Thursday, August 18, 2011
I am preparing to take my oldest daughter to meet her biological father for the first time in her life. They have never set eyes on each other. I was barely 19 when I got pregnant, and he was well into his 30s. Of course, he denied it was HIS baby....but that was understandable, seeing as how he was a deadbeat dad to four other children, too. That was okay, we didn't need him in our lives.... and with his issues, not only did we not NEED him, I didn't WANT him in our lives. After my daughter was born, I tracked him down in Salt Lake City and called him once again (just out of fairness) to let him know that he had a 6 month old daughter who looked just like him, and the first word out of his mouth was an expletive. That was all I needed to know. I hung up the phone, and never talked to him again. We got along fine without him. I eventually married, and my husband raised her as his child. We never lied to her though, and she was always aware that there was a "sperm donor" out there somewhere who had a part in her creation.... but she never even asked any questions until she was 23 years old. Then, because there were some health issues, I gathered a sampling of pictures of her from birth through the years to the current time, and made color copies, and wrote a letter to him. I began it by saying that in 23 years, I'd never asked for money, never called or tried to contact him, never took legal action to try and make him pay child support, and as a matter of fact would not be contacting him now if his daughter didn't need to know some things that were health-related. Being an alcoholic, after he got my letter, he drank himself some liquid courage and then telephoned me. He kept me on the phone for nearly an hour, constantly asking if I was sure she was his kid, and how did I know, and how could he be sure I wasn't lying to him? Finally I told him that if I was going to lie to my daughter about who her father was.... I'd sure as HECK make up someone better than HIM!!! That shut him up pretty fast. Eventually, he called her.... and they chatted for quite a while, with him drunkenly repeating himself and making excuses over and over again, until she was able to politely disengage. That was when she was 23 years old. They have kept in touch sporadically - he sends her Christmas cards and advertising calendars from his business.... and once, he even sent her $50. That was a shocker! She's now 38, and FINALLY has decided that if she ever wants to meet him, she'd better do it quickly, because he's got to be in his 70s, and being an alcoholic, who knows how much longer he will live? I phoned him a couple of weeks ago, and asked if he would be willing to meet with us, and he said "yes" - that he'd like that. And he even said that he would make an effort to see if some of his other grown children would care to meet her. Apparently they all know about her, but they don't much care for him.... so he's not sure if they'll be willing to meet her, especially if HE is in the picture. That's sad.... but - if they know about her, then she can feel comfortable contacting them through FaceBook (she's already looked them up and found out what they look like, who they're married to, and other things about them - but hasn't wanted to intrude in their lives unexpectedly). So, this weekend will be an adventure - I hope it goes well, and that she gets what she needs from it. I'm there for her, and always will be.