Monday, February 25, 2013

One step for man... giant leap for mankind.

That's the kind of night I'm having. I feel like I just embarked on an emotional adventure of a lifetime. No, I'm not talking about becoming a mother for the second time. That part of my life I'm good with, nervous of course, but good. This new adventure is in regards to my firstborn.

If it's not common knowledge already, Richard is not Braedan's biological father. I was 18, young, and to put it bluntly, stupid. Braedan's biological father, we'll call him "S", hasn't been in the picture. I left him when Braedan was 4 months old, and the last time he ever saw Braedan was on his first birthday. I officially got primary legal custody of Braedan shortly after his first birthday. All this means is that Braedan lived with me all the time, and S had no contact that I had sole legal guardianship and decision making. That process was an emotional roller coaster in itself.

The one thing that helped me through it all was Richard. Due to legal requirements I had to wait until Braedan was 8 months old to file for custody and coincidentally that happened to be the same time that Rich entered our lives. We hit it off pretty quick and I knew that he was a great guy. He understood what I had been through with S and he didn't push the issue, and was there for the times when I just had to cry. He was there for me when I had to face S in person at Braedan's first birthday, and he was the first to get the victory phone call when the judge officiated the custody arrangement. Three years, to the day, after we started dating we became husband and wife.

Rich is, for all intents and purposes, Braedan's father. Though they don't share DNA it is ridiculously uncanny how much they seem to look and act alike. We never pushed Braedan to call Rich "dad", but he's figured out now what a dad is and who that person is for him. And now...we're taking the step to make that official. I'm getting emotional just writing about it. Chalk it up to pregnancy hormones if you want! But the thought that my husband could officially be Braedan's father, that Braedan's birth certificate would show Rich's name as the father, and that we would all have the same last name, is something that means so much to me.

I'm not going to lie. I am terrified. Absolutely terrified of this process. It scares me that I will be forced to contact S. I'm afraid that "reaching out" to him will make him fight back, fight for something that he obviously doesn't care for. Even before I found out I was pregnant control was a huge thing for S. After we split up he continued to try and control and manipulate and it's been a comfy existence not having to deal with it. But the fact remains that he still has rights, and I'm afraid that bringing it up (and asking [or threatening] to take that away) will make him exercise those rights just to control the situation. That he'll say no just because he can. I don't want this to be a long drawn out process. Everyone involved in our lives, including S's parents (who are involved in Braedan's life) know that S doesn't care about his son. I'm hoping and praying that he sees what's best for Braedan and agrees to sign over his rights. But I think I know him too well to put too much hope into that scenario.

We will need all the prayers we can get in the next few months.

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