I just found my family, but now I’m worried that my real dad won’t want me.

Be patient, says our elder. He’s had a shock, and these things take time.

Dear EWC

So I recently found my family… I’ll elaborate. I’ve never known or even met my father. The story my mother always told me was this guy, L, was my father and he left as soon as my mother was pregnant. Fast forward, 27 or 28 years, L makes contact with my mother. I try to make contact with him, but he silently ignores me. So, my patience grows thin and I contact who I thought my was my brother. Long story short, L denies I’m his son. So I devise a plan. I take the Ancestry DNA test because it matches you with living relatives. I figure I would provide him proof I was his son by relation to his family. I got the results and L is not my father.

However, I have found my family by finding an aunt and first cousin I’ve never heard of. I found this out a week and a half ago, and I’ve been in contact with just a few family members. I’ve met my new aunt and cousins. They have a big family and this whole thing has really caused my emotions to go through a roller coaster. They’ve also contacted my father, I have not spoken to him. My aunt, his sister has told him. He is of course in shock and embarrassed. I’ll call him R. I don’t know how to quite deal with this situation. I feel like they may not want me around, even though I’ve met them. His hesitation to even want to speak with me is also a cause for concern. Part of me feels like I know what will come of this; my aunt will tell me that he wants nothing to do with me and I am to leave them alone. Not sure what I’m looking for or how I should handle this. I’ve been trying to keep my mind occupied, but it’s even interfering with my sleep. I got the answers I wanted, but now I feel like I’m about to be shown the door lol. I know it’s only been a week and a half since this whole thing happened, but I can’t help feel it’s heading towards disaster. Am I being crazy and overly emotional to think straight or could I be right?

Georgia-Nana replies

Your letter is very interesting and I will do my best to help you.

I fully understand your anxiety about what will happen with your newfound family. It’s a plus that you are communicating with your aunt. I would hope you can build a solid relationship with her and would advise you to avoid focusing on your father when you are talking with her.
Your biological father may still be processing the information that he has a child he didn’t know about. If he is married and has other children, and if he has told them about you, their lives will be changed by this as well.

Your father’s life has been on a certain path and by now, his habits and values are probably set. He may be wondering how he would fit you into his life. This could take some time to work out.

One thing to consider: What is a dad? A stepfather who raised you? Other men in your life who cared about you — uncles, maternal grandfather, etc.? If you were lucky enough to have a caring father figure in your life, that love can help sustain you through this difficult time.
In the world of genealogy, there is some discussion about this — is it “nature or nurture” that makes us who we are. Nature, our biological parents. Or nurture, which includes people who are not our biological parents but who cared about us and helped make us who we are today. I believe it’s probably some of both.

Consider writing your father a letter and telling him about yourself. He may recognize himself in you and that could help bring you together. If you don’t hear back from him, give him some time and space to digest this new development in his life.

Time often gives us the answers we seek; it just takes patience to let things work out. Get busy with your life; school, work, hobbies, and other relationships — focus on them and this could provide the distraction you need right now to stop the worry about your relationship with your father.

Other people often don’t do what we want; that is the cause of much of the pain in this world, I believe. Learning to be grateful for the love we do have in our lives and accepting that we usually can’t change others is the path to peace of mind, I think.

So, in summary, I would advise: Build your relationship with your aunt. Avoid talking about your need for acceptance from your father. Give him some time and space to work this out. Get busy with your own life.

Love and value yourself. Regardless of how this turns out, know that you are a good person, worthy of love and acceptance.

Letter #: 425812
Category: Family

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