DD (12) is meeting her father for the first time this weekend. Any advice/experience?

(17 Posts)
FreckledLeopard Mon 14-Oct-13 17:37:19

So, after 12 years (well, longer if you add the time spent pregnant), DD's father has finally accepted that she's biologically his daughter (it only took three DNA tests hmm) and a meeting is arranged this coming weekend.

He is now married with two daughters of his own (one toddler, one baby). His wife seems very nice and has, I believed, played a large role in facilitating this meeting.

DD has obviously been very curious about her father and wanted to meet him. Now she's almost a teenager, I've worried that she will google him, find his address and rock up on his doorstep, so I wrote to him earlier this year, stating that she wanted to meet him, and actually got a response.

Backstory: I was 18 when I got pregnant (he was 23). He made it very clear he wanted me to have an abortion and wanted nothing to do with DD. The last time I'd seen him (prior to the last few months when meeting to organise contact) was when I got pregnant. DD has never met him, spoken to him or had any contact whatsoever. She has seen photos of him but that's it. He has also never paid a penny towards DD (but I guess that's a whole other thread).

Anyway, he seems quite keen to meet DD. She is nervous but curious. We are meeting en masse (with his kids and wife, so that the focus isn't entirely on DD).

Has anyone any experience of how to handle this? All I've said is for DD to try to not have any expectations, but of course this is easier said than done.

notthefirstagainstthewall Mon 14-Oct-13 20:28:15

How scary.
Not got any experience but this could be a possibility in the future (similar scenario). Interested to know how you get on.thanks

FreckledLeopard Mon 14-Oct-13 21:23:17

Will let you know. At the moment we're both very calm and it doesn't appear to be an issue. Guess as Saturday approaches, things may be a little more tense.

betterthanever Wed 16-Oct-13 00:02:29

No direct experience but I would manage her expectations that it is just a first step.
Glad he has sorted his life out and sounds like he can offer her something she may or may not want down the line and may support her via you. They share blood but thier lives will have been different and the movies make this sometimes more glam than it is. You are a great Mum by the way to have aranged all this for her, you will know exactly what to say I am sure.

PixlePixie Sun 20-Oct-13 16:42:50

How did it go this weekend FreckledLeopard?

You have a very, very similar story to me, and like notthefirst this is something that I know I have to do soon, so I'd be grateful to hear if you have any suggestions or tips for reconnecting. I've looked around the interweb (as no doubt you did too), and there's not much advice for this type of situation at all. Did your DD's father's wife know about your DD before you got in touch?

I have to say I really admire what you're trying to do for your DD, it can't have been easy and I sincerely hope that everything went ok this weekend.

FreckledLeopard Sun 20-Oct-13 21:47:12

So. We all met yesterday at the zoo (me, DD, DD's father, his wife and their two daughters (one toddler and one baby)). It was quite surreal. There was no big emotional reunion or anything. They said hello. They chatted a bit about various animals. DD had her little half sister chattering away at her and in a way having his children there eased the pressure.

We spent about 3 hours together in total. Got text today from him saying that they'd had a good day and how lovely they'd found DD. Guess we'll have to see what, if anything, happens now. It would be nice if they could develop a relationship and especially nice if DD could get to know her sisters. I have to try and ignore fact that he's been such an arsehole for so many years and that he has never paid a penny towards DD.

DD thankfully seems quite ok and not stressed about anything. So it's a case now of just waiting to see what happens from here.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 20-Oct-13 21:51:28

I just wanted to say well done to you, for biting your tongue for 12 years, swallowing down any bitterness about the historical situation and making this happen for your DD.

Very selfless act and you sound like a lovely person. X

Onebuddhaisnotenough Sun 20-Oct-13 21:54:56

Fingers crossed that this will be the start of something positive for DD (smile)

Apileofballyhoo Sun 20-Oct-13 22:00:21

Well done to you, OP. On everything - raising your lovely DD, and being so gracious now with her father for her sake. I hope somebody is being lovely to you.

starlight1234 Sun 20-Oct-13 22:39:04

I think you deserve a large glass of wine .

FreckledLeopard Sun 20-Oct-13 23:13:15

I have had wine (it had to wait til this evening as I ran my first half-marathon today!)

I think that DD's father's wife is playing a role in encouraging him to step up. She seems very sweet. Apparently she was always aware of DD's existence but didn't get involved.

There seems little point in recriminations. I could be bitter about the whole thing but frankly I just want DD to be as happy and secure as possible. I just hope to goodness that her father has matured and changed over the years and doesn't just bugger off into the void again.

Will update later in week once I've spoken to her father and got his thoughts on what happens next....

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 20-Oct-13 23:21:04

It sounds as if you are already running the risk assessment in your head, which is very sensible.

Think of support for yourself too - obviously if the relationship blossoms then he will possibly be the "novelty" person who can do no wrong, and the big new topic of conversation. make sure you have someone in RL to let off steam with.

If not there is always MN grin

Congrats on the run!

notanyanymore Sun 20-Oct-13 23:24:50

No advice, but just wanted to say freckledleopard you sound lovely and with a mum like you on board your DD has every chance of this being a success.

notanyanymore Sun 20-Oct-13 23:25:23

(and well done on your first half marathon!)

redmapleleaves Mon 21-Oct-13 21:57:58

Have just come across this thread and did want to say really well done freckledleopard for making this happen.

I met my father when I was an adult (21), and though the meeting went as well as possible I thought, he then disappeared back into the woodwork until his death some 15 years later. Meeting once was helpful. Him disappearing again felt seering (like I'd not been worthy enough again.) It does sound like your situation is so much more positive than mine, but lest it does prove patchy could be helpful explaining to DD its not about her worth/how well things went together but about his courage to recognise where he has fallen short and persistence to try to put a wrong right. Sadly even after a first step lots of people aren't willing to live with that recognition long term and turn their backs again.

When I was older (pregnant) things like knowing family medical history etc were v important (I didn't) and wanting to know about his parents/wider family. Obviously not first priorities for you/DD as things are at present, but worth marking his card it would help to have information on these too if you ever do feel him fading away again.

swingofthings Fri 25-Oct-13 11:31:53

It is so refreshing to read such an unselfish post. You have nothing at all to gain from being so open about your DD developing a relationship with her father and his family, on the opposite, yet you are doing it all purely for your daughter. What a wonderful mum you are. I bet his wife feels very grateful that you are such a lovely person. I hope it all works out best for everyone in the future.

PixlePixie Thu 14-Nov-13 21:45:34

How are things FreckledLeopard?

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