Teenager. She came into my life just about 5 years ago, when me and her mother first met. She had been living with her grandmother in France, as Wife had been going through cancer therapy at the time. But Wife was in remission, so teenager came to visit the summer we got engaged, and decided she'd like to finish school here in America. We moved in preparation for my deployment, and bought the house where I had spent a good part of my adult life crashing on the couch, and in a wonderful location that included some of the best schools in the state.
Teenager was accepted into the Visual Arts Academy for the district (11 schools), beating out over 3,000 other applicants for 1 of 100 slots!!!!
She LOVES it there. And when I got transferred, two of my BILs moved there (one transferred schools....the other took a job he was offered in the area) to be her guardians so that she could continue attending the school. (also, schools at Duty Station suck monkey nuts, because the city can't manage its schools right).
She has thrived at this school, and has shown us how mature, responsible, and dedicated she is, throughout the process. She is very involved at school, and plays on the Varsity Soccer team, does Cross Country, part of NHS, FBLA, Art club, and Graphic Design club.
I have been very hands-off with her, for the most part, since my wife an I got married. She was raised by her grandmother and mother for 15 years, and they had done an amazing job....no need for me to screw things up in the 11th hour, lol. I am just the guy who funds her art endeavors, and supports her team fundraisers. I have grounded her once.
When she needs a parent, I am here for her, but she and her mom are very close, and she tends to go to her.
She did give me the honor, however, of becoming her legal father, right after the twins were born, which I think was the beginning of our father-daughter relationship.
Its been a slow relationship in building, being that we are 3000mi away, but she has reached out a lot. Over the summer, she came to stay for 2 months, and she came to me about college. I was thrilled to have been asked, and we immediately began discussing what she wanted to study, where (in France with grandmother, England with grandfather, or stateside). Having lots of friends staying in-state, she set her eyes on a Virginia college (Virginia has some of the nations top-notch schools). She set her eyes on VCU:
"VCUarts is ranked the #1 public university arts & design program in the country (US News & World Report)"
She aimed for the best! Only about 3,100 students are in the program, so it was definitely a challenge, but she was ready. We filled out her application, put together her portfolio, and got all the other paperwork together.
After all of that, I finally got a "Dad" out of her! (We never said she had to call me anything more than my first name, so definitely was not expected)
Since then, we have had a few talks, but usually after she and her mother have been on the phone for an hour....and I get like 10min.
And if she needs anything (like money for sports stuff) its usually just a text. And, of course, since I feel bad about her and her mother being apart, and her not getting to be around the twins, I usually approve the expense (though I did put my foot down, and make her pick one indoor soccer team, since she wanted to play for 2). She has a 3.96, and is an awesome kid, why not let her have some fun most of the time?
Anywho, I was at work all day today, taking care of stuff. We were standing gaggle-fucked (army word) around, kinda in a semi-formation. My phone started ringing.... *looks around guiltily* I pull it out of my pocket as I'm stepping back, and see "*insert her name*" on the screen. I panic, did something bad happen? Are the twins okay??? (since they are staying there while I'm gone) I answer:
Me: Iseverythingokay? *gets strange looks*
Her: *excited* yeah, everything is awesome!
Me: *sigh of relief* whats up?
Her: I GOT IN, DAD, I GOT IN!!!!
Her: ME AND "*insert BFF's name*" BOTH GOT OUR ACCEPTANCE LETTERS TODAY!!! WE GOT IN TO VCU's ART PROGRAM!!!!!!
Me: OH MY....OH MY GOSH, CONGRATS TEENAGER!!!!! I'm so happy for you *crowd all looking at me like "wtf?"*
Me: So, what'd your mother say?
Her: You are the first person I told! You helped me with everything, I couldn't have done it without you!
Me: *eyes getting watery* It was all you, kiddo! Now go call your mom, this will make her day! We are so proud of you!
Her: Love you, Dad.
At that point, I had to step back and take a few deep breaths. Top (my 1st Sergeant) came over and checked up on me. He ended up announcing the news to my entire company!
I'm not sure who knew first....my wife, or my entire unit!