Friday Night Football and Memories

This Friday night was so like another Friday night a year ago, that the memories flooded my brain. The difference between then and now flooded my heart.

It was another football game, a year ago, when my younger kids’ birth mom joined us. Katelyn was already with the marching band, but Conner and I arrived in the parking lot right after Annie. I parked my motorcycle in front of her company van and we shared a parking space. From there, we went to the field and watched the game together, chatting and laughing.  Continue reading “Friday Night Football and Memories”

When Hope Meets Reality

I thought we’d write a book together some day. There was even a title for it – “An Unlikely Friendship.” Many of you have followed this story and have been praying and cheering from the sidelines. I didn’t expect things to go the way they have in the last few months. Continue reading “When Hope Meets Reality”

“How’s It Going With Annie?”

“How’s it going with Annie?” I’ve been asked this question a lot lately. 

Annie was released March 1, so it’s been nearly a month now. The day of her liberation, two of the kids and I met Annie’s dad at Food Lion at 6:30 a.m., so he could ride with us. He and the kids hadn’t seen each other in six years, so they were all excited to get reacquainted. 

I had asked if I could take a picture of Annie walking out the gate, but the guard promptly told me they’d storm the car and pull me out if they saw me doing so! Instead, we sat in the car without a camera, waiting for her to come out. We weren’t given an exact time.  We hadn’t waited long until one of the kids exclaimed, “There she is!’  Continue reading ““How’s It Going With Annie?””

The Last Night

It has arrived. The last night.

It’s Annie’s last night in prison. Tomorrow she’ll walk out the gate to a colorful, fast-paced, noisy world that she hasn’t seen in nearly four years. She’ll have new choices and responsibilities. She is both excited and nervous. Getting out of prison is a relief but it is also overwhelming. Continue reading “The Last Night”

One Month Until It All Changes Again

As of today, it will be exactly one month until Annie, the birth mom’s, release. I have already arranged to have the day off and will be going with Annie’s father and two of my kids to whisk her away from the prison.

I’m learning that getting out can be frightening. Annie has heard from others that when you are released, everything is overwhelming. Continue reading “One Month Until It All Changes Again”

Guest Blogger – the Birth Mom on Her Upcoming Release

Here is a follow-up blog post by Annie, my younger kids’ birth mom. Her first post can be found here.

Getting out in sixty days scares me to death. We as inmates don’t ever want to admit or hear we are institutionalized but in some ways we are. I joke all the time and ask, “Daddy, will I hoard twenty rolls of toilet paper in the basement?” Trust me, toilet paper is gold here! Continue reading “Guest Blogger – the Birth Mom on Her Upcoming Release”

Four Months

It’s been a year since I wrote my first letter to Annie, my youngest kids’ birth mom. The last year has progressed through several stages and lots of emotions for me. I hesitantly wrote that first letter in November of 2015. The immediate result was a flurry of letters back and forth, between Annie and the kids and also between her and me. I went on to join the JPAY system and Annie and I have used that to frequently e-mail each other.  In January, without my telling the kids where I was going, I further tested the waters by visiting Annie in prison. In February, I started taking the kids to visit. You can read about the journey we’ve been on by clicking on the “Birth Mom” tab on the menu, or by clicking on the following links – Wading in with the Birth MomBeyond WadingThe Boys’ First VisitGuest Blogger – the Birth Mom!The Girl’s First VisitMothers’ Day 2016, and On the Inside. Now we are on our way to another stage. Annie’s release date is growing closer.

Four months.

Four months until this “new normal” that we have found will change again. Continue reading “Four Months”

Mothers’ Day 2016

Which is it officially? Is it “Mother’s Day” or “Mothers’ Day?” I’m not sure, but for my family this year “Mothers'” is the appropriate spelling.

Although we are not seeing Annie (younger kids’ birth mother) today, she is still a part of this day in a way she hasn’t been in previous years. A couple of days ago, I received an e-card from her, along with comments of thankfulness that I am the kids’ mom now. I sent her an e-card today. Continue reading “Mothers’ Day 2016”

The Girl’s First Visit

Again, thankfulness. Annie has thanked me many times for renewing her relationships with my children, her birth children. Today, though, I found that I am the one feeling very thankful for her.

I am thankful for the way that she is showing the kids honesty, repentance and love, and challenging them to find the better way. She worries about them, like I do. What I can’t do, she can do from experience Continue reading “The Girl’s First Visit”