Fathers discuss impact on children, community
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Any man can be a dad, but it takes someone special to be a father. The influence a father has on his children is like no other, that's why the New Hanover County Partnership for Fatherhood is focused on helping fathers be the best they can be, so their children can be the best, too.

"Fathers are strong. Fathers are courageous. Fathers are lions,” said Partnership for Fatherhood founder and New Hanover County DSS Director LaVaughn Nesmith. “Fathers are leaders. Fathers are strength. You need that, children, girls and boys, need to be identified with the characteristic of a father."

The partnership is a group of community agencies all focused on working together to make sure more children grow up with a responsible, loving father.

"We know that absent parents have a horrible impact on their children,” said New Hanover County Chief District Court Judge Jay Corpening. “We know that kids who have absent parents are more likely to be in poverty, more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs, more likely to turn to gangs, more likely to be less successful. We know that."

Corpening believes fathers are the foundation of a home, and a home without a foundation is not a safe place to be. Fathers from all over southeastern North Carolina came to the sixth annual partnership event.

"I just hope and pray that I'm being an impact in their lives, whether I don't get to see them as much because they are on their own and have their own families,” father Clark Lane said. “Still, I have to be an impact, a show and tell impact."

Lane said although his children are grown, he knows a father's job is never finished. Corpening said fathers can and should still show and tell the right things even after a divorce or separation.

"They need to be guiding children, working with the moms, whether they are living together or not,” Corpening said. “They need to be partners raising children."

The topic of this year's conference was communication, something Nesmith says is crucial not only to individual families but to our whole society.

"If we don't do something about addressing the issue, then we are going to continue to see children lost,” Nesmith said.

Nesmith said fathers give families their identities, and children who grow up not knowing who they are will raise children who fall into the same cycle. But he said there's a solution: dads who live up to the role they were meant to play.

Nesmith founded our local partnership after he went to a fatherhood conference in Atlanta many years ago. He believes many of the world's problems stem from the absence of fathers.

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Dear Sir,
I come to you with the utmost respect. It has been three years since I was before you. My Ex-husband was charging that I was a drug addict. By ALL MEANS I AM NOT AND NEVER HAVE BEEN! I HAVE TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA AND SOMETIMES HAVE CHRONIC PAIN. THE SPECIALIST THAT WAS FOUND, BY BOTH LAWYERS, SAID I WAS ON THE RIGHT TREATMENT PLAN.

Please let me say only through lots, and lots of prayer do I come to you.
I have remained constant throughout my son's life and it has been 3 years now. My son comes to me and begs me to help him, that he wants to come home! He is 7 now and he cries when he has to go back to his Father's. His father is almost 45 years old and he lives with his mother. I know this is only my word against his. That's why I just ask you that William be able to go to the therapist, that you approve of.
My lawyer was Ashley Michael and his lawyer was Tamara Davis. I'm sorry to say that Ashley got in way over her head and then she did not care anymore. My ex-husband, Edward Moseley did admit he abused pornography, however, he did not admit that during a medicine change, that he would be there for me and my children. My doctor witnessed this and also My Mother. Every test that I was suppose to take for drugs, I PASSED- EVERY SINGLE TIME!
My lawyer NEVER brought up the abuse that we all were subjected to, living with him. She kept telling me it had NOTHING TO DO WITH CUSTODY! In court he gave you the impression that, he would work with me on time. Sometimes, he's had him for 3 weekends in a row, he has not worked with me at ALL!!!! Even when my son begged to go to bible school at his church, his father refused, even as William wept! William constantly tells me how Ed and his Mother say ugly things about us. Sir, I am the farthest thing from a drug addict! I live with my ex-husband and two older children. I have taught William how to swim, tie his shoes, roller skate, throw a football and catch a baseball. We are still working on riding his bike. When he is over at Ed's he constantly goes on youtube(by himself) or he is playing video games or he takes him to PG-13 movies! You said that William could not go to a therapist without Ed agreeing, Well I am asking you to PLEASE CHANGE YOUR RULING. Both years William has NOT HAD ANY FRIENDS, because he's angry about having to live were he does! But Sir, that is not my loving child! He's sweet compassionate and the best little boy you could get to know. He's never shown love where he is now, his grandmother calls him a cry baby, when know one will help him with his homework. I've always told him I would be there for him. After he knew school was starting and he wouldn't be able to come home as much, he started crying while in his brothers lap and said "God will not ever let me be happy." I told him God is always looking out for him. He got hysterical and said, I want to be with brother and Sissy, Mommy! In your declaration, I have not been able to be left with alone, nor am I able to drive him. Now Sir, I realize what a privledge that is,however, every time Ed comes to pick him up, I've seen open bottles. He tries to hide most everything, but I smell it on his breath and the 12 pack has several missing.
I wrote the TRUE STORY OUT and sent it to Dr. Phil and he wants me to come, but I never want William to know what he's really done. You see, I just feel desperate, I so wish I could speak with you. So for now I will keep constantly praying for William and you weren't given the WHOLE TRUTH so Sir, I beg you for William's sake. It will take a really good therapist, because he's going to threaten, bribe and do ANY UNHANDED THING HE CAN TRY TO GET WILLIAM TO LIE (which he already does for him). I just worry about the pressure being put on him. If you would like to call me, my # is 685-3952. My address is 328 Weir Dr. Hampstead,NC 28443. Thank You and God Bless You Sir!!!

So Father's are the foundation of a home your Honor? I guess that's why you ruled that I could only see my child every other weekend and for a whole 2 weeks sometime during year. Could you not have granted a joint custody? According to NC law, you could have. Now I have a kid growing up in the hood that has attended substandard schools (Williston and New Hanover) when he could have gone to Topsail. Way to go!

No - you have it backwards. Any man can father a child, but it takes a very special man to be a dad. If you don't believe me, watch Judge Judy or People's Court sometimes when the men are bragging about how many children they have made - but most of the don't even support them. Father's are there to make them - Dad's are there to take care of them!

The system is stacked against fathers. It takes a wheel barrow full of money to pay a lawyer to fight for visitation when the woman is obviously practicing parental alienation against the father. If he's got any money left after the child support industry and taxes chew up his check, he's lucky to be able to even support himself. Easier said than done judge. Just ask your lawyer buddies.

I'd love to be of assistance at your next conference. I'm the author of a number of books on fatherhood and have a ton of free resources on my sIte, mrdad.com