The hero deadbeat?

by mssinglemama on November 11, 2009

Have you heard about the April Baker story yet?

If not, here’s the gist – woman (April Baker) Googles herself and finds a website built by her biological father (Dr. Scott Becker) asking her to contact him. After 30 years apart, the two were reunited with camera crews playing witness (see a picture here).

As all loving reunions are, it’s a beautiful story. But, naturally, when I read it, I wanted to know more. Like, say, oh – why there needed to be a reunion in the first place. But every article I found focused on the Google search angle, the happy reunion but I couldn’t find a single mention of why Dr. Baker had been M.I.A. for 30 years.

I did some digging and finally found a brief explanation as to why April’s father wasn’t in her life to begin with. This is all it says:

April Becker’s parents separated after a fight. April Becker was a baby when her mother left her father and she never knew her father, Doctor Scott Becker.

Her mother left her father after a fight. I can relate to that one and it wasn’t pretty.

We don’t know the entire story. Perhaps Dr. Becker tried to reach out but April’s mother had disappeared. Maybe April’s mom was completely nuts and Dr. Baker showed up one day with the wrong color flowers and she decided to up and leave with baby in hand. But as a single mom, I know the odds of that are slim. Chances are he just wasn’t around. So now, decades later, he feels remorse, wants to connect and he is a hero?

I want to like the guy.

I really do. And I love this story. Who wouldn’t? It’s a happy story. But there’s still a huge part of me wanting to ask the obvious question to Dr. Becker – “So, where in the Hell were you?”

Maybe there are more articles or stories about this out there. Am I missing something? Fill me in. I think Dr. Baker, at the least, should issue a statement telling deadbeat dads why they should cut it out and step up.

He could be the national anti-deadbeat dad spokesman!

My question to all of you (on the eve of a day of dealing with the my non child support paying ex) is how do you deal with the idealization of papa issues your kids may have? How do you think you’ll handle these issues in the future?

And where is Mrs. Ex Dr. Scott Baker? What does she think about this?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

singlemomma_cc November 11, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Ummmmmm…..what the hell am I missing? He made a website for her to find when she googled herself? So…was the phone not working for 30 years? Odd…
He didnt have her address to send her a letter? Ya went with the web….good call pops. Every girl dreams of finding her long lost “dad” thanks to google. Classy sir. He really wants to talk to her? Oh btw you have a sister! SUPRISE!
What the fuc*ing fu*k?!?! Am I the only one who would be oh idk a lil pissed off if I found all this personal info out on google?!
Theres a SERIOUS lack of communication in that family….just saying

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MindyMom November 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Yeah, there is a lot of this story missing so it’s hard to form an opinion. Like you I am curious to know the rest.

I can relate to the deadbeat-as-hero issue. My child’s father is a deadbeat and has been since before she was born. I do get child support but I have to fight for it at great cost to me and therefore my daughter. He fights paying it and only does to keep himself out of jail. He has seen my daughter 3 times this year but tells anyone who will listen that he loves her and also tries to sell what a great father and man he is but I’m a greedy bitch who won’t let him see her. And people believe him! What a crock. I’m certain he will also feed this crap to my daughter whenever possibile. (or maybe when she’s older and they ‘reunite’?)

My daughter is too young to know that he isn’t a good father (or one at all) but I think she is beginning to understand he is not like ‘other daddies’. I don’t know what to tell her because I believe ‘If you dont have anything nice to say; you shouldn’t say anything at all.” I cringe when she refers to him as her ‘daddy’ because he has not earned that title at all.

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Sunny November 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Ah, the dreaded “papa idolization”. I’ve thought about this but I have no idea how I’m really going to handle it when the time comes. I hope I don’t fly off the handle and start spewing nastiness about being lazy, selfish, yadda, yadda, yadda.

What I’m trying to do in the meantime is instill my son with a great sense of personal worth, self esteem, and love and respect for others. I’m also trying to bring positive male role models into his life – men with strong work ethics, solid values and who are capable and who regularly show sincere love and affection for the people around them. I hope it’s enough to keep my son centered while he, inevitably, goes through this phase in his life.

