"Mommy, who is my daddy?"
It's a question I know I will receive from my daughter at some point in time. It's completely natural and normal to wonder where one comes from and seek out that information.
As I previously posted, I selected a known donor for my child. Being a part of a family in which one member is adopted and having friends who are adopted, I have an understanding of just how important it is for a child to have access to their biological roots. I have purchased my donor's childhood and adult photos as of now, but once the baby is born I will be purchasing the full personality profile, audio interview, medical profile and lifetime photos (a range of photos from birth to adulthood, show casing what the father looked like growing up.) These things will be kept in a safe and will be given to my daughter when the time is right.
Until that day I am sure I will field lots of questions from her (and possible nosy strangers) about her father. Where he is, why he's not around, etc. While some might think I am nervous about answering these questions, I'm really not. Unlike a father who just walked away, one that wanted nothing to do with their child, my child's father is not a dead beat. He is an amazing man that wanted to give families that couldn't have a baby the chance to do so. I read a story about a Choice Mom whose child asked her to tell her about her father (this was an anonymous donor situation.) The mother went on to say things like, "Well, I know he is very handsome and has beautiful thick, curly brown hair." When the child asked how the mother knew these things, she responded, "Because I see those things in you, and I know you didn't get them from me!" I love that response and have it tucked away in a folder in my mind for later use.
While I'm not nervous about explaining to my daughter her daddy situation, what I would be nervous about is something that many women face on a daily basis; explaining a dead beat, absent father to their child.
Watching 48 Hours Mystery last night there was a story of a young man who, like many kids these days, didn't know his father. Now, you would think that would be incentive for him to not repeat the behavior, but sadly, it wasn't. He had two daughters and has never seen one of them for sure. In an interview with her, the interviewer asked her what her mother told her about her father. She responded, "That he is a bad man."
I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine having to tell my child that their father is, simply put, a loser. And come to think of it, I don't think I would. I don't think I could. No matter how much grief the SOB had caused me , I don't think that I could tell that to my child. Children are very sensitive and while they deserve an explanation of sorts, telling your child that their biological father is a "bad man" is, in a way, telling them that half of them is bad as well. That may not be what you mean, but what you mean is not always what children hear or take to heart. They know how much you despise their father and think he's a bad person, they also know that they are "half" their father. Put two and two together and you get four. It's also teaching them hate from a young age. The girl that spoke of the father she never knew did so with so much malice and bitterness that it hurt my heart. I know a lot of that is probably her own feelings towards having never met him. But you can bet that some of that came from her mother and other well-meaning people around her.
What would I tell my child? Probably that some people aren't ready to be parents when they have children. That no matter how hard they try, they're just not ready. I would tell my child that some people also have a hard time feeling and expressing love. And that, though at times we may feel mad and angry with them, they really need our sympathy because love is the greatest feeling in the world. And like the Choice Mom with her child, I would make an effort to point out the good things that I saw in the child that reminded me of their father; the way they smile, the way they laugh, the good things.
I expect Peanut will have feelings about her own father, both positive and negative. And while I can't control those feelings (and wouldn't want to, she needs to feel them) I can make sure that my daughter's father is presented to her in a positive light.
Who is your daddy, Peanut? Your daddy is the most special man in my life; ever. He gave me something that no one else could have; he gave me you.