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.