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.
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.
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.