In my life, I have experienced sorrow. Not the sort of sorrow you experience when someone dies.

The kind of sorrow you experience when you know someone is alive – and you cannot see them, love them, or be with them. The type of sorrow a father experiences when he is separated from his children. I wrote a bit about it on June 21st of last year – and I transferred it to this new blog, when I moved. I got to re-experience a bit of that just this morning.

I got a letter today. It said two things:

Less importantly, it said that my tax return was intercepted by the government, to pay child support. Which is fine – I haven’t been able to find my daughter, or her mother in a couple years TO pay child support. The second thing was more important.

It said what county, and what state she was in. The closest I’ve felt, or been, to talking to her, and seeing her in 3 years. She was three years old the last time I saw her. 4, the last time I talked to her. Now she’s 6.

I called the child support agency, like an idiot, to see if I could find out where she was. Shunted back and forth, and around through the bureaucracy, I felt like an ax murderer, or a pedophile – because I wanted to know where my daughter was. They treated me like one for even asking.

3 hours of phone calls – and I still have no idea, exactly, where she is. Eventually, I just broke down and cried, from the frustration of it all.

3 years. I haven’t seen my beautiful, tow-headed, blue-eyed daughter in 3 years. I don’t even know if her hair is still blond, or if her eyes changed color, like mine did. I don’t know if she even remembers me. I don’t know anything about her – except that I love her. I can live with that.

What I’m trying to cope with is narrowing my search down to one single county – and being no closer than I was to begin with. Or being on no sleep, and unable to sleep, because I’m waiting on phone calls. This is more important than sleep. More important than anything, just about. She’s my baby. I want nothing more than to speak to her. To hug her tight, to be her daddy again.

Oh, I want it so much. It’s the thing that kept me from becoming a complete wreck, for oh, so long – and brought me within a hairsbreadth of a total breakdown. I love that little girl. The song “Front Porch Lookin In” – it breaks me up every time I hear it.

There’s a carrot top who can barely walk
With a sippy cup of milk
A lil blue eyed blonde with shoes on wrong, ’cause she likes to dress herself

My youngest is the child of a red-headed mother – and you can see the red in her hair, too – and she just started walking a bit ago. My oldest, as I already said, is a blue-eyed blonde.

I’m volcanically pissed at bureaucracy, justified, or not – and I just want to talk to her. I got off the phone with the last social worker – and just sank down to the front porch concrete, sobbing. All I could think of was “I love you, God – but please… give me back my little girl”. I just repeated it over and over. It’s really funny how thoroughly you can block something in your mind – and *almost* forget. Except when you happen to pick the picture of her up, and you feel like you just burned your hand. Or you actually *look* at the two portraits you still have of her at 6 months old – the only ones you have left. She got the rest.

My other little girl is not allowed to visit me, as we had agreed earlier – because I’m getting married later this year. And her mother decided she doesn’t want “her” daughter around other women – for the two whole weeks she’d be here. “Her” daughter might start calling someone else “mommy”. That hurts. It still hurts – enormously. It was one reason I haven’t posted much lately. I don’t write well when I’m all unglued, emotionally – and I have been.

I’ll probably get someone berating me for my poor testimony here. I really don’t care right now. You can’t hurt me any more than I already am hurting. I have a Rock, a Deliverer, and a surrogate Father, to take care of my little girl. I just pray I’ll be able to see her again. Days like this remind me just how empty a place I still have in my heart – and why I sank so low for years.
Yes, I’ve screwed up – and I have to pay for it now. I just hope you never, ever, ever have to go through what I have.

It also reminds me what I have to be unutterably grateful for. I thank God every day for the wonderful gift he’s given me in Bethany. She is unbelievably understanding, and indescribably loving. I have her to thank for dragging me back into the land of the joyful. She and her two lovely children. I wasn’t going to go down there today… I had stuff I wanted to do. I am anyway, though. I came to see her when she had a bad day, a bit ago. My turn, I suppose.

We both know a bit about “having a past”. We both are incredibly more attuned to the issues we face, as a result. God knows what He’s doing. I love Him, and I even love my ex. I’m broken, again. But that’s ok. God uses the broken. God loves the broken with a special love. While I was crying my eyes out earlier, I could almost feel the warmth and love only God can provide, as a tangible thing. He is just so, unutterably good to me. So, so much more than what I deserve.