Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Father's Day! (Warning VERY Long Post)

This Father's Day was pretty quiet here. We got up a little late and I had to get Kayla ready to go to the movies with Uncle Eric and Rena, they had asked a few weeks ago if they could take Kayla to see Kung Fu Panda, not realizing it was Father's Day. This wasn't a big deal, we were just planning on hanging out and working around the house anyway. We gave Daddy his gifts, a book he had been wanting and a picture frame that we made together with a picture of Daddy, Kayla, and Audrey. Nothing big but homemade and that's what matters. We are just happy that we are together and we get to spend each day as a family.

Uncle Eric and Rena came and picked up Kayla around noon to go to Red Robin for lunch and then to the movie. Kayla was very excited. Kayla hanging out with Uncle Eric and Rena gave Tom and I time to hang out together with Audrey.

As many of you know, I have been making an album for Eric to honor Avery, his daughter. I had been planning on giving it to him when I next saw him. It just turned out that the next time I saw him happened to be Father's Day. It kind of worked out well that this was how everything happened. Those of you who are close to me know the story of Eric and Avery. For those of you who don't here is the story in a nutshell. My brother, Eric, was married right after high school. Eric was overjoyed when his wife announced that she was pregnant. Everyone was very excited for him and we were all excited to have the first grandbaby in the family. Well, like we all would assume, Avery was Eric's child. Come on, they were married and that's how it works right?! We were all there for Avery's birth and then every step of the way after. We were all saddened when Eric announced that him and Krissy would be divorcing, we were more upset for Avery as it would be hard on a child. After trying to gain more custody of Avery because Eric wanted nothing more than to spend more time with his daughter and love his life, he was dealt a HUGE blow. He was presented with papers from a lawyer stating that it was 99.9% positive that he was not the father of Avery! What the heck?!! He was presented these papers in his home from some stranger, not his ex-wife herself, but some stranger. She had been messing around while she was married to Eric and had us all fooled. Krissy did not want Eric and the family to see Avery anymore than we already were. We were all SHOCKED and Eric was absolutely devastated. As you would expect, Eric got a lawyer and fought for Avery. Unfortunately, the court said that legally Eric had no rights to Avery once the "real" father came forward. The "real" father could adopt her because Eric was the father on her birth certificate and then Eric would have no legal rights. Eric had to make the most difficult decision anyone in life could ever have to make. He had to decide to give up all his rights to his daughter that we all believed was his daughter for 4 years. We all loved her so much and it was like having a child die right before your eyes. We were all there with him in court and it was the most difficult thing in the world to watch someone to go through, especially a loved one. Needless to say, Eric has struggled with this for he past 5 years. I know it is something that he thinks about every day and I know that he wants nothing more than to be a part of Avery's life. Unfortunately there are really cruel and evil people in this world who care about nothing more than themselves. Eric wanted to be Avery's father despite what he had found out. Avery was Eric's daughter regardless of what a DNA test showed. In Avery's eyes, Eric was her daddy and she would always love him. As far as I know, Avery still thinks about Eric and has asked about her "Daddy Eric". She misses him very much. Thank goodness we have a source who will pass along bits of information now and then (just bits and pieces but still a little piece of her). It would be so nice to see pictures of her now and then or just hear some REAL things that are going on in her life. Eric misses her so much and so does the rest of the family. I know that Krissy wanted to hurt Eric with all of this but she hurt an entire family as well as innocent children who never got a chance to meet their cousin Avery. It is the hope of all our family that one day Avery will come looking for her "Daddy Eric" and realize the horrible things that her mom did in her past.

As a result of all of this, I thought that it would be nice to honor Avery by making an album of her life with her "Daddy Eric". Eric was not left with much of Avery other than the memories. He had a few pictures of his own and a "Boo" doll from Avery's favorite movie "Monsters Inc" but other than that, he just has memories. I wanted to give him something tangible of his daughter, something that he can show her one day when she finds him again.

I made this album while we were in Indy at Cornerstone. It was a difficult weekend and I hope I didn't make too many of my friends mad at me while I was there. (Sory guys if I did! I TRULY didn't mean to!!! :) It was a difficult few days as I had to process again the events and look at the sweet face in these pictures. Memories and emotins were stirred up that I thought I would be okay with but after working for two days straight on the album, it all began to take its toll! I am very happy with the outcome of the album and am glad I was able to create some memories for my brother.

I LOVE this quote. It says "It doesn't matter who my father was, it matters who I remember he was." Very fitting for the situation I think.

This was taken out at my parents lake and Avery loved the water. She had said this particular day, "Can I put my tushie in?!" I love that quote from her!!! So cute!!

I used Making Memories "Noteworthy" line from Archivers for all of the pages. I also used products from KI, Doodlebug, Heidi Swapp. The album was PERFECT for this product. It's a Colorbok and it is a bifold and the inside is like a box. I loved it for the amount of space that it had in it.
I think Eric was very moved by the album. He is a difficult person to read sometimes on the outside but I think I touched something in him with this. I know he is glad to have a piece of Avery with him and I am so glad I could give him this. We are not always the best communicators in our family but we know that we are there for each other and we will stand by one another in the most difficult of times.
I just wanted to share this with everyone and hope that you like it as much as I do. I would LOVE to hear any comments that you have about the album or my story. Sometimes it helps to hear other people's thoughts and feelings about such a difficult topic!!
Thanks so much for reading my LONG blog!! I will post again soon with a much lighter topic!!!

1 comment:

Courtney-Amber said...

You did an amazing job on this. I couldn't make it thru without crying. I know how much you wanted to do this for Eric and I know how hard it was for you.

Love is above all things!! And Avery will always know the love Eric and the rest of us have for her. I realyl do hope she does look for Eric when she gets older to hear his side of it!! We all know Krissy will never tell her the truth.

You did an amazing job and you should be very proud of this!!!

Can't wait to see you all next weekend!!! Love you!!!