Sitting with your toes in the water and your butt in the sand at a family reunion is probably the last place you would picture your world to come tumbling down around you but that’s exactly where mine did. I opened my text messages to a screenshot from my cousin of a family friend’s post on Facebook. They didn’t name any names but from the post you could tell it was about my mother, which wasn’t shocking. My mother is very problematic, so problematic that I haven’t spoken to her in 3 years. There was one thing that left me shocked though. Once I read this seventeen word sentence the rest of the post became a blur and my heart began to race.
“You went and got knocked up by another guy while separated and went back to your husband.”
No matter which way I looked at it or how much I was denying it in my mind, I knew the truth. I kept wishing, hoping that it was a lie or a mistake. My dad has always been extremely against abortion. My brother is a spitting image of my dad that in no way, shape, or form could I question if he was this mysterious love child. It was me.
My brother was feet behind me. I sent him the screenshot my cousin had sent me. As he read the post my eyes were filling up with tears but he wasn’t understanding. The same part that had stood out to me wasn’t standing out to him. After he read the whole post I had to point it out and explain my concerns. His mind didn’t skip a beat and he was sure it was a lie. He was so sure he even decided to march right up to my dad in front of all our family and ask him, “what’s this about?”
The conversation quickly switched to anything but the post at hand. The day inched forward at a remarkably slow pace. My mind was in a daze and the sinking feeling in my stomach grew. I couldn’t even look my dad in the eye.
My brother drove my dad home and I was itching to know exactly what was said in the car ride home. My brother wasn’t texting me which only grew my suspicion. After a really long two hours I finally texted my brother hoping he would tell me “it was a lie” but his response gave it all away. I looked at my phone and my brother’s text said, “He said nothing.”
I texted the one person I thought I’d never speak to again for the confirmation I needed, my mother. I rewrote my message over and over. What do you write knowing your world is about to be changed forever by the answer? I settled on “Is my dad my real dad?” All she responded was “let’s meet.”
That was the moment I knew. My knees gave out and the tears came before I even realized I was crying. I couldn’t catch my breath and I was shaking as I dialed the number I always did when I had a problem, my dad’s.
He answered the phone casually, like nothing was wrong. I choked out the question I needed the answer too, “Are you my real dad?” When he answered I heard the tears in his voice and my heart broke into a million pieces. He told me this wasn’t the kind of thing to talk about over the phone.
My whole world changed, but also stayed the same, from one Facebook post. I drove directly to my dad’s house that night and found out at 25 years old that the dad I’ve had my whole entire life isn’t actually my biological father.
As of right now I’m questioning a lot of things. Who is the sperm donor that started my life? Do I have his eyes? Do I have other siblings? What are his parents like? Do they know? How would my life be if my dad decided he wanted nothing to do with his wife’s love child? One thing I’m not questioning though is how amazing my dad is! My mom was an alcoholic. Since as early as I can remember she’s never really been around. Up until I was 12 she was always physically there but mentally she was either on drugs, drunk, or out with her friends instead of taking care of her kids. It was always my dad that was there. He was the one who made sure there was dinner on the table every night, that my brother and I finished our homework, and was the one who drove me to every cheer leading practice.
I always looked up to my dad and admired him. It’s tough being a single dad raising a teenage girl but yet, he did it. Years later, I find out not only did he raise a teenage girl all alone he raised a teenage girl who wasn’t biologically his and I can’t even express the admiration I have for that. The news that I found out doesn’t change any of that. He is my dad, and my only dad, that I love with all of my heart. He taught me all about love and life.
As for my mom? Not even 24 hours later she is out partying. She kept messaging me that night. She did what she does best. She played the victim. Her side of the story is that she never lied to me, it was my dad who lied. She’s currently blackmailing me. If I want any information about anything that happened she wants me to meet up with her. However, In my mind finding out about the random guy who’s DNA is in me isn’t worth meeting her.
If I learned anything from this- any man can be a father but only someone special can be a dad.