I was sitting on the floor early in the morning with this guy I had only known for a few days. We had been getting to know each other and we were both falling hard and fast. I asked him about what tattoo he wanted, he hesitated... I told him he could tell me, no matter what it was. My thoughts were racing as to what he would say next.
"I have a daughter"
"Who I placed for adoption"
"but its an open adoption, so I get sent pictures, and I'll get to see her when they come visit"
It all happened so quickly and yet right then my entire life changed.
As I got to know this man who later became my husband, I got to see how much the adoption of his daughter just a few months prior was a part of him. I saw his pain, but also his joy with each and every photograph. I learned his story, one that is not often shared.
Over the last few weeks I have felt myself getting discouraged by the lack of birthfather stories that I heard, which unfortunately sometimes can go hand in hand with a lack of respect. When only one side of a story is heard its easy to draw somewhat inaccurate assumptions. I just would like to ask everyone to be a little more aware and sensitive of the things you think/say about a birthfather.
For Nic he became a father when he found out Olivia's birthmother was pregnant, he had a lot of depression because he knew the reality was that he wasn't going to raise his daughter. But he needed her to change his life, she was his turning point-the thing that made him look up from the bottom. Rock bottom can be very scary especially when you are alone without any support. He already felt so down, but he was also getting a lot of anger directed to him, when he needed the opposite.
Olivia's birthmother and Nic had a very rocky relationship during her pregnancy, and afterward. Then when I came along we didn't get off on the right foot, there was a lot of miscommunication and assumptions made about one another. Even since then we have gone through times where we didn't communicate effectively, and we hurt each other. The good news is our relationship is at a very good place right now, I was able to meet up with her and discuss everything more in depth. She's wrote about that experience and it helped change her view toward Nic.
Through all of this D&V have never made Nic feel less than or unappreciated. They see the ways that he has been mistreated and will often remind him of how much they love him. They are the most wonderful people and we are very lucky.
I hope at least some of this is cohesive, because as I started trying to write this post I was at a loss for words. My heart felt heavy, due to residual hurt and anger, but I didn't want that to taint what I said so I sat here praying for inspiration for the right words. Soon I came across two blog entries that were so encouraging to me:
Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal: Men Who Blog which has links to two birth father's blogs.
The R House: Interview with a Birth Father which is actually an interview of one of the birth fathers previously listed.
It just brings me so much joy to see these men sharing their stories. (Nic may very well share his story on here someday). It is so refreshing to see the support they receive because being involved in their child's adoption they are in the minority. In fact while doing a quick google search I found this, "Experts point out that only a very small percentage of birth fathers historically have taken an active part in the decisions surrounding adoption, but some agencies report that in recent years, a quarter or more relinquishments have included active involvement of birth fathers." & that was all it said under birth father statistics.
This is the minority that I see in my husband-he makes more of an effort to be in Olivia's life than many of these 'baby daddies' do that didn't place their child & he doesn't love Asher any differently than he loves Olivia.
I just pray that Nic and all these other birth fathers can receive the same respect and admiration that is so often shown to birth mothers. They too made a huge sacrifice.