DNA Does Not Make a Parent


“While you’re out in the garage, will you get me one of my mango sparkling waters?”

“Mom!!! Why are you always asking me to get you something?!”

“That’s what you have kids for.”

“No, it’s because it was an accident, and you never wanted kids, but now you’re stuck with one.”

“Well, since you ARE here…. Go get me that sparkling water.”

“Ugh. Fine.” (Stomps off…)

It’s true. I never wanted kids. It’s not because I hate kids. It’s because I love them. I was worried I wouldn’t be a good enough mom. I was worried that I’d have a child with someone that I turned out to not be able to stand. I was worried the hate and anger my parents showed each other during and after their divorce would be my fate.

They split when I just started high school, and I had three younger siblings I tried to shield from it all. For many years, my parents never remembered to put us kids first. I have great relationships with them now, but it’s also been over two decades since then. 

Well, despite all my best efforts, I had a child.

I had a child with a man that is not worthy of the daughter we created, and I only communicate with him because I have a court order telling me to do so when necessary. He never puts our daughter first. Never has. I used to shield her from who he really was, but now that she’s in full on tween mode and realizing some tough things for herself about him, we’ve had to begin having those difficult conversations. 

My dear (and sometimes annoying) Adilyn knows every day that she is wanted in this household. She knows all about why I didn’t want kids before I had her. She also knows that I take the responsibility of raising her and making her become the best version of herself very seriously and have since I first heard her heartbeat inside me. 

The dad that came into her life when she was three is her REAL dad.

He has been there day in and day out for all the real things a parent has to do. It’s even more special because he CHOOSES to love and raise her, even though he doesn’t HAVE to. We had recently all done genetic ancestry tests together and explored the concept of DNA. I was able to use that understanding to tie in a point for Ady that DNA doth not maketh a parent.

If you’ve adopted or are raising a child that you didn’t genetically create, you know this all too well. 

It breaks my heart to watch her biological father not follow through on 80% of what a judge told him to do from when she was 5 years old as the basics. He was barely even there up until we took him to court, and he had never even given me a dime by that time to help take care of her or even spent one night with her. He hadn’t even been bothered to show up to the hospital when she was born or see her on her first Christmas. 

Ady doesn’t remember those early years, and he tried to write some revisionist history the past year or so. I let it go until he tried to start turning her against me. I had to pull in family and friends that were there way before her Daddy Derek came into the picture to let her know I wasn’t lying to her about anything. I hate it for her to not feel truly wanted and important by one of the two people that brought her into this world.

But, she is wanted in our house, and she knows she always will be…. tween attitude and all. 😉 DNA does not make a parent. Love makes you a parent.

Have any of you had to go through anything remotely similar to this yourself?


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