I said she could go only because her grandma was moving back to Puerto Rico that week and it would be the only time they could see eachother before she left, but no flower girl. When she got to the wedding, the bride's mom and aunt kept insisting Louisa be the flower girl and Louisa kept telling them no. So they gave her a basket and asked her to just toss some flowers from her seat. I didn't even make her toss flowers for me at my wedding! I think that's weird!
Now that bio-daddy was married, he thought he'd try this father thing again. Husband was very patient and nice about it, although I know it was hard for him. She was his little girl, and now he had to share her with some guy who chooses to pop in and out of her life and send measly child support checks eventhough we know he's making more than he claims to the courts.
We agreed on one weekend a month, but he would have to call to let us know which weekend. The first month I completely hyperventilated all the way to his apartment. Husband drove us there and I cried and couldn't breathe and looked at my two sweet children in the backseat thinking about how much I screwed up everyone's lives all because I had once tried to force this guy to be a part of his daughter's life. How could this guy all of a sudden decide he wants to be a father now? She's 5 years old! Where was he before? Why does the father get to make this choice? Don't the courts know how volatile this can be to a child's life? They say a child needs a father and a mother and that it should be the bio- father and mother. This guy broke my little girl's heart time and time again. Over and over he disappointed her, made her cry, and made her wonder why there was someone out there who didn't love her. And a court tells me that she needs this guy in her life?
May 2003 came and went and we never heard from him again. Halleluia, my prayers were answered!
August 2004 we went to see a lawyer. We asked what it would take to let husband adopt Louisa. We wanted this legal and we wanted it now. We hadn't heard from her bio-father in a year and three months. But, he was still sending child support. The lawyer said, Hey, no problem! Child support means nothing, as long as we can prove he's had no contact with her in over a year it's called abandonment and the family circuit court judge hates abandonment. He'll award husband full adoption rights and we'll be a legal family. We had to go to court once so that the bio-father could have his say in court or try to keep his rights or whatever. Just as predicted, he didn't show.
November 1, 2004, husband's sister Tabitha died. How could we celebrate the upcoming adoption now? The whole family was excited, we were going to have a party and everyone was invited.... now what?
November 12, 2004, Louisa was officially adopted by her daddy. Having children and getting married, all wonderful days in your life, but I cannot describe how wonderful it felt knowing that my husband had all 100% official legal rights to our little girl! If anything ever happens to me, I can die resting peacefully knowing that she will be taken care of by her real daddy. I lived in such fear for the 7 years before that. Fear that "that man" would some day take her away, fear that if I died he would get custody and take her away from her daddy and her brother.
After the recent tragedy, husband's parents told us what a blessing it was to have Louisa officially in the family and take their last name. The adoption helped them focus on other things, if at least for a little while.
Fast forward to today. Well, the other day. The girls were talking and the neighbor girl said no, she's never met her real dad and she doesn't know much about him. Lousia talked about her adoption and how she was so happy that her daddy chose her. I make that a point with her. We don't get to pick our children, they are born to us and we live with them. Louisa's daddy did get to pick her. As Montgomery Gentry would say, "That's something to be proud of!"
Louisa has no real memory of her bio-father. She thinks she was an immaculate conception of sorts. If I had married husband and made her with him, explaining the facts of life would be much easier to do with her. But I can't figure out how to tell her that I once had sex with some guy who didn't love me and we made a baby. Some guy who, two weeks before I found out I was pregnant decided that a 17 year old cheerleader in high school was more his style, then later claims he dumped me because he knew I was pregnant.
Louisa has since kept in contact with her grandma who is living happily in a mansion in Puerto Rico, and her aunt who is living happily with her "best friend". I love for Louisa to have a connection to them, as long as it's a positive connection.
I find it interesting, though, that she knows his name. I never say it. If I ever refer to him, which I don't, it's either "that guy" or "asshole". I also find it interesting that she only has one memory of him. I don't know what it is. I haven't asked her. I hope it's a good one, though. I don't want her to know what he was really like. Most people have no idea what he was really like. He was a cool, smooth talker who could get what he wanted from who he wanted. He made anyone believe any story he laid out.
He was the the snake who tempted Eve to taste the apple.