The time has come that I can.
This has been the center of my storm.....
Most of you know my Nephew, Hayden. The story behind him can be found here.
This past Summer my Brother and his wife, Raschel decided to end their marriage in divorce. Honestly, I wasn't concerned with that because I knew nothing with Hayden would change. We would still get him on Friday nights and keep him until Monday mornings like always. Or so I thought.
The last week in August brought devastating news.
Raschel told us she was planning to move and we had 30 days to see Hayden and after those 30 days we wouldn't see him unless my Brother let us see him on his weekend visits.
I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest, like I had been kicked right in the gut.
I cried every time I dropped him off at school because I never knew if that would be the last time we'd keep him or not.
Everyday was countdown to devastation.
29 days til we won't have him anymore, 28, 27, 26, so forth and so on.
I was so incredibly sad.
I was crushed.
I couldn't talk about it.
I couldn't eat.
I cried myself to sleep.
I was mad, mad at her and my brother for being irresponsible parents who could care less about their baby and only about themselves and mad at them for using Hayden as a bargaining tool.
Two weeks later on September 9th, she suddenly moved out taking Hayden with her. Wait a minute, we've got 2 weeks left!!!!
I thought I would surely die of heartbreak. I have never been so hurt in all of my life. It was as if somebody was taking one of my own kids away from me and there was nothing I could do about it.
Though I know I did not give birth to him, my heart does not realize this.
For 4 years now, we have raised him and loved him as our very own child.
I went to an Attorney to see what if any options we had to keep him in our lives after all, we had been the only stable environment he had ever known, his primary caregivers, and provided for him financially.
I quickly learned a paternal aunt has no rights, regardless of what role they have played in the child's life. Some of you may agree with this, some of you may not. I will tell you very quickly that you shouldn't be quick to jump to conclusions when you do not know all the details.
My brother was willing to sign over his half of parental rights to us and us share joint custody with her but she had to agree to this and wouldn't.
The divorce negotiations between her and my Brother went back and forth. We rejected her initial request which gave her full custody and submitted a counteroffer for her and my brother to share joint custody with a clause that if my brother was unable to fulfill his visitation for any reason, his visitation rights would then fall to us.
My brother was in complete agreement with this and it seemed like a safe compromise to us. With this agreement, we knew we would see him at least every other weekend. Don't misunderstand, we wanted Hayden ALL the time, but compared to nothing, which is what she originally told us we would get, every other weekend sounded great. Unfortunately, she adamantly rejected this offer.
Our options then were to either submit another counteroffer or file our own petition for divorce and go to court.
We hoped it would not come down to court, but were willing to go to whatever length necessary to do what is best for Hayden and keep him in our lives.
During this time, she started having a hard time financially and was having a difficult time managing Hayden's school schedule. On impulse, we offered to let Hayden live with us at least until the end of the school year but not make any changes legally. Much to our dismay, she agreed.
He has been with us full time and we are loving every minute of it. He is attending Preschool 3 days a week and is doing great. He is content and never asks for his Mom or Dad.
I realize I may have set myself up for heartbreak when and if she decides she wants him to live with her again, however, I wouldn't have it any other way.
No matter what happens I know that God's grace is sufficient and His mercies are new every morning.
I received a call last week from her that she was ready to agree to our requests. She was suddenly eager to sign the divorce papers, with us utilizing my Brother's visitation if he is unable to do so.
Last Friday they signed those papers.
That may not seem like that much of a victory to some of you but, believe me, it is HUGE!!
This is what I've prayed for, begged God for.
I am so thankful.
I know without a doubt God placed this precious boy in our lives. I also know He has a specific reason and purpose in doing so.
I do trust Him, yet I must admit this journey has been long and hard. My heart has been heavy and I have been weary, tired, and scared.
I wanted so desperately for God to wave His magic wand and make it all better. To fix it. My way. In my time.
He worked it out in His time. According to His plan.
Thank you for your prayers.
I love you MUCH!