We were invited to difficult child's boyfriend's(E) 30th birthday party last evening and we met his entire family. The sweetest, kindest parents EVER and his siblings (4 out of 7) were present with their spouses/SO's and children. As I looked around and saw this loving family, I was just struck by it all and had to step outside - I got all teary-eyed because I had to wonder why E's ex (mother of his children, S) would not allow him to have his children so they could celebrate their father's birthday with his family and see all their aunts and uncles and cousins and have fun. Who could be so evil? As E was opening up his cards and gifts, he opened a card and it was from the ex and his two boys. Why would she do that to him? He was so tortured by their absence that he actually had to leave the room. I tapped difficult child and sent her after him - she said he was very upset. His mom, God bless her, had the boys decorate some gift bags for their dad's birthday and filled them with gifts for E. E said he'd look at them later. It was clearly too emotional for him. Another thing that struck me is that difficult child loves his family and they all appeared to love her as well. Everyone came over to her and gave her big hugs. I thought, "Wow, my little difficult child did good...she went from hideous Monkeyboy to this...it really touched me. At one point, the newest family member, a little 4 week old angel was placed into difficult child's arms. She was so nervous and after a while she looked up at me and said, "I want one" with sadness. Turns out E had a vasectomy after his youngest was born. I told her not to worry about that now, there are ways around that later when she and E are ready. Whatever E and S's history was it's just that - a part of the past. I wish S could realize the damage she's causing by withholding those boys from being a part of E's family. My God - truly, the love and support between all the family members was overwhelming. Apparently the custody court date is in 2 weeks - I'm hoping things can be resolved at that time.