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Subject:  Re: OT: single parent dilemma Date:  4/17/2002  10:12 PM
Author:  DollarIQ Number:  123056 of 312185

Hi Ishtar,

I don't lurk much on this board anymore, but glad I did today. Just a few thoughts (even though you've received plenty thus far):

- You want to make sure he never comes to you claiming that you're 'keeping him away' from his daughter. To do this, do not send him any pictures or updates; do not keep reaching out to him, wait for him to make "First Contact" (remember Star Trek?). When he actually makes contact with you (by phone, mail, or in person), say "hello, here is your XX-years-old daughter, Chandra. Chandra, this is your biological father, Da D. Bum." Or words to that effect. Surprise him with a disarming sense of bare fact. He is the father of your child. He is now expressing an interest to see/meet/know your daughter. Give him an opportunity (supervised, most probably). Go from there.

- If you want, you can keep a book of memories for him. You can call it Chandra's Book for Daddy. Whether or not she knows you're making this book is up to you. Maybe it will be cathartic for her, but I suspect it would be emotionally difficult; dunno, haven't been there, done that.

- You may or may not want to do a short book or whatever for your daughter about who her father is, in turn. I don't know how old she is, or if she's started asking, but this is a possibility. I suspect it may be a bitter memoir, but it's worth a thought.

For what it's worth, one of the most painfully poignant stories I've heard about a single mother raising her daughter, I heard from the grown daughter's boyfriend. It seems that the daughter never knew who her father was and her mother refused to tell her, though her mother loved her extremely. Daughter gets more searching as she gets older. As a college student, she does research and finally finds information on who her father is, a wealthy business man who has been paying her mother child support for years, and for the mother's silence. Daughter finally goes visit her father, just after telling her mother who pleads with her not to go. Daughter had tried to call father repeatedly (discreetly of course). Father never returns call. Finally, she shows up without an appointment one day and insists on seeing him. He finally sees her, knowing full well who she is, and tells her in the most shockingly brutal tone and expression (apparently she's never forgotten the absolute hatred in his eyes) that he does not accept or acknowledge her, told her mother he never wanted her at all, and never, ever wants to be contacted by her again in her life. Then he turned around and just walked back to his office as if she didn't exist. She has never been as emotionally destroyed before or since and was devastated for years by this one visit. A footnote: she also knew that he had married and had children of his own; he was apparently a good father to his "own" children. The contrast was bitter and painful.

You never know what might happen, but you can't force it.

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