A little over a year ago I did everything I could to end the raging and bitter war that was my divorce. I had "won" in court two times, but there was nothing sweet about those victories. My three adopted daughters had become the casualties of our selfish fight. All three of them were under huge amounts of pressure to fight against me. As soon as I realized that there might be a way to give my girls back some peace, I gave my ex full physical custody and agreed to pay child support. We have joint legal custody, which means that I have visitation rights. There was nothing easy about giving up custody. The pain of that loss knocked me all the way to the ground on more than one occasion. Thank the universe that the ground is such a solid place to fall, and that I've had more than one good soul get down there and let me cry in their arms.
Sometimes I still hate the whole situation. My relationship with my girls has changed a lot. I think part of my stress, even though it hasn't been at a very conscious level, has been about how far from any recognizable "ideal" or traditional "role" I have with them now. I don't have enough say about any important decisions to be called their parent. And I'm pretty sure they don't even think of me as "family".
But then today I remembered to apply that beautiful God is Love theology to my own life. My joy is most full when I am doing my best to love. It doesn't need to get all complicated. If I just do my very best to love my girls, who really cares how we label our relationship? They are these three complex but essentially good humans that the universe has given me to love and that's what I'm gonna keep on doing. Whenever and however I can. It is what it is and it isn't anything worth hating or stressing over. True, the money is a lot. It's way too much for me to be paying someone who made it clear to everyone, especially my girls, that I am not their mom. But at the end of everything, it's just money, and they need it more than I do. Between frequent visits with my girls, quiet days of solitude, and weekends and evenings with my best mate, there is nothing but countless and limitless moments for me to feel lots of love and peace and joy.