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You Can’t Tell Me That’s Not My Son

By Nottage and Ward on December 20, 2017

The following short fiction explores a common situation many non-biological parents face every day.

I was in the break room during lunch, taking a moment to silently grapple with an issue that would affect my family and me for the rest of our lives. I’ve known all my life that I don’t conceal my thoughts and feelings very well, particularly when I’m carrying the weight of a crucial and deeply emotional issue on my shoulders. I was practically weeping into my cup of soup and I had no idea.

“Are you okay?” I heard a friendly voice say. It was Brittany, a young woman who worked in a completely different department than me, and someone I only knew as a familiar face in the break room and from various mandatory office gatherings. She was getting some hot water for her tea as I looked up.

“Yes, I’m fine.” I replied like most people would, a sort of knee-jerk reaction.

“Are you sure?” she asked, dunking her green tea bag into her mug that had some kind of cat-themed pun on it. She walked over to me.

“No. I don’t know…” I was falling to pieces and I had to talk about it with someone. Brittany, with her Hairy Pawter mug, had an air of genuine kindness that broke me down.

“We’re divorcing. My husband and I have a son. He’s 8 years old. Well, I say ‘we’ have a son. He’s really his son from a previous marriage, but I’ve raised him like my own since he was 2. He’s my boy!” I started crying.

I stared down into my meaningless cup of noodles, ashamed. I felt Brittany pat my hand with hers, still warm from holding her mug of hot tea. “I was the child of divorce,” she said, quietly. “My biological dad was never in the picture. Tom, the man who raised me, has always felt like my real dad. He and my mom divorced when I was 10. I loved him so much and I knew he loved me. But it was an ugly divorce. So hateful. I thought I’d never see him again.”

I looked up at her, my eyes puffy and red. “What happened?”

She smiled. I could see the tears welling up in her eyes. She grabbed my hand.

“He fought for me.” She smiled. “He fought for me. And that’s what you have to do for your boy.”

 

If you are facing what feels like an insurmountable struggle for allocation of a child that is not biologically yours, take heart in knowing that we at Nottage and Ward, LLP, are here to help you in this difficult time. We have more than 25 years of experience dealing with cases like this. You are not alone. Please call (312) 332-2915 today for a free consultation.

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