As for the Baker family, I hope that they sort things out and are able to move forward, but I also agree – Dr. Baker is missing out on an opportunity to become a spokesperson urging deadbeat dads to grow a set, focus on something bigger than themselves and work for the best interests of their children (instead of themselves).

Good luck tomorrow, Alaina.

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Lauren November 11, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Anna’s paternal grandparents already idealize their son, so I’m not looking forward to the potential confusion that could come when Anna is old enough to realize that she has this “great dad” who is never there. The thing is, he honestly can’t be around for the next few years because he’s in the military… but his family always likes to say, “he would be so involved if he were able to physically be in her life on a regular basis!” Well, he DOES get brief opportunities to “be a dad,” and he never takes full advantage of them. (If it weren’t for his parents pushing him all the time, he probably wouldn’t be involved period.)

Other than the rant above, I’m doing a good job of not thinking about these future moments. I have no clue how our situation will be a couple years from now — maybe her dad will start turning into an amazing father… maybe he’ll drop off the face of the earth — I have NO idea what our life will be like or how Anna is going to react to him when she’s a little older. I try my best to not get ahead of myself, and that’s keeping me sane at the moment :)

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Megan November 12, 2009 at 1:52 am

My favorite is when my out-of-sight ex tells me he won’t pay me child support because I don’t “deserve” it – as if being fully responsible for the last two years for the child that we created together isn’t enough. He makes promises to justify why he is not available right now – like he’s going to watch her for part of the week starting in three months from now, or take her for a couple months in the summer, or that he has a lot of work right now, or… In the meantime, my daughter misses him and longs for him in her life. She often talks about him and loves everything about him – and I let her have that impression of him. I talk with her about the good things about him and call him up on the phone for her when she wants to talk with him. I do what I can to facilitate that connection because, no matter how pissed off I am at the guy, that relationship is really important to her well being in life. Let your child love their other parent – later in life they will see who made the sacrifices and who was really there.

Additionally, I am done with always being so angry and caught up in the issues with my ex. I am doing my best to let it all go – letting him have his broken promises and no shows. Why should I let his poor choices mess with my life? I am focusing on feeling love for myself and happiness for my life and appreciation for what I do have, and I hope that I can instill those same values in my daughter as well. Life’s too short to be wrapped up in all the drama.

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mssinglemama November 12, 2009 at 5:34 am

This is the best attitude to have – to just let it all go… there’s no use.

Especially when they say things like “you don’t deserve it.” That’s just irrational and they’re playing the blame game to distribute their own guilt.

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RSB November 12, 2009 at 3:25 am

You really never know how you will handle the situation in the future as it’s all based on details and circumstances when the time comes to deal with it. I speak from experience. My 20 year old daughter found her deadbeat dad on Facebook 2 months ago and was flown out to meet him, his wife, her brother and sister. It went very well. I always thought I would be happy for my daughter if her dad had a change of heart. But as details unfolded and more information was revealed, the more and more pissed and upset I got. I was so angry and upest for a number of reasons. And then I was even more upset because of how upset I was! You would have thought someone died, that is how upset I was. I forgave him years ago, and now I have to forgive him all over again and his wife?

People probaby think we are the lucky ones because her deadbeat dad turned out to not be the loser we thought he was. Looks like he has been living a pretty normal, decent and very blessed life. I would have been more satisfied had he been a guy who was down on his luck and was looking for a second chance at life. Instead, he and his wife have been married 18 years, he has a great career as a police detective, and has 2 beautiful children. This whole time he was living like this while I struggled and sacrificed so much?

He left me before she was born and wanted nothing to do with her. I had no family support and was sent away to a home for pregnant girls to place her for adoption but ended up keeping her. I tried several times before and after her birth to get him involved. I finally gave up when I called him to ask if he would like to talk to his daughter. She was five at the time. His words to me were, “give me a break.” It was heartbreaking, but after that day I let it go. Apparently, he conveniently forgot ever saying that. I never forgot it though. I never forgot how cold he was each time I reached out. It’s what kept me from contacting him ever again even though my daughter hoped to know him as each year passed. I was afraid for her to feel that rejection.

