I was woken up 의해 knocking on the front door of my house. I rolled over in the 침대 and noticed a police officer standing outside. I got out of 침대 and quickly made my way downstairs. I opened up the door and said "hello officer." He passed me an envelope and said "I was asked to hand deliver this to 당신 sir." I thanked him as I shut the door and walked into the kitchen. I sat at the 부엌, 주방 표, 테이블 and opened the 주황색, 오렌지 envelope. I slowly pulled out a piece of paper that read "custody trial; location 런던 England" across the top. I read the fine print and basically what this piece of paper says is that Christian's mother Melissa is challenging me for custody of Christian. I'm not really worried about it though because I know she's just trying to get media attention.
I went back upstairs and got ready for the 일 before deciding to call my lawyer John Branca. I invited him over for an early breakfast and I think he knew something was up. Once he arrived, I let him inside and my personal chef made the two of us Belgian waffles. John asked "who is suing 당신 now Michael?" I chuckled and said "no one John!" He seemed surprised as he asked "well; then why did 당신 want me to come over so early in the morning Michael?" I said "I don't know if Frank told you; but I was a foster parent to a child named Christian and I recently had to give him back to his mother. Christian told me some unsettling things about his mother and her boyfriend. Long story short, I want to get Christian out of there."
John looked at me with a confused expression on his face and asked "why are 당신 telling me this?" I said "because I want custody of Christian and I need your help. I filed a 신고 with the child protective services in 런던 and now Christian's mother Melissa has decided that she wants to bring everything in front of a judge." John responded "I'll do my best to help 당신 Michael; but 당신 have to remember that I'm an entertainment lawyer. I deal with things like recording contracts and copyright infringement; not custody battles!" I begged "please; give it everything 당신 have! Christian is meant to be with me; not with his mother!" John could tell that I was getting a little bit emotional and said "wow; 당신 must really want him back! Are 당신 sure you're ready to be a dad Michael? I mean 당신 just turned 29 years old." I said "trust me; I'm ready and if I'm not then I'll do anything I have to make sure that I'm ready!"
John asked "where is that paperwork that 당신 were served with Michael?" I passed it to him and he put on his 읽기 glasses to give it a closer look. He said "oh my God Michael!" I started to worry as I asked "what's wrong?" He said "the court 날짜 is in two weeks from today! We have a lot of work to do so we can make sure 당신 have 더 많이 to offer Christian then his mother can." I asked "isn't it a trial? That's what it says at the 상단, 맨 위로 of the paper!" He said "custody trials are a little bit different from the typical trial. There isn't a jury; it'll just be you, me, Melissa, and Melissa's lawyer." I asked "will Christian be there? How long is the trial going to be?" John said "Christian will probably be there; but 당신 won't be able to see him unless 당신 win custody 또는 temporary foster care back. I said "I don't just want to be his foster parent again! I want to be his legal guardian!" John said "I know 당신 do Michael; but it's not going to be that easy! I don't really know how these types of things work; but I think legally adopting him is going to take 당신 a while. In the meantime, I can try to get Melissa's parental rights terminated and then 당신 can return to being his foster parent; until 당신 can get all the paperwork filled out." I said "I will prove to that judge that I can handle Christian. I want 당신 to get that paperwork to adopt Christian for me and I can start filling it out. That way when we arrive at the courthouse in 런던 I have all the paperwork I need to adopt Christian!" He said "okay; I'll go to the courthouse here in LA and see if I can get it for 당신 ahead of time. I'll come 의해 tomorrow morning once I figure out what the 다음 step 당신 need to take is." I said "thank 당신 so much John!" He responded "no problem Michael!"
I got up really early at around 5 AM because I didn't know what time my lawyer John would get here. He knocked on the door and I let him inside as he passed me a gigantic packet of paperwork. I was about to look at it when John said "come on Michael; 당신 can look at that later! We're going to be late!" I put my black fedora hat on my head and shut the door behind me as I asked "where are we going exactly?" He said "a child CPR course; so 당신 can get your certification because it'll look good when you're in front of the judge." I climbed into the car and said "okay; whatever 당신 think is going to get Christian back in my custody is fine with me! I'll do whatever 당신 say John!"
We pulled up in front of a local fitness gym where the course was being held and the two of us got out of the car. I asked "there aren't other people here; are there?" John said "don't worry about it Michael; I had the instructor come in to the gym today because it's normally closed." I breathed a sigh of relief and we walked into a small room with plastic dummies of children that are used to demonstrate CPR techniques.
A few 분 later, a woman walked into the room and shook my hand as she said "nice to meet you; I'm Caitlin." I said "I would introduce myself but I think it's pretty obvious who I am!" She chuckled and said "yeah; I think pretty much everyone in the world knows who 당신 are 의해 now! Alright; let's get started!" She demonstrated how to perform CPR on a child of Christian's age and then she wanted me to try.
