Stepping up to the plate

About a month and a half ago, I received a phone call from a girl that I had dated for a short period, (over eight years ago and before I was married or even dating my current wife). Yes, eight years ago. We met during a time in our lives when we were both searching for something or someone. She was just ending a long-term relationship and I was at a point where I didn’t really know what I wanted or needed in life. I am not sure of the exact reason the relationship did not work but it ended in about three or four weeks. Simply put, there were many differences.

Shortly, after breaking up, I received a call from her saying that she was pregnant. She said she needed to see me right away. I was at work but explained the situation to my boss and quickly left to meet her. My thoughts raced, “how could this be?”  I remember telling her “I’m on my way over, calm down, everything will be okay.”  On my drive over to her place, I tried my best to collect my thoughts.  I had only been with her in “that way” a couple of times and I found myself wondering if this could really be true? I know it only takes once but I was still shaking my head in disbelief. By the time I arrived at her place, I made sure I was “there for her”. I assured her that she wasn’t going to go through this alone and things would work out.  I still had my doubts of me being the father but it wasn’t the right time for those questions.

After a couple of days, I decided to tell my mom. This wasn’t easy but she needed to know and I couldn’t keep it from her any longer. My mom has always been there for me during rough times but this time was different, I would have some explaining to do on this one. To my surprise, she took the news better than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, my actions didn’t sit well with her but she made it very clear that it was time for me to “step up to the plate.” 

Part of stepping up to the plate, was to make sure that I join L to the first Dr.’s visit.  I made sure to take care of the Dr.s visit bill but something wasn’t adding up.  The projected due date the Dr. gave didn’t exactly seem to coincide with the dates that “L” and would have been together and conception would have occurred.

These dates became a topic of our conversation for the next few days and exactly one week from her receiving the news she called me to tell me that I wasn’t the father.  She assured me that this baby was someone elses and that there was no reason for me to contact her anymore.  At the time it all made sense to me, after all I had my doubts from the beginning and every time the question was asked she would get very frustrated.  I was convinced it was her previous boyfriend of two years and I recall thinking that maybe this was her way of trying to hang on to our relationship.

Fast forward to today, eight years later and going about life normally.  My life was about to change when I received a phone call while shopping at Dicks Sporting Goods.  I couldn’t recognize the voice on the other end until late in the conversation.  She said that it was very important that I speak with her and that she had something that she needed to tell me. 

“I lied to you,” she said.  “You lied about what?” I said.  There was a slight pause on the phone, “You are the father of a seven-year old boy that I gave up for adoption.”  Not knowing what to say, I asked her if I could call her back.  Once I collected myself I called her back with a list of questions.  She apologized and gave her reasons for the call coming when it did.  She went on to say that it was a selfish decision that she regrets but it was time for me to know the truth.

That phone call will live with me for the rest of my life.  Since that day, I truly believe that I have experienced every emotion possible and it’s ongoing.  

As I continue on with my blog I will continue to share my experiences.  Although there has been some progress, I still go to bed every night empty.  I’m still working towards a relationship with the adoptive parents but so far all they have agreed to is the paternity test.  I have to remind myself that this came as a shock to them as well.  They too were provided with false information.  I can’t imagine what they are going through and my hope is that we can start building a relationship that’s worth building.

Although my main focus now is to look ahead and be optimistic, I would be lying if I told you that I don’t look back and kick myself for taking her at her word. 

That wasn’t something someone would lie about……at least that’s what I thought.

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”

– Les Brown

6 Comments ↓

6 Comments on “Stepping up to the plate”

  1. Lilian May 6, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    Oh Andrew, this is hard, I cannot imagine how it feels. I imagine you feel utterly helpless, at the hands of your son’s parents. We have to pray for *them.* They need to understand that biological ties matter. A LOT. And that your presence in your son’s life is not going to diminish in any way their past, present and future roles in his life. I imagine it must be *extremely* hard for them to accept that, though. It’s all new for them too. I hope that sharing your experience in the blog can be therapeutic for you as it is for a lot of people. We hear you.

    • ACTUALLY…AS HARD AS IT HAS BEEN…WE WERE WELL EDUCATED ON THE NEED FOR BIOLOGICAL CONNECTION AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OPEN WITH OUR CHILDREN ABOUT OUR WILLINGNESS TO HELP MAKE THAT CONNECTION. THE ADOPTION AGENCY WE USED DID A FINE JOB HELPING US UNDERSTAND AND PROVIDING RESOURCES FOR US FROM THE TIME WE DECIDED TO MAKE AN ADOPTION PLAN ABOUT THE COMPLEXITY OF EMOTIONS FOR ADOPTEES. BEING THAT ANDREW IS WHO HE IS (SUCH A STELLER PERSON)MAKES THIS PROCESS SO MUCH EASIER FOR US. AS HARD AS IT IS TO READ ABOUT HOW TRAGIC EVERYONE FEELS THIS SITUATION IS, FOR ME I COULDN’T HAVE IMAGINED NEVER MEETING GAGE OR HAVING THE CHANCE TO LOVE HIM. JUST WRITING THAT MAKES MY EYES FILL UP WITH TEARS

  2. dmdezigns May 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    As someone waiting to adopt, your story scares me and breaks my heart at the same time. I’m so sorry that all of you are going through this. And selfishly, I’m glad that in our situation, the parents are still together and are making this decision together.

    I hope that once the adoptive parents get past the shock, they will find a way to work with you and have you be a part of your son’s life. I doubt they were looking for an open adoption, but i think it’s in everyone’s best interest at this point to move that direction.

    I’ll be praying for you all, and I’ll be hoping for open hearts to see a situation that is best for everyone.

  3. Jenna Hatfield May 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    I continue to be angry for you, Andrew. I’m just so riled up! I’m thankful for your willingness to share your story, to put it all out there. This is an important one to tell because this happens too often. I just wish you weren’t caught in the thick of it!

  4. amurphy17 May 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Thank you Jenna and thanks for your help. I really appreciate all of it.

  5. Jaime May 9, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    You, sir, have inspired me in the few short weeks I’ve known your story. As a birthmom, I want to tell you to not be so hard on yourself. You did everything right 8 years ago. Other people dropped the ball, people that should and did know better. I’m so happy you’re sharing your life with us. This situation, while extremely painful and complicated, is only going to make you a better man, husband, father, son, friend…no matter what the outcome.

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