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Panorama of St. Louis, Missouri, United States

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Cary wrote:

Sean, my name is Cary and I am a guy if you’re wondering.  It may help you better identify with my story as well.

I live in the southwest part of the US but I once lived in St Louis and also was once married.  My wife and I were really happy..until she got pregnant.  We had decided years before that moment that we were going to never have children.  We would instead live the rest of our lives as newlyweds.  We were 23 when we got married and made that decision and at 26, I was looking at being a father.  Needless to say, I freaked out.  I had been saving for a house for a few years so I filed for divorce, paid a lump sum of child support to last a few years and I took off.  Not being a father meant more to me than my marriage.

Anyway, I have been through a lot in the past 8 years and I have come to realize that I made a huge mistake.  I want to be a father to my child.  I am writing this in an airport right now while on my way to see her.  Her mom and I have been talking for the past few months and she agreed to let me come visit.  I am so scared right now.  My question to you is how do I go about being a father to someone I’ve never even met?

Cary

Cary,
How?  You just do.  At first, its going to be like a step parent.  You will have to earn her love and trust and show her you will always be there to care for her.  You left her before before you even said hello, so expect some challenges. You’re somewhat lucky she is only 8.  If she were a teen, I’d be a little less optimistic of the closeness of your impending relationship.  You have decided to be a man and step up to do what’s right, but make sure that you also want to do this from an emotional perspective.   By that, I mean make sure you are doing this because you want to earn the love and respect of a child that you helped create.

I don’t know if you and her mom are working on things and I don’t know if you are even thinking of that, but that’s a whole different ballgame so I am not going any further down that road.  Good luck meeting your daughter.  I hope everything goes well.

Sean

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