Parenting is not easy, especially when dealing with different cultures, but Nathan* has learnt how to and the power of compromise.
Ask anyone and they will tell you that relationships are hard to sustain; so when you come across a determined father, who has put in the work against the odds…they have to be celebrated.
Nathan* is a 54 year old communication specialist, who has lived and travelled around the world helping others, but all that pales in comparison to his ‘Fatherhood Journey,’ especially when he fondly recalls the birth of his 8 year old son, Deang.
Nathan* met his #BabyMama in Cairo while he was stationed there on assignment, and to say the chemistry was palpable is an understatement. What are the odds that; a beautiful Nubian Dinka woman with Sudan and Ugandan roots would meet an Eastern European man and their “Unprecedented and Surprise Racial Coming Together,” would result in a handsome Eastern European baby boy with Dinka roots.
Theirs was not a fairy tale ending, as their love relationship would become what many of us term as complicated.
Deang’s mum who already had twin daughters from an earlier relationship, comes from a very traditional African family whilst Nathan’s career takes him the world over constantly, thus making it difficult to settle down. Nathan* was there during the pregnancy and birth of his son, which came as an early surprise in the relationship. As they say opposites attract, and this time the two lovers who are worlds apart, became parents to a multiracial boy.
Not all relationships end up like the movies…Happily Ever After; not all can overcome obstacles and survive the challenges. As much as Nathan*, who had never been married before found himself a first time father at 47, it was not meant to be that he would be there to raise his son everyday of his life. Deang’s mum moved back with him to Uganda, as Nathan* resumed his busy career schedule.
All was not lost as thanks to technology, Nathan* is able to communicate via Skype with his son and be a part of his son’s life. He also wires money for upkeep and talks often with Deang’s mum which has enabled him to be ‘Present’ in his son’s life. “Those are very precious moments and I would not trade them…”
Despite the continental distance between Nathan* and his son, it is clear that he is willing to bridge that gap and be a part of Deang’s upbringing, schooling and general welfare.
Parenting is not easy, especially when dealing with different cultures, but Nathan* has learnt how to and the power of compromise. For now Nathan* may not have the access he may want to his son but he still hopes to one day showcase his Eastern European heritage to his son who lives in Uganda with his mother, and her extended African family.
“My siblings have never met him…” Nathan* says of the fact that Deang has not met his family but he does not say it with bitterness or with any malice, as in the same breathe he gushes lyrically how Deang’s mum is, “…a very, very good mother.”
It is admirable that these two transatlantic, biracial former lovers have found a way to positively co-parent for their son’s sake despite the usual drama. What is more admirable is that despite the distance between Nathan* and Deang, he is ‘Present’ in his son’s life and is respectful to the mother of his child.
Nathan* Name has been changed for the purpose of this story