Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Custody Wars: A New Hope

A long time ago in a court room far, far, away...

It is the end of civil war.

Much to our surprise and delight the 2 year custody battle with my husband and his ex is now over. The trial never happened. Instead hubby and his ex were able to settle the issue through 2 days of mediation. The outcome was exactly what my husband had hoped for: his ex agreed to give up joint custody (not that she had much choice as the forensic reports gave every indication that she would have had it taken away had it gone to trial), attend parenting classes, as well as family therapy sessions with Cinderella, my husband and myself which will also include sessions alone that might end up in her being referred to individual therapy. Hubby now has SOLE custody of Cinderella, now lives with us M-F and visits her Mom every other weekend.

I have mixed feelings about this decision. I am thrilled to think that this bitter battle has ended; overjoyed that my husband and his ex have agreed to bury the hatchet and work towards better communication. Cinderella needs this. I want nothing more than to be able to open up a line of dialogue with bioMom and establish a relationship better than what we've had for the past 7 years. It'd be great if we could be like Jann and Sharyl
. But I am skeptical. I find myself doubting her sincerity and am unwilling to trust her motives. After 7 years of manipulation, lies and deciet should I be expected to forgive? How can I forget? I am also curious about what this means for Cinderella and me. Our personalities are completely different; she is borderline ADHD so some days with her can be exhausting and I find myself to be somewhat lacking in patience.

However, I remain hopeful that as I gain some closure with her bioMom and find a way of embracing her into my life, that my relationship with Cinderella will continue to flourish.

If today's horoscope is any indication, there is some good news on the horizon:

"Goals that may have seemed unreachable lately are finally starting to come
into focus, dear Capricorn. It could be that you have been neglecting your
dreams because every time you address them, they only seem to move backward.
Have faith that your luck is starting to turn around. Be patient and you will
find that even your wildest fantasies will start to come to fruition. "

In the meantime, I have welcomed this woman into my home on several occasions and, as she put it yesterday, "shared" my husband with her as he fixed her fax machine and her VCR on two separate visits to her house over the past 2 weeks. YES, it's a bit much and there are some boundaries that must be set. I have no doubt that there are many challenges yet to face, but am trying to remain positive that we're all headed in the right direction.


Dolfinnlover said...

I really happy your battle is over. Children should be put first. Biomom and me had that type of relationship, maybe one day we will have it again. Just remember, keep a distance. I considered her a great friend, and it hurt when that ended.

As for Cinderella, try to have patience. Remember all that she has been through, I had a great piece of advise from a coworker of mine. "Remember the child might act out, because she hates the fact that her own mother can not/will not treat her or Love her the way you do." Be patient, that poor girl is going through a lot. Good Luck

Bitchet said...

I sensed a huge sigh of relief in that post!!

Wicked Stepmom said...

Bitchet: I remain cautiously optimisitc. :)