DAY 5, 4/20/2017

Today is the first day I'm starting this force of positive energy thinking about my daughter Phoenix and how it's now been 5 days since she's been kept from me by her mother with no stated reason. I've known Phoenix since she was 1 years old (two months prior to her 2nd birthday) and she has lived with me continuously since she was just over 2 years old. Phoenix is now 7 and will be 8 this year. I am the only dad she has ever known, not having ever met her biological father. She calls me dad, I call her my daughter. She's in my will 50/50 with her younger brother Kingston, my 4-year biological son who shares a mother with Phoenix. I took her in and have cared for her as a loving father for the last five years. We have a bond that is truly remarkable, and I have loved seeing her grow through the years in so many ways. I would say her favorite times with me are when I read to her and her brother each night. I have done this with them every night since their mother walked on out them with no warning whatsoever, while the kids and I were away the beach having fun with my brother and my mom, only to come home to a half empty house and no idea where their mother was. That was back in September of 2015, and in that time I have read them the Eragon series of dragon books, and the Wildwood series of fantasy books. Each of these books are 800 pages or more, and it's been fun watching Phoenix become enamored with each story, and listening to her questions about them the next mornings at breakfast before school.

Speaking of Phoenix's school, it's practically across the street from my house. Each morning we walk the short distance to her school, always arriving exactly on time or a few minutes early. Being on time is very important to me, and it's something I've seen Phoenix embrace over the years and I am happy for her. This bonding experience has been temporarily cut short starting this week, as I received an email from Phoenix's mother last week while I was on a business trip in Berlin, Germany telling me that I had no rights to ever see Phoenix again, with no stated reason. The previous communication from Phoenix's mother was less than a week earlier, in which she and I traded texts discussing this summer's holidays and which days each of us wanted the kids. And immediately prior to this email from Phoenix's mother stating I could never see Phoenix again, her mother had sent several emails stating that the only reason she was allowing me to see the kids was because they loved me.

So it's a bit confusing for me right now; I left on a business trip and had a daughter whose life I've been actively involved in on a daily basis since she was 2 years old, and now I'm back home and am having to initiate legal proceedings just to get back to square one.

I will continue to post to this website every day Phoenix is held from me, with stories about her life and the special things she does.'

 

DAY 6, 4/21/2017

Phoenix likes to arrange her stuffed animals just so in her bed. She has a loft bed that's above the queen mattress Kingston and I sleep on, and it's almost a guarantee that I'll get hit with at least one soft stuffy in the middle of the night. Phoenix's technique is that she lifts the top two blankets and arranges the stuffies in a line going down the left and right sides of her bed. And it's also very important to her to wear one of my old t-shirts as her nightie. Once she has the nightie on and the stuffies placed, the final step is to place her oversized stuffed dog Charlie at the foot of her bed.

One of the things Phoenix has told me many times is how much she appreciates that I take the time to hang out with her at bedtime. Her mother doesn't have as much patience unfortunately, and Phoenix says she never waits 'til they're asleep (Phoenix and her brother) before leaving the room, and that if she does read to them  it's not for very long. Personally I love the bond that comes from reading to a child, and am happy to read for as long as it takes for the kids to fall asleep. It's been my experience that they sleep very deeply this way, and wake up well rested and healthy.

Speaking of healthy, Phoenix eats very well for a 7-year old. Perhaps it's just her being a girl, but she rarely complains about vegetables and always finishes her dinner. Breakfast can be a bit of a challenge still, as Phoenix loves to pontificate about what outfit she will wear to school, and to brush her hair for a long time, and pretend she's cranky for the first few minutes after waking. But then she apologizes for being that way and says it was just because she was tired, which amazes me coming from the mouth of a 7-year old. Us adults could take a cue from children's forthrightness!