The paternity test is done. The waiting has begun. They say it will take four to six weeks, but it could be as soon as two weeks.
It would be easier if I could say that there was something obviously wrong with this man or his mother. That is other than the fact that he has not tried to have contact with Hazel or paid child support in over 3 years. Yes, they did know where she was for at least two of those years. But they were very kind and respected every boundary that I placed on the meeting. They did not try to touch her or directly interact with her. They just sat and watched.
At the time, my husband, Thomas, and I were more concerned with Hazel feeling comfortable and safe. Thomas sat on the floor and played trains with Hazel in the waiting room, and I spent time with our new acquaintances.
When we were called back for the test, Thomas waited in the waiting room with Emilly, and I went back with Hazel and R. R was kind enough to step up his part of the paternity test. This gave Hazel time to see what was going on.
Back in the waiting room, we sat around and talked a little while longer, and then Hazel became afraid that we were going to leave her. She began crying so we left immediately.
Now, a few days later, I think back and wonder what it was like for R and his mother, D, to sit and watch Hazel. Did R long to hold her? Did he regret all of the years he has missed out on? Was he angry at what this child has been through? Did he wish he could turn time back and do things differently? What was he thinking? Were his feelings hurt when Hazel kept asking for "my daddy" (Thomas not R) while we were waiting for the test? She does love Thomas. Some times I think she has forgotten her other daddies.
The hardest part of waiting is trying to live normally. Do I continue to fix her room up the way she wants or do I wait? Do I buy winter clothes? Winter in the mountains of NC is a lot different than winter in FL. When she asks me if I will keep her forever, what should I say? Do we plan on Thanksgiving and Christmas as a family of four or will there only be three?
Today we have lived together as a family of four. I do not know how long it will remain that way, but I am thankful for today. I pray for a thousand tomorrows together. God is amazing and loves to show up in the midst of our darkest times and let His light shine.