Why did I want to meet K.?
1) Curiosity – I wanted to see the face of the man whose DNA shaped how I look. I wanted to see what similarities we had in our physical traits, and what his personality was like. Are we the same height? Same smile? Is he smart, funny, quiet, loud?
2) Understanding – It’s easy to just believe what others thought of him. But, I believe there are multiple perspectives to every story and he deserves a chance to explain himself. I wanted to hear his side of the story and understand. Why did he leave? Was he scared? Was having a child a responsibility he wasn’t ready for at the time?
3) Forgiveness/Clarity – I truly believe I was never angry and didn’t hold a grudge against him throughout my life. But I felt I couldn’t truly say to myself that I forgave him without meeting him and showing it through my actions. I believe forgiveness is key to personal freedom in life and that means a lot to me.
4) Opening Up Possibility – I wasn’t ever looking for a father/daughter relationship with him and I wasn’t expecting to develop a friendship, but I believe in opening up space for “possibility”. So after satisfying the previous points in this list, I wanted to allow for the possibility of some type of relationship if that is what would naturally come from meeting him.
5) Closure/No Regrets – This is the most important reason why I wanted to meet him. One of the worst emotions in life is that of regret and I know that one day I would regret not reaching out to my biological father.
So I did it. I had lunch with my father last week. A fairly normal, run-of-the-mill event for most daughters or sons. But in my case there was a certain pertinence: it was the first time I had ever met him.
Before we met I had so many questions and fears. Would I be accepted 100%? Was I ready for this emotionally? How would I feel? How would his family feel?
We had arranged to meet in a couple of weeks at a half way point, my father and his family live 5 hours away. However, my father couldn’t wait to meet me and had decided with his wife that they would make the 5-hour drive to me. I was overwhelmed that somebody would actually do this to meet me! So we arranged to meet at a pub just out of town. The days leading up to the first meet up were filled with emotion and nervousness. However, when George pulled up into the car park all my fears melted away. I could see my father and his wife sitting outside in the glorious sunshine and I realised that this was really happening. I walked over to my father and we stared, we hugged, we smiled. There was silence. And the only thing I could find myself saying was that “I look just like you.”
I cannot even begin to put to words how therapeutic it was to look into the eyes of the man you came from, knowing WHERE you come from. See, I have always been told I resemble “her”, but my father? Overwhelming, disbelief, and relief all fill my heart and mind… there was no denying that I was his daughter and I finally felt a sense of belonging.
We talked for 7 hours, which flew by! Me and my father were both blunt and open (personality traits for the both of us!) about our past and current situations. I shared my feelings, opened up emotionally; I was shown pure love and acceptance. We had spoken on the phone most days in the run up to the first meeting. I personally think this helped me as I was able to converse and interact whilst being in my comfort zone initially. I already felt like I knew him before I had even met him in the flesh.
I cannot explain how welcoming my father and his wife were, it was such an amazing feeling to finally understand and experience the meaning of unconditional love. Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes as this makes me so grateful and happy about this chapter, this little girl’s wish, and the new family who opened their arms to me. I wasn’t expecting it to ever happen.
This could have gone in so many different ways and I am grateful that I kept my heart open and reachable to allow my father and his family into my heart. I now feel, in the weirdest way, complete…
One Chapter closed and a new one to be written.
I am so grateful for this chance to let love into a place where fear, doubt, and emotional scars still live. Baby steps.
THIS will be the new step into my future. Mending old wounds, creating new memories, and learning who I am and where I come from.
So, next week me and George are making the 5-hour trip to them. On this occasion I will meet my auntie and cousins, as well as my father’s step daughter and her family. I honestly cannot wait to meet them all. The strange thing is I feel like already know them all and feel I am connected!
One thing I always remind myself of is that if you keep your heart wide open you will be received with open hearts — not always by everyone, but to be received by one open heart is more than worth the journey.
One of my many coping techniques is to match music and lyrics to prominent moments in my life.
The moment I met my father for the first time, I have chosen The Scientist by Coldplay, one section in particular;
Come up to meet you
Tell you I’m sorry
You don’t know how lovely you are
I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart
Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh let’s go back to the start
Now when I listen to it I remember the beautiful first moments of our initial meeting. I will never forget the feeling of being the recipient of unconditional love.