20 July 2015

Meeting My Biological Father?!

I promise I haven't forgotten how to blog, I've just been...having a lot of emotions about a lot of different things lately, haha! As you can see from my not-so-subtle title, big things are happening in my life! I've kept my coworkers updated every step of the way and sometimes they say "Uh, your life should be a TV show." and I just say "That's why I have a blog!" So I think I'm ready to share now.

I know next to nothing about the man who I am 50% of. I know that him and my mom had some kind of relationship during December of 1990. She was 16, he was married, and he was in the military so he had to move as soon as, or even before he knew she was pregnant - I have no idea because that's the end of my knowledge. My mom later married the daddy I have now, and I got as good of a father-figure as any little girl could hope for. Thanks to him I've never been bitter about not having a "real dad" around and I never experienced daddy issues - I mean, I've never even had the slightest desire to talk to the other man!

Then a few months ago, yes at 23 freaking years old, my mother gave me a picture of Daniel and some letters he had sent over the years. It felt like I had been hit by a brick wall. This stranger had my nose and seeing it made me feel sick. I had no idea how I was supposed to feel, so naturally I just swept it under the rug and didn't think about it again.
A few months later I really had forgotten about it. Flipping through my junk mail one day, I saw a letter from some company about an account I had with them...obviously spam! But Matthew pointed to the name of the joint owner, and asked "Hey, doesn't this name look familiar?" I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but yeah, the name did sound familiar...then Mattie was like "Wait, what is your biological dad's name?!" Honestly it took me a second, but finally I realized that it was him! How could a spammer possibly link his name and my name together..?

At work the next day I contacted the company and was told about MY account containing a substantial sum that I had no idea about. I know there are so many people who wish for something like this to happen to them but it was just overwhelming. I just brushed it off and told my coworkers that it had to be some kind of mistake because Daniel didn't care about me and he would for sure never give me any money. They didn't buy it. Over the next few weeks I was forced to do a lot of prayerful soul-searching. Was this just guilt money? Would I be okay later in life knowing that I had had one opportunity to talk to Daniel and I never took it? How would I feel at doctors appointments in the future when I was asked about my medical history and sheepishly had to reply that I had NO idea? I had grown up believing he didn't care about me in the slightest but now I had this money that told me the opposite, and it was confusing. Even if he did care, why should I care about him? Knowing that I could be opening a can of worms I knew nothing about, I made up my mind about contacting him.

$20 and a 20 minute search on been verified later...I had Daniel's past ten addresses and phone numbers. I sent a letter. I still felt very uncomfortable about the situation though, and questioned myself the entire time. To be honest, I consider myself quite the daddy's girl, and I felt guilty for reaching out to Daniel. But I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel a connection to him in some small way. What if he's the reason I love mangos, hate barbecue sauce, am wildly independent, and love science?? It's crazy that I had gone my whole life without caring about any of these questions but then all of the sudden I HAD to have them answered. 

... but he never responded to the letter, and I started to feel embarrassed about ever entertaining the thought that he might want to meet me. One day, at three in the afternoon while I was sitting at my desk, I got a call. I stared at the Mississippi area code while my phone rang and rang, knowing exactly who it was and debating on whether or not I should answer. I thought he might scold me for reaching out in the first place, but then I decided that I would just scold him right back because no matter what: I deserved his respect!

I swiped right, ready to tell him this, but on the other line a nervous, excited man answered. We had a 15-minute long conversation and after I hung up my coworkers were freaking out. They had gathered who I was talking to from hearing my side of the conversation, and couldn't believe how calm I had been!

I guess they couldn't tell from my voice that I had a lump in my throat from the moment he had told me that I had two half sisters and that he wanted me to meet them. I also have a lot of cousins that are "my age" in his area who would be interested in meeting me, and his two sisters, younger brother, and mom want to fly down from New York to meet me! How do you even in a situation like that?!

Plans were made and I am officially going to meet them all on the first week of October. I still don't know what exactly I want out of this...I'm a little nervous, and excited too, but I know for sure that I am making the right decision for myself, no matter what happens. All I can do in this life is what feels right in my heart, even if it makes others uncomfortable.

10 comments

Fealyclan said...

