I had a beautiful daughter with my very first boyfriend at the age of 16. He was 18 at the time and he was very careless about the whole situation. He was a high school dropout, selling and using drugs at the time as well. For that reason, my mother forced me to end my romantic relationship with him before our daughter was born. Surprisingly to my mother, I was not reluctant at all. I understood that he was not fit to run a family or a household and I wanted something better for my daughter and I.
He was very upset about my decision. His reaction didn't bother me. I was determined to finish high school and go to college to give my daughter the future that she deserved. My mother was my greatest support. One month after our daughter was born, my stepfather got a promotion at his job and we all had to move to another city 3 hours away.
Within my daughter's first few months of life, I was informed that her father got arrested for selling drugs and was going to be in jail for a few years. Fast forward 3 years, he gets released from prison. Within those few years, I have already graduated high school, attending college, married with someone else and about 4 months pregnant with my second child. I found out about my daughter's father's release from a mutual friend about a month after he had been released. He hadn't tried to see his daughter in a whole month. I brushed that thought off and I spoke to my husband about it and we decided that I should take the first step and contact him. I asked around for his phone number and I called him to try and see if he was ready to see his daughter and begin a relationship with her... that didn't go well.
He became very upset at the news of my marriage and new baby on the way. He said that I had replaced him with someone else to raise our daughter, I assured him that I was not trying to replace him as her father. He said, "It's too late, you already gave her a dad and who am I to stand in the way? You all are a happy family." I kept insisting that she needed him in her life but he just kept turning himself into the victim somehow. He walked away from his responsibilities, just like that.
As my daughter got older, my husband made sure that she never felt "fatherless". He made no difference between our own children and her. She stopped calling him by his name and began calling him "daddy" when our son began to speak and call him daddy. It was like a natural thing. He was the father that she knew and he demonstrated love to her everyday. Over the years, I never stopped contacting her biological father. Maybe about every 6 months or so. I was voluntarily sending him fotos and updates, asking if he would like to see her and not receiving any type of response except maybe "I'm too busy these days." Sometimes I could actually talk him into visiting her, especially if we were in town... conveniently enough for him, he would accept to see her. She has probably seen her biological father about a handful of times in her entire life. She is twelve years old.
My husband and I never hid the fact from her that he was not her biological father. In a way that a child could understand, we explained it to her and she always knew. We also never spoke ill of her biological father to her, never. When she asked where he was, we told her that he was "working a lot and living very far away.. and that when he had the chance to visit her, he would." We told her that he loved her very much and she believed it.
Fast forward to when my daughter was about 10 years old with a 7 year old brother and a 4 year old sister, my husband and I got divorced. He was a wonderful father to all 3 of my children, but a horribly unfaithful husband. I grew tired of his multiple affairs over the years. I decided that enough was enough and I couldn't forgive him any longer because it was just eating away at me and making me miserable.
We have been divorced for two years now and he has just been the best co-parent a person could ask for. He is and always has been a wonderful dad. I have just remarried but this has in no way changed the kind of dad that he is to the kids. We made a child support arrangement without the court/legal system involved. He pays consistently and always on time. We made visitation arrangements on our own as well, that we are both happy with. By the way, this all involves my first born. He willingly pays me child support for her and he takes her too. There was never a question about it. He says, "She is my daughter and she always will be. I raised her and I love her with all my heart. She was my first baby." My new husband and him get along well. My new husband tells me that he really respects my ex husband as a father because only a real man would do what he does for my first born. The kids watch the way all of us treat eachother and they see that we all respect eachother. That makes them happy because they just love us all, even my new husband. They approved of him on the very first day that they met him and they let me know it.Haha!
This is what I hate... Just a couple of days ago my oldest came to me and randomly asked me if I have heard from her biological father lately. I responded, "No I haven't, but he has probably been busy with work." Then she asked me send him a picture of her in her cheer uniform (because she recently became a cheerleader at school). I said ok and she literally watched as I sent it. Hours later she asked if he had responded anything and I said he hasn't. Note, he never responds to anything I send him of her, but she doesn't know that. So she asked me to send him a text to make sure it is still the correct number for him, so i did. Hours later he responded "Yes this is still my number." My daughter's face just dropped when she saw that he had not given a response to the photograph of her. She said, "That's it??" I told her that maybe he was driving or doing something that didn't allow him to text more than he wanted to. She didn't look too convinced but she let it go.
I was so angry that my daughter felt "looked over" just because that idiot couldn't even say something as small as "Wow she is beautiful" or "She is growing so fast" or even "Good luck with cheerleading" SOMETHING! I started to text him back asking him what it is that he wants me to tell his daughter when she asks about him... the photo attached is his response to that question.
Now, my question is when will it be appropriate to show these messages to my daughter? Because I have more messages from him that I have printed out years ago where he is saying that he simply doesn't want to try to be her father... etc. he basically passes the baton over to my ex-husband in these messages. I saved them because I thought that one day I'd have to tell her the truth about her biological father's lack of interest in being a part of her life. I also thought that it would be proof enough to show her that I have tried very hard to include him. In case he ever tries to tell her some fake story about me secretly pushing him away behind her back etc. Would it do her more harm than good to show her these heartless things that he has written in regards to her? Should I maybe just tell her about it right now since she is only 12 years old? Show her the messages later? Should I wait longer to even say anything to her about the person that he really is? I don't know if is the right time yet. If it is, I wouldn't know what to say. I wouldn't want to say too much. If I do say any of it to her, I am afraid of what it will do to her. Please help!