After I did, Caitlin said "wow Michael; I've never had someone catch on to the techniques as fast as 당신 have!" I said "I take these kinds of things very seriously and I just want to be prepared; just in case I would ever need to save a child in this sort of way!" Caitlin said "that's great Michael! Here's your CPR certification card." She passed me the card and I said "thank 당신 for coming in to work on your 일 off!" She said "I'm glad that I got to meet 당신 today Michael! It didn't even feel like I was working because I was excited to meet you."
John and I walked back out to his car and got back inside. Once he started driving, I asked "what's 다음 John?" He said "I still have to figure out what the 다음 step is; but I'm going to take 당신 back to Neverland so 당신 can start filling out that paperwork." I said "oh yeah; I forgot all about that!" John asked "by the way Michael, did 당신 tell your parents 또는 siblings that 당신 decided to pursue adopting this child?" I put my hand over my face and said "I'm not excited to hear what they have to say about me choosing to become a father at 29 years old. My mother already doesn't like the idea of me not having a girlfriend. I don't think she's going to like the idea of me being a single father either. John responded "please tell them before I come to meet up with 당신 again in a couple days!" I said "okay; I will."
I was sitting on the 침상, 소파 and just beginning to fill out the first page of the paperwork to adopt Christian, when there was a knock on the door. I answered it and it was my mother. She followed me into the living room and I sat back down on the 침상, 소파 다음 to her as I grabbed the packet of paperwork again. She looked over my shoulder and asked "application for adoption? What kind of animal are 당신 adopting now Michael? Not another snake I hope! My gosh; the one 당신 have now creeps me out enough as it is!!!" I chuckled as I said "Muscles; he's harmless mother!" Mother asked again "what animal are 당신 adopting?" I looked up from the paperwork and smiled as I said "well; he's not exactly an animal." She asked "what are 당신 trying to say Michael?" I said "I've decided to adopt Christian!"
She stood up and asked "that little boy 당신 were fostering a few weeks ago?" I said "yes mother" and tried to avoid the conversation 의해 continuing to fill out the various 질문 on the application. She grabbed the pen out of my hand and said "Michael; I don't like the idea of this at all!" I asked "what don't 당신 like mother?" She responded "you're a 29-year-old, single young man who is the biggest superstar on the planet! Fostering a child is one thing; but permanently adopting him is totally different Michael! Once Christian is yours, you'll have to change your entire life to make time for him! You'll be completely responsible for him Michael; 24 hours a 일 and seven days a week! You're going to have to make 음악 a secondary priority to Christian and his needs!"
I hugged my mother as I got off of the couch. As I pulled away from the hug, I looked her straight in the eyes and said "mother; I can make this work! Christian was meant to be with me and I'm doing everything I possibly can to make sure that that can happen. I can handle this!" She smiled and said "I believe 당신 can handle it Michael; I'm just worried for you! From here on out, I'm going to be as supportive as possible! I'll be sure to tell your brothers and sisters about Christian; but 당신 know how some of them can be! When is the 일 of the custody trial?" I said "next Sunday" and she said "well; make sure 당신 call me from 런던 as soon as 당신 find out the verdict!" I smiled and said "of course I will mother!" She kissed my forehead before walking out the door and saying "good luck on Sunday Michael!!!"
I let John inside and asked "what is there left to do?" He said "I think it would be a good idea if 당신 and I went shopping today; so we can decorate one of the bedrooms here. Christian needs his own room and it would be awesome if 당신 had pictures to show the judge of what Christian's environment will look like!" I smiled and said "great; let's go!"
We went to a children's furniture and room decoration store. We got out of the car and walked inside. The first thing we saw when we entered the store was different color 벽 paint. I grabbed at least three cans of each color and John rolled his eyes as he asked "what do we need all that for?" I responded "I'll decide what color I want his room to be when we get back to Neverland!" I walked over to the corner of the store that was dedicated to various Walt 디즈니 만화 and started to grab anything to do with Mickey Mouse. I put everything in the 카트 and John asked "let me guess; Christian likes Mickey Mouse?" I chuckled and said "that's an understatement!"
We went over to where the twin sized beds were and immediately saw one that I thought was perfect for Christian. One of the store employees walked up to us and asked "is there anything I can help 당신 with today?" I said "yes please; I'd actually like to order this furniture set. I need it before this Sunday." The employee responded "I'm sorry sir; we're currently all sold out of this specific version and we don't get another shipment for three 더 많이 weeks!" I took out my wallet and asked "what about the display model? Can I buy this one?" The employee seemed surprised and the manager said "of course 당신 can Mr. Jackson!" I said "thank you; I'll have my bodyguards come pick it up in a few hours with a moving truck."
After paying for the things that I had bought, John and I went back to Neverland to start setting things up. We went upstairs and I picked the room directly to the left of my bedroom to be Christian's because I know how terrified he is of almost everything. I want to be where I can check on him and he can come get me if he needs me in the middle of the night. John I walked inside and we had come to the mutual agreement that painting his bedroom red was the way to go.
