Second Chances

The past few years have been full of things that are difficult to process.
Things that no kid should have to deal with.
Changes that are really hard for anyone to completely understand.

We made the decision to have my husband adopt my daughter when we got married.
She took his last name and he promised to love and adore her like she had always had it.
She already loved and adored him.

It wasn’t just my decision obviously.
He wanted to adopt her.
Make our family complete.
We discussed it for a long time.
It just seemed right

I don’t know why I didn’t already think my family was complete.
I don’t know why everything I had wasn’t enough for me

Her real dad and I grew up together.
We went through a lot.
A lot.
I loved him more than anything.
I know he loved me too.
We couldn’t keep it together though.
We just couldn’t.
We tried.
We tried and we failed.
A few times actually.

When my daughter was born there were complications.
She wasn’t breathing.
She was as blue as a little smurf.
It was one of the scariest, if not the scariest thing I have ever gone through.
I didn’t go through it with him.
I didn’t go through it with my ex either.
Being alone, being a single mom, didn’t scare me.
Not at all.

She’s my angel.
Literally.
Her life forced me to pay more attention to my own.
She forced me to grow up.
To become responsible.
To plan and pursue.
The thought of not having her literally took my own breath away.
I had a purpose now, I had something that was greater than myself.
I was a Mommy and she was my baby.
Even if we would be alone, we would be fine.
I would make sure of it.

A few weeks later the back and forth and ups and downs with him started.
Started then ended.
Peace then chaos.
We would finally find our way and then the rug would get pulled out again.
Life was happening all around us and we had a hard time finding our balance.
More peace then more chaos.
Eventually it became too much.

I felt like I knew what I wanted.
I wanted my family to be complete and I didn’t want to worry about outside issues or drama or any of those things.
It would be easiest if we could all be a “real family.”
It was almost a test though, a sort of catch 22, damned if you do, damned if you don’t…
If he went along with it I would hate him for it, if he didn’t I would hate him for that too.
The decision was made for us.
I can’t hate him for that
Not that I’m sure I could ever really hate him anyway.

Since beginning the divorce process, relationships have been pushed to new limits.
Love and loyalty have been tested.
I don’t know why you would go 13 plus years loving a child and then stopping.
I don’t know why you would or how you could, and you will never convince me of a reason that would make it OK.
I have racked my brain thinking of reasons that I would just pull completely out of a child’s life, my child’s life, a life I chose to be a part of.
I can’t come up with anything.
Nothing.

Being a teenager is hard enough as it is.
Combine everything else she has been through and I knew it would just be a matter of time before she started asking more questions than she had in the past.
I’ve always been honest.
I’ve always been open about it all.
The lines of communication with her have always been free.
Anytime about anything.
She was missing something now.
Something she had never noticed she was missing before.

It’s been a little while now.
A little while but so much has happened in that time.
The big hole she had isn’t so big anymore.
Mine either actually.
All of her questions are being answered .
All of mine too actually.
We spend every weekend talking and getting to know each other… again.

Yes, there has been a lot of missed time.
We don’t focus on that though, we don’t focus on anything lost.
We focus on the kids getting their questions answered.
All 7 of them.
Yes, 7.
It’s more than I ever thought I could handle being around, but it fills my heart to see them all together.
It makes me so happy to see them all talking and goofing off.
I’m not with him…
It isn’t like that, but our kids, our kids are all connected.
She loves them all and they all love her.
You would think it would be awkward, meeting 4 of your half siblings for the first time; it wasn’t though.
It wasn’t at all.
It was a day that I won’t ever forget and I know that none of them will either.

She’s like him in so many ways.
In ways that have nothing to do with me.
Things I forgot about him and always saw in her make sense.
Second chances mean so much more to all of us now.
Second chances mean having the opportunity to do things the way they should have always been done.
We can’t change the past but we can move forward the right way.
Doing what is right.
Right for the kids.
Because that is what’s most important.
Not him or me, not our reputation or our wallets.
The kids.
Regardless of what opinions or questions we get because of this.

She still feels a loss.
She still hurts.
She had a special relationship with my ex.
She would always say that she was his favorite because he chose to love her.
He chose to be her daddy.
It hurts.
It hurts because a daddy should never leave.
He did.
In her eyes, to some extent, both of them did.
Forgiveness, fate, love, hurt and betrayal; those are all lessons she is sorting herself through right now.
Learning as she goes.

It’s all new to everyone.
Trusting in the path that we have been walking down, the road that we were given; it isn’t always easy, but I believe in it.
I will keep on believing in it until I have a reason not to.
She is my heart, breaking it again isn’t an option.
He knows that and I believe with everything I have that they will have a special relationship because of how we are all handling this.
This unique, amazing situation that not everyone is offered in their lifetime.

It still breaks my heart.
I feel guilty and I feel like I’m to blame for her loss.
I allowed him to adopt her.
I allowed him to take a very important title and an even more important spot in her life.
He crushed her, ruined it.
Gave a new, terrible definition to the meaning of “Dad” that no kid should ever have to even think about.
All of that because I trusted him.
I’ve chosen to not focus on that.
He is still her father; not only legally but in our hearts and minds as well.
The way he’s chosen to behave is his decision.
He has to live with it and explain it.
She suffered long enough.
She deserves these happy times, making memories with people that she wasn’t given the opportunity to before.

-S

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