Monday, April 25, 2011

My Good Friday

Big Exhale. I finally got my divorce papers on Friday.

What? Oh God no.  Sorry about that.  Mrs. LIAYF and I are indeed still happily married. I was actually talking about the official divorce papers from a short, albeit reluctant chapter in my very early adulthood.  It was more or less a marriage training ground, where I learned how bad things could really be...and the value of choosing a life partner who is not only beautiful, smart, and funny but also one with solid moral character. 

Thankfully I'm now batting a respectable .500 in the life commitment department.

And the papers?  Well, that's sort of a humorous story.  Emphasis on the 'sort of'.  You see, I haven't really talked about this before but Mrs. LIAYF and I are in the planning stages of adopting a second child.  If you are at all familiar with adoptions you will know that they involve a home study.  This is where you hire a social worker to do what is essentially a background check on your family life, and declare you fit to raise an adopted child.  Part of ours asks 'Have you ever been divorced?' and if so, asks you to provide copies of the decree.

"Go find your decree and bring it to me" Mrs. LIAYF instructed me, as she was reading through the paperwork.  "Hmmm, I'm not sure where it might be" I responded.  And with that I was off to dig through my papers to find it.  But, all I came up with was a draft.  It didn't have any signatures or even a case number. 

"Is that ALL you have?" asked my wife.  "Uh, yeah.  I guess so." I responded with a lump forming in my throat.

"No problem, we can just look it up online." She offered.  So we pulled up the court records and typed in our names.  It yielded nothing at all.  I began to sweat.

Mrs. LIAYF looked over at me.  "You are actually divorced, aren't you?" 

"Yes. I am." I said with all the conviction I could muster.

"Well, did you get anything from the judge?" 

"I didn't actually go to a court house.  It's been nearly 20 years ago, but I'm pretty sure I signed something"

It was at that point that we decided to do an online background search of my first wife, understanding that it would also include any divorces she was involved in.  I knew she had been remarried too.  But when we looked her information didn't come up with her maiden name, or her remarried name.  It came up with MY last name.  And there was no record of a divorce.

Shit Shit SHIT! 

This wasn't good.  I literally felt sick to my stomach.  What if she had never actually filed the papers?  I was young and stupid at the time and I just wanted it all to go away, so once I signed I never thought about it again.

Suddenly I had visions of my life being another story line from Big Love.  Would I have to convert our house into a compound and hide out from the authorities, all the time fearing that I would be exposed to the neighbors as a polygamist?  And also, how many sister wives would Mrs. LIAYF be ok with?

Actually, to her credit Mrs. LIAYF was amazing during this whole episode.  She instantly recognized my stress over the lack of information and reassured me that we only had to go to the courthouse and have them look up the decree.  Me, I now wasn't so sure.

The courthouse in question was not local, so we had to wait til I could get some time off to go see.  That day finally came on Friday.  With Mrs. LIAYF by my side, we asked the clerk to look up the divorce decree for one SeattleDad and his first wife.

My stomach nearly dropped through my ass when he at first said "I am not finding anything here".  But after some more searching, he then said "Ah, here it is.  I found it.  How many copies do you want?"


We had him print off two copies, and stamp them official.  As it turns out, no one is actually given copies, unless they are requested at the time of the decree.  So, I never did have copies.

I gave Mrs. LIAYF a big hug and with that we left the court house.  Strangely enough, as I walked down the sidewalk holding my wife's hand in one hand, and my divorce papers firmly in the other we were greeted by a throng of people walking right at us holding crosses.  Having been raised Catholic, I wondered if this was a sign.  After all divorce IS against the rules. But they just walked on by.  It was Good Friday after all. 

And it was a very good Friday for me as well, as now having that potentially disastrous roadblock out of the way, Mrs. LIAYF and I can now move forward in our plans to bring another child into our happy home.


triles said...

Funny story. Best of luck with the adoption process.

SciFi Dad said...

Dude, I was all, "HO-LEE SHIT!" when I read the preview in my feed reader. Bastard.

Ed said...

Dang! Way to drop a bombshell. Here's hoping the remainder of your adoption process goes on without a hitch.

Anonymous said...

Dude you are hilarious. Keep us posted on the adoption.

ericdbolton said...

Your wife is awesome. My wife would have been PISSED!!! Even after we got it straightened out..

WILLIAM said...

Congrats on the start of the adoption. Also A great story and very well told.

Juli said...

I am so excited for you!

(About the adoption and the divorce.)

My Mom and Dad have been married for 39 years. The priest that married them died the day after he married them.

To this day, no one's sure that he filed the licence before he died. :)

Adam said...

Congrats on the divorce! - I wonder if there is a card for that...

Also, best wishes on the pending addition to the SeattleFam.

Jack said...

Good luck with the adoption. That was one hell of a story- kind of fun. Probably more fun for me than for you. ;)

Alan said...

Great story! Just stumbled upon your blog. Love how your wife handled things. That's how you know you have a good one. Best wishes!

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PJ Mullen said...

Wow. I can imagine how jolting that experience must have been. Fortunately, now you don't have to open a chain of hardware stores or change your Twitter handle to @SeattleBigLove :) Best of luck with the adoption process. My best friend has been through it twice. That child will be a very lucky child to be placed in your home.

TwoBusy said...

Man, that's one hell of a hoop to have to find yourself leaping through... I can only imagine how dismaying and uncomfortable that must've been for you.

That said: congrats on the paperwork and congruent validation of your non-bigamy... and good luck on the adoption!

Kevin McKeever said...

Dude - you so had me.

Happy new kid - fingers crossed.

writtendad said...

I won't lie. I was hoping this would end on Maury with you in a tattered white tank-top, your ex-wife in four-inch heels and acid wash jeans, and Mrs. LIAYF throwing chairs.

But I guess your ending is okay too.

Beta Dad said...

Yeah--you had me going there too. And your wife handled that very well. You did better the second time around. But most of all, congrats on getting started on the adoption, and Good Luck! How exciting for you guys!

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Tim - Thanks man. Glad we can move forward now.

@Scifi - Thought that might get some peoples attention.

@Ed - Just seeing if anyone is reading...

@Eric - Yeah, she is a real Peach. I did better this time.

@William - Thanks.

@Julliana - They know they are. All that counts...unless you need the proof for something like an adoption.

@Adam - There probably is.

@Jack - It was fun to write, not to live through.

@Alan - Thanks for the comment. I hope you are not a stranger from here on out.

@PJ - That's a great thing to say. Thanks man. And I like that twitter handle but glad I don't have to use it.

@Two Busy - No, it wasn't fun at all. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

@Always - Haha. I figured I would get some peoples attention. Thanks for the fingers crossed.

@writtendad - I am screening my calls now. It's either that or shop for wife-beaters.

BetaDad - Yeah, I did better this time in EVERY respect. Good thing about being older and wiser.

Rachael said...

Congratulations on both fronts!

Knatolee said...

Glad you got your papers, and good luck with the adoption! How exciting!