Finding My Father-The Beginning

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve grown up without a father. I never even knew much about him. To be honest, I never was very curious. I never felt like I was missing out on much. I thought I was just fine without him. I was never really bitter, either. Just moving along with my life, and I never gave it a second thought until somebody asked me about it. Meeting him was never on my list of things to do. Then I had a few things happen that made me reconsider my thoughts…

Autumn and I started dating in 2009. I was 22, and never gave more than a second thought about my father. Then she started asking questions. I didn’t know anything about him, not even his name. So, she turned to my mom, who gave sporadic details, and told Autumn the features that I share with my dad (apparently, it’s the eyes and hands). I told Autumn I wasn’t interested, I had no wish to search for him. Autumn said she thought I needed to find him, so that I could have answers about where I come from. She said he might be a piece I didn’t even know was missing. She also pointed out that since his mother is Italian (according to my mom) she needed some recipes. I jibed with that. (she also said we needed some important info like health history and stuff, but I’m still interested in the food.) It got put on my “things to do eventually” list, with no priority at all.

A while after Autumn started asking questions, Donald Miller released a book, called A Million Miles In A Thousand Years. I loved Don from the first book I read, Searching for God Knows What, and have connected with his fatherless childhood through everything he has written, especially To Own A Dragon. (I might just link every one of his books here). There is a section in A Million Miles that talks about finding his father. As I read, I felt something telling me to find mine. I have never felt this before, and it really scared me. Don wrote about the fear he felt as he drove to his father’s house, even as he picked up the phone to call him. This resonated with me. After reading A Million Miles, I put finding my father on my priorities list. That was in 2009.

More recently, I learned some information (unfortunately, I can’t go into detail) that changed my view of my father. There are some things that happened that make it possible that he may not know I exist. He is likely not aware of me. Obviously, if he doesn’t know I am here, why would he come looking for me? I had always thought he just didn’t want to have a part in my life, but it’s possible that he doesn’t know that there is a life to have a part in. This relieved some of my fears. Maybe he didn’t abandon me. Maybe that’s why he didn’t stay in contact with my mom, or attempt to have a part in my life.

About a month ago, I started looking up my ancestry. I had my mom’s side filled out all the way back to Germany, and some ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War. It was getting pretty exciting. Then I realized that I don’t even have a name for my father. I asked my mom what his name is, to see if anything pops up. Nothing did. I did a little digging on my own, and found out some information. In my digging, I found a few people with the same name, but I narrowed it down to who I thought was the most likely person. I found an address and phone number. I still haven’t called.

I am scared. I still feel abandoned. What if I put myself out there, and I’m rejected? Perhaps the scariest notion is that, maybe he wants to be a part of my life. What do I do then?  I have information that I am holding on to, always making sure I don’t have the time to call. What do I say? For someone who’s not in my place, it’s really easy to say, “Just start a conversation” or “It’s just like a person you don’t know” or “You’re not losing anything if he doesn’t want to be a part of your life”. But anybody who has been through this process knows, it’s not that easy. There’s a weird draw I have to this person, a person I have never met. This person is my father, we share DNA. I don’t look like my mom, so chances are I look like him. It may not make sense to those on the outside, but rejection cannot be handled lightly. I know it will tear me up. But, acceptance cannot be expected, and I’m trying to brace myself for that.

I have no sweet wrap up for you. I still haven’t called, and I’ve had this information for almost two months. I don’t know when I will. I “want” to, but I very much do not want to. This is my adventure, and one day I will build up the courage to make the call. I don’t know when, but it will happen. And I will give you an update when it does.

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3 responses to “Finding My Father-The Beginning

  1. I’ve been in this same boat. I didn’t know my Father nearly my entire life and didn’t care to. It wasn’t until I dealt with some health issues that I needed to find him. I too felt that nauseous fear of what if and rejection but it wasn’t until I realized that Jesus endured the most intense form of rejection did I begin to understand that I wasn’t alone. Once I finally let go of the fear and found him, I unexpectedly experienced clarity and answer questions I didn’t even know needed to be revealed.

