Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Past

What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now. ~Author Unknown

Many moons ago the man had a relationship with a woman which produced a daughter.  They seperated and the woman and daughter went to Florida.

Fifteen years go by, the man is married with another daughter when Social Services contacts him for a paternity test for a child they have in foster care.  The DNA test proves that the child is indeed his daughter from the first relationship.  He wants to move said daughter into his present family but that relationship which was rocky to start with crumbled.  She did not want his past coming around and dirting her life.  So one child stayed in foster care and one went to private school.  The divorce was final and shared custody of #2 was decided.

This is where I enter the picture.  The man had #2 daughter every weekend so as not to disturb her schooling.  One weekend, he took #2 daughter to meet #1 daughter and had a great day.  Then one weekend we go to pick up #2 daughter and she is not there, the phone calls go unanswered and then phone is disconnected...she is gone.  Child support will not give out any information, said to hire an attorney to deal with the custody issues, which financially we were unable to do.

During this time the man was in and out of the hospital with back surgery.  He gets a phone call from Social Services saying #1 daughter has run away, has he heard from her?  We hadn't and kept in contact with the foster family until she was found.  Plans were made to visit but then the child support check was sent back.  When he called to find out why he was told that the foster parents had turned her back over because she didn't want to be there. #1 daughter was lost in the system and they didn't know where she was so had no place to send the money too.  He was so upset as he had only gotten to see her six times...not much to make up for 15 years.
Seven years go by not knowing where either of his children are.  During that time he became step dad to my children.  He was t-ball coach, batting coach, soccer coach, assistant girl scout leader, boy scout leader, taught the older two to drive etc etc etc.  All things he could have done for his own children.

Then we find out the ex had signed over guardianship to a woman in NC.  She was to send the child support to this woman to support the child.  When this didn't happen, the woman with guardianship contacted child support to have the money sent to her.  This is how we found #2 daughter. 

The man took time off work and went to NC to get reacquainted with his daughter. This being the daughter that he had seen everyday for ten years.  She wanted to stay in NC, didn't want to live with him and although he still had joint custody he decided not to fight it.  She was 17 years old and figured she had been thru enough and as long as he knew where she was and could have a relationship with her, he was okay.  Child support was re-routed and it was hoped that a relationship could be forged from the pieces. 

We mailed art supplies she needed,  birthday cards and packages, christmas cards and packages, sent $$ to have her own room built downstairs, sent flowers to the guardian on mothers days and Thanksgiving....and got nothing back.  We would leave phone messages and weeks would go by and we were told nobody answered the home phone so don't bother using it, we left emails and were told she never really checked them, we signed up for skyp so he could IM her because she didn't like AIM and she would sign off when he signed in or say she had to go do homework or eat dinner.  It was so frustrating watching him ache for a relationship and her block it.  She never mailed him or emailed him a fathers day card, birthday, Christmas...nothing.  No Thank You's verbally or notes for anything.

When she initiated contact it was to bitch him out "because the least you could do is pay child support" when her guardian screwed up her checking account so bad that she didn't realize there was over $500 in bounced check fees which were paid for by his child support deposit.  To her credit she did email him back to apologize.  She contacted him once more to get his financial information to go to college and then called to invite him to her high school graduation.  He took time off of work, went to NC, gave her money and got promised pictures. 

The next weekend was Father's Day...nothing.  He was so upset as it was a one sided relationship.  His child support payments ended.  She called in August stating she needed money as she was going to college.  He called back, got no answer so left a message.  She called again asking for money and he called back to find the number disconnected.  Since then we have not heard from her.  He gave up going on Skyp or checking her MySpace.

Saturday while he was at work the telephone rings, caller ID says the mans last name.  I answer and a girl says she is looking for the man and that she is not sure if I had heard about her.  I called her by name...it was his first daughter.  She is 23 now with a six month old son and another on the way.  For the past five months she has been living 12 miles from us.  She said her mother had passed away, and seeing as how she didn't have family around when growing up she wanted her son to have some family.  She didn't have much information but had been trying to find the man for some time.  She did run away from foster care and stayed with friends until she graduated from high school.  She has been on her own since and she is a terrific mother. She had been told the man didn't want her and just wanted to know if that was a lie and if there was a chance he wanted to be part of her son's life.  We spoke for over an hour and then when the man got home we all met at a resteraunt.  Later we came home and talked some more.  Sunday we went to see her and her boyfriends house.

Monday she knew the man had a medical test and called to check up on him.    He has always wanted his children in his life but for more than just the paycheck aspect.  He had hoped and still hopes that when they grew up they would try to find him.  The man is cautiously optimistic now. He would love nothing more than a new relationship with his daughter and grandchildren.  And if the man is happy then I am happy. 


蕾絲 said...


cyndy said...

Such a lovely photo...it says everything about family ;-)

(and yours is growing..first a new son in law to be and now this!)

Sandie Knapp said...

I'm so glad that at least one of his daughters has chosen to keep him in her life and that of her son. How upsetting and frustrating it must have been for him over all these many years, being nothing but a wallet and receiving nothing in return. I hope the future holds a lot of happiness and joy with his daughter and grandchildren, and for you too. :)