It turns out he has been wanting to find her but didn’t know how? C’mon! You are a police detective for crying out loud. Besides that, we have an unusual last name, yet he says he just never really knew how to spell it. His wife says she tried, but to no avail. They say they were turned away at child support a few years ago and told certain information can’t be given out. I always gave my persmission to the agency to give this info. Regardless, there was the internet. All they had to do was type in her name, and they would have found us on myspace or facebook. Then he told her that he was afraid to reach out because he thought she would call him jerk. Wow, what a wuss. At least that was an honest answer that I could appreciate.

I also found out that he and his wife had kept her a secret all these years. Only his mom knew because I wrote her a letter before my daughter was born. She never bothered to know her and just left it up to her son. So their friends and family knew nothing of my daughter, and I think that is such a shame. Since this started, his wife started calling and texting my daughter several times daily and has referred to her as her own daughter and even listed her as her child on facebook. I was pissed! Any good mother would not be happy if someone else called her child theirs too. And this situation just makes it that much worse. I wish the truth would be revealed to everyone who knows them, so they don’t look like heroes in a happy reunion story.

There are just so many more things that have taken place to cause lots of problems, and I don’t want to make this any longer than it is. When I read that news story, I too wondered what the ex Mrs. Becker was thinking. Is she as upset as me??

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Tennessonian November 12, 2009 at 7:26 am

I have fears of the same thing happening, but, at the end of the day, it’s about our kids, not us. God knows the real story and that’s really all that matters. If a deadbeat Dad comes around to be father of the year, that’s a good thing. Somewhere along the way he grew up. Better late than never. Our kids will grow up and ask questions and I’d rather my daughter be forgiving than resentful. The media’s angle is understandable, but it would have been juicier if a reporter was all, “So….why didn’t you try to stay in touch with your daughter?”

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Pixie Stevenson November 12, 2009 at 8:10 am

Ms. Single Mama, I’ve been there, done that, and have the tattoo. Single moms must ask themselves if they want to be free or get child support? What price are they willing to have their children pay by projecting their own feelings of resentment & abandonment onto their children?

I only found freedom when I let go of the idea of child support and how my children’s relationship with their father was supposed to be. When I stopped trying to control everything; stopped fighting, I got happier and my children developed a relationship with their dad in their own way.

Mothers must be honest about the messages spoken and unspoken they send to their children about the fathers. Mothers have the power to interfere in that relationship in very subtle ways whether the parents are together or not.

I agree with Tennessonian, it’s about the children, not about who was parent of the year. It’s really about forgiveness, love & compassion.

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Ali November 12, 2009 at 8:43 am

Wow, so many heartbreaking stories. It is interesting to scroll down the comments and see so many stages, it is akin to the stages of grief in many ways and it reminds me of so many moments, stages, so much anxiety.

The most helpful thing I come back to again and again and again as far as these emotions, this anger is concerned is this: you are your child’s best and worst parent. I am the best mother my son will ever have. I am also the worst. Same goes for his dad, here or not. The fact is, they are biologically tied regardless of his dad’s choices and my judgement or perception of them.

I have this perception of what a DAD is, and it is formed by my experiences with my own father, his father, other relationships that were emulated for me over time, to a certain extent society, and those people I grew up around.

My son, on the other hand does not share in my same perception. He cannot, he will not. I spent time in the past doubled over in grief for him because of that but it is pointless. It is also not something he LOST, he never had it to begin with and he knows know different. Sure, I see it as a tragedy on some level because I had such amazing things come from my relationship with MY father, but my son, his perception is so very different. At the end of the day, it is a WORD to him, DAD, he loves him and he sees him on occasion, and they do fun things, they go do Disneyland, the beach, play catch, he buys him great things….but to him, that word means lesser and different things. Words and titles like UNCLE, or MOM, or GRANDPA…those are words that carry the meanings with them that you and I relate to or attribute to DAD. And for my son, this is great. I have done an amazing job of surrounding him with these people. Yes, it has been a struggle, but in a lot of ways, my son is blessed beyond measure with 10-15 guys who take a vested interest in his life because he doesn’t have that same perception of the word DAD that the rest of us do. It’s a trade off, he knows no different, but I’d hate to put the tribe of amazing men I’ve surrounded my kid with against any one human by comparison.

