Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

November 17, 2012

Koala Kid

Jenna was five when her parents separated and her mother - not wanting to upset the father daughter relationship - agreed to Jenna going to Australia with her dad for a short visit so that his parents could see their grandchild for the first time.

"It was the first time I had been on a plane so I remember it very well," says Jenna. "The flight attendants made a fuss of me and I even got to visit the cockpit and see the pilot."

"I remember it was very hot when we got to Melbourne in Australia and we were covered with flies."

"My Australian grandparents spoke in a funny accent and I was scared of them when I first met them," says Jenna, "but they gave me a kangaroo and a koala to cuddle and I liked that."

"I can't remember anything of Melbourne - all I can remember is my grandparent's house and the toys they gave me. I took the kangaroo and koala to bed with me - they were my only friends."

"One day some men came to the house and there were more arguments and then daddy said we were going home."

"Apart from the plane trip - which I liked - I really didn't like Australia and I'm sure it's a nice place but it represented a bad scene in my life - lots of arguments between dad and my grandparents and lots of crying for me - and I don't want to go back there ever again."

"I lost the kangaroo on the plane home but the koala stayed with me - and I got nicknamed the Koala Kid," smiles Jenna, "so something nice did come from Melbourne."

Read more of Jenna's story:

  • separation hurts kids

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