In our case, there are three. Rob, Joe and AJ.
Let’s start with AJ, Reed’s first father. Reed was a complete surprise to his first mother, Michele, making himself known just hours before he was born. Michele and AJ had not been together for months; he had moved to another state.
We have scant information on him. I once used an email address that I *think* was his to send him some photos of Reed. We did not hear back.
If I could tell him just a few things, it would be: “Reed is so lovable and loving and intelligent and wondering and adorable and he tries his best at everything. He is a son any parent would be extremely proud of. You must have all these qualities, too. I wish you would get in touch with us — it would mean a lot to Reed.”
Next up is Joe, Tessa’s first father. Joe has been part of our extended family since last year. We’ve had some bumps in the road — not any one’s fault, but rather the nature of a union after 7 years of separation. Joe has handled things better than I had expected, always respectful and always keeping Tessa’s well-being in mind. I suspect the reunion has been hard on him.
What I will say to him on Father’s Day when we call: “Thank you so much for all the gifts you gave Tessa, and for being in our lives to help make her whole. It’s time for us to get together again.”
Finally, there is DaDa, what our kids call Roger (I love it; it’s sweet).
Roger is a storybook dad. He is interested in everything and he exposes our children to his passions: music, sports, fixing things, cooking, history, language, travel. He is a man of his word who models compassion, patience and zest for life. One of the things I love most about him is that he loves to get at the kids’ level and be a kid with them. Perhaps the wisest thing I’ve ever done was choose him to be a father to my children.
To Roger, I will say: “You continue to amaze me with your ability to always know how to handle whatever comes up in exactly the wisest way. Now, let’s find a sitter and have a Date Night. We haven’t seen a movie since 2001.”
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