    I don’t know what the result of contacting him will be but here’s my advice: Ask God about it. If he’s placed the curiosity in your heart ask him to reveal why now? Ask him how you can honor him with your choices, feelings, and thoughts about it. Ask for clarity and strength. But most importantly ask for his will to be done. If this is an avenue he thinks is necessary for you to walk through then ask for him to help break the strongholds that are holding you back. If this is a distraction by the enemy ask him to close the door.

    The one biblical story that comes to mind is Hagar and Ishmael. Yes, Hagar became a single mother but Ishmael became a good man primarily because, “GOD WAS WITH THE BOY AS HE GREW UP…” (Genesis 21:20) the same way God has been with you, your entire life. This situation doesn’t change that, rejected or not by your earthly father… Your Heavenly Father never will. (Psalms 27:10)

    So stop replacing what you do know with what you don’t know. What you do know is God is good and will walk with you every step of the way.

    Praying for you dude!

  2. Christmas of 2010: Becca, Leah, and I had one of the most painful conversations about our father and his death we had ever had. As I think on it, it was probably one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had. We all knew the conversation needed to happen at some point or we at least had the slightest, most mild curiosity to know if we weren’t alone, but no one had ever wanted to start the process. And even 2 and a half years later, I don’t think the conversation has resolved anything. But having started the conversation we found we weren’t alone and that we had each other to lean on. To be more honest, we haven’t returned to the topic since, but… i feel more at peace at least understanding what we all knew than I ever would have if we would have never talked at all.

    Navigating this coming conversation will likely be one of the most emotional events of your life, but maybe peace will come with something to process, rather than with your current anticipation. You have been and will forever be a beloved son, as you are now a husband, brother, and friend.

    Hopefully, when you have your conversation he likes talking in a Strongbad voice too.

    love you man.

  3. (It’s a little lengthy, takes a little under a minute to read, but please read, there is a point) I know exactly how you feel Austin. I’ve been in your shoes before, except in my case I was looking for my birth mother too. I always had it in the back of my mind in a fairytale world that maybe one day I might be able to see the people that share my DNA; someone who I actually look like. I had many questions, the main one being, “WHY?!?!” Why was I given up? Did they not want me? Was I a failed abortion? Where is the one I was supposed to call Mom? Where was the man that I was supposed to call Dad? If I found him, would he accept me and want to have a relationship with his own flesh and blood, or would he already be established in his life, that I would be a disturbance and he just doesn’t want to take on something that risky. Would he love me like he’s supposed to? Or reject me and toss the knowledge of my existence to the wind? Does he even know I’m alive. Did he know she was pregnant with his child. Did he even know she was pregnant?!? I started digging for answers. It was a risk I knew I had to take. Because in the end, whatever the outcome, I would Know and at least I tried. My trust had to be in my Maker. I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into. Through the months of waiting and praying came many tears and then finally tears of joy. There was a response at the other end of the line. I called Christy (my birth mom) she said “hello?” with a confused tone. I said “Hi, is this Christy?” she said Yes… I said “I’m Sarah, I’m your daughter” and that’s all it took. She started balling her eyes out over the phone and of course my tears followed. We were laughing and crying and couldn’t believe that we finally found each other. Turns out she was looking for years. After having no hope they gave up and had been praying that one day I would find my way back to them. Not to mention my birth father was threatened by my birth mothers’ step dad, that if he tried to intervene in the adoption then he would personally kill him. So he was shoved out of the picture. He was excited to know that I was alive and that I wanted to meet him. When I first saw him walk through my door he ran up and embraced me in his arms. He was crying and once again so was I. I finally had Answers to all those questions. I was wanted. I was loved. Even after 20 years later. You will never know until you make that call. What lies ahead will either remain a mystery that is going to eat at you for the rest of your life, or you can know. Keep praying and asking God to direct your path and also your fathers’. An effort definitely had to be made to start a relationship with someone that I didn’t know, but over the last 4 years we have pieced our lives together into a beautiful tapestry. I couldn’t have asked for more. And I pray the same for you.

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