Home > Confessional > What happened on my visit to MA to reconcile with Samantha Shaw

What happened on my visit to MA to reconcile with Samantha Shaw


Background:  While in the U.S. Army, I married my college sweet-heart.  We were married for 11 months, and for the next 4 years, I went through a hell-on-earth divorce.  To finally getFederal Street, Greefield MA it to stop, I was overpowered into giving up physical and legal custody of my daughter Samantha and court ordered that I could not contact her until she was 18.

On January 20, 2012, I went back to Greenfield, MA in attempts to re-establish contact, not unaware that she would probably be very angry, but I had hopes that a conversation between two adults would start the road to mending a relationship that was taken away from me.  Below is the texts I received after dropping a birthday gift bag on Saturday 21 January 2012, which contained birthday cards from age 3-17 and a book with my contact information off at her work.  A short time later, my phone went off with a text from Samantha.

For the sake of transcription,  “SS” means Samantha Shaw (her adopted name).

21 Jan 1442 – SS:  “You are not my father.  You don’t know what love is.”

21 Jan 1448 – Me:  “Let’s talk about that in person, like adults?  Coffee on me?

21 Jan 1510 – SS:  “Do not call yourself my father.  I have a great dad.  Who saw all of my first.  You missed out.  You really did.  Were you not told I did not want any contact?”

21 Jan 1522 – SS:  “Oh and by the way you owe him a lot of child support.  Why kind of person doesn’t take care of their child?”

21 Jan 1522 – SS:  “What kind of person decides in an hour to give them up?”

21 Jan 1525 – Me:  “I am here until Monday if you change your mind.  You were lied to, and texting is not a good way to share this info as there are explanations, would like to talk in person if you are up to it”

21 Jan 1527 – SS:  “No I was not lied to.  I do not want to see you.  You do not love me or miss me.  Thanks for giving me a great dad though.  One good thing came out of it.”

21 Jan 1535 – Me:  “I just left you a voicemail.”

21 Jan 1619 – SS:  “Yeah stop calling me.”

21 Jan 1634 – Me:  “What if you are wrong about all of this?  Is there not two sides to a story?”

21 Jan 1642 – SS:  “No not at all when You have been in my life for 16 years.”

21 Jan 1643 – SS:  “It was your choice to give me up.  Now you have to live with it.”

21 Jan 1715 – Me:  “What if it wasn’t and you miss meeting the dad you were given?”

21 Jan 1723 – SS:  “What?”

21 Jan 1726 – SS:  “You are not my father.  How many times do I have to tell you before you understand??”

21 Jan 1746 – Me:  “If you meet me face to face and let me talk to you for 10 minutes and you still feel the same way, I will leave you alone.”

21 Jan 1747 – SS:  “No I’m good.  You were told I didn’t want anything to do with you?  Were you not?”

21 Jan 1748 – SS:  “I will still feel the same way obviously. Because you are not my father.  I am ashamed to share half of my DNA with you.”

21 Jan 2148 – Me:  “Nothing you could ever do or ever say would cause me to love you any less.”

21 Jan 2150 – SS:  “I don’t love you.  At all.  Leave me alone.”

22 Jan 0048 – Me:  “I am thankful that your mom and dad cared for you when I couldn’t and that was part of the cost of the decision I made, which is why I also understand your anger, and have.  I am not interested in competing with the love you were given, or desire to change your loyalties, or telling my story, or changing your views, I just want to meet you.  Please forgive me and grant me this mercy?”

22 Jan 0111 – SS:  “I will never forgive you.  Ever.  It was your decision that you have to live with.  Too bad you missed out on a great kid and even better adult.  I hate you.  Why would I want anything to do with someone who did not want me??”

22 Jan 0116 – SS:  “And quite frankly you embarrassed me today.  Great first impression Derek.”

22 Jan 0123 – Me:  “Yes, my decision… To give you a life without me, so you did not have to go through what I went through, one of the hardest that I knew would cause this reaction from you.  Which was better than you seeing your mom and me trying to hurt each other, I took you out of the equation because no one else would, and the cost was knowing you would blame me, better than seeing how bad divorce was… and at least you would have hope, even at the cost of our relationship… I believed that was the best love I could give you…

22 Jan 0129 – Me:  “I ran out of money with 3 lawyers, representing myself, army lawyers, dad advocacy programs, senators, and the newspaper, I had nothing left…

22 Jan 0130 – SS:  “You owe my dad 10 grand for child support.”

22 Jan 0134 – Me:  “I wanted to pay so you would know, but that was not an option I was offered”

22 Jan 0134 – SS:  “Yeah I heard enough.”

22 Jan 0135 – Me:  “Army was ready to garnish my wages and did for 2yrs…”

22 Jan 0136 – SS:  “Leave me alone Derek.”

22 Jan 0138 – Me:  “Nothing you can ever do would ever cause me to love you or miss you any less.”

22 Jan 0139 – SS:  “Stop saying that, I’m going to flip out.”

22 Jan 0143 – Me:  “I really don’t want to hurt you any more than you have been hurt, please, you must understand that I was under a court order that prevented me from contacting you until now, and as the cards show, I anguished over these years…”

22 Jan 0144 – SS:  “Yeah there was a reason for that.  You are out of your tree.  And I would like for you to pretend that the court order still exists and leave me alone.  And you violated that court order when I was 16.”

