Custody

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The photo I put up on Facebook the minute we left court

We woke up at 7AM. Cydney woke up singing patty cake. I smiled big because I woke up with my little girl next to me. My mother, Cydney, and I had a quick breakfast at the Waffle House on Mercury Boulevard but I wasn’t really hungry. I was going over my gamelan for court. I ate some eggs and couldn’t think of anything but sitting in a Waffle House by Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News in November stressed out about Timile, Cydney, and the wall between us created by Timile’s parents that had me to the point of numb fingertips and couldn’t eat what was in front of me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the graveyard I would pass by in our apartment in Newport News that Timile nor Cydney ever saw that I would get chills passing by knowing in my heart Timile was probably going to die soon. I even played in my mind us living in Buffalo sleeping on the box spring of a twin bed with yoga mats and couch cushions as a mattress. I’d come a long way from where we’d been in that time. However, I let those moments subside because I still had work to do.

I made a mistake yesterday. Court began at 8:30 AM. I got there just in time and since my mother was moving slowly due to just having surgery, I brought Cydney into the courtroom with me. The first thing the judge said was “This is the Cydney that all of the fighting is about!” with a smile on her face. I just smiled back. Then the proceedings began. As the father I was asked questions about my profession, where I was staying, and if I had everything set up for Cydney in place. My answers were all yes and satisfactory. I was even prepared to show pictures if need be.

Next, it was Timile’s parents turn to speak. Their lawyer stated that since Cydney was en utero when her mother had cancer that Cydney was undergoing hematosis tests that I had put the family in a bind since they were not able to continue based on my not granting them temporary legal custody. Fun fact: the lawyer was not supposed to bring that up since the judge said that any decision I made in March could not be used against me in court. Anyway, not knowing what hematosis was my lawyer explained that its a regular blood test that can be done anywhere. That ended that premise.

While the judge was asking Timile’s parents questions my lawyer looked at them then turned to me and said “I recognize her! I had a trespassing case against her!” I said “Yes, against her daughter’s best friend nearly two years ago. That’s how I got your number and we met in July 2010.” It all came back to him and he pretty much said Timile’s mother is crazy. Now, Timile’s mother had pressed trespassing charges against Timile’s best friend when they came to get the rest of Timile’s things in April 2010. They couldn’t press charges on Timile because she was a resident there within 90 days. It was a bogus suit in which I was told there was lots of lying in court by the family. The charges were dropped.

After ten minutes the judge came with a decision stating that “The only way I could relinquish custody from. Chad Milner is if I see that he is unfit. Since I do not, I must follow the law.” Game, set, MATCH. I waltzed out of the courtroom to my mother who was holding Cydney and said “We out!” She looked at me like “Who?” I said “The three of us!” We briefly consorted with Cydney and my lawyer about having to come back in May. As we were talking I watched Timile’s parents walk slowly out of court looking defeated and talking to their lawyer on the side. I wanted to say something and even gloat a little deep down but there was nothing that neededto be said. I had Cydney legally and it would be damn hard to get her back. That was the last time they saw Cydney.

We left the couthouse elated and in praise. I took the picture at the top of the post with the caption “Guess who’s bizzack? (Cues Scarface instrumental)” and immediately posted it to Facebook. No one knew I was in Virginia at all. The responses were of happiness on the picture and in my inbox of people saying they were in tears, prayers were answered, and happiness.

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The picture I took as soon as we hit Brooklyn

The ride back seemed quick. We went to go see all of my family in Queens so that everyone could see Cydney.

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The picture my father took in hus studio when we got there

Truthfully, I wasn’t supposed to win this. Timile’s parents had plans that had I not shown up at the right time, planned myself, had help from others, and the prayers of friends, family, and strangers this wouldn’t have happened. I like to think that in all of my circumstances I’m a lucky guy but no. I just have good people around me who have my back. Forever resumed that morning and in spite of lots of hiccups and stress life is good!

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