Communicating with Absent Dads

Dear Dr. Bill,

I’m fourteen years old and was abandoned by my father when I was five.  And now that I really need him to ask him questions, he’s not here.  What can I do?



Dear Jessica,

My heart breaks for you.  I know how difficult it must be for you to long for your father, and how many questions you must have for him.   I don’t know the circumstances that led to your father’s actions, but the fact that he abandoned you makes me very sad.

The first thing you should do is talk to your mom and let her know how much you’re hurting.  Tell her how important it is for you to communicate with your dad and that you would like to write him a letter.  Ask her if she has an address for him or knows a friend or a relative who might know where he is.  There’s a good chance that your dad’s parents, your paternal grandparents, know where he is.  Perhaps they would be willing to forward a letter to him.

Then write your letter, and express your feelings openly and honestly.  Ask him the questions you’ve been dying to ask, and tell him it how important it is for you to hear from him.

There’s no guarantee that he will answer your letter, but it’s worth a try.  At the very least, it can be very helpful for you to put your feelings down on paper.  Sometimes expressing our feelings in writing can help in the healing process.

One possibility you need to consider is that your dad has some kind of addiction problem, like alcoholism or addiction to drugs.  If so, it may explain why he suddenly dropped out of your life.  It doesn’t excuse it, but it may make his actions easier to understand.

Jessica, remember that God loves you very deeply.  You are his special, unique creation, and He grieves over what has happened to you.  Psalm 68:5 tells us that God is a “father to the fatherless.”

Thanks for writing, Jessica.


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