A shot at being daddy’s little girl


For 21 years, my grandparents have spent their time sharing words or wisdom and encouraging me to create a better future.

Ever since I was 5, Father’s Day was always the hardest holiday for me to go through. I would find myself sitting in the corner of the house listening to the song “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, with tears rushing down my face. I wondered who would walk me down the aisle because my father left before I was even born. I yearned for the day when my father would come back in my life and be the dad I’ve always dreamed of.

Imagine the shock that this little girl was faced with when the man who was absent from her life, finally showed up, 18 years later.

According to About.com, 84 percent of children raised by a single parent are raised by their mothers, while 16 percent of children are raised by single fathers. I grew up without either and was raised by my grandparents. During elementary and middle school, I felt like an outsider because I didn’t have a mother who I could talk about make-up with or teach me what to do when I got my first “time of the month.” I never had a dad who I could run to when a boy broke my heart or defend me when I was arguing with my best friend. I grew up learning how to become a lady and fight for my battles on my own.

When I entered high school, I looked at the life path that my mom was entering – no job and struggling to make ends meet – and realized that I was blessed to be raised by grandparents who cared about my future by supporting my education and teaching me life lessons on how to become successful with my life. I was finally content with myself and where I was going with my life.  I knew that even though I missed out on having a relationship with my mother and father, I grew up with two people who loved me.

Eight months after I turned 18, I got a friend request on Facebook. Before even accepting the friend request, I knew who he was based on his name and profile picture. With a smile similar to mine, he had to be my father, the man I always wanted in my life but never thought would ever happen. After exchanging a few messages, it was confirmed that he was my father, wanting to tell me that he’s been looking for me.

He sent messages about putting me in his will and expressed how much he missed me. With everything hitting me all at once, I was turned off and the thought of “You don’t even know me” came into my head. Not wanting to believe him, I ignored the messages and tried to focus on my freshman year of college.

The more I ignored him though, the more curious I became and I finally responded back to him. Over the next two years, we exchanged emails and text messages. On my birthday and Christmas, he would ask me if I wanted anything and made sure to check up on me every once in a while. I could tell he was trying to make up for all the years he missed out on.

His attempt to create a relationship with me is what persuaded me in deciding to make a trip to meet him in June. With every emotion running through my body – such as nervousness, excitement, fright and anxiety – I have absolutely no idea how the two-week crash course in father-daughter relationship will go.

Will we even get along? Will I feel that love for a parent that comes so naturally to my friends with their parents? Will I get along with him and then consider moving to Chicago because it goes so well? Will I feel a part of his new family? Is this more heartache and disappointment waiting to happen? Should I tell my grandparents that I’m seeing this man that they harbor an intense dislike for?

This is a trip that will play a big role with my future decisions. With more than a month to go before my departure, I’m excited at the possibilities but scared about the uncertainties. I’ve lived 21 years without this person in my life. Now what?