Aneek will finally meet his biological father: “He didn’t come”

Aneek will finally meet his biological father: “He didn’t come”

When Aneek* (37) finally goes to America to meet her biological father, she can’t contain her excitement and curiosity. But then her father decided not to come.

Eve BredaGetty Images/EyeEm

“It’s twelve o’clock. My body is shaking with tension. I’m standing in a hotel lobby in Florida, where I’m about to meet my biological father for the first time in my life. He could be here any minute. As I fix my eyes on the entrance, I feel my phone ringing. Without hesitation I read the message on my screen. And then suddenly I became completely still. “I’m sorry Anika. Your father won’t come anymore.’

He denied my existence

My father left our family for America shortly after I was born. For the first thirty years of my life I never thought of seeing him. He’s long gone and I’ve never missed a father figure. I have never spoken to my father, seen him on social media or messaged him. The only connection he had was with his brother who lived next door to me. Occasionally he would tell me something about my father: he lived in America with a new wife and children. No one there knew of my existence. That’s why I shouldn’t watch. I was fine. Why should I leave our family and seek someone who denies my existence? I changed my mind when I turned 30. My uncle contacted my father and after some hesitation he agreed. A few weeks later I was on a plane to Miami with my husband and kids. I was going to meet my father without talking to him and all communication still went through my uncle.

I was very interested

On the day of the meeting, my father had to work, so could only meet briefly during his break. I interpreted his lack of enthusiasm as nervousness. I tried not to have high expectations for the meeting, for fear of being too disappointed. I decided to go for the obvious. But don’t set aside a subtle hope for some kind of recognition or connection. I have seen the only photo I own of my father, his dark hair and dark eyes, many times. There, in an old print from the eighties, I found a recognition I had never seen before from my blonde mother and stepmother. Will I be like my father? Do we have the same attitude? Interested in the same things? Can he tell me about my Jewish background and the customs associated with it? Despite my roots, they didn’t play a role in my life, but I heard they played a role in his. As the meeting got closer, I became more and more interested. On the day of the meeting, I couldn’t concentrate on walking through the supermarket in the morning. With my head already in the hotel lobby, I saw my father walk in. Will we fall into each other’s arms? Aren’t we talking?

I could only cry

The tension in my body as I waited for Dad was almost unbearable. The surreality of the moment was accentuated by the Christmas music and fake snow that filled the hotel lobby in mid-December. Nothing is right. I held on, trying not to feel it. But when I read that Dad would not come, I burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying that whole day. Where I usually had trouble showing emotion, I now exuded tension effortlessly. I made another attempt to reschedule with him, but according to my uncle, my father had suddenly gone on vacation. I spent the rest of my time in Miami trying to enjoy the long stretches of beaches, the Christmas season under the palm trees, hoping the warm sun would mask my icy-cold disappointment.

I told myself I could do it, it wasn’t that bad, disappointment didn’t touch me, I couldn’t lose someone I didn’t know anyway. But still I could not let it go completely, and a few days before departure I visited the Jewish community where my father lived with his family. There I encountered a closed area and a reception that I did not pass. Through the bars of the fence I stared at the houses beyond and saw the life I could have had if things had turned out differently. But the reality is that I don’t know if what I imagine is right. In the end, I knew nothing about Judaism, knew nothing about my family, knew nothing about my father. I hit a wall and was left on the sidelines of the life I wanted to know. There, at that gate, I decided to let it go, let him live his life and mine. And yet, during the stormy flight, I felt that this was not the end.

Shall I approach his wife?

It has been seven years since I traveled to my father and I have not met him till date. My mother got angry when she told me that my father did not come. “We’ll go back now and ring his doorbell,” she said. But I don’t feel anything for it. What’s the point of meeting a man who doesn’t want to see me? Still, it didn’t leave me. I often wonder what it would be like to try again. To text his wife or my half brother and sister. I would fill them in on the fact that it would be a huge blow for them to know about my existence. Maybe they are happy, they want to meet me, they want me to bond with my father. Because somewhere it’s still simmering, I still want to find out how much I’m like him when he’s alive. Whether it’s really those brown eyes, or more. I hope I’m not like him inside. I hope I approach life more maturely than him, rather than running away from everything difficult.

*Aneek’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.

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