I remind my son constantly that you can never have enough love in your heart, that the more you love, the more room you have for more love… but hate…it takes away the room for more love and eats you from the inside out.

It’s a choice you’re making to be angry and not forgive, and ultimately, hating the other person leaves less space for your child’s love.

That’s is what is most important. That and surrounding your child with people who love them in the way you dream they deserve, regardless of their title.

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Elae December 13, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Ali,
Thank you for your post. It has brought tears to my eyes and truly inspired me in deeper ways than you can imagine. You are a wonderful mother. My own experience raising my four children for many years alone, with NO child support and a father that only saw the children when I arranged to fly them to him … has caused more anger than I’d like to express in this post. All I can say is, I relate to many of these women on this site. The hard working mom … the dead-beat/non-existent/immortalized/victimized father… I understand the emotional roller coaster and the desire to protect our children from the pain we fear will come from their unmet expectations of their father. I LOVE how you so wisely reminded me of the difference my idea of ‘Dad’ is compared to theirs. It is almost liberating when I wrap my head around that thought and remove that expectation from my ex-husband. Thank you again for your beautiful insight. Love always feels better than Hate. And forgiveness is freedom to the heart…My children, who are now 23, 21, 18 and 15 have done a great job of categorizing and pitting their father – I think it was the only way they could handle the unmet expectation. As for me – I am still working on channeling my anger to more productive measures … like shifting the energy to the court system to someday get back the $150,000 in arrearages… and even if I never see a dime of it …. At least I’ve channeled the negativity away from our home.

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nicky November 12, 2009 at 8:51 am

this is more that needs to be known but let’s not assume the worst here. I read the Dad created a website and spent tens of thousands of dollars looking for her. Phone numbers are not always listed, people used married names, etc.. Moms don’t have a monoply on being good parents nor are they always the ones who have been abused in a relationship. There are mothers who have just taken off with their kids after a divorce and cut off all contact because of their issues. Plus even if he wan’t the best dad in the beginning, maybe he is looking to redeem himself.

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James November 12, 2009 at 9:30 am

Ms. Single Mamma,

I totally agree with you. As the husband to a once single mother, @tennessonian, I’ve often read your blog. I can’t help but to comment as this issue hits home to me in many ways.

First off, I couldn’t imagine giving up the rights to see my kids. I love our daughter and honestly, I couldn’t be any closer to her than if I were her biological father. There is a real possibility that her real father may sweep in at some point in her life – and when that happens, I hope he’s really ready to be there. I hope he’ll be man enough to admit his mistakes. And, I hope he’ll ask for her forgiveness. She deserves that if he plans to ever come around. If he never appears, I think she’ll be just fine. Her mother and I show her unconditional love which is evidenced by just how loving and affectionate she is to the world.

Secondly, my Mother was also a single Mom forced to face the world and all the unjustified stigma associated with having left her charismatic husband. Forget the fact that hit literally beat her anytime he wanted, mostly in a drunken stupor. Then he’d come crawling back and apologize, like that covered the bruises or hid the scars.

Who knows, maybe our “Hero” really is a nice guy. Maybe he’s changed and I’d be the first to say that God can certainly change people. Or, maybe he’s just as troubled as the dissolute father from my own childhood. Either way, there’s a lot of explaining to do!

