Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Reunion That Almost Wasn't

My biological father and I very nearly did not meet. And I was ready to throw it in. I actually still feel a little conflicted about it all.

I didn't meet him yesterday as I expected too. When I first talked to one of his sons, he explained that my father wanted to meet me alone, before meeting me with the rest of the family. So I thought we would meet and then meet with his sons for dinner.

When I finally got in to meet with him, I heard from my brother that my father was busy during the afternoon, and wanted to meet me today for breakfast. So I just met my brothers and their families yesterday. We had a good time.

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My brothers explained that my father would call me this morning for breakfast.

Nine o'clock came and went, and I began to figure that he wasn't going to show up. So I went to breakfast with my mother before coming home. Just as we started to wrap breakfast up, one of my brothers called and told me that my father wanted me to call him.

I have to admit, I didn't want to. I had driven half a day to meet him. And he bailed. He refused to talk to me directly, preferring instead to go through my brothers. And now he wanted me to call him to meet. I know he was feeling guilty, ashamed. I get it. But how many hoops would I have to hop through to deal with this?

I very nearly just left. Part of me still thinks maybe I should have. But I did the least I could do. I asked my wife to call him, tell him where we were, and tell him we were leaving in twenty-five minutes. If he wanted to meet, he had that long to get there. He said he would be there in ten to fifteen minutes.

So we waited. And waited. My deadline came and went. I decided, for some reason, to give him five more minutes. He should have been there fifteen minutes earlier, and he wasn't. The last five minutes passed, and we got up to leave. We were out the door when we ran into him and the older of his sons.

We turned around and went back into the restaurant. We talked for about forty-five minutes. It was a good conversation, if not terribly deep. I'm not entirely sorry I stayed. And maybe I reassured him that I wasn't mad about something that had happened forty years ago. I don't know when I'll see him again, though he seemed open to continuing to stay in touch.

After everything, I very nearly didn't ask for a picture. But at the last possible minute, I did.

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All of this happened less than twelve hours ago, and I had a long drive after that. I'm still decompressing. But I did, finally, meet my biological father.

4 comments:

Linda said...

Im proud of you for staying. Im not sure how I would have reacted. Im really so very proud of you, and Im happy you did get to meet him....even though Im pretty pissed at him.

I cannot believe how much y'all look a like.

Von said...

Onya for staying! Who knows what will happen next but maybe it was harder for him than you hey?

Sunny said...

Well, I can tell he's your father!

I'm sorry the experience had to be so...excruciating.

There's something to be said for at least knowing--and now you know, no matter what.

xx

Anonymous said...

Well done for giving him a chance.

You are probably right that he does feel guilty.

My son's father did a similar thing.

He promised our son he would call at a certain time. My son waited, and waited, and waited.

After a few hours, my son got upset and went on a drinking binge.

I called my son's father and gave him an earful.

He explained that he got the time zones confused (he was living on the other side of the world at the time) and was 12 hours out the wrong way. He forgot which way the time zones worked. I worked out what time he should call.

I told my son what had happened and he gave his father another chance. This time, my son's father called right on time and they chatted for hours.

That was 7 years ago. They are now really good friends and go camping and skiing together. They really are like peas in a pod.

I don't know what the situation was in your case but my son's father did try to be there for me.
He was driven away with lies - he was told that he was not the father by my family and social workers that they had brought in (and probably bribed).

When my son's father stormed off, I had no idea why until he tracked me down 10 years later to apologise when he found out the truth. I ended up losing my son because single mothers were not approved of many years ago. I didn't even sign consent papers - they just took him and refused to return him, telling me that he deserved 2 parents but that he didn't deserve a poor single parent like me, despite the fact they admitted I was a good mother.
I just didn't get any support from anywhere when I was abandoned and betrayed by everyone.