Once we had painted three of the four bedroom walls, I said "okay; 당신 guys can bring the 침대 in!" My bodyguards James and Tim brought the 침대 into the room. I helped John put the mattress in and I said "I think I can do pretty much everything else myself John; if you'd like to go 당신 can." He said "thanks Michael; I'll meet 당신 at your hotel room in 런던 on Sunday morning!" I said "okay; see 당신 then."
I woke up on this beautiful Sunday morning in my hotel room and got ready for the day. I got dressed in my best business suit and tie. As I reached into my suitcase to grab a pair of socks, I accidentally picked up one of the pajama tops that I had bought for Christian two months 이전 when I was still fostering him. I looked down at it and smiled as I whispered to myself "please God; let me win this trial!"
There was a knock on my hotel room door and when I opened it my lawyer John was standing there with his 서류 가방 in his hand. I walked out of the room and shut the door behind me as John asked "are 당신 ready for this Michael?" I took a deep sigh and said "I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be!" John said "just let me do the talking and there shouldn't be any problems; at least I hope not!"
We walked inside the courthouse and waited for the doors to the small conference room to open. While we were waiting, Christian's mother Melissa and who I'm assuming is her boyfriend Adam came out of a nearby room. The two of them came over just in time for the judge to arrive and open the doors for us to begin. I'm just glad that this isn't going to be in a real courtroom because I always feel uncomfortable in those places.
The judge greeted each of us and went through all of the legal stipulations before saying he was ready to hear our cases. He said "okay; I like to start 의해 letting Mrs. Carthage plead her case and say anything that she would like to say." Melissa's attorney said "I believe that Melissa has been wrongfully accused of physically harming her son Christian. I think she is a wonderful mother and I have a feeling that Mr. Jackson is overreacting because he wanted to have the option to adopt Christian from the very beginning!"
I shook my head in disbelief as I halfheartedly smiled at Melissa. John responded "I couldn't disagree with 당신 더 많이 if I tried! Michael has said to me that the only thing that matters to him is that Christian is in a 집 where he is loved and cared for. He loves Christian and only wants what's best for him. That's why he filed the 신고 against Melissa! It has nothing to do with jealousy at all; it never has!"
The judge said "okay; I'm going to ask both Melissa and Michael a series of questions. After I've asked each of them the questions, I will allow each of them to make a closing statement. Then I will dismiss 당신 for at least an 시간 while I come to my decision about who should have custody of the child; let's begin. Melissa, who lives in your 집 with you?" She said "just me, Christian, and my boyfriend Adam." The judge opened up a folder and looked at a piece of paper before asking her "Adam has been arrested on 56 separate occasions due to domestic violence; is this correct?" Melissa rolled her eyes and sighed as she said "yes." The judge asked "do 당신 know how to prepare balanced meals for Christian to eat?" Melissa chuckled as she said "frozen chicken fingers and french fries." The judge asked "do 당신 make sure that Christian is well taken care of and reminded that he is loved throughout the day?" She said "I'm usually gone during the 일 working and Adam watches him for me. I don't know what Adam does all day!"
The judge looked at me and asked "Michael, who lives in your 집 with you?" I said "just me and my animals." He asked "do 당신 know how to make a balanced meal for Christian?" I responded "yes; I'm a pretty good cook." He asked "would 당신 make sure that Christian is well taken care of and reminded that he is loved throughout the day?" I said "of course I will; every single day!!!!!" He said "okay; I think I have all the information I need to come to a decision. 당신 may be dismissed and I will call 당신 back in here in about an hour."
All of us sat outside the conference room on two separate benches. John could tell that I was nervous as he put his hand on my shoulder and I tapped my foot on the ground hundreds of times. I would look up every so often from staring at the floor and see that Melissa was giving me dirty looks. I wasn't about to bring myself down to her level; so I just looked in the other direction. Adam didn't have much to say to me and I was glad about that because any guy that hits a woman is not a man in my eyes!
Finally, the judge came out of the conference room and all of us stood up to hear his decision. He said "I've come to the conclusion that Mr. Jackson is the 더 많이 suitable parent; given the circumstances." I almost wanted to scream with excitement; but I stopped myself because I remembered that we were in a courthouse and I had to act professional. Melissa's boyfriend had to hold her back and drag her out of the courtroom because she started 연기 crazy!!! The judge said the words I have been waiting weeks to hear "Michael; Christian is down in that room at the end of the hall if 당신 would like to go get your son!!! He doesn't know you're here and he doesn't know that you're going to take him 집 to stay with 당신 forever; so it'll be a surprise!"
I walked down the hall with John behind me and all I could hear were my footsteps. I walked up to the door and slowly turned the doorknob… To be continued :-)