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One day, you know who you are. You know your family’s crazy history. You know the warts and all of it all. But then, in an instant, it’s all changed. Suddenly you feel like a massive chunk of you is missing.

This is how I felt the day I found out that my dad isn’t my biological dad. To be honest, I’d had questions for a few years – things I’d heard and pieced together – but I really didn’t think it held much weight. I figured I was being a drama queen, I’ll admit I can be a bit of drama queen at times. But no, this wasn’t some far-fetched notion anymore; it was the cold hard truth. It hit me like a slap in the face and knocked me into a state of confusion.

My mother had died a few days before I found out. My initial reaction was to be angry with her. She’d kept this secret from me for over 30 years. She’d watched me have my own children and never once did she utter the words. I was pissed. And while my mum had died suddenly, we also knew it was coming as she’d been told six months prior that she had about six months left to live. Knowing she had a limited time left on earth, why wouldn’t she tell me the truth? I had so many questions and the one person who could answer them all was gone.

Now I had to have uncomfortable conversations with friends and family members, in order to find any pieces of this puzzle to fit together and reveal my biological father. I have my own boys so now, there was a huge medical history that was missing and Mama Bear went into protective mode, wanting to protect my own kids. So, slowly I started making calls, asking who knew what. It amazed me at how many people actually knew this big, dark secret that had seemingly been only kept from my younger brother and myself. But it also seemed like none of them knew a lot. I grabbed at any iota of information they could give me and slowly started adding it all up. I found out he worked in a car yard when I was conceived. He and my mother broke up shortly after, so I don’t know if he even knows I exist.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, and some information gleaned from my dad (non biological) where he worked in the 80s. We then found his name. I didn’t want to get excited thinking we’d found him, even though my gut was telling me it was him… We started doing some Facebook stalking and found his wife and children’s profiles (he isn’t on Facebook!). I found photos of his daughter and my brother told me that we had the same eyes… I didn’t believe him so I asked a few friends to see if they saw any similarities… They all said the eyes.

We’ve managed – by being ultra sneaky – to confirm he knew someone with my mother’s name, though he seemed to back track a little on the phone. Yes, that means we have his number. After a few days of searching, we’ve managed to pin him down as my father… Now I keep staring at his number; wondering what to do next.

If he has no idea I exist, then I’m about to rock his world. If he did know my mum was pregnant, has he always wondered about me? I have to tread so carefully because he has a family, who probably has no idea about my mother or me. I don’t want to cause problems for him. I don’t want to be a cause of upset. To be honest, I don’t even know if I want a relationship with him… To me, my dad is the man who I’ve thought of as my dad for 30 years. But I know I do want to know the medical side of it all. I have health issues that don’t come from my mother’s side of the family, so the answers must lay with him. I want to be knowledgeable about health issues so I can protect my own children.

So now I just stare at his number… Wondering what I could even say… Wondering how I even start a conversation like this. My grandmother told me that my mum told her that she didn’t want to tell me because I’d want to look for him. Yes Mum, you’re right and despite you not telling anyone his name, we’ve found him… Now just to make that first contact… this is the truly hard part.


Posted by chelseak, 11th August 2013


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  • What did you end up deciding? You are so mindful of possible problems that might come up for him and his family, so thoughtful. But then you need to take thought for your own family’s need for medical history. I hope you found a way : )

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  • I am adopted. I went to the best family I could ever hope for. And wait for it, Yes, I’m a twin. We were so lucky to be adopted out together. 47 years ago it hardly every happened. We were born premature; our natural Mum was told by my maternal Grandfather that she would not be a ‘scarlet women’ and sully his good name. She was then shipped off to Australia from New Zealand to give birth to twins, have one little look and have us taken away from her. She went back , but never, ever forgot us, (she told us that she would look at the pictures of twins in New Idea & Women’s Day etc. and wonder if it was us); and we went to Mum and Dad. Beautiful, fantastic, wonderful Mum and Dad. As far as I’m concerned they are my birth parents. Mum looked at the adoption papers in the hospital and remembered our natural mother’s name. She was comfortable enough to give us her name when we were old enough and registered us with Jigsaw. She knew she would always be Mum and Dad would always be Dad. She was actively helping us to find our natural Mother. My sister through serendipity (her boss was head of the genealogical society in our State that wrote magazines, which were delivered worldwide, and to the newsagent in New Zealand where my natural Mum worked) found her against all odds. She received a phone call from a 3rd party who asked about us and apparently passed the info along. When contact was established my sister told me ‘let’s go meet her’. I said I wanted nothing to do with it, I felt nothing for this woman, no hatred, no love, just nothing, the only thing I was interested in was the medical history (which has now come in handy). I’ll never forget my sister saying. You bitch, how can you be so selfish? I told her it was my choice but if she wanted to she should go for it. My mum and dad are now dead, but I’m so glad my sister did go for it. Mum and Dad used to talk to my natural mum every Christmas day when she phoned us. She even wrote to them and they to her. They encouraged me to talk to her and write to her. I did this, but have still not met her. My natural Grandmother died after we had made contact with our Mum and my natural Grandfather who shipped her to Australia died 7 years before contact was made. My twin sister had had numerous trips to New Zealand visiting. I regret not going over and meeting her before she died. I still talk to my natural Mum on the phone and am planning a trip to visit her in the next couple of years. From the first contact with the 3rd Party with my sister, it took my natural Mum two years to make contact again. It took her that long to prepare her family, her daughter and her brothers etc. She had married again, but he had passed away. She told us that our natural father passed her in the street many years ago and said ‘how is your daughter – not us, but the daughter she had when she eventually married. She did not tell him about us. I always wonder what my natural father is like. Should I look for him? I asked my natural Mum for a name and was given one. I searched the NZ phone book and was amazed at how many men had his name. Where do I start, I know he doesn’t know about us. That was 4 years ago, I’m still deciding what to do about my natural father. Of course I wonder about him, I wonder all the time. I was angry for a long time as to why she ‘gave us away’ until I spoke to her the second time. The first time I spoke to my natural mum (by phone) I said ‘why did you give us away’, started crying and slammed the phone down. Whatever you decide, it is okay. Okay to make contact, okay to hold onto the information whilst you decide what to do. Okay to be angry or sad. You’ll make the right choice for yourself in time. I wish you all the luck. I truly do.


    • Thank you for sharing your story as well.

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  • Goodluck in what ever you decide to do….It must be so hard for you and I do wonder if your mum had a reason to keep this from you. But you dont want to live your life not knowing. But at the end of the day your dad is your dad and no amount of genetics will change that. It takes more than sperm to be a dad (sperm makes a father, a dad is the one that is there for you). Do what feels right, and either way (if he embraces you as a daughter or turns you away) at least you know. Good luck hun.

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