SamanthaDRIVING22 Jan 0152 – Me:  “I did because many people know the whole story and told me about you, specifically, then about getting your license and I was so excited for you and hoped that your mom would have stopped being so angry with me, bitterness is a welcome friend when it has been around for so long and folks don’t forgive.  It can be blinding, deceiving, and unresponsive to compassion.”

22 Jan 0154 – Me:  “I learned this when I contacted your mom first and she ‘blocked’ me, thus I contacted you in blind hope.”

22 Jan 0155 – SS:  “Leave me alone!!!!!!”

22 Jan 0200 – Me: “Please read the cards, they start at age 3, which was the last time I was allowed to see you.  I have a vcr tape of us playing together when you were two…”

22 Jan 0202 – Me:  “I also have a box of stuff I have gathered for you since then and I will mail to you when I get back to SC.”

22 Jan 0204 – Me:  “I love you and I have always loved you.”

22 Jan 0208 – SS:  “Stop”

22 Jan 0212 – Me:  “Good night Samantha, I will write more after church tomorrow.”

22 Jan 1319 – Me:  “I will be heading to Northampton later today, just keeping you updated on my schedule if you change your mind.”

22 Jan 1320 – SS:  “You need to stop.  I’m going to put a restraining order on you.”

22 Jan 1330 – Me:  “Nothing you could ever do will ever make me love you any less, have a great day.”


I receive a call from her ‘dad’ in which he postured me and lulled me into his confidence that I would give her space and time.  I THOUGHT someone who later got custody of Samantha after a divorce with Rebecca, who also was assaulted by her would be a little more sympathetic.  Here is what transcribed there too;

For the sake of transcription, “JS” means John Shaw (adoption father).

22 Jan 2102 –  Me:  “Thank you for your call, I helped me greatly versus texts and second hand information, again my concern was that she was told it was my choice to give her up and we both know that it is not true.  I can wait, I have waited patiently for 16 years, here is my info ‘for your research’ 102 Queens Court

22 Jan 2105 – JS:  “No worries.  Your message cut off after 102 Queens Court.”

22 Jan 2107 – Me:  “Summerville, SC  29485, email – eph61820@bellsouth.net, and I would think it would be helpful if you read a letter from another girl in my world whom I cared for just like you cared for Sam, her name is brie, she is not mine, and calls me ‘dad’s too, if your interested?”

22 Jan 2107 – JS:  “Disregard… The rest just came through”

22 Jan 2108 – Me:  “What I am trying to say is I ‘get it’

22 Jan 2109 – Me:  “We have a lot in common it seems, thanks again, good night and talk with you soon?”

22 Jan 2112 – JS:  “Ok, thank you for taking the time to speak to me tonight.  I’ve gotta hit the rack.  I’ve got an early day tomorrow… Take care and God bless.”


With much prayer and sleeplessness, I counseled with others on how I was going to ‘stay in touch’ with her dad.

24 Jan 1900 – Me:  “So what do you recommend next?”

24 Jan 1902 – JS:  “I’d say let her come to you in her own time… Of course the problem with that is, who knows when that will be?…”


These words bothered me greatly as I prayed, read, prayed, read and responded back to John – as you can see something was up… John was not my friend, he was part of the problem in alienating Samantha…

26 Jan 0655 – Me:  “I am sorry it had to come to this.  I have had much time to think about this, and reviewing my 3-phone book high legal copy of the entire incident, and here is the deal, I waited 16 years for her ‘parents to absolve themselves and tell her the truth and the choice was made not to, and even now her ‘time’ issue could have been redeemed with truth from her parents, and yet I am still prevented from having a relationship with my daughter, so with no court order and a lot of $ and time now, I giving you until the end of the month to tell her the truth, the whole truth, adultery, paternity testing, alimony, and support, bills, and charges paid off (20k) that Rebecca charged after separation and being forced to give up Sam to end the divorce.  I have phone transcript of Rebecca saying she would drag the divorce on (4 years wasn’t long enough) If I did not sign the papers for Sam.  I also have all copies of the separation agreement in which Rebecca continues to threaten this and I refuse.  It think all of this coming from you is better, that is what a father does, tells the truth even when it hurts people.”