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QuirkyGirlx3 November 12, 2009 at 9:58 am

I agree with Nicky. There are most often two sides to every story. I look at a dear friend of mine. When his son was a year and a half, he split with her mother. It was a terrible match and a bad relationship. But just because he left her didn’t mean he was walking out on his son. She didn’t see it this way. She would leave the house when he was to pick up the boy. She would move and change phone numbers without telling him. After a year of dealing with this, he fell into a deep drepression and had some serious issues he had to deal with. A bout a year after he cleaned up (his son was 4 at the time) he found through a friend where she was. He got a lawyer, Voluntarily set up child support including arrears, went to court asking for supervised visitation until his son knew him again. And WON! However, she pulled the same stunts over and over. They went to court a 2nd time. He won again. The court told her if she didn’t comply she would be held in contempt. Again she refused to allow the visitation. He was almost broke by this point, but he went back a third time. He won again, but the court refused to honor the contempt charge.

I was by his side through this whole ordeal. It was gut wrenching to watch let alone live through. I’m a single parent with a dad who wasn’t in my daughters life during this time, yet I had to sit by and watch my former friend refuse to allow her son to have a father.

Eventually, he took a job in TN when she wouldn’t comply and the courts wouldn’t do much to help him because he was the dad. And it’s so often that the dad’s don’t care the courts don’t have much set in place for when the dad’s do want to be active parents. My good friend is now married and his wife is expecting his 2nd child. He’s struggling right now afraid that one day when his son does find him (he talks about this all the time. A hope that he will eventually know his son) that he doesn’t want him to think the new baby meant more to him than his oldest child.

It isn’t always the daddy’s who screw the kid over. Sometimes the mother’s get in the way. But what I keep thinking is this: She obviously has healing in finding her dad. It’s her story. If she’s okay with it, then why are we trying to project our baggage on them. I found these comments to be very telling mirrors. A reflextion of the internal demons these single moms are fighting against.

I only say this because I’ve had a look in that mirror. And it was hideous. It’s hard to let the anger and resentment go, but in the end. You’ll be better for it and our children won’t have as many daddy (or Mommy) issues as they would have otherwise.

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Ms. Single Mama November 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Very wise words… and exactly why I posed this question. To provoke thought and bring these emotions out.

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Jim H. November 12, 2009 at 10:27 am

Thank God for the last few comments.
Remember, 25-30 years ago, we didn’t have the Internet, and it was quite possible for a person (maybe the mother?) to pack up and move to another state and you would NEVER be able to find her or your children. Especially under an assumed name.
Now to p*ss most of you off – Be honest, most of you moms really just want us dads to go away. So you don’t have to deal with us. So you have the control. You say you want your ex in your child’s life, but most of you don’t mean it. Some probably do, but most don’t.

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momma sunshine November 18, 2009 at 6:36 am

Don’t you think that it’s a kind of unfair statement to make “most of you moms really just want us dads to go away”. That’s a HUUUUGE generalization and not fair at all, particularly when there are so many of us out there who simply want the dads to think of the children and step up to the plate when it comes to sharing parenting responsibility.

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arscuore November 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

My son still gets very excited about visits and sometimes calls from his dad, but he’s been hurt so many times. His dad can’t be bothered to see his son or even call on a regular basis, and right now, my son’s teacher has just offered up her husband as a kind of “big brother” to my son because he is acting out at school with anger and aggression because of his dad’s broken promises.

I hope that my ex isn’t the only “dad” my son ever knows. That would be incredibly sad. I think he sees what a dad should be in my relationship with my dad, and I would hope one day that we may be able to find someone who could fulfill that role for him.

I don’t think anyone is saying that there aren’t deadbeat moms out there, or that there could be more to this story, but you are commenting on a blog by a single mom, and I would venture to say that most of us readers have experience with deadbeat dads, rather than deadbeat moms, or dads who try really hard to be active in their kids’ lives. We all respond to information through our own lenses, and I would say that most of us have some tainted lenses when it comes to “dads”.
As someone commented, we’re all at different points in this grieving process (and it is grief and loss that we are dealing with, most of us). It’s easy to just say, “Get rid of your anger” and “Forgive”, but those are not easy things to do, although lofty goals they may be. Saying these things to someone who is in the throes of emotional upheaval is equivalent to saying “Don’t worry about it” — that’s a nice place to be in the end, but you have to recognize and honor the amount of self-work that gets to that point. I’d like to be at that point, but I’m not there yet. The wounds are still fresh and recent, and my hackles are still up.

