the case.

After about 4 hours of talking and testomony the judge went into his ruling. As I sat there I had no idea how it was going to go, the more he talked the more unsure I was. I sat and tried to figure out what I was feeling, I was sacred, happy and worried all at the same time. It wasn't till towards the end that I had a idea where he was leaning....

He mentioned how me and my baby momma could not agree on anything and it's like we are coming from different planets. Due to that he said Joint legal custody was impossible

*sidebar: Legal custody is who has the rights to make life choices for the child. Like school, doctors, church. Things like that. Most people have joint legal which means the parents have to agree on choices. Physical custody is who the child lives with a majority of the time.*

So with joint legal custody off the table he began to talk about physical custody. He mentioned how if things didn't change LMS would lose her relationship with me. Her mother had no interest in making sure I was a part of her life. I should mention that my Baby momma interupted the judge like 3 times while he was talking. If you have ever been in court this is a big no no. Anyway the judge mentioned that uprooting a child from one home and moving them to another is a huge decision and not something he liked to do personally or professionally.

After all that he said "I grant sole legal and physical custody to the plantiff (thats me!)" then he proceed to lay out a visitation schedule for my baby momma. *Here's when the drama starts* As the judge is saying she would get every other saturday - sunday she stands up and yells "That will never happen!! I gave birth to her!" and proceeds to storms out of the courtroom. Once she stood up, the judge adjusts his ruling and says she can have supervised visitation and he was going to forgo the exception period and make the order offical first thing in the morning. It was a crazy couple minutes and it took me a minute to realize what happened. I walked out the courtroom and everyone was gone. We were there till 6pm and court ends at 4:30pm. I mean the only people in the halls were cleaning folks. I hugged my mom and my lawyer (which might have made him uncomfortable lol) I held back tears of joy and tried to focus on what he was telling me.

So what happened? I got sole custody of my baby and her mom basiclly has no visitation. In order for her to visit with LMS she has to schedule it with a approved visitation center. No overnights, no trips anywhere. Just meet and play in a monitored place. Its like a complete 180 from everything that was happening. I went from no kid around to kid all the time.

I can't explain how excited I was, I got a sense of releif that finally I could move on to the next chapter of life. I knew my work was far from over but this was a huge step in creating a better life for me and LMS. Let me end it here, I'll continue the story of my first weekend as full-time dad later.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and prayers, God is good and prayer works. You just have to be patient and realize things workout in thier own time not yours.