My first letter to you

Dear Daniel,

I am your father and this is my first letter to you, my six-year-old son. I’m writing it in a language you can’t read or even speak, on my website which you don’t know exists. It’s a sunny day in Brussels and I’m eating my lunch and thinking of you. You are – most likely – still at school right now, in your classroom which is not far from where I sit and write these words. But you don’t know who I am and certainly you can’t guess how often and how much I think of you.

As I write this, I have no idea whether you will ever read these words. I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again and if so, what you will think of me. Maybe you’ll be afraid of me? Maybe it will be in many years from now and you will hate me for not being a part of your life? Maybe that will never happen, and these words will remain unread by you forever. Maybe (but I doubt it) you will grow up strong and happy and never worry about the fact that you were denied a father, or wonder or care who I was.

The most important thing I want to say right now is that I love you. I miss you terribly, and I have missed you every day since the day, on the 18 January 2012, when you were taken out of my life.

But more than just missing you and loving you, I want what is best for you. If I believed that meant leaving you alone (not writing any letters and not fighting in the courts to see you) that is what I would do. But after everything that has happened over the past five years, I can’t believe that is true. I think you need me in your life, now more than ever. This is why I will keep trying to see you again.

The last time you saw me, you didn’t seem to recognise who I was. You pointed your finger and me and said ‘bad man’, because that is what you had been told to say. I want you to know that I am not a bad man. I am a man (with some bad bits, and some good bits, like all other men in the world), but I have never tried to harm you and I never will.

I’m going off now in a little while in order to attend a meeting with some people who I hope will try to help bring me back into your life. After all the meetings with all the different people, I can’t tell you that I am very hopeful. But doing my best for you means that I have to try everything possible.

Hope to see you soon.