Alright, everyone has been waiting for this and here it is finally. Long story short - Anna met her dad this past weekend.
Here's the long version:
Brian (Anna's father) was never really around much when Anna was a baby and before we moved to Cecil County. He landed himself in jail when Anna was about 16 months old (about 2 months after we moved to Cecil County) and was there for almost 4 years. He went to jail for assault and robbery. Before jail he was a "gangster" and was always mixed up with the wrong people. I refer to our relationship as my "I was young and dumb" relationship. Apparently, my picker was broken (and still is) when it comes to guys...
So Brian got out of jail last Tuesday (11/23) and was apparently very curious about Anna. He wanted to know where we were living, how she was doing, when he could see her, etc... So his aunt Katie (who I have stayed in touch with through everything) texted me on Wednesday (11/24) and asked me if she could call and let Brian talk to Anna and I. I said, "Sure, why not?" So Anna and I talked to Brian probably for a total of an hour. I updated him on the recent medical happenings between the MRI of Anna's brain that needs to be done, the diagnosis from the therapist, the allergies, etc. I told him about her delays and how she's doing in school and all the other good stuff that two parents who are not with each other should share. Well, he decided to inform me that he was going to file custody papers and he was going to get a lawyer and all that good stuff because he wanted his rights as a father and he wanted to be able to see his daughter. So in an effort to "keep the peace" and make sure I didn't look like I was trying to keep Anna away from him, we went to see him this past Friday (11/26). We went to Aunt Katie's and spent the night Friday night. From the time we got there until the time we left, Brian wanted nothing more than to just sit with Anna and read her books, watch her play, play with her, etc. He was a completely different person with her than what he was before he went to jail almost 4 years ago. Anna was happy to have "Daddy", and Daddy was happy to have Anna. I had originally planned on Anna calling him "Brian" instead of Daddy since she had never really known him, but then after a few discussions with a few different people, I felt that it was okay for her to call him Daddy if that's what she wanted to call him.
So, now we have been home since Saturday evening and Anna has talked to daddy every night (except last night because mommy was sick) at bed time to say good night and talk about her day quickly before bed. Anna and I are going to make a "Daddy Calendar" so that we can circle the days that we will go to see daddy and we can cross off the days in between. In the end, everyone is satisfied with how things went and how we plan on things going.
Brian and I were able to sit down Friday night after the kids were in bed and work out (verbally, nothing signed) an amount that he will pay monthly in child support once he starts receiving his social security checks again, and we worked out visitation for holidays and "regular" visitation. I really hope things end up working out so that Anna can have both parents involved in her life. It means a lot to me to have one of my kids' fathers there even if it is only a minimal amount.
I will definitely keep everyone updated on how things go with this. While I am hoping for the best, I am still at an "I'll believe it when I see it" stage...