Thursday I saw my daughter for the first time in nine months.

I didn’t expect her to recognize me as I never had the feeling that she knew who I was since the separation from her mother. Since I had already gone through this unimaginable pain of not being recognized by my own child 1 1/2 years ago, I coped quite well with this circumstance – I mean, as well as one can ever cope with it who loved him child.

So she reacted the way she always does when she sees me…. somehow indifferent. I stood in front of her all the time and although she faced me, she always just looked past me and never looked me into the eyes, no matter what I was trying to do. And she didn’t speak anything either, although she can already speak (which she couldn’t yet the last time I saw her).

After about 20 minutes I asked her mother – while looking at my child – if she doesn’t speak. Her mother said that she is open but might be a bit shy right now. Then I replied that she doesn’t even look into my eyes.

That instant, my girl would look into my eyes for a short moment and looked away again. I realized that she understood everything but just didn’t want to look me into my eyes.

I instantly remembered the first time she looked me into my eyes after not having seen me in four month last year in October. She was kinda stunned the moment her eyes hit mine.

And then I remembered the first time I had the impression she consciously saw me. It was Jannuary 25th at around six o’clock in the morning. I had just returned from a goa-dance ritual. She was merely five months old and when I layed down next to her, she woke up and looked deeply into my eyes and smiled and continued looking. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

So after looking into my eyes for a short moment she would continue looking past me and not talking and we would go to different stations at the playground.

About ten minutes before I had to leave she suddenly called me Papa – for the first time in my life. I was stunned. I didn’t expect her to know who I am. I cannot describe how it felt.

And then, for the last minutes she would run around happily, as if she was happy that she is finally reunited with her dad.

Back in Vienna, I spoke with a pedagogue about these things. She said that my daughter was probably angry with me for not being in her life and that it was perhaps an act of defiance – especially the way she acted in the end.

My time will come… and when it does, perhaps there will be a lot of anger against me. But I can take this anger as she is my daughter. And when our time has come, she will see and feel how much I truly love her.