My beloved, albeit broken family.

by Chris on October 11, 2009

Young Love

Young Love, 1994.

Daniel and I shortly after we met for the first itme.

I was in love with Daniel shortly after we met for the first time, 1994.

I first met Gayle, my future wife and her son, Daniel in the summer of 1994. I was a 19 year old holier-than-thou church kid, and she was a beautiful, 18 year old bad-girl with a great sense of humor. For those of you that remember the TV series “Darma and Greg”, many comparisons and jokes have been made about me the nerd and Gayle the free spirit over the years.

Daniel, 16 today,  was only 19 months old when I met him for the first time, just days after I met his mom. She had him when she was 16 when he was born, after a rape that took place at an under-age drinking party.  Nobody came forward to say who the boy was, and it remains a mystery to this day.  I’m the only father Daniel as ever known, and I am lucky to count him as my oldest son.

Chris with his mom, 1995.

Me with with my mom, 1995.

My relationship with Gayle started out innocent enough, with me trying not to let her know I was even was interested in dating, but that only lasted a few weeks before our first kiss.  I was seriously trying to save myself for marriage, although truth be told I think I had about as much self control as any boy my age, and only lasted as long as I did by keeping myself busy and not letting myself get too close to a “willing” partner.

Our first wedding day, 1995.
Our first wedding day, 1995.

Truth be told, I think I had thing for cute bad-girls, someone like Gayle who could overcome my self discipline.  Long story short, Gayle ended up getting pregnant with our first biological child a couple months after our first kiss and only a couple weeks after losing my virginity.  A few months later we found ourselves getting  married by a judge and I enlisted in the United States Air Force.

I moved Gayle and Daniel down to Biloxi, Mississippi while I was still in Air Force technical training school, and Kaye, 14 today, was born in 1995 at Keesler Air Force Base. We lived in San Antonio, TX for a couple years before receiving an early honorable discharge and accepting a position as a systems engineer at Microsoft in 1997.

Christmas 2005
Christmas 2005

Gayle, Daniel and Kaye moved with me up to the Seattle area, where we three more children together. Anthony, 9 today, born in 2000,  Faith, 7, born in 2002 and finally Michael, 4, born in 2005.

In 2006, we moved to Salem, Oregon where I worked remotely and get Gayle closer to her friends and family. A few months after that move, Gayle told me she wanted a divorce and ended up having an affair with one of the boyfriends from her troubled teen years. She was 15/16 at the time and he was 20/21, and it’s clear that he still had some kind of power over her. Anyway, we separated, Gayle became pregnant with baby number six, although this time I wasn’t the biological father. Through a series of miracles and acts of forgiveness on both our parts, we found our way back and were re-married by July 2007, months before Alex was born. His biological father is Phillopino, so he’s a little darker than the rest, but I love him just like I love the other five.  His biological father has never been willing to see him, so once again I am the only daddy he has ever known. He’s amazing and I find myself closer to him than I was to my first five. Perhaps this is because I want to make sure he feels loved and not somehow second-rate, maybe it’s just because he’s so easy to love.

Preacher Alert: In the case of all six of my children, I don’t believe that any human can ever really “plan” to have a child, and similarly I don’t believe any child is ever an “accident”. What I personally believe is that every one of was is created before we are ever born, complete with an amazing plan and a lifetime of potential, by a loving God. I understand that not all of my readers will agree with my view, which is perfectly fine with me. I in no way want to turn you off whenever I share my faith, but in this case I’m trying to explain why I see my children the way I do, and my faith is a big part of that puzzle. Some of us believe in God of Christianity and Judaism, some believe in some other form of a divine creator, and still others believe in nothing or don’t know what they believe. Regardless of what we believe God either exists or he doesn’t and we’ll probably all know the truth one way or the other someday.

Me and the kids, 2009.

Me and most of the kids, 2009.

Anyway, the eight of us moved back up to Washington in 2007, divorced a second time in 2008 (I promise I’ll talk a lot more about this in future posts!) And reunited once again in early 2009. So here we are. I’m sure you can imaging that our frequent moving, changing schools and friends, and the churn of Gayle and my marriage has been very difficult on the children, and we have a lot of work to do to clean this up.

In my next post I’ll get into some of the challenges facing each member of my family today, as a consequence of our last two separations, and what has happened in the past few months, that led me to start this community and motivated me  start turning my family around for the better.

By the way, I’m new at this, so please feel free to comment on anything I share, including feedback on whether or not my writing is easily readable, my posts are too long or short, advice for future articles, etc. I also welcome any of you that would like to post a guest article on Father’s Journey!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Troy Tech August 8, 2014 at 7:47 am

Would you be willing to sell / relinquish this domain? I’ve seen you’ve been inactive on this site for many years. While a good story, would you be willing to let it go so another father can tell his story….one of divorce and the family court system and the struggle to keep in contact with his kids…and the corrupt family court system that impedes that.

Please let me know…

Troy Tech (and yes, that really is my name…you can find me on Facebook).

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: