“‘Adopted as an adult? What’s the point?’
The point is that I am loved and I am cared for by someone who chooses every day to be the father I always needed. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s a matter of knowing you have someone who loves you unconditionally.
My biological father was very controlling and manipulative, but at the time I was unaware. I was the biggest Daddy’s girl that any little girl could have been. My mom and my bio dad got divorced when I was in second grade. I was devastated. We packed up in a suitcase and my mom, my little sister, and I moved from Arkansas to Oklahoma to get away. At 7 years old, I couldn’t comprehend what was going on, but I slowly started to understand.
I met my adoptive dad while my bio dad and mom were still together. My adoptive dad was always around because he was my uncle’s best friend. He was one of those fun adults that had all the cool things and would make the most out of any time we spent together. My adoptive dad loves cars, I remember many days just hanging out in his garage watching him work on cars and I’m sure asking him a million questions.
My biological dad was supposed to meet my mom halfway between Arkansas and Oklahoma to pick my sister and I up for visitation every other weekend. He met us once. It started to become visits only when we would be in Arkansas for the holidays, because that’s what was convenient for him. He didn’t have to go out of his way to be able to see us. Whenever he would pick us up, he would always ask what we wanted to go do and what we wanted him to buy us. Looking back now, it was all an act of just trying to buy our love. As a child though, you don’t see that. You see someone who spoils you rotten and it’s exciting!
My mom was such an amazing and strong person during all of this. She always kept her composure. I never heard my mom say a negative thing about my bio dad. She always wanted us to form our own opinions of him as we grew up. She knew as we got older, we would see the true colors and be able to decide how we wanted to handle the situations.
During the next 10 years of my life, it was just visits with him during the holidays. Whether it was Thanksgiving or Christmas that we made a trip to Arkansas to see the rest of the family, that was the only time I saw him. By this time, it was the summer before my senior year. I went to sign up for classes, and I knew that very day what my graduation date was, more than a year in advance. I called my bio dad and I told him I was graduating June 3, 2016. He said, ‘I will do my best to be there.’ I called him my first day of senior year to tell him how my day went. I didn’t hear from him again until the week before Thanksgiving. I knew he was just calling to see if we were coming to Arkansas for the holidays. Once again, when it was convenient for him. This is when I started to struggle and have a hard time. I was so frustrated and upset that he didn’t care to call me for almost four months, and when he did, it was going to be about if we were coming down. I ignored him. My little sister ignored him. My mom ignored him. Fast forward to my birthday, December 1st. He called again. I ignored him because I was still so mad and hurt. He called and called, and finally he texted me and said, ‘Happy birthday. I love you!!!’ I responded and all I said was, ‘Thanks.’ We didn’t hear anything else until Christmas time. He started calling and we were all ignoring him, once again. Finally, my mom answered. He said, ‘Why do my kids not want to talk to me?’ My mom responded, ‘You don’t have anything to do with them, why would they want to talk to you?’ He said, ‘Well, f*** all of y’all then.’ That was it. We were all done at that point. We didn’t hear from him again until the end of my senior year when he told me he couldn’t afford to come to my graduation. Once I got that call, I was done completely. I was so hurt and couldn’t understand how I told him over a year in advance the exact date, down to the time. Why didn’t he care enough to start saving money then? Why couldn’t he have worked his butt off for that? Why was I not good enough for my own dad?
During those 10 years of me growing up, my adoptive dad stepped in and he was the male figure that was consistent throughout all this time. He was always there for me and I could trust that he wasn’t going anywhere. My mom and adoptive dad finally got married (they should’ve back when they first met). As my Christmas gift to my adoptive dad, I made a board that asked, ‘Will you adopt me?’ I had just turned 18 at this point.
He hugged me and cried.
‘Let’s get the paperwork started,’ he said without hesitation.
We went and met with a lawyer that same week. It was truly one of the happiest moments of my life!
My biological dad could not fight it – he was stuck with the fact that it was over for him. He was served papers, so he was aware this was happening. On May 2, 2017, I got adopted. My adoptive dad was deployed on the actual court date where everything was finalized, but he had spoke with the judge before he had deployed to give his statement.
As a little girl, your wedding day is something that you stress about. I always wondered and worried about what would happen on my day. Who would walk me down the aisle? Who would I have my daddy-daughter dance with? I am so blessed that everything worked out to where I didn’t have to stress about these things. I knew who my REAL dad was, who I would be walking down the aisle with and who I’d be dancing with.
I wouldn’t be who I am now if my life didn’t go this way, and I am eternally grateful for the unconditional love I am shown. My dad is the most selfless person I know, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of everything he has done for me since second grade.
I didn’t get to carry my adopted last name for very long, due to getting married. One thing is for sure though – I am proud to say my maiden name, and I am proud to show off my birth certificate that shows my mom, my dad, and I all carrying the same last name. Don’t judge someone saying they want to be adopted as an adult, you can’t put an age on being loved.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Bailey Eisman of Norman, Oklahoma. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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