I was the first one in my whole family who has high blood pressure. I was the first one and the only one who had a divorce. The onset of high blood pressure was during the child custody battle. I was taken to court four times to fight for custody of my daughter within five years after the divorce. My blood pressure was creeping up on me.
My daughter was constantly under pressure to ask me let her stay with her dad full time. It hurt me more to see her suffered from the pressure. So without the official court order, I let her stay with her dad full time for six months.
By the end of six months, I was taken back to court claiming the pattern of having my daughter full time. After a whole week of court hearing, came the court order on the fifth day. Before the announcement, the judge called my daughter into his chamber. He spent twenty minutes with my daughter who was thirteen year-old at the time. She presented a two-page letter to the judge, giving the reasons she wanted to be with her dad permanently.
The judge came out from his chamber, stating that, after a whole week’s hearing, what he believed was what the child said. Therefore, the father received primary custody.
With that court order, my daughter was taken away, out of California, out of my reach. Gradually, all the phone numbers were disconnected. Email addresses were changed, except one. By law, I should have access to my daughter. The only access was one email address when she was controlled of whether or not returning my email and what to write when she did reply.
I only saw my daughter once in five year, from her thirteen years of age until she turned eighteen. Several months before she turned eighteen, I hinted her that she would be adult and that she could make her own decision. She took my words into her heart.
When she applied to universities, she was accepted by several with good scholarships. She chose one that was four hours’ drive away from her dad. She went to Portland, Oregon. Like all the university students, she constantly moved housing from semester to semester. When she turned eighteen and moved to another address. She didn’t give the new address to her dad.
The summer after she turned eighteen, she started contacting me. What a joy! What a relief! That was the best day in my life; only second to the day she was born.
We started to communicate, to build our relationship, to catch up of all the fear, doubt, and uncertainty during the past years.
We are grateful to God who have watched over us, protected us, and brought us back together. With her husband Will, and my husband Lynton, we have built a wonderful and close relationship as a family.