Last night, my foster daughter's biological dad died. She's 32 and he had little connection with her during the 21 years I've been a part of her life. For many of those years, I was the only "Dad" she admitted to or accepted. Some of those years have been stormy, she has a tendency toward drama and is very opinionated, others have been wonderful. But then, that's life.
When I found out this morning that her sperm donor had died I texted her almost immediately. I offered help any way she needed it and then told her I was coming down. She needed her DAD and since her significant other was away, I felt she needed a rock to lean on.
She was a wreck...of course there were tears and a whole lot of anger. Anger at a man who had nothing to do with her life by choice--he abandoned her and her mother when she was a baby. Anger at herself that a man who meant so little to her could affect her the way he did with his passing (self-induced, by the way). Anger at what she never had. AND guilt, too...guilt because she didn't want to go to the funeral. Guilt because her half-sister was left to clean up a hotel room where her bio-dad died. Guilt because she was angry.
I only met this man once because I happened to be in the area of the state where he lived just before Christmas. He wanted me to bring her a Christmas gift back up to our area for him. I wasn't impressed during the brief time we visited. I was raised in a family that was strong and the love my parents had for their four kids was unquestionable. Even in this world, I couldn't understand abandonment of family--divorce, that's okay-sometimes mistakes are made-but abandonment of flesh and blood? No way.
I have a biological son. He's about 43 now. I've not seen him since he was a babe in arms due to the circumstances of my break up with his mother (lonnng story). I set up a bank account for him and religiously deposited money for several years. I lost track of his mother and ultimately went on with my life but often have thought about that young fellow and prayed for good things for him. The account went dormant and I'm not sure what happened to the money. Through other family members I was informed of some of what was going on in his life I have since re-connected with his mother and he didn't need the piddly amount of money that I would have given him but the thought and concern were there and remained for all the years that intervened. I lost my flesh and blood but through no fault of my own and if I could, I would happily become a part of his life --I can't (another lonnng story) but his mother knows.
I just don't understand people. Maryann and I have had a long string of foster children over the years--all unofficial and offered only because of love and concern. Among those kids were some who were abused, ignored, mistreated, cast out or orphaned. All of them have a special place in our hearts and they will remain such until we go to our rewards. I hope and pray none of them or Bri will be angry or feel guilty when we inevitably die. Any of those kids (some are definitely not "kids" anymore) are welcome into our home whenever they want or need to. This, of course, has spilled over to animals but that's another blog.
I suppose what goes around, comes around. The bio-dad who died was alone in a hotel room when he passed. He had been pushed away from his family circle because of his addictions and his wife and children weren't missing him. One of his daughters really won't mourn his passing and the other did nothing but apologize to her sister because she wasn't a part of his (and her) life. When I die, I want my family to have a party and laugh, tell jokes and remember the love. Because that's who I am. I'm sorry, my daughter, you can't have this with your bio-dad--but you can certainly have it with me.