My Two Beautiful Daughters are in Another Country

I am in Australia and my wife (soon to be ex) and 2 beautiful daughters are in Jakarta, Indonesia. My girls are only 2.5 years and 3 months old. I barely know the littlest one; I was there for her birth. But the 2.5 yr old lived with me and my wife in Australia for the first year and half of her life and so we know each other well.

I can barely cope some days and like some of the stories on here have found myself crying uncontrollably and smelling a small selection of her stuff I have at my place.

I had to move recently for a fresh start with things. I’ve moved in with a new gf, who is great and so patient with me. But of course she has fears about what will happen in the future and some day she will want her own family too.

Apart from the distance, I have a language barrier. Both kids are being brought up speaking in their mother’s native language (well not the 3 month old yet obviously). Although she is trying to teach them some English, their mother tongue (and therefore their ability to express themselves and their feelings) will always be in Indonesian.   I can speak enough to get by and can understand the 2.5 yr old, but they will soon overtake me for sure.

I send maintenance money over each month and help out with extras like hospital etc, whenever I can. Their mom doesn’t work yet because of the newborn, but she will when she can. I also send parcels of clothes and little presents every month or so. I Skype with them every week and that seems to be working out ok and fairly consistently for the moment.

We have a long way to go to reach some agreements on who has them and when though. It’s “only” 7 hrs flight away, but the costs and practicalities of going there make it only likely to happen once a year. For the moment as they are so young, it will be me travelling overseas to see them.

I had to leave my wife for various reasons I wont go into, but I remind myself almost daily I made the right decision to leave a broken relationship. That the kids and her are safe and well loved by their extended family in Indonesia, something I couldn’t give them in Australia.

I guess I am just opening up on here to share my experience and introduce myself a bit. I wonder if there’s anyone else out there with kids across an international border and with the unique challenges that brings? I am of course also happy to give back my experiences after reading everyone else’s on this site as I explore and soak it all up. I’ve already picked up some great ideas about staying in my girl’s lives as they grow up a long distance from their dad. I miss them an indescribable amount and think about them every hour of every day.


Australian Dad a long way from home and kids

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. International Mom

    This sounds so close to my story. I’m an American in Europe and my soon-to-be-ex-husband and children are moving “home” to the US in about two weeks. The time difference will make skype difficult but we hope to do that daily. I’ll also be taking trips (10 hours by plane) to visit them. I’m hoping I can make it work every 6 weeks or maybe even monthly, but I don’t have much time away from work. It’s really difficult when the best thing for your babies is to be so far away from them.

  2. lucy

    This sounds like me too. You are not alone and reading these posts gives me strength. I tried to fight for my son but his dad has more money and more power than I do in Germany. I have to chance to work in a dream job surrounded by my family in Australia but my hours are not flexible like my ex so I can not list so much. He said he will bring my son easter, summer break 7 weeks and then I can go to Germany 10 days in oct/nov and then my son comes for christmas. This feels perfect on one side and a nightmare on the other. I am so alone here in Germany and left a broken relationship after trying for 5 years. Now I would like to go home with our son but I can´t. I have decided to try this job and his dad´s option that he visits along with Skype and so on but I am so scared of the unknown. My son is only 6. Thank you for sharing and giving me strength. I hope you are ok.

    1. Lee

      Hello, I will be in this situation soon with my son a similar age. How has it worked for you?

  3. Daniel James Meisel

    Thank you all for sharing! It really does help to hear someone else going through similar gut wrenching situations. The Aussie Dad….your story is powerful. I cant imagine having a language barrier PLUS the international situation as well…Wow. I hope you are well.
    My ex fiance was two months pregnant with my daughter who is now 18 months old. Everything was going as planned until we broke up. We had been living together for only 2 weeks when she told me to leave. I tried and tried to make it work. This lasted for 3 months and she tells me to stop contacting her because she got an abortion. At 8 mo. pregnant I get a phone call that she moved back to her home state across the U.S. and that she was having my baby girl. I hadnt heard from her in months….I immediately began preparing to move there. I quit my career, sold most of my belongings to get there 4 mo. after shes born but the mother is reluctant to let me see her. I moved there in Feb. right before the pandemic but struggled with finding work throughout the pandemic. I ended up having to move in with family the next state over so I had to give up physical custody but still have legal custody, not that it changes things because she barely lets me see or talk to her. Now, after many nights and days of crying and confusion, I am about to relocate further away from her for a good paying job. The mother hates me for reasons I still to this day do not understand. After battling her in court, I am able to see her every two weeks and video 30 min every week. The mother has continued to cancel on me and does not encourage my daughter and I’s relationship. It breaks my heart that it is this way.
    But, I know one day she will be old enough to understand my what I have done to try to be in her life.

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