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QuirkyGirlx3 November 13, 2009 at 8:48 am

I’m sorry to offend. It wasn’t my intent. I do understand dealing with DeadBeat Dads. I also understand dealing with a dad who was so controlling that he wanted to drag out custody through the courts for years as a means to punish me not just because he wanted our kids. I know this pain. I know this hurt. But I also know that nursing this hurt destroys YOU. I lost what could have been a wonderful and loving and genuine man because I couldn’t let go of my anger. It poisoned me. Made me bitter and cynical. In the end, he left me because I had allowed ‘the Dad’ to change my person by my reaction to his actions.

It was the friend in the first post, who helped to put me to rights again. It was in seeing that it wasn’t just men that did these deplorable things. It’s people. PEOPLE can be shits. I just happened to pick bad men. But I wasn’t alone. Single-Moms aren’t alone in the hard knocks. It was a slow process. It was hard work. But I did it. I got to win in the end because ‘the Dad’s’ actions no longer play a role in my reactions. I still feel hurt for my kids. I still get mad, but I don’t let the anger simmer.

If I can keep just ONE more single-mom from losing a great guy because she let go of her anger, then I will do anything I can. I don’t want The Deadbeats winning the war against more great people.

I apologize. Your feelings are valid. And you are on your own journey. You will get there at the pace that you need to set. I’m praying that you get there sooner than I did and without the causalty.

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arscuore November 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I wasn’t offended, just wanted to point out that it isn’t as easy as turning off a switch. In my own case, I just have anger for my son, that he isn’t being treated with the respect and attention he deserves, and that every soon-to-be-eight yo deserves. I don’t see how I can ever forgive the ex for that, but indifference is my ultimate goal! : )

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mom23inmd November 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I wish I wasn’t the only one making sure that my kids have what they need. But I am. I wish, if I didn’t like my job and therefore quit it, like my X did this summer, that I could just opt to not pay for my children’s expenses. But I can’t. I wish I didn’t have to get up at the same time every day, 7 days a week, because I have kids who need me to care for them. But I do. I wish my kids didn’t idealize their dad, to the point of telling me “dad is the best, we love dad the best”. But they do.

I wish life was fair. But it’s not.

The only thing that I CAN say, is that my kids know who meets their needs. And for that reason, they will always be securely attached to me. No matter what dad does to try to make up for lost time, or “fix” things, he will never get the deep-rooted love that I get from my kids every single day. I really, truly believe that. Sure, the surface adoration may hurt sometimes, but when they need encouragement or a shoulder to cry on or someone to get them past the icky stuff of adolescence, they won’t turn to him. They will turn to me. I am their TRUE parent, their dad just has a title.

And best of all, my kids will not repeat the same parenting mistakes that he is making with them right now. It only takes ONE great parent to raise great kids, and knowing how narcissistic their father is, I am making damn sure that I am that one. I view all the work that I am putting into being that great parent as the payback that I owe to them for picking such a shitty guy to be their dad. I wish I had picked more wisely, but I didn’t.

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MommaSunshine November 13, 2009 at 2:59 am

You know, the thing for me about this story is that we really DON’T know all of the facts here, and being the type of person that I am, I want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt…especially since all of the facts are not known. We don’t know what this guy has been going through, or what the circumstances were that caused this split. Obviously he wanted to contact his daughter (hence the website).

The thing is, he can’t go back and erase the last 30 years of his life. All he can do is move forward and try to do better. And if his daughter is willing to forgive and move forward, then isn’t that the most important thing here?

