The Lost Mom

We’ve All Lost

Last week the judge ruled in her favor.  The contract goes against Utah public policy.  There is no longer an order of visitation.  I lost my son.  He lost another adult (nay, a mom) who loves him.  They lost their souls.

And then the sucker punch today…. it just came out.  I just read it.  It made me feel sick.  The Alliance Defense Fund sent out this press release

I’m as sad as I can be.  I’m broken hearted.  I will always love him.


waiting for my (citizen)SHIP to come in

Let me tell you about last Memorial Day.  It was the last day where I really was allowed time with my Little Guy.  After that day, in fact, within a week, she cut me down to one afternoon a week, always under her watchful eye.  But that day it was him and my dad (pampa) and me.

We went up to my mother’s grave, just west of Ogden.  A small, intimate place were 100 years ago Swedish farmers laid their kin to rest.  It’s not far from the house my father was born in to immigrant parents.  It’s small, no more plots are sold, and my clan is there:  my grandma, her two husbands (both of whom she outlived), my aunts and uncles, my oldest brother, and my mother.

The Little Guy enjoyed putting flags on her grave, memorializing her service in the WAVES during WWII.  We placed flowers.  My dad showed us where his best friend lays, he died during the war when he was 18 years old.  Then we went to dinner and then home.

On the way home, my dad made the mistake of telling the little guy to straighten up.  It was cute and cheeky, the way my dad said it, saying his name from the front seat and telling him to “straighten up.”  Then, we heard his little two year old voice say, “Pampa, straighten up.”  We snickered (always a bad idea), it was so cute.  Then we heard variations of “Pampa straighten up” and “mama straighten up.”  A slight break and then again with the demands from the car seat to straighten up.  A quick look in the rear view mirror showed a boy so pleased with himself.  I laughed each time.  I was so happy that day.

We ate at my dad’s favorite buffet (hey he’s a senior, he likes the buffets).  And the little guy watched for both of us, making sure when one was absent from the table (getting seconds) that they came back soon and the threesome was restored.  From across the restaurant, the little guy in the high chair, he’d yell “Pampa Come!,” a demand he often levied when he wanted his entourage with him.  Or he’d say, “Mama Come.”  And when we were all three sitting at the table again, all was well in the world.

On the way home, just past the Lagoon exit, the little guy said, “I want go Gena’s house.”  He still interchanged the names mama and gena at this point.  I don’t know how she did it, but one day he called me what he always called me, Mama, and the next day he called me Gena.

I told him, “No hon, I’m taking you back to your house, I’m taking you to your home.”  And then my heart broke, in shards that have not yet come back together.  “I don’t want go my house.  Want go Gena’s house.  Want sleep Gena’s bed.”  I explained again that we couldn’t do that before changing the subject.

A sweet woman I know, who has also lost a child through the legal system, wrote me an email.  In discussing the still pending decision by the judge over the legitimacy of the co-parenting contract I signed with the little guy’s mom, she said, “I have a hard time believing that the judge would take you away from him again.”  Those words, those simple words meant something to me.  I keep thinking about the little guy being taking away from me, but also I am being taken away from him.  It reminded me about why I do what I do.

I never want him to think I gave him up voluntarily.  I never abandoned him.  I loved him and I love him still.

But still we, he and I, wait.  We wait to see what our citizenship in this great country means.  We wait to see if laws can expand fast enough to prevent real suffering.  We wait.

It’s strange to live in both the present and the future.  I know that one day this will be a non-issue.  People will wonder how we could be cruel, so barbaric to rip a child from their mama.  We will look at the reasons that the people doing it gave and see them as archaic and tragic.  That will happen, for that I am sure.  20 years, 30 years, maybe 50 years.  Yet right now, I’m not sure that our societies expanding values and notions of decency will happen fast enough to help me.  My future is still within the scope of the narrow views that embody public policy and cultural warfare.

I am happy for those families of the future who will not have this happen to them.  I’m sorry for the families of the past who have experienced such harm and heartache.  And I am not sure about how my situation will be resolved.  Am I too early for the justice?  Or will my citizenship come in?

I’ll end this the way I always want to end these posts.  I’ll tell you why I do this, why I pay a lawyer, why I write this blog, why I wait for a judge to determine our fate.  I do this because I love him.  I do this because he deserves to know someday how hard I fought for him.  I do this because it’s all I can do.  I love him and I always will.

