The question of Fatherhood

This is quite a serious topic of conversation for me.  I am actually making this public for the first time in my life. I seem to be doing a lot of that lately 🙂

When I was 21 I found out that my Daddy wasn’t my biological Father.

I actually didn’t have a problem with this at the time. I love my Daddy with my heart and soul.  He has always been My Daddy – hence me not worrying about this fact…. which isn’t small but quite huge in the large scheme of things.

I had my last living child in 1986 and a couple of years later, thought about contacting my biological father.  I don’t know why I wanted to do this at that time.  Maybe it was the fact that I had children now and wondered if they looked like him at all and various other reasons.

Anyway, in about 1988 I spoke to my husband Brian and told him about my desire to meet my biological father and the reasons. He thought it was a really good idea and flew the children and myself down to my home-town (that is where my biological father was living) in South Africa.

I had known where he lived for years and years and even knew the company he worked for.  In fact, when I lived in the same town, I was a consultant and used to call on the company he was working at but didn’t do anything about meeting him because at that time, I wasn’t interested.

I phoned him and introduced myself to him over the telephone and he was very friendly, quite pleasant in fact!  I told him that I didn’t want anything from him, but that I now had children and was just wondering if they resembled him in any way, or took after him in any way.  I told him that I just wanted to meet him so that I could at least know what he looked like.

My Aunt had worked with him for many years, and had stayed in contact with him and he had apparently always asked after me. For whatever reason, he had not stayed in contact with my Mother and my Father had married her when she was still pregnant with me.  My Daddy used to be my Aunt’s boyfriend (complicated, to say the least)….

We arranged a meeting place and he said that he was looking forward to meeting me as an adult and that he had seen me many times as a child – but I of course, could not remember any of this.  He also said that his current family were not aware of ‘me’ and that he would appreciate my keeping this to myself as his wife was not a well person and didn’t want to upset the apple cart, so to say, and also… he already had children that were not aware of me.

Of course, I had no desire to upset his family or lay claim to him for that matter.  I just wanted to meet him and to be quite honest, see if he and I looked alike at all and whether there were any similarities – considering I was not brought up in his company.  Genetics and all that …..

I went to our arranged meeting place and …. he did not pitch.

My first thought was to think the best – because that is always what I do with anybody.  I don’t know to this day, whether this is a good thing or not… but I tend to make my own opinions about situations and people and never, listen to heresay! I believe it is a good thing!

I thought possibly he had been held up at work or the traffic was bad or heaven forbid that he had an accident or something like that!

As it turned out, I received a letter in the post the following day from an attorney who advised me that this man had no intention of ever meeting with me, that he denied being my biological father (even though he had admitted this to me on the telephone) and that he would sue me if I ever tried to contact either him or his family.  Now normally, this would have made me rather angry – .. he knew as well as I did that he was my biological male parent. (My aunt had always said that I had his ears – funny that) I have big ears whereas my Mom has tiny little things 🙂

I wasn’t angry … just disappointed!  I honestly believed that HE was the one missing out on a wonderful daughter and grand children that he had never known.

I phoned the attorney and told him that I would not contact this man, that in fact, he was the one missing out and as I had never known him, would make no difference to my life at all. I told him that I had a Father who was deserving of the name Daddy as that is what he had always been to me.

Of course, being the inquisitive person that I am…. I couldn’t leave it at that.  My friend and her Mom and I drove to the street where he lived and I did the most terrible thing – I knocked on his door (I saw people/children staring through a window, curtains pulled to the side) and he answered.  I told him that I was extremely embarrassed but that I needed to use the ladies immediately and would he mind me using their rest room.  He smiled and told me that it wasn’t a problem at all and showed me through.

My heart was beating and felt like it was coming through my chest :)… I waited a while, pulled the chain, washed my hands and slowly walked back into the lounge, living area and thanked him for his kindness.  (I just wanted to see what he looked like).

I left and thought to myself that I would not contact him again, ever, and that I had seen him now with my own eyes.  I did cry when I was on my own – I cried about all the things he had missed in his life by not knowing us and not having the opportunity to know his own grandchildren.  I saw my parents that evening and did not even let on what I had done and just told my Dad that I loved him very much.  This didn’t come as a surprise to him and wasn’t out of the ordinary because I have always been an affectionate person. (Although he wasn’t).. But I knew that he loved me dearly!

I am rather different to my two sisters in looks . My one sister is 48 today and is mentally retarded and only about 12 years old, in mind. My hubby and I  taught her to write her name when she was about 15 years old.

When my mother was pregnant with her, she had German Measles and my mother and father decided that they would continue with the pregnancy and not terminate as the doctors had suggested.  They decided that no matter what they would care and look after her.

Today, believe it or not – she is married and has a husband who dotes on her. She cannot have children, of course.

