Josie is Marty’s oldest child. Like with Suzanne, it never mattered that he wasn’t her biological father. He is her Dad and he loves her.
When we talked to the lawyer, we always talked about both girls, but at the time, Jenni had to be our priority. She was desperately unhappy with her grandparents. Josie on the other hand was happy at boarding school as far as we were aware. Perhaps we should have checked.
The lawyer told Marty that taking Jenni from an unhappy situation was one thing. Taking Josie out of boarding school was something quite different and the courts would not be happy, particularly as it was so close to the end of term. The plan was too talk to Josie once she was back. We never really got the chance.
It is probably my greatest regret. We lost Josie. When we did catch up with her, she was with her mother. There was no opportunity to explain, no chance to tell our side of the story. And by then it was probably too late. Perhaps she thought she wasn’t important to us, but she was wrong.
Hindsight is 20/20. If we had really sat down and thought about it before we took Jenni, we would have done it so differently. We would have written to Josie more, explained why we did what we did. But we didn’t. Life was just so busy and we thought it could wait. We thought she would understand. We forgot she was only 14.
When we did see her she was guarded, different some how, there was nothing that we could say that could make it better. We rarely see her now. Maybe once every 5 years if she is visiting Jenni but it is not the same.
She is married to Steve and good at her job. She is happy and that is the main thing.
I will always feel we never did enough. We miss her and think of her all the time.
And ifI could change it I would. But in reality I don’t know how.
©Barbara Hart 2014