It always strikes me as peculiar to refer to “our children” when I’m speaking to a man who is not my husband. Well I’m actually messaging via Facebook, to be more specific. I’m nervous, it’s awkward, and he hasn’t legally been “dad,” to our Chickens since October of 2014.
I’ve made contact with our children’s biological father. Or first father, depending on how you look at it. He was in and out of their lives for the first few years so he contributed more than biology.
Some of his contributions were great. Our son builds robots and toy cars and can build things from scratch just by figuring out the pieces. He gets this from his bio-dad, who fixes cars. They used to “work” on cars together when Carl was 3 or 4.
Some of his contributions were harmful and it’s hard to say how much came from him and how much came from the many men in and out of their biological home. Our children are still afraid of the smell of beer. They still cringe a little when my husband removes his belt too quickly.
I am surprised by how gracious he is to me. How nice. He thanks me and my husband for taking care of the children. He wants to know how they are. He has looked at and “liked” every picture of them on the closed Facebook page I created. This isn’t a man who doesn’t care. He’s missed the children and he wants to see them, but he agrees it would be better for them and for him to start slowly.
He gives us his home address under the condition that we not share it with the Department of Children and Families. He agrees to send us pictures of himself and one of his other sons through the mail. He doesn’t mention the other children I know he has.
I want to ask a million questions:
- Do you remember their first words?
- How old were they when they took their first steps?
- Where does Mary get her blonde hair from? Does it come from your side of the family?
- How was bio-mom’s mental health? Did she sometimes hear voices speaking to her? Is there a diagnosis we aren’t aware of?
- Is there a history of mental illness on either side of the family?
- Did you ever get all of the pictures we left for you at the DCF office?
- Do you or Bio-mom sing? Both children are musically inclined. Mary sings and Carl plays the trumpet.
- Was Bio-mom sober during pregnancy?
I want to ask these things but I don’t. Not Yet. Instead, I mail out a package of 3 years worth of school pictures, sports pictures, and refrigerator magnets with our children’s faces on them. I send him everything that we saved for him. It’s a step. I’m not sure where this road will lead, but it’s a step.
**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.