Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I walked into the courthouse and the security guard smiled, warmly, and said, "You're dressed for success!"

If only it were that easy.

Dad didn't show up to our visit on Friday. He didn't show up in court, today.

No one that I tell is surprised, but I'm shocked.

I think it's because I believe in him - or want to - yet, I was relieved.

This love is complicated. Very complicated.

Something turned in my heart on Friday, when he didn't show. I was angry. Angry that he gave up, didn't care, or simply forgot.

I was up, this morning, at five. I soaked in the tub and for the first time begged God to let me keep my daughter. I know she belongs to Him, but she feels like mine. And I don't want her to leave.

When dad didn't show up, today, I felt indifferent.

Not only wasn't he there, but I heard a whole slew of activity that was news to me. He missed a drug test in January, resetting his "clean" clock to 30ish days; he is, routinely, disengaged during visitation; and has had multiple counts of disciplinary action in his rehabilitation program.

His attorney had very little to add and, simply, threw her hands in the air and said she hadn't heard from her client since our last hearing, three months ago. Our attorneys (Missy's and the agency's) requested another hearing in ninety days and wanted it on record that they plan on requesting a goal change at that time (from reunification back to termination).

I walked out with the attorneys (Missy's, agency's, mom's, and dad's). They share a dysfunctional camaraderie that will never make me comfortable in their presence. Their fight can switch on and off in seconds, but outside the courtroom they tend to be on the same team - which makes me wonder why we're required to do this ridiculous dance.

As one attorney pushed the door open, I overheard, "Well, we should all be out of this mess, by this time next year."

I wanted to throw up. I know the "mess" they referred to is only a small part of their day every few months...but it's my life.

There are people and feelings (so many feelings) and deep family bonds balled up in it.

This is what our mess looked like, this morning, at wake-up time.

Of all the things I experienced, today, learning that dad was disengaged at visits was the hardest. I am writing this of my own accord, with no spiritual revelations - my prayers have turned selfish. I still want dad to win. I want him to win the battle he's, currently, losing against the enemy. I want him to be clean and healthy and sober. And I want him to have contact with his daughter - under our supervision.

I am praying that he will have a change of heart and end this madness by signing over his rights, voluntarily. Right or wrong, it's what I'm praying, today.

I just want this to be over.


  1. Dear Pinchback family! I have followed your blog for years, never posted. This one grabbed me. The system may fail, but our God doesn't.
    I suspect you are about to see Gods faithfulness in action.
    Bless you and your husband on the journey you didn't choose, but truly was chosen for you.

  2. You truly inspire me with your love and heart. I am praying for you and your sweet, precious family. Thank you for your transparency in sharing with us. Your story has really spoken to me, as I'm sure it has many others.

  3. Long time reader, I'd be lying if I wasn't relieved that Dad was screwing up. The problem is Little Miss, if not kept by you will be exposed to his lifetime of "mistakes", and I realize you are not perfect, but your "mess ups" do not have the potential to ruin her life.

  4. It's sad that he has let his progress go by the wayside. I am relieved for that baby girl, however. Assuming there will be state involvement with the new baby once he is born due to the latest developments, has there been any discussion about keeping all 3 siblings together?

    1. Yes; the agency asked us to take the baby boy. We told our caseworker that we will adopt him, but aren't willing to foster him, right now. Our reasons range from emotional to practical, but we have peace about it. We will be doing sibling visits once the baby is born.

  5. Praying that the court terminates rights and/or that dad comes to that decision on his own sooner! Little Miss belongs with you, Ben, and her brothers.

  6. If you being selfish results in a better life for 'little miss', I'm certainly okay with that. :) You love her and want only the best for her. Hearing the new negative information about the biological father only confirms your desire to have 'little miss' become a permanent member of your family. I don't think God expects perfect prayers from us because He knows that is impossible for us. I don't see anything wrong with praying that the biological father voluntarily terminates his parental rights in order to end the madness. The system is a mess, like the attorneys said, and they're (unfortunately) not doing anything to make it better. I'm not sure that dragging it out another three months really benefits anyone in the long run. If bio dad doesn't show up for a visitation and hearing, and has made no contact with his attorney or the social workers, I think all bets are off. I do not believe that we should continue to give bio parents so many chances without holding them accountable, because all that does is cause more pain and instability for the children involved. Your 'little miss' is very young and hopefully will not remember having to go through this turmoil, but so many older children suffer when the system continues to prolong everything. I'm praying along with you.

    Kathy Lang

  7. God love you. I am amazed at the strength he has provided you for this fight, with heart, mind, and soul. This emotions must be exhausting. Continuing to pray for you and your family. Thanks for sharing and being transparent and vulnerable during uncertain times. It is a testimony to faith while we wait.