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Stac November 13, 2009 at 6:47 am

As someone whose father wasn’t around for 21 years I feel I have to comment. My father left when I was 7 months old. Just weeks before my 21st birthday I receive a letter from the Social Security admin stating that somone wanted them to deliver the enclosed letter to me. It was from my father who I never really knew. He had a new family. I called him, I went to meet him, we talk occassionally. But I’m not stupid. I’ve had the same exact phone number since the day I was born…and if he had my SS# to send me a letter at that point, didn’t he have it my entire life…and let’s add to the fact that in the state I live in…21 is the magic age for when a non-custodial parent is no longer held responsible for Child support. All this I knew, I knew when I called him. I knew when I went to meet him and his family, and I know now when I sometimes call him because I need to vent to someone not really involved in my life, just to get things off my chest. And I’m sure, this women knows it too. But all those facts don’t change wanting to know this part of your life. And I also have come to terms with the fact that over 21 years, people change. So I wouldn’t call him a hero…and I wouldn’t even say deadbeat at this point (people change), this story is more about this women finally getting to know a part of her I know she probably always wondered about.

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Ms. Single Mama November 13, 2009 at 9:52 am

Curious to see more on this story– do we know more? I don’t have a TV – so are they doing the rounds on Oprah, etc yet?

I wonder if they – the two of them – will talk about fathers skipping out and why they shouldn’t.

But I agree – move forward – at least he will be a good father now and the last point is fantastic – this is about the woman’s journey. Great comments everyone!

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Violet November 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I’m an adult child who’s father abandoned me and my sister when my parents divorced. For the first few months he would call and we got a few letters and sent a few letters in return. He wanted us to come back to visit him for the summer by ourselves and me and my sister were only 5yrs. old and 3 yrs. old and we were scared to fly on a plane alone and be away from our mom for that long, so after that he never tried to stay in touch. He was in Illinois, we were in California. He didn’t pay child support ever, because if he was going to pay he wanted us to come visit him. So when I was about 16 yrs. old my little sister wanted to find him and get to know that side of our family and she was able to look up our grandparents who were still living in the same town and called them up. Mind you they knew how to get in touch with us but never bothered to stay in touch with their grandkids after our parents divorced. When she contacted him, he did the usual deadbeat dad thing and told her how much he wanted to get to know us and wanted to be in our lives, etc. He wanted to talk to me of course as well, but I really didn’t have anything to say to him. He was remarried and had several kids and as far as I saw it, there was no excuse for not helping to support us and keeping in touch with us. He could have come out to visit us, but didn’t. He wanted us to come to him. His life was so different than the way we grew up and in a lot of ways I was really glad that he hadn’t tried to stay in our lives. He continued to call and write for several years and I tolerated it, but when I was 21 yrs. old and he left a message on my answering machine on father’s day about how he was hurt that I didn’t call on father’s day to wish him a happy father’s day; that was the end of that. It really pissed me off that he had the audacity to think that he deserved to be honored on father’s day when he hadn’t been there the whole time I was growing up and never once tried to call me on my birthday to wish me a happy birthday or on Christmas. I never returned his call and haven’t heard from him since.

I only hope that my daughter can be that smart and strong to know that the bullshit her dad might tell her one day is just that. What is ironic about this is that he just found me about a week ago on facebook and contacted me and told me about how well he was doing and he is remarried and has custody of his older daughter from a previous marriage, but didn’t once ask about how our daughter was doing, who he hadn’t seen since she was an infant. He hasn’t paid child support ever, either. Needless to say, I’m glad he seems to have gotten his life together, but what about our daughter? She deserves so much more than that!

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GreenInOC November 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Don’t forget, this was 30 years ago – no internet, no cell phones, most records were not digital. It was quite easy to disappear and many many people did.

He does state that he has been looking for her for the entire 30 years, he has spent tens of thousands of dollars on private investigators trying to find her.

He created the website about 10 years ago.

http://www.momlogic.com/2009/11/scott_becker_looking_for_april.php

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Alain November 14, 2009 at 2:38 am

nice story but i really can’t think off maintaing love relationship without communication its really hard to do……………..

