This weekend we had lunch with May's bio dad. We see him two or three times a year. The last few times have been when he has attended one of her concerts. This time we had a leisurely lunch at a serve yourself soup and salad buffet restaurant.
May always enjoys seeing him, and I know he absolutely cherishes the time he spends with her. He is also very glad to see the rest of the kids as well. I had asked him if he would prefer to have lunch with just May and me or with everyone. His reply was that he wanted to see "his entire family".
He can make May laugh out loud as he tells her stories about her first few months of life. May did not come into foster care until she was just about a year old. He told her how she took her first few steps in front of everyone at a family gathering and everyone rushed to find the elusive camera. He also shared how she always had a pacifier in her mouth but once they forgot it and she did just fine.
May catches him up on what she is doing. He then recounts all the things she has done: dance, gymnastics, violin, choir, basketball, volleyball... She told him she is planning to throw discus and shot put in track and field and he was thrilled. He said he always loved track.
He tells May about the rest of his family. There are so many, we can't keep most of them straight, but she knows she has two other adult half siblings and several nieces and nephews. May likes to tell her friends that she is the oldest and the youngest in her two different families.
The connection that May and her dad share is special. I'm so glad she has that bond that I could never provide. Her bio mom has been out of the picture since before she was adopted. Her dad has turned his life around and is stable on his own. It took him years to get there, but he hasn't relapsed in over five years and seems to be making a difference through the VA by helping homeless veterans and teaching law enforcement agencies about dealing with mentally ill individuals they encounter.
May's dad is thrilled with the life May has and with the ability to be part of her life. He thanks me over and over. I told him that I was so blessed that God chose me to call her my daughter. This visit was very special for everyone.