    Love in Christ,
    Ashley Moon

  8. I kept checking your Facebook page yesterday for updates...I stormed Heaven with prayers before the trial. I wanted SO bad for you to have resolution. I pleaded to God that whatever His decision was, you would have resolution. I'm sorry you don't have that yet. I'm sorry that birth dad seems to be losing his battle again. I held out hope for him. As much as I want Little Miss to become a Pinchback for eternity, I did want birth dad to get well and stay well. I've seen first hand the effects of addiction (my dad died at the age of 59 from a life long battle with alcohol and drugs) my husband is (THANK GOD!) almost 6 years sober of drugs. So I always want to see an addict who wins BUT I want Little Miss to be yours, plain and simple! :) Thank you for sharing your "selfish" prayers (although I don't view them as selfish at all, because I can't imagine my human heart praying anything else if I were you). You amaze me. Your strength (that easily can only come from our Lord and Savior) amazes me! My Godly heart will continue to pray for wellness for birth dad, for His will to be done, but I'd be lying if I didn't share that my Earthly heart will be praying for that beautiful baby girl to become a Pinchback, ASAP! ;)
    Love and prayers from a complete stranger in Maryland! :)
    ~Christina Gomez

  9. I use to be the manager in a group home for teenage boys and your story reminds me of a brother pair I had in my home. Mom fought tooth and nail to get her kids back...there were months of family counsiling sessions and every other sessions you could think of and finally the day came for the boys to go back home to mom and I got a call from the case worker that morning that mom had gotten high the night before and sabotaged everything she had been fighting so hard for. the boys were devistated....it was so hard to watch. It was a selfish move on the moms part but as a mom myself I have compassion on her cause I understand how huge the responsibility is........

  10. I don't comment often, but I read all of your posts. And I know I shouldn't be, but I was happy to see that Dad is failing to be able to keep up his side of the bargain in terms of visitation and testing and court. I know it's selfish on my part, but I want Little Miss with you and her brother and I imagine it will be a far better life for her in so, so many ways. Differently from you, I feel some empathy toward Dad in his disengagement in visits. I'm imagining he has had no models in his life (eg his own parents) on how to engage with a baby like Little Miss and may be at a loss of how to interact with her. That can be learned, if he were motivated/interested. But not being able to show up (multiple times) for important dates regarding this child? Unless he's been kidnapped or hospitalized, I have no patience for that. If you want to be a parent, you show up. Whether you're sick, or sad, or whatever else. The absence speaks volumes about his ability to consistently care for this child. And I hope the court sees that. The fact that "this mess" might take a year to resolve? I am so sad to read that. What a marathon this is, each step an emotional quagmire. Sending thoughts and support.

  11. It has always been my prayer that dad relinquishes his rights, gets clean sober and healthy and has supervised contact with Your (plural) daughter. I will continue to pray for this.

  12. That's a beautiful picture. I am willing to bet that we all are praying for exactly the same thing. Prayers are powerful and you have an army.

  13. I'm a long-time follower, but have never posted. This post...uff, it breaks my heart. I can feel your sadness(and maybe exhaustion) in your writing. Am praying for strength for you and your husband to finish this race, and that Little Miss stays with you forever.
    Love in Christ-

  14. People often make prayer comments on here asking for what they believe is right in their OWN hearts. However, I have been reading your blog since before you became a mom to Ty and I have come to strongly believe that you and Ben firmly entrust God's Will for your family. So, whatever journey God has written out for your family, whatever plans God has in store for ALL of you...it is my prayer that His will, be answered. I also pray, that in the midst of everything, throughout this journey and there after, that The Lord will continue to provide you and your family with the kind of hope, strength and courage, that only comes through Him. You are an amazing girl, Rebekah...you've got this!

  15. at this point, I don't even think that it is a case of right or wrong that you want little miss to stay-
    he is showing his true self...
    you can only parent little miss, not him.
    he is doing wrong, by himself, and by her.
    he is relinquishing by his actions, and hurting her by continuing this selfish charade.
    I hope the courts can see this. everyone else can,
    even, I would bet, g*d.

  16. Can the lawyers petition for termination any sooner than 90 days? I don't know the in/outs of it all but will the ASFA of 97 guidelines apply or exactly how long you have had the children. Just a thought that could potentially speed it up?

  17. Praying for you and all parties involved. I hope and trust that the Lord will bring resolution and peace for this 'mess'.

  18. I've prayed and fasted and pleaded with God on your family's (and Little Miss's) behalf. I don't know why he's put you on my heart so heavily but my prayer has always been for LM to stay with you. Still, I can feel frustration at his actions. I can't understand why the Lord allows people (like bio dad, who was once a little innocent boy) to become so utterly broken, and then in turn destroy the lives of others. I pray for him too, and trust God's ways are not my ways.

  19. His true colors are coming through...

    I pray for peace and strength for your family and little miss. I pray that HIS MESS gets resolved and doesn't go on for another year of this up and down flow. Little Miss belongs with you and hope at the end of this... she belongs to you...

  20. I've been reading your words, your story for quite a while now. And I'm continually amazed by our awesome Father's crazy big love. It is so big and so crazy to include us all. He is big enough for your hearts desires and for your children's birth families heart cries. And he loves you all. His plan is for the best for his children, and of course your heart want your babies with you. He cares and he's listening.
    Love and hugs,

  21. I have followed you forever back to Ty and you have all my love!

    Something just occurred to me that may lend some perspective for you!

    I did home births with my two youngest daughters. Birthing a child is a powerful transformation that God takes a mother through. It can be long and hard and make even the strongest woman give up when she hits her wall. So beautiful sweet momma in many ways you have and are giving birth to these children. You are riding the same roller coaster of faith a laboring mother goes through just in a different setting and a different playing filled. But you, your heart and your spiritual womb are contracting and laboring just as I did in my home as I gave birth. My best advice to a birthing mom is to focus on your breathing, God and change positions often. Love you!!! And lifting you so high!!! You have already birthed new life into three babies you can do this one no problem! That baby is yours momma! Own it know it your heart and so it is.