Daddy's Girl

Gregory Beard says his wife did drugs in front of their child, yet a Harris County associate judge awarded her custody. Beard spent the summer fighting to get his baby back.


The hearing ended at 10:45 a.m., and the judge ordered that Hallie be given to Gregory by noon. "I think that was an indication of the concern the court had for her welfare," Batton said.

Gregory and his mother picked up Hallie, went straight home and played outside all afternoon. They chased chickens around the yard, rode the three-wheeler and, with their clothes on, sat in the creek bed looking for fishies. Then Hallie rode her toy truck up and down the driveway until the battery died. Together she and Gregory fed the animals and doctored a chicken with a snake bite.

He took her to the zoo where they stared at the elephants until it got too hot and they ducked into the air-conditioned ape cave. Then they went home and filled the wading pool. The next day they went to the Woodlands Mall and rode the carousel five times. "I just let her go at it," Gregory said. Then they played with the puppies at the pet store. "Now I kinda want a puppy," he said. But right now he's glad just to have Hallie.

At night he sits beside her bed and watches her sleep.

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