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The Sun

by Isabelle Marsh,
Mistake Parenting Heartbreak

No one bothered to call him, request his presence at the next meeting or appoint him a lawyer. That was not fair, was it? I had worked several cases before, but this was the first case I felt a sense of guilt. The workers before me had not noticed a man trying to turn things around while incarcerated. While incarcerated he had the chance to be sober - the chance to do his due diligence and come out less shunned.

His mother had died and he surely did not attend her funeral while incarcerated. His girlfriend at the time had moved on and had another child. He knew nothing of their first son they had together.

He has rights. He is human.

His first child - a boy - was now elementary aged and couldn’t define ‘father’.

His little girl - now three - knew who he was but knew nothing about him. She thought he was still their neighbor. He was a neighbor of sorts, though his neighbors slept in close quarters and ate together in precise order. He completed his plan – the one required of him while he served his time. The same plan that was used to evaluate his appropriateness to be reunited with his daughter.

She was up for adoption. The family she was placed with was his family – the man behind the bars. Ironically enough, they did not want him having anything to do with the beautiful 3-year old.

Four months later, the court released jurisdiction.

She had a new family. He was not there for the hearing. He was not there to say goodbye. He was not there to fight. He was not there to plead his case.

Was the system unfair or did I not try hard enough? Follow the rules and do what you’re told. It won’t help.

Social worker to-be, Isabelle, is pursuing her Master's in Social Work. She aims to educate on the importance of wellness through written word. She is also the founder and editor of HEAL(er) Mag - an online publication dedicated to sharing stories of healing. You can follow her on Twitter at @OrganicIz and Instagram @healermag_.