Dear, Laynah
As I lay here at 3:45 in the morning reading this I can't help but wonder how you could possibly put your Dad and your biological father in the same blog. I thought of holding my thoughts as I feel this is a personal matter of sorts. I realize many know some or most of your (our) history but to put it up like this is well, shocking. Since you have posted your feelings in this way, I figure I might as well do the same. It is hurtful to think that you don't consider posting this more than "uncomfortable" for some. I realize I am the one who put you in this position almost 24 years ago and I understand the concerns and questions you may have. I'm sure that you have prayed for yourself in this situation. I can only hope that those who may find this "uncomfortable" might also be included in those prayers. It is ultimately your right and your decision to meet your biological father and I understand that the money is exciting and helpful for a newly married couple. I can also understand how this money has made you feel thought of and considered by a man that you share some DNA and a nose with. I can appreciate that you wanted to reach out in gratitude and with your lifetime of questions.
I only ask that you consider the aching hearts of those who raised you and loved you the best they could. Maybe that seems dramatic but it does ache a little. As much as we have tried to accept your choices and to understand that you have had a void not knowing the other half of your biological family, it still hurts. It hurts to feel as though we were never enough or that the material gifts and notes you've received from him over the years are more important to you now than the family you are sealed to.
I hope you get the answers you seek. I hope you fill a void that you may or may not have realized was there. I do believe that God works in mysterious ways and whether this hurts right now or not, it will work out in the way He intends. I realize that in all things there are lessons to be learned. I only hope there are good things to come from this for all who may be affected. I love you. Please remove your dads picture and part in this blog. I don't think it's fair to him and I know if he saw this it would really hurt him. Thanks.

Fealyclan said...

P.S. I gave you those notes and pictures because I felt as an adult you deserved to have them and because I certainly don't. I will forever be grateful for the gift your biological father gave me. He might not have realized it but I did and I knew the day might come when you'd be curious and that he'd be receptive. Maybe I seem like a contradiction. I can simply see both sides. I just hope you can see all sides as well.

Brittany Sanchez said...

Laynah,

I think it is very brave of you for wanting to know this part of who you are. I am so happy for you! I think how you wrote this blog was beautifully written...this blog allows you to express how you feel about the many things that are happening in your life. It's a beautiful thing to be able to do that. It allows us bloggers to soul search and be undeniably who we are. People may not always understand where your heart is, but I truly believe that your heart is sincere and could never possibly hurt another purposefully. I am praying for strength for you in this time because I'm sure there is so much that you have to work through. Always here if you ever need to talk.

With love,
Brittany

Amie said...

Many prayers during this time in your life. While I have no idea what this feels like I can only imagine wanting to know the other half of who made you. I'm sure that certainly doesn't take any feelings away from your current family but simply adds to it :)

Crystal said...

I cannot imagine the emotions you are feeling with these latest revelations. Regardless of how you were raised or wonderful parents you had along the way, it is not surprising that you would want to know about the other half. Aside from medical history, which is quite important, it will just feel good to know about likenesses/similarities as well as answers to any unanswered questions you may have. You do not have to apologize to anyone for going on this journey. No one could possibly know how it feels to be in your shoes unless they have experienced a similar situation. Praying for your strength and courage to endure whatever comes from this connection and upcoming meeting. Also praying for your current family to have a greater understanding and to try and see things from your perspective. You are brave. You don't need to make apologies for wanting to see the big picture of who you are and where you come from.

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh gosh... after seeing the comments above, I can see this sort of thing causes so many issues in the whole family - but I have to say, do what you feel is best in your heart. Sometimes you NEED the whole story from BOTH sides. I say this from experience. My husband lost contact with his daughter when she was 2 yrs old... you can imagine its a long story... they reunited almost 20 years later... it was the best experience for EVERYONE. Truth was found. Wounds were healed. Forgiveness was given. It has been amazing. They are both in each others lives now & it couldn't have been better. I know each experience is difference but know YOU need to do what YOU need to do. I pray the meeting goes well.

E. Erquitt said...

"I still don't know what exactly I want out of this...I'm a little nervous, and excited too, but I know for sure that I am making the right decision for myself, no matter what happens. All I can do in this life is what feels right in my heart, even if it makes others uncomfortable."

This stuck out to me for so many reasons. It is perfectly normal and understandable for you to not know what you want out of this and ANYONE who tells you that you should 100% know before you meet this part of your family is wrong. You will figure it all out with time and while it may be hard for your family who has been by you for your entire life to watch, this is still something that you have to do and decide for yourself.

Brittany said...

Thank you so so much for sharing. Our situation has so many similarities it's crazy. I'll email you!!

Janelle Vannice said...

Oh, wow. This was so beautifully written, and I really enjoyed getting to know more of your story after having followed your blog for only a short time. What an emotional ride this has been for you... yet here I am tearing up while reading about it. I hope that you get some answers and whatever else you need... so exciting!

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