This year I heard that my biological father had died and that his wife had also died a few years previous to this.  I also found out that I had a half brother and sister.

Since he was no longer alive and nor was his wife I decided to contact my half sister and wished to meet with her. I had seen a photograph of her and strangely enough, we knew the same people.  She is an attorney still living in my home-town.  I found her through Facebook – the wonderful site where long lost friends find each other and where new friends are made on a daily basis.

I sent her an email asking her to confirm who her father was etc…. and she confirmed this.  She is a quite a bit younger than myself. (But then again, I am not exactly a spring chicken so she isn’t a youngster anymore – smile on my face 🙂

I felt she was old enough to hear about me and thought it would be wonderful to get to know the sister I had never known and of course hoped the same reaction from her.

She sent me an email saying that she remembered me contacting her family years ago, that her Father had told the family that there was a young woman who ‘claimed’ to be his iligitimate daughter and that if they heard anything like this they were to ignore it as this was not true and that I was only after his money.

She said that she did not believe me.  I sent her an email saying that I was prepared to have a DNA sibling test done (all for my own cost) and that this would indeed put an end to any misconceptions.  She replied by saying that she was not interested and that I was to leave her alone.

I have not contacted her again.

This has been on my mind a lot lately, for some or other reason;

and my question to all of you reading this is:  

Do you think I should just leave this there ~ or do something more formal to get these tests done?

After all, this is to do with my children’s heritage as well….

Please let me have your thoughts – I would love to hear from you?

14 Responses to “The question of Fatherhood”
  1. Alexis Grace says:

    Gosh Debra— This is a tough one! I admire your bravery lately and the sharing of so many personal secrets.

    I don’t know what the value would be in finding all this out. I understand the technical value, but I am not sure you would get much out of it—- especially now that your biological father has passed away. My suspicion is it will always leave you somewhat unfulfilled….

    BUT I have no real understanding of this. SO my best suggestion would be to pray on it. And wait for God to open or close the appropriate door.

    • Debra says:

      What I will get out of all this is that I have publicly released all of this which is satisfying for my mind and soul! It means that I am ready to let go 🙂

  2. Lynn Walters says:

    Wow Debbie, As Alexis says, that this is a tough one and I too admire you for sharing this.

    My take on this, is that you know the truth in your heart, that she is your half sister and you know in your heart that he was your dad, that truth no one can take it away from you. The truth has set you free, what is sad is that she is going to wonder about you for the rest of her life, because she is afraid of the truth and also I would imagine that she does not want to believe that her dad could do such a thing, by leaving a little girl out there and not telling them about her.

    My suggestion is to pray and ask God to set her free and to give you wisdom in how to go forward with what is burning on your heart.

    love Lynn

  3. Fudge says:

    debra…you are such a sensational person and it is sad that you have been hurt so much. I have just had an incident with my own brother in law and he took all his details off my computer so that I would not contact him know your truth and there comes a time when you have to count your gifts and let unworthy people go….itis hard but i think essential that you stop looking back into the darkness and that you turn your face towards the sun and move full steam ahead without them. love and light xxxx Fudge xxxx

  4. Roni says:

    Wow Debra – what a story and wish I could give you one huge hug after reading that! This young ladies rejection of you, is her loss as she clearly missing out on one helluva half sister. I understand the curiosity and the hurt of the rejection but remember a bit of sperm does not make a man a parent. Being there for all the steps along the way of growing up, nurturing you, loving you, caring for you as your “real” Dad has done, is what makes one a parent. Loads of love and hugs to you. ♥ ♥ ♥ Roni

  5. Marelise says:

    ‎:( Debra, I fully agree with Fudge. At the end of the day they are the ones who are missing out. The ball is now in their court. It is difficult but rather focus on people that make you happy and forget about the ones who don’t.

  6. Barbara says:

    Go ahead and have the tests done for your own peace of mind

    • Debra says:

      I don’t need to do this anymore – if ‘she’ wants to, I will be here, and if I am not here, my children also have DNA and will carry mine 🙂

  7. Bibi says:

    Dear Debra, you are such a sweet and caring person and these people don’t deserve you in their life….I know it might be hard, but you truly don’t need them to find out who you are and who your kids are… are your own person… are the person your loving parents raised….you carved your own way in this world

    This might be harsh, but I would think of your biological father only as a sperm donor and leave it as such.

    As others here mentioned….you know the truth and many people are afraid of the unknown and of the truth so they will fight very hard against it. You don’t need to be part of their fight because….you can sleep at night knowing the truth…..they are the ones that will ALWAYS wonder.

    • Debra says:

      Thank you – as intellectuals we know what is right and wrong and what is important and not – but, sometimes you just ‘need’ to hear it from someone else’s perspective and have confirmation!

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