Reflections on Intentions – Mother’s Day 2009
May 10, 2009, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Mother's Day, non-bio mom | Tags: , ,

Devotion is a hard thing to come by.  Someone devoted to you, harder still.  But I was and I am, to him.

love at first sight

love at first sight

From the moment I saw him, I loved him.  Actually, well before that fateful day, I loved him.  We planned for him.  When he was still deep in her belly we read books to him, called him by name, thought about our future with him.

And then that day, when he finally came, I remember the feeling, “oh, you are exactly who I thought was in there.”  He was tiny and fragile and beautiful.  When he was immediately whisked away and confined to the heat lamp, I wrapped my arms around his swaddled body and hummed to him.  It was after midnight and I leaned, exhausted, against the wall and wanted him to hear my voice.  We had agreed before hand that one of us would be with him at all times and since she was being attended to by medical staff, I was his guardian.  I whispered and hummed so that he might know he wasn’t alone.

Besides the doctors and nurses, I am the only other person who witnessed his birth.  I am the only one who can tell him how much we long to see him.  How excited we were to hold him.  How blessed we felt.  I am the only other one who can.

One day I’ll tell him about the time, when she was pregnant  I was reading the book, Little Quack, to her big belly, to him.  How her stomach shifted, you could see it!  Somehow he scooted all the way to the side of her stomach where he heard the story.  The other side of her stomach, the side without me, was flat as (I imagine this part) he pressed his little ear to the side of the womb to hear the voices that loved him.  The voices that love him still.

I was devoted to him.  Just as if he had come from my womb.  And it remains today, that devotion.

I would take a bullet.  I would give him my left arm if he needed a transplant.  I would hum to him if he if he felt alone. My intention was to always love him and I always will.

Happy Mother’s Day y’all.

Enough Already!

I’ve been avoiding the fact that there is an article about my court case in the City Weekly. I figured I’d get around to posting it here (after I didn’t feel so sick to my stomach anymore). But I saw that Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms had linked it and written some good commentary about the general situation of moms splitting and then having custody battles… I figured I’d let their words speak for me. Here’s their link Enough Already!

Enjoy (rolls eyes).

It speaks for itself
April 29, 2009, 10:21 pm
Filed under: non-bio mom, visitation | Tags: ,
It's a sweet, sweet thing.

It's a sweet, sweet thing.

For the love of god, please help me photoshop this so it looks like I only have ONE chin.  Ah, hell, who cares, me and my multiple chins were never so happy.



All he knew is that I just never came back….
April 28, 2009, 9:40 pm
Filed under: non-bio mom, visitation | Tags: ,

This could break a woman’s heart.

It haunts me really. It’s the thing that can wake me up in the middle of the night. Tightening in the chest.

The idea, that in his barely two year old mind, all his knew is that one day I was there and then I just never came back. He has no way to know that I wanted, every day, to see him. That I longed to hold him and kiss his little cheeks. He’ll never know that I cried for months. He’ll never know. But I do.

All he knows is that I never came back.

This has been just a brutal reality. An injustice that can never be undone. She stole time from me. Important, precious time at a time in his life when every day he changes. Every day he discovers something new. She stole him from me for the last 10 (almost 11) months. I can never have that back.

For the first 1 1/2 years I had every day, every beautiful day with him. It’s funny, now, how I cherish the memories of all those times … then. How I remember fondly the great-stomach-flu incident. Vomit wouldn’t even bother me now. Wouldn’t we all cherish the vomitous nights if we knew they might be all the nights we get?

I remember that last day I saw him. I didn’t know it would be my last day. I would have held him longer. Tighter. Told him more times that I love him. Wouldn’t we all do that if we knew it was the last day? Perhaps we should do that every day? Just in case.

So, tonight, I look at the only photos I have of him. A suspension of time. And tomorrow I will see him again. I will come back.

It takes my breath away.

Map Picture updates
April 26, 2009, 10:05 pm
Filed under: art as activism, non-bio mom | Tags: ,

I know that you’re all just dying to see the progress of my forever unfinished map project (see the page link for map, to understand the project). So here it is.

As of 4/26/2009

map 2/4/2009

map 2/4/2009
map 4/26/2009 detail

map 4/26/2009 detail

4/26/2009 more detail