By Mike Mesmer
My ex-girlfriend called me to let me know she was pregnant. We got married and not long after the baby was born she walked away and left the baby with me.
Over the years, family would ask me if I was sure she was mine. She looked nothing like me or other members of my family. My daughter has very dark skin. Her mother was never a serious part of her life. On days when her mother was supposed to pick her up and spend time with her, my daughter would get dressed-up and excited and her mom was a “no-show”. I would make up some excuse for her mom not showing up. And on birthdays and Christmas, I would always place a gift under the tree and address it from her mom.
As she got older, her appearance got more defined and had nothing in common with me or my family. Her skin got darker and her lips thicker and her hair curlier. There were always the questions from family and friends and the usual gossip in our hometown.
One day, when she was 15 years old, she sat down next to me as I was working on my laptop. She said “Daddy, may I ask you a question?” I continued what I was doing and simply replied, “Sure, sweetie, what’s on your mind?” She said, “Daddy, would you like me to take a DNA test?” That hit me real hard so I stopped what I was doing, closed my laptop and faced her. I said “Now why exactly would I want you to do something like that?” She answered, “Wouldn’t you want to know for sure if I am your daughter?” She just sat there looking down at the floor while I weighed the question and realized I was walking on a mine field and I had to gather myself and get this right. “Honey, you are my daughter and no DNA test will change that. There is nothing a paternity or DNA test can tell me that will make me think anything else. “
My daughter is grown up now and has many other roles. She is a doctor, a wife, and a mother. But she remains and always will be my daughter.