I have never met my biological father. For the most part, I am okay with this although that was not always the case. When I was around 6 months old, my mom got married. The marriage only lasted a few years, but her ex-husband decided that he wanted to legally adopt me as his daughter.
My mom tells me that this was one of the first adoptions of it's kind in California - and that the judge was hesitant to let it go through. They obtained permission from my biological father - although he denied that I was his daughter, and viola! I got a real dad.
I flew by myself, beginning when I was 6-years old, one week of each summer to visit my dad. We were virtual strangers and I often wondered why he'd bothered to adopt me at all. He'd call me at Christmas and on my birthday, and each year he would ask me how old I was. As I got older, I dreaded the summertime visits. He spent much of that time working, so I'd either stay at his apartment watching television alone or come with him while he visited clients.
After one of my summertime visits, I'd been home for a week when an envelope arrived from him. I never received mail from my dad, so I was thrilled to open it. I remember thinking that this was the beginning of him making an effort to establish a better relationship with me. I opened up the envelope to find a sock that I'd left in his apartment during my visit, with no note or anything. My disappointment was palpable.
My dad married his forth wife shortly after I got married in 1990. His wife had three children of her own and she was excited to meet me. Family meant everything to her, and it was because of her encouragement that we began to establish a better relationship.
I talk to my dad almost weekly, depending on how busy he is - he typically does most of the calling. As adults, our relationship has flourished to more than I'd hoped for. It may not be the Hallmark father-daughter bond that I imagined, but I am grateful for his thoughtfulness and his love.
Happy Father's Day, Daddio. Much love to you today and always.