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Travis November 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Wow, I’m almost afraid to reply to this…

I try and view this from my own viewpoint. thirty years ago, your only option was telephone and snail mail. He’s a doctor, so it’s not like he isn’t bright. I wonder if he was a deadbeat (Which just doesn’t jive with “Dr. Becker”) If he was, he was litterly intentionally withholding. Something is just off about all of this.

Without more than:

“April Becker’s parents separated after a fight. April Becker was a baby when her mother left her father and she never knew her father, Doctor Scott Becker”

It doesn’t give us any insight into the longevity of the fight, if there were previous ones and whether or not it was her or him that left. Who knows, she could of been punishing him by leaving. And then again, I’m certain that for at least 20 years, he could at least get a hold of extended family…

I’m just scratching my head at all the directions this could lead… Just odd. But give hope that their present is resolved, and they will have hope for the future.

As for all the comments… I have learned a great deal about single moms, and the struggles. When I got divorced I forced the issue to make time and that she couldn’t take my fatherhood away (she tried tell everyone I abandoned the kids), I pay my child support and not just the base amount. I went and offered to extend it to the full amount (Makes my living tough, but it really benefits the kids). I have been enlightened and angered to all the men out there, who were easy and quick to abandon. As I am in a position to be introduced to single mothers, there actions have made it very difficult to get close. They have to be strong, and that means normal relationships have a hard time existing. For the good guys who got screwed over, we have a difficult time finding the one, until hearts have been softened that not all men suck.

But as a poster above said, it’s a people problem. we can all suck, if we allow ourselves.

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Melissa November 14, 2009 at 8:17 pm

My parents separated when I was 2. For the first year, my dad would show up and visit when he felt like it — 2 weeks, then a month, then a couple days, then a couple months, then a week. Every time, I was SO excited when he got there and then cried my eyes out when he left because I had no idea when he was coming back. My mom couldn’t take it anymore, so she told him he could either set a schedule and show up when he was supposed or don’t come back at all. He chose to take off. My whole childhood, I secretly resented my mom for giving him that choice. He was MY dad and how could she send him away? Instead of missing him for a month between random visits, I missed him for 22 years.

When I was 25 and in law school and no longer living with my mom, I found him. We exchanged a few letters and a few emails. He apologized and swore that he and my mom made the best decision they could for me. My life was better without him. How could that be? We talked about meeting — in Texas (I live in Pennsylvania) as soon as I could afford a ticket. (Seriously). When I got engaged, I emailed him — great news dad, I’m engaged! His response, “That’s great, kid. So, I’ve been selling insurance online. Here’s the website. If you decide it looks good, order it through me, not through the website. Otherwise, I won’t get credit.” Wait, did I just tell my dad that I am getting married and he tried to sell me life insurance? Yep. That was the last time I emailed him. It was 2002.

My mom, who I love and respect completely, lives in the same house that they lived in together (it was my grandparents’ house) and had the same phone number until just a couple years ago. If you google me today, with his last name, I am the first person that comes up. He hasn’t. In one of his letters, he said “I always told everyone that I had 3 daughters — you, [and my 2 half sisters].” Funny, I always told people I didn’t have a dad. I still don’t. In his case, once a deadbeat, always a deadbeat.

I will do as much as I can to keep my ex in my son’s life. As I noted in a recent post here, I even have a petition pending to compel my ex to go to co-parenting counseling with me so that we can learn to communicate. I chose to file for child support, not because I need the money, but because I want him to stay connected. But, if despite my best intentions my ex fades away, I am confident that, like me, my son will idealize him because it’s what kids need to do, but he will always know that I love him and I am here for him for every scraped knee and every broken heart — and that will be true no matter what kind of daddy he has. When he says, “my daddy is the best and I love him,” I say, “of course!” and say a prayer in my heart that he’s right. It’s the best I can do.

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Tricia November 20, 2009 at 6:58 am

My girls, 13 and 14, never went through a phase that they wanted THEIR DAD. The oldest wanted A DAD, just not hers. Maybe they saw too much, experienced too much, remember too much. But they never asked. For me, that is good. I always try to tell them only the good things. Sometimes that leaves me with nothing to say about the man, but I try.

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