The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

so its been a while since I last blogged.. almost a month to the day I think. A lot has been going on; my mother in law became gravely ill and we thought we were going to lose her.. but they performed surgery and she was ok. Then we found out that my husband had a daughter from an affair he had almost 17 years ago.. (we've been married for 25 this year). Right after that..my mother in law took a turn for the worse and wound up back in the hospital.. we were told she had about 2 days to live... she had contracted an infection after her surgery and it was resistant to antibiotics. So we rushed to Fl (we live in TN) and waited for the end...except that she once again rallied... I should mention that my MiL was 84. So we came home and continued to try to get to know my husbands "love" child. My MiL held on for several weeks, but she finally passed on May 9th. She passed quietly with my FiL by her side after being bathed and "beautified". It was peaceful and what more could you ask for. There was no funeral at her request.. but there was a memorial 2 weeks later..so it was back to FL for a few days and then home again.. back to trying to come to terms with this child and her mother.

I want to say, I was aware that there had been an affair and we put it behind us and I even suspected that there was a child, although my husband claimed she wasn't his...well.. the DNA tests are on June 26th so until then we don't have conclusive proof.. but this child who will be 16 soon, has believed my husband to be her father since she was 8. She has dreamed of meeting him and her "sisters" since then.

I'm no angel.. but I can't help but think about this poor kid that has wondered about him and my girls for the last 8 years. From the beginning I have opened my heart to her and tried to help my husband and my girls do the same. I should mention that we do not live in the same state.. so things have been complicated by distance. Shortly after coming home from FL, my husband received an email from "HER" (the girlfriend, not the child) asking if the kid could spend the summer with us.. he didn't want her too.. but I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for them to get to know one another and for my girls and her to meet and get to know one another...He argued against it, but in the end, relented.

When I first told my kids about her,, .for those who do not know, I have 4 girls of my own (with my husband) they are 23, 22, 19 and 13, they accepted it well.. although there was anger at their father. They got to know each other through my space and aim and all seemed to be going well..My husband had spoken to her numerous times via webcam and emails and a few times on the actual phone, so I did not think her coming here would be a problem, but as the time drew near for her arrival.. they (my two youngest ones and my husband) became nervous and a bit skittish.. I kept asking them to just give her a chance, to just think of her as a friend... and to my husband.. I told him to just let things happen naturally.. still.. he was not happy.

So she arrived on Saturday evening.. my husband hugged her, I hugged her. the girls were still a bit stand offish.. and *** was tired and nervous.. by the time we got to the car, my youngest and *** (they are only 2 years apart) were in rapt conversation which continued all through dinner and all the way home from the airport (a 4 hour trip). By the time we got home, they were fast friends and even my 19 year old had unglued her lips and joined the party..my husband bonded with her over dinner while they all fooled around the way they do.. and I was.. on the outside looking in...

How does that happen? Here I am in MY own house, with MY husband and MY daughters... and still I feel like an outsider.. I just cook and serve the meals and tell everyone to calm down when they start to get out of hand...but she barely speaks to me...

I try to tell myself that maybe she doesn't know what to say to me.. maybe she feels guilty for her mother's relationship with my husband..I want to reach out to her in some way.. I don't blame her for what happened...I mostly don't even blame her mother...but I hate this feeling of being an outsider within my own family...

anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.. maybe tomorrow will be better.. maybe..

Views: 10

Comment by BlancheNoE on June 8, 2009 at 8:31am
You're a true hero Dee. These situations are never easy or comfortable. I hope you're talking to your older daughters about your feelings. If the the girl is 16, keep in mind that most all children at that age tend to be selfish and think that the entire universe revolves around them.
The guilt of her biological parents is not yours to bear. I think what I'm trying to say is protect your heart, remember that the girl is young and has been handed a raw deal but also remember that your feelings are important too.
When this child is (much) older, she will understand how unselfish your decision to facilitate this exploration was.
I'm here wishing you strength, love and the peace of knowing you're doing the only right thing there is to do.
You're a hero, Dee. Don't forget that.
Comment by JustAnotherUserName on June 8, 2009 at 10:19am
Yeah...what Amy said! Be really nice about her mother, too. David has always been extremely complimentary to my kids about their dad and they respect and appreciate that (even though they don't realize it yet). It's a good thing you're doing, Dee :-)
Comment by Jim on June 9, 2009 at 3:54am
About 18 years ago, I was a sperm donor for a short period of time (before I started dating Karen, who is now my wife). Eleven children resulted from my donations. Any day now, any number of them could look me up (they have that option when they turn 18). I realize it's not the same situation as yours, Dee, but if I end up having an ongoing parent-child relationship with one or more of these offspring, I will definitely invite Karen to be a part of it, too. So far, she's been very supportive of the idea.

I hope, Dee, that you also feel included before too long. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.
Comment by JustDee on June 9, 2009 at 11:09am
thanks everyone. Things are going ok...as I said before the kids are getting along great.. which I am very grateful for and she has been talking to me more. I'm sure her standoffishness is more about her origins then anything. I have tried to put her at ease about it.. but we will see...but thank you all for your support and kind words.
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on June 9, 2009 at 9:19pm
Hey Dee. I'm glad to see you writing here again. I missed that.
*** may have it in the very back of her mind that having a relationship with you is somehow betraying her mother.

I'm glad things are lookin' up for you but I also know you tend to put a good face on things so no one worries. Feeling like an outsider in your own darn life...that sucks. Someone I know just recently said she feels like a bad tourist in her own life. You don't happen to be wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a camera around your neck, do ya...?

I also know that you fear being a certain kind of mother...but that certain kind of mom doesn't have half the sense of humor you have and I can't imagine your own kids see you as a stranger given what a force I know you are.

AND I also know more about the situation and how much more you're putting up with than you're willing to share here. You're a saint, Dee.
Comment by JustDee on June 13, 2009 at 12:13am
wat let me polish my halo...oops dropped it.. oh well lol

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