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Meeting Child
Hi all,

I'm not going to go into too much detail but here goes...

I had a kid with my female best friend 10 years ago.
I was not involved in the Child's life at the request of her and her husband. (yes we cheated bad me I know, not proud)
We came to this agreement together and I agreed not to cause any impact on their family by staying away basically.

Well....10 years later I received a text message telling me something along the lines of  "Child knows you are his dad, me and him are divorced"

Now he wants to meet me (The child). 
Which I am happy to do, in fact quite excited to be honest. 
His mum is also happy for this to happen.

I expect nothing from it, I am assuming he would just like to see what i'm like and so on. 
Then I anticipate nothing after.

My question / request for advice is a very small detail in this whole situation but I need to know...

firstly, Should I take some form of gift when I meet him?...if yes....What is an appropriate gift in this situation? 
(I'm not trying to buy his affection or anything, it's why i'm asking this question. Is that a weird thing to do or should I take something for him)

Should I also be honest if i'm asked why I haven't been there for the last 10 years? I have to consider the fact that he's only 10 and i'm not sure how honest I should be about things. Or whether I should avoid these questions for now. (Would feel awkward right)

I will certainly not lie, but I much should a 10 year old be told this stuff. If at all.

How do I even explain this in a way that a child can understand.

It's messed up and its been sprung on me out of the blue. NEVER really expected it. 

I have about 4 days until I go meet him and my nerves are well and truly through the roof right now. Cant concentrate on anything.
This kind of relates to the "Age Appropriate Content" thread, not sure if that provides any insight but kids are smart. While they may not quite understand completely why you were kept out of your kid's life they aren't dumb, so avoiding the question, if asked, is probably not the right thing. Of course, saying well, your mom and stepdad didn't want me around or whatever probably will piss the mother off. While I don't have kids myself I do think that you have a right to have a relationship with this kid as it is your kid as much as it is hers and I think she should respect that especially if the kid wants it.

As far as gifts, I see no harm in getting your kid a gift, one that is age appropriate, but nothing crazy. I wouldn't show up with a PlayStation 5 but I wouldn't show up with crap either. If you have any knowledge about your kids interests that would be a place to start. If you have no idea, then your guess is as good as mine on what to get. I could at the same time see how the mother might be offended.

That all being said, I do think you have a right to be the kids father so long as the kid wants to have a relationship with you. Expect the tough questions and perhaps awkward conversations with the mother, so be thinking about how you might want to approach some of those. Unfortunately, without knowing every detail it would be difficult to give exacting advice.

That being said, take what I say with a grain of salt. I hope others comment on the thread as I might be giving you really bad advice, but do let us know how it goes and welcome to the forum Smile
"I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert, but I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime"
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[-] The following 1 member Likes InbetweenDreams's post:
  • jamiebfd
Be careful! 

If the non biological  father had died it might be different but too often a child (and often the men as well) are used as a tool in conflicts or situations like this and  it is important to understand the dynamics and protect yourself and him emotionally.

Proceed with caution and listen to your instincts. Good Luck!
[-] The following 1 member Likes eastofeden's post:
  • jamiebfd
It's worth discussing with the mother how you both are going to answer the question on why you've been gone for 10 years. `It's also worth discussing with the mom how she sees you fitting in at this point, and how you see yourself being in their lives now. I suggest you introduce yourself to your son to by your regular name and give him the guidance/permission to call you by that. Find out from the mom what kind of gift he'd appreciate. If it's going well, invite your son to go out on a short outing just the two of you, something he'd like to do. An activity together will give you two more to talk about than just what each of you has been up to for the past decade.

I agree you need to be careful to understand the dynamics of why you are now being invited in at this point.

Totally exciting and even if it doesn't go perfectly, it's still okay!

Oh and don't dress all in black and say in a deep voice, "Luke, I'm your father!"
[-] The following 3 members Like Camfer's post:
  • Bhp91126, Bookworm, jamiebfd
I have to say, This forum has such a higher standard of people within it.

I posted this same thing in 3 different places.

And received some serious abuse and horrible comments. (in all the places except her)

Thanks to all who replied. left me with Plenty to think about and certainly will be careful on the "Why now"

In all honesty, that didn't even cross my mind. But great point and I think a phone call is in order before I go ahead and meet anyone.

Im dreading this I won't lie.

I will be back to tell you how it goes. If it goes ahead.
I'm getting to this late, I'm glad you found helpful responses here.

I can only echo what others have said. You should speak with the child's mother first, and find out where she is in this whole situation. Find out what she is comfortable with the child knowing, and have a lengthy conversation with her, and together you can decide how it should be handled.
[Image: 51806835273_f5b3daba19_t.jpg]  <<< It's mine!
One more thought, not to worry you, but to keep you safe. Would it be possible to have a brief free consultation with a family lawyer before anything progresses further? I wonder if there are underlying financial or legal issues you should be aware of.
[-] The following 1 member Likes Camfer's post:
  • Bookworm
I think @Camfer raises a valid point that might be worth exploring. There might be more going on than meets the eye. Like others have said, we don't know the family dynamics involved.

As for an appropriate gift, I'm not sure. Have a chat with his mum and see what kind of thing he would appreciate. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it would be a nice gesture.

Hope it goes well.  Thumbgrin
<<<<I'm just consciousness having a human experience>>>>
Well folks….I went….we got on like house on fire (me and the kid).
His mum did NOT seem to be happy about the instant connection though. So I spoke to her alone and she said “I really didn’t think you would get on so well so fast”

Kid wants to come and stay with me already I said we have to hold off for that stuff a bit longer.

I was quite worried about the motive too, but it would seem it is purely driven by the fact that his “step-dad” was a sh*t  dad and now he’s gone,  it’s not a problem me being around.

Yes I know….it hurt me to hear this too. The guy has not treat him well.

I’ve found an instant connection with me son. I am completely in love and I know I need to calm down and not get any hopes up etc.

But wow!
A proper Mini me.

I have promised myself that i will tread carefully and I will also go down the legal advice route because I can see lots of possible scenarios that could see me either “out of pocket” or heartbroken should they take him away.

Again ….thank you guys on this forum. LITERALLY the only place that was kind and non judgemental about this whole thing. Masses upon masses of appreciation from me
[-] The following 5 members Like jamiebfd's post:
  • Bookworm, calgor, Camfer, CellarDweller, eastofeden
I am very happy for you and I hope you have a great future ahead!
[-] The following 1 member Likes eastofeden's post:
  • jamiebfd

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