Monday, July 20, 2009

Sometimes Pops Get Happy Endings, Too

Kids in real life and adolescents (and 20-somethings) in love get stories with happy endings, but dads rarely do. However, it does happen sometimes and at least a few of those times should be noted, if for no other reason than as balance to all the tales of daddy woes.

Jones Creek, Texas, dad and grandad K.M. Watson got a chance to look his baby in the eye, just 43 years after she was born. His teenage sweetheart, pregnant with his child, was sent away from him and gave birth to a daughter who would be adopted and whisked away eight days later. After years of search and both father and daughter starting other families of their own, they finally got a chance to meet up in an airport lobby. The result, as the father tells the story, "I just found my daughter,” he said, crying openly. “I looked for her for 43 years. I’ve got all my babies. I’ve got all of my children with me now. My family is complete."

Mizzou men will also be getting some good news, thanks to changes in state law regarding father's rights. Dads who want to stay in touch are given second (and maybe third chances) before being separated from their kids and DNA results will be accepted in new ways to let some guys off the hook who aren't ready to step up and take responsibility for kids who aren't biologically theirs. Happy endings, both.

Along those lines, changes to the law and in social attitudes have provided many more divorced men with a much more fulfilling time with their children than they ever would have had during the marriage that failed. And that is perhaps the most dream-comes-true ending of all.

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