26 Jan 0742 – JS:  “Derek, Let me “bottom line” this ridiculous fantasy of yours.  Regardless of whatever you have contrived in your mind about this situation to save face and make yourself feel better about it, the fact remains that you signed the adoption paperwork, thus relinquishing any parental responsibility and or rights.  The real truth is that you got yourself in $10,000 in the rears with your child support payments and when you were provided an out you jumped at it.  As I recall you even penned a paper called “The advantages of a deadbeat dad” and posted it on the internet.  And yes Derek, it took about an hour from the time that Rebecca suggested that you let me adopt Samantha, till the time that you called back and said that you thought it sounded like a good idea.  When you signed those papers, you ceased being her father.

With every situation that you enter into, you bring drama, strife and heartache.  Be honest with yourself for once.  The reason you came to Massachusetts last week had everything to do with your own self-centered guilt that’s been festering inside all these years and absolutely nothing to do with Samantha.

You know Samantha has a good life and is surrounded by people that love and support her.  If you really do care about her wellbeing at all you would cease with all this nonsense.  No good can come from it, especially to her.  Do the right thing and leave her be.

26 Jan 0743 – Me:  “I have never blamed you for any of this and until I realized you could have said no, and you didn’t”

26 Jan 0743 – JS:  “No to what?”

26 Jan 0745 – Me:  “To agreeing to it without getting all the facts, the drama followed you with Rebecca getting arrested, is it possible we both married a problem?”


How I address 3 items from John’s text with FACTS versus memory

1.  IF I was in 10k in arrears for Child Support, would not have the U.S. Army garnished my wages and prevented me from getting a top secret clearance?  Let me help with that… ah NO, I would have been a security risk.  Here is a copy of the

(notice the other goodies in which Rebecca plays a card of paternity to try to get me out of the picture) which does not ‘contrive in my mind’ but speaks plainly in facts of black and white and official seals, in which I paid support and due to fraudulent activities, miss appropriation of funds, and unlawful response to the military I was finally RELEASED from the voluntary (yes, I did the right thing) payment of support by the United States Army.  Later when I forced child support again in MA, (notice receipt for payment a week before I was honorably discharged from active duty?) in 1996.  My taxes were garnished as was my last paychecks from the military to pay support (I got $1,600 behind not 10k).  Have receipt of paid in full for that too.  Further all hospital bills and other ‘charges’ were forwarded to me (which I have receipts for) totaling 20+k of which I also paid.   Still confused about the 10k number and where that started…  by my black and white originals, some 30+K was paid for by me and garnished from my wages, damaged my credit report, and never paid back.  Seems like someone owes me 30k…  How much should I pay again…  um, I think I did and am…

2.  The advantages of being a dead beat dad article – should have been read, the title was a play on words and further proves my points 16 years later on deception.  (I am in the process of getting a copy of that article that was printed in Father’s advocacy magazines and websites all over the country – COMING SOON) – essentially it outlines how doing the RIGHT THING does not get rewarded and how being a deadbeat dad appears to pay off for some and instead I chose to do the right thing.  Reading it will further discredit the comment above in that, believing lies for so long actually convinced John and others they were truth.  So sad.

3.  I also have copies of the temporary order in which Rebecca files for temporary legal and physical custody in 1994 which was first attempt to take me out of the picture and was rejected.  I have every draft of separation agreement in which I push for joint custody and Rebecca rejects it.  I also have requests for visitation and complaints for contempt in which I was assaulted when trying to go to visitation when Rebecca’s anger problem continues to become volatile and combative….  decided against scanning those and posting those as one piece of evidence above (#1) is enough.

It is very clear that I am not believing the gospel in this situation, angry at God, and others for the purposeful lying and deception, and still, 16yrs later, it feels the same way… hopeless.  I just wanted to be a part of my daughters life and it was taken away from me 18yrs ago, and still is…  

I am slowly getting better as I cry out to God, read, workout, and surround myself with our church family and friends… it doesn’t make it hurt any less, and I am struggling.  The difference this time is that I am in Christ and no longer in bondage to the sinful desires of the flesh.  I SamanthaShawthink I am going to put all this stuff away and God and I can talk about it later.

I have missed you Sam, and I have been faithful to do everything I said I would do (salving my conscience has been the least of my concerns….)… I think I will read Brie’s letter again to remind me of true family in which we don’t lie to each other and God and I will continue working on my self-righteousness and selfish ambition to vindicate myself with my meticulous records…  Jesus knows exactly how I feel and I need help with my unbelief.  I love you and want to be a part of your life, but only based upon truth, and that is really going to hurt you, I am sorry folks chose to lie to you it really could have been much different.  Kids really do pay the price in divorce… 

  1. 14/02/2012 at 04:03

    Derek, I had no idea you had a child. That took a lot of guts to go up there. Hope everything works out

    • 15/02/2012 at 01:38

      thanks Mike!

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