In 1995 Phyllis and I had been divorced after a seven-year marriage. When we married, she had two children – a son Brad 7, and a daughter Becky 12.

When we started, we were the perfect family, and as time progressed, Phyllis and I bickered continuously. I will not belabor the subject, but I hate arguing – a throwback to when I was a child. There were times I would slip and call Phyllis “Mom.” I never did this purposely, but it was the same old shit I through as a kid.

Even though Brad and Becky were not my biological children I loved them and cared for them as if they were. After the divorce I maintained paternal relations with both. I paid for their college education, gave them each robust allowances through their mother, and participated in every way as their dad and was glad to do it. I insured their welfare and it was understood that any issue regarding my estate would be handled equally with my other two daughters. Everybody was happy with that arrangement especially me. It made things simple.

One day I received a call from the kids and they told me they decided that they wanted me to adopt them. I admit I was taken back and somewhat suspicious of their motives. I explained that they were already on par with Jennifer and Allison in my will and they shouldn’t have any fear of exclusion in the event of my demise.

They told me that they were aware of that but they decided that they wanted to be identified as my children. After all I raised them, educated them, and provided for them most of their lives.

I saw their point and told them it would be my pleasure. Needless to say it was a magnificent compliment. I inquired as to whether they had discussed the issue with their mom and their real Dad. Phyllis was fine with it but their dad was against it.

The next day I went to my lawyer and he thought that even though it was unusual, their real dad had no legal standing in the topic due to their age being 18 and 23.

My attorney arranged for the proceedings in the Fulton County Courthouse the following week.

When we arrived, we found the courtroom full of employees of the court. Our proceedings were so unusual due to the children’s ages that it was considered a historical hearing. The judge put on an excellent show. Also present were Brad and Becky’s Grand Parents and several other family members and friends. Also was my cousin Debbie and my now wife Carole. Afterwards we all went to lunch. The adoption was a wonderful large family event.

One of the unusual outcomes of the adoption was my son Brad even changed his middle name to Warren. He meant business.

One would think we all would live happily ever after. Things didn’t work out that way. Brad and Becky no longer stay in touch with me. Their mother continually harangued and pressured me for financial assistance. After several attempts, I finally had to put my foot down. Brad and Becky decided side with their mother so we disengaged.

In retrospect, I feel the kids were manipulated by Phyllis even though they genuinely felt the need to identify as my children. I never let them down, but today they are no longer considered in my will.



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Warren Rodkin

I have been around for a very long time and have had a number of experiences. I have many stories to tell and a lot to say. I am delighted to have a platform.