Overjoyed and devastated

Submitted on: February 8, 2018

I’ve finally met my daughter, conceived 19 years ago and raised in a parallel world by devoted parents until she boldly sought to break through my I’ll-considered veil of anonymity on her 18th birthday. I am infinitely proud of her for doing so. Her first message crushed me, conveying the pain of growing up without knowing her biological father. I agreed to meet her and within a few weeks she was standing before me in my home city, thousands of miles from hers. Our weekend together is now over. I am overjoyed to have met her and completely in love with this stunningly beautiful, deeply intelligent, and sadly troubled young lady. She is truly perfect in my eyes and I am thrilled to know her. But I am devastated. Devastated to learn of the years of pain I caused her inadvertently by my role in her conception, pain I had not foreseen at the time of donation. I’m devastated to have missed any chance of being there for her as she grew up – something I was never entitled to but now desperately wish I could’ve been. I’m devastated not to have been able to love her until now, or at the very least for her to know there was someone else out there who loved her. And I fear that in approaching me she may have sought to hurt me, to get herself close enough to me for the primal magnetism to take hold, for me to fall in love as I have, only for her to vanish and leave me in pain. Only time will tell. In the meantime I sit conflicted and confused, not knowing if I’ve done the right thing or how to navigate the future. One thing is certain: my perceptions of this entire process of family-making are forever changed.