At any rate, Milky didn't have the same problem with Amanda that he'd had with his other children. He had had three more kids by another woman who could more or less be exactly described as the love of his life. But, that didn't end well and was largely his fault; and, though not withstanding the lying, inconsistency, non-reliability and pretty much full on illicit drug abuse, was also largely an inevitable failure in the deterministic sense; and that's not exactly being levied as any sort of excuse, just sort of inherent in the probabilities involved (i.e. just the way it is, kind of thing) when people are married young and as a result of more or less knee jerk social reactions to the kind of loving evenings fueled by immaturity and amateur chemistry of the biological variety (i.e. booze and drugs and bow-chicka-bow-wow et cetera); followed, in the subsequent few years, by of course another couple of those types of evenings while pie in the skying about how to alleviate the pressure from deep seated long standing personal emotional issues coming in direct contact with real life like structural legal and human relationships (i.e. We Should Have a Baby because like what else?). And then when the dust settles, so to speak, it’s not outside the spectrum of possibility that people will handle the day to day very differently, some of course not being able to deal with it as they say: productively; so that even though Milky is a good guy, he went through a period of time where that would've been really difficult to prove; and now that he's a good guy again, albeit to a lot of new people, there are definitely some old ones (people) who are still not all-that-interested. And even if Amanda had known the history she probably wouldn't so much have cared, but it’s complicated and all of that.
At any rate, Milky's first wife, not Amanda's mother, was the brown haired, gum popping, knees up on the glove box, back arching, heart breaking machine that Milky had given a ride home to because even though he loved her (but like who didn't?) she hadn't quite noticed him or even needed to until that day where she was in the wrong place at the wrong time; and so was Milky; except for him it was the other way around. And that's how they'd met and been given a shot at hitting-it-off.
It didn't happen that day though- she of course had a boyfriend and a life and couldn't both realize that he existed and fall in love with him that same instant, as it made neither narrative nor chemical sense. But his jokes had landed and a seed had definitely been covered by a bit enough of soil. And ultimately they did fall in love and marry and have three, not Amanda, kids; and it got to Milky for no real, just personal, reasons, the pressure of it all; and he pretty much one day, about six weeks after his father's funeral (who he wasn't close to, because his father, in a bit of irony- if we want to take this kind of history repeating itself somewhat dismissively- had booked out on Milky and Momma etc when Milky was about ten years old, but who (his father) had apparently left enough contact information laying around so that when he'd died, it was found, and Milky had gotten-a-call so to speak) just kind of dove head first into a series of chemical addiction related decisions and subsequent quite literal insanity; ultimately resulting in one of those though-we-love-you kind of things, where your once Home is now pretty much like entirely Off Limits because there are kids involved and you're straight up bananas etc.
Over night he'd basically gone from "loving father" to "crazy ex" and for a while he was about the only one who couldn't tell the difference. But over time, and as far as rock bottoms go, his was swift and low. He went pretty deep and though he eventually did recover and become a really rather decent and upstanding guy, his first (and only) wife never really ever could trust him again; and though she did forgive him, it was in the way that people forgive shellfish after food poisoning- you know that it was the clams casino that fucked you up, but you still stay away from shrimp too, just in like fucking case. And all of the time that he was in recovery and then out of recovery and then looking to secure all of those things that are both emotionally stabilizing as well as visible proof to society that you've fallen back in line, so to speak- job, car payment, rental agreement, revolving line of credit at one or more retail outlets etc.- he didn't know that Amanda even actually existed. He didn't even really remember that well the incident that brought her even like into this world.
There was this woman that he was kind of seeing for a bit that would sometimes sleep with him if they happened to be able to both get high and have access to shelter at the same time; and then of course if they were also near enough to each other to know the other one even existed (i.e. pretty out of it most of the time, if things were going as planned); and both wanted to make love and were actually physically able to et cetera and so on. A lot had to fall into place to make the magic happen and but it did at least once even though neither of them really knew that it was at the time (i.e. Happening, re: Out of It); and neither had much recollection of the event afterwards either, as you could imagine. They were both pretty fucked up most of the time. And by the time she, Amanda's eventual mother, found out, it was like three months later; and since three months is like six or seven “moves” (as in literally changing more or less "residencies") and at least four or five "boyfriends" worth of time in the transient-junky-etc world, Milky was long gone by that point and wouldn't find out about Amanda for another eight or nine years.
