A couple of nights ago I had the pleasure to speak with a father from Texas. We spent almost an hour talking about his situation and his little girl. She is three.
Does this sound familiar to you or anyone you know?
Eddie is on the outside trying to be in his daughter’s life. His ex has moved on to another man and he is playing the role of father for his girl. Eddie asks me, “What can I do?”
We both thought of some ways we might be active instead of just accepting the status quo. Something better than the normal reactions of anger, sadness, and depression. I struggle(d) with all three having lost an active role in my daughter’s life ten years ago. While thinking through ways I could help, I knew what I could offer him immediataly: this platform.
For me, it has been tough being out of my daughter’s life for the past ten years. I didn’t get to be there in those moments when she needed a dad. I wasn’t able to reach out and give her advice that might have been helpful. I simply wasn’t there to help her during her tough times. I don’t feel responsible for not being there, but I do feel a great deal of pain. So did my new friend.
Why not use this platform for alienated families?
So, I came up with an idea. I am asking any parent who is estranged from their kid(s) write a letter each week (or with some frequency) to their kids and send it to us here at GCD. If you would rather record a quick video message, join our Facebook group and simply go live or post a video of you chatting to your kids. We will edit the letters for grammar and spelling, so please don’t feel nervous about writing, just write. We will publish them as part of a series called “letters to our lost kids.” You can simply include lessons you wished you could have taught this week, funny stories about your side of the family, videos of you and the family hanging out on a holiday, or prayers; really, whatever you feel lead to write or contribute. Imagine your child is reading this. What do you want to say to them?
You can decide whether you share the letter with your estranged partner, but I think the honesty of your sharing what you are thinking about with your kid might be somewhat therapeutic and who knows, it might change some hearts.
In today’s world of social media you never know how a campaign like this might inspire lawmakers to take a look at the court systems and figure out fairer treatment alternatives in family law. You might just reach a family member who has some influence with your ex-partner and can change the way they see you and your involvement with your family. Your letter might reach the man or woman who is substituting for you and they are touched by the pain of the situation and become an advocate for you. Who know, this might be something your kid reads when they are a young adult and it helps explains why you aren’t there right now. What a great gift you can leave them, even in this horrible situation.
I hurt all night long after talking to Eddie and have been walking through what it would mean to me personally to write to my daughter as well. I will be joining the parents who join this campaign and look forward to seeing how our messages impact families and kids.
If you are not in this situation, but you know someone who is, I would ask you to kindly fill out the ‘forward to a friend’ section below this article. We will send a quick message to your friend with a link to this article for their reading.
Please help us share this with as many people as you can. This could be life changing for some kids and it doesn’t cost a dime.
All the best,