I don’t remember the timeline of the next 24 hours or so, but I do know that I tried to sleep and finally gave up and finished an assignment that was due in 2 days (don’t ask me how I did it) and then got up and tearfully got ready for my ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) class that I HAD to do that morning and as I left, I told him that he and she were ruining 20 lives between our two immediate families. I cried all the way there and talked to my family and best friend on the way home and later called to say I couldn’t work that weekend, but it is all a little foggy. That evening we plugged the boys in with a video game or movie while we hashed out the story and details and his plans. It turns out he thought he could take one of our sons (our more “challenging” one) and then let the other one choose who to live with while he had her move out here with some of her kids and move in with him. I am not sure on what planet he thought taking one or both of our sons and moving them in with the other woman and some of her many kids, was a good idea, especially considering most of our kids were adopted. So, ultimately, I gave him a few options – move out to a place on his own and we would share custody 50/50, have her move out here with some of her kids and I would have custody, but he could come spend evenings with them and weekends while I worked, or move to be with her and I would retain physical custody of our sons. Surprisingly, he chose the latter…and he made this decision less than 24 hours after we started the discussion.
The rest of the weekend, I spent in tearful conversations with family and friends. My first instinct was to return to the West Coast, where we had relocated from just two years prior. However, after talking with the boys and family and friends, I was reminded on how well the boys were doing here and why we had relocated in the first place (more on that later). So, I made the difficult decision to remain in Pennsylvania, a place where I had developed few friends and didn’t know where we would get the support needed to continue.