Fatherless: When my daughter's dad didn't show.
I had to go to Camden for the evaluation. This was enough to put me on edge. Camden is the second most dangerous city in America. And here I was walking the streets, carrying my 25 pound daughter, searching for the public defender’s office, freezing and lost. We finally walked in, flustered and 15 minutes late. But he was later. Because, oh yeah, there were a couple of other reasons I was on edge.
After 15 months, I was about to meet my soon-to-be-adopted daughter’s biological father. Yes, he was violent, had a criminal record, and abused drugs and alcohol, but these weren’t the sources of my uneasiness. It was his identity as father, his claim to her that I didn’t share, that was unsettling to me. Chances were I would be her mom, and I certainly felt like her mom. But he was undeniably her father.
Then, of course, there was the whole purpose of this meeting. A psychologist, the expert witness in my daughter’s trial, was going to evaluate the bond between her and her father. He hadn’t seen her in months (despite his right to two visits a week), but if this one expert in this one hour decided that his bond with her was real, it could keep her from becoming my daughter. It was difficult to think that one person’s opinion could control my family’s fate.
This was his chance to prove himself. This was his chance to claim his role as father. This was his chance to fight for his daughter. We waited and waited and waited. And he never came. I kissed my little girl on the forehead, thanked God that she was too young to understand the rejection she had just experienced, and walked back through the cold, dangerous streets to my car.
I immediately called my husband. Her daddy. The man who kissed her when she went to bed the night before and when she woke up that morning. The man who knew her favorite song and danced around the house with her when it came on. The man who worried about her cough and her diaper rash. The man who would show up for her. The man who would fight for her, now and for the rest of her life. I wanted to whisper in my girl’s little baby ears, “Your father didn’t show up, but don’t you worry, your daddy’s waiting for you at home.”
Then I called out to her Father. The one who calls Himself “Father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). My little girl had never seemed more “fatherless” before. But there was this Father, intervening for her in this big way, bringing her a father, a daddy forever. There was this Father, intervening in the biggest way, sending his own Son to make the way to become her Heavenly Father forever. For eternity.
This Father didn’t just “show up.” He fought for her, to rescue her, to adopt her. He went to such great lengths to invite her into His family, to make her His daughter, that He gave up His Son.
Her father hadn’t shown up, but she had her daddy, going to great lengths, working to adopt her and become her forever father. And she had her God, who already “finished” the great work, making the way to adopt her and become her Forever Father.
"Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God." - John 8:42
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." - Romans 10:9