When I got pregnant with her I wanted a daughter. I never found out the sex before she was born because I already knew. I knew the baby was my daughter. And I was right! Just like I knew I was having a son in 1981. You gals that have had kids know what I mean.
The day she was born I was not married to Joe. But he held her within the first 8 hours of her birth. He happened to be at the hospital with his mother when I gave birth. I can remember lying flat on my back (I had a spinal) and watching him goo-goo and ga-ga holding her lovingly in his arms. Joe was my best friend then. Actually he still is. Anyway, the point is that Stephanie has been a part of Joe's life since birth.
When she was 2 yrs old I finally had enough of her biological father and we divorced. Ryan, Steph and myself moved out of the big rental house to a smaller house in the same school district. Joe and I worked at the same place. After a while we started dating. He was then a big part of Steph's life. Ryan's too. He stayed at my house most every night for a long time. We finally decided to buy a house together just down the road from my little rental house. I can remember my dad telling me that he was not comfortable with the fact the new house was only in Joe's name and I was putting in several thousand dollars. I told Dad to not worry, Joe would never do anything like he was thinking. Dad was just being a good daddy.
We married in January of 1996 at the courthouse. I had on a denim skirt and blouse and he had on his work tee shirt and jeans. I had to tell him to leave his company radio in the truck while we went in. Meanwhile about this time Steph's real father saw her from time to time but things were not good. He was a alcoholic and a druggie. Finally I put my foot down and told him she couldn't be around him anymore until he stopped his awful behavior.
Seven years went by before she heard a word from him. Stephanie asked us several times over that 7 yrs why her dad didn't love her. It was very sad to hear and broke our hearts every time. The only thing we could say was that we did not know and that it was his loss. We had moved to our current house and were settling in nicely. I received a letter in the mail from a lawyer. Tom (her father) wanted to see her. Naturally I freaked out. I wasn't going to just allow this without finding out what he was like.
We got in touch with his attorney and explained our concerns. Eventually we met with him at another attorney's office to work things out. We learned that he had indeed changed, had stopped drinking and smoking pot. I insisted on a drug test and he passed with flying colors. Joe took her to meet him the first time. Steph told Joe that she was nervous and scared. Of course she was. This person was a stranger to her. But eventually they got to know each other again and things were working out. She was tickled to spend time with him and he spoiled her with all kinds of things.
But things started changing a few months ago. He wouldn't spend any time with her when she was at his apartment. He would stay upstairs in his bedroom with the door locked on his computer. Then he started treating her in a manner that was all too familiar. It was the same way he used to treat Ryan. He would be so happy with other kids but when he came to his own he was just down right mean. 3 weeks ago she was there and I called her. She was not happy. I told her to tell him to bring her home right away and if he had any questions to call me. He brought her home and she has not been back. I don't know if she will ever go back. It is hard to explain except to say that a mom knows when things aren't right and things are not right at his house.
She called him about 10 days or so and asked him why he had not called her. He gave a lame excuse that he thought she was mad at him. To me, that would be all the more reason to call if you thought that. But not to him. One thing led to another and suddenly she lit into him. She let it all out. I wasn't home but Joe was listening on the other phone. Apparently she made some very valid points about how he was acting. He didn't know what to do so he yelled back at her. She eventually hung up on him. Please know that Stephanie has never talked this way to an adult. But I'm telling you folks he deserved it. He had been leaving her at his house and going to see his pill popping slut girlfriend (I know she is this way because Ryan knows her and he told me) every night she was there. That is just a fraction of the BS he had been doing. Joe is keeping up with the days since he has not called her.
She asked me last week how old she had to be before Joe could adopt her and not need her father's consent. I told her probably 18 which she will be in October. So guess what? Come next year we will have another Williamson in the house. And her first name will be Stephanie.