But, what turned out to be lucky for Milky was that the woman was too poor to have an abortion and too all of a sudden I'm-gonna-have-a-child responsible to like do one to herself. She had actually ended up like having one of those more or less mythical epiphany moments, that people really don't have outside of books and movies &c., and got off The Shit and into a Program; and then somehow-like-against-all-odds and whatever actually stayed relatively off The Shit for those eight or nine years. And the craziest part about all of this was that Amanda and one of Milky's kids from his actual marriage went to the same school and it ended up being Milky's ex-wife who linked Milky and Amanda up when she was about eight and a half and pretty much abandoned by her now re-succumbing full time to The Shit mother- abandoned in the worst possible way in the sense of like not attended to nor actually physically left alone; and for sure like having to endure some not-zero measure of yep-you-guessed-it indescribable abuse by a string of guys, not unlike how Milky used to be, who were more and more becoming a paradoxically transient fixture in her about to like gonna-get-repossessed home. And when all of this was unable to be hidden anymore and it was clear that Amanda would have to be removed from the home, Milky's ex-wife came forward with information about Milky that she'd kept close to the vest for all of these years (i.e. that she'd known about Amanda's mother from like way back in the junky-Milky days).
But like way back then at the junky-Milky time she’d, Amanda’s mother, still felt rather brutalized by the whole situation and kept close, I hate you but I can’t stop thinking about you, betrayed like tabs on him. She was pretty cloak and dagger about the whole thing though not withstanding- even though the long and short of it was that he didn't really have his wits about himself enough to know or really care even if she was less hide and seek and more just kind of blocking his path. But she did it anyway, even though she knew it was petty and immature and like she should just move on kind of thing, because she was compulsed to; betrayed, abandoned etc. And she wanted to know, Why. Though you know she never did, find out why, because even if you do you don’t because like there never is really a Why, just a That, but anyway. What she did end up finding out though was about Amanda; and like even though not conscious at the time in laser like detail it was most probably at the He Has Another Family point that she decided that Milky would never really be a a part of her three children's life again on more her accord than really his; and though she was no clearer on the logic of the whole situation, the existence of Amanda, the existence of another Family, kind of shocked her system into a feeling of calm, closure, etc; and she walked away from the whole thing emotionally, just like that. And she didn't see the woman again until she saw Amanda for the first time when they were both dropping their kids off for school.
By this time Milky would've been at that point in rehab where you're sober enough for long enough to really start figuring out what got-you-there; and it turns out that the whole father-booking-out thing weighed much heavier on him than he'd original thought; and the irony that he'd done pretty much the same thing was becoming painfully obvious and un-remediable; and he spent a lot of long and lonely etc. nights imagining the world in which he got old and his kids did this to their kids and their kids to the next generation ad infinitum and how much it all just hurt and didn't really matter that only now, after all the shit he'd done or not done, he'd realized that his father leaving probably wasn't some choice where the man had sat down and weighed the pros and cons of having a family or not having a family and rationally figured on not having one, but rather was just kind of a course of events where there were a series of variables and constraints and real and imagined complexities that either induce a man to fight or flight; and there are different levels of pressure that are felt and reacted to in different ways by different folks- to where you just have to figure it out or get going on down the road. And that didn't make any of this okay, but it did make it more delicate in some way. And but he stayed sober through all of this; and he couldn't change the past, only learn from it and shape the future kind of thing...so that by the time Amanda's mother had seriously relapsed and Amanda needed some place to go, Milky's ex-wife had had enough time to come to grips with the whole thing and enough time to see that Milky was an okay guy who'd been down a hole and crawled back out and proven- though like never to be like Her Guy ever again like oh no uh uh yaherme- to be kind of alright in the end; or at least stable; and she figured Amanda might do him some good and he could provide for her. Plus like what did it hurt to bring it up. If CPS didn't think he was fit they wouldn't place the kid. And you know just because Milky wasn't gonna be seeing her kids (she just wasn't there-yet either kind of thing) didn't mean he shouldn't have a shot at raising one of his own, considering the circumstances of course.
And when Milky was presented with the history and scenario he was all manner of didn't-know-what-to-think, and so he didn't; he just said okay and started to make a place in his home for this beautiful eight or nine year old girl who needed him only slightly less than he needed her.