Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Finding My Real Father

Me and Dad before the news
When I was 12, my parents called me downstairs and told me that we needed to talk. I remember my mom started getting choked up and the first thing that she said was "sperm doesn't make a dad, it makes a father." She went on to tell me that the dad I had known and loved for 12 years wasn't my biological dad. I looked over at my always stoic dad and saw tears in his eyes for the first time in my life. I felt like those movie scenes where the camera zooms in, but the background zooms out. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I had no idea what to think or how to feel.

They told me that mom had gotten pregnant when she was 16 and bio dad, Daryl, was 15 and just a friend of a friend. I was conceived and born in Southern California and as far as I know, bio dad only met me once or twice as a baby. His mom wanted to adopt me, but mine said no. When I was almost a year old, my mom decided that the neighborhood we lived in wasn't safe anymore so she moved up to Portland, OR to live with her dad. After the move, she lost contact with Daryl and his family and shortly after, met my dad and they got married and he legally adopted me when I was a few years old.

Being adopted is such a weird thing. I had a dad. And growing up, my dad was great. I didn't need anything. But I still felt like something was missing. I started to feel like something was wrong with me. What had I done to make him not want to stay? I dealt with so many years of abandonment issues. I remember the day they told me, going up to the bathroom mirror and just staring at myself. I felt like a stranger in my own skin. I felt like all at once I knew exactly who I was, but also had no idea. That night I lay in bed just feeling my face and arms and legs and feeling like an alien.

After that day, I thought about Daryl every now and then but never gave finding him much thought. My mom let it be known from the beginning that finding him was totally up to me and she would support me either way. These were the days before the internet-- finding a person involved a lot of work or Maury Povich. When I was 24, I was diagnosed with a heart condition and every piece of paperwork I filled out had an entire blank half that was "family history." I started to think more about finding Daryl, but was still scared and held back.

When I was 26, I moved to LA. One day I was getting my oil changed out near where I was born and drove by the hospital for the first time that I was born in. It finally hit me-- I needed to know. That night I called my mom and told her I was finally ready to find Daryl and she was behind me 100%.

The next day, I started what I thought was going to be a long and arduous process. All I knew about this guy was his first and last name, his approximate age, and where he want to high school. That was it. My first search was Facebook and that turned out to be a bust. Next I tried since I knew his school info. I hit the enter button and up popped a face that matched with the name. I sent the pic to my mom to see if it was him and her words were "Oh my god. He is older, but I'll never forget that face."

I sat staring at my computer screen for a long time. I studied his face. He looked kind. He also looked like he had broken his nose a few times. He was young and handsome. I hoped he was a good man. I held my breath and wrote the weirdest and scariest email I have ever written in my life. I basically told him that I wasn't sure if he had a new family or if they knew about me and I wasn't trying to stir up any trouble. I told him that I wasn't asking him for anything-- money or a relationship-- I just had some questions I wanted to ask. I even said that if he could put me in contact with his mom instead, that would be totally fine. I didn't want to scare him away. I hit the send button and cried a little and then let it go.

Two days later, my mom called me crying, barely able to speak, and told me to open my classmates profile. There waiting for me was a message from Daryl. He told me that he had missed me my entire life. He told me that he had been through some trouble, but when he finally got it together, he couldn't find me or my mom and it was too late. He sent me his phone number and within hours, we were talking on the phone. He told me that his entire family knew about me and that he kept a picture of me in his wallet. He told me that I had 3 brothers. He told me that there were no major health problems on his side. He told me that his birthday had been a few days prior and that finding me was the best birthday present he could have asked for. He wanted to meet me immediately.

At the end of this day, my head was spinning. I was thrilled! I had been wanted after all! There was nothing wrong with me! I wanted to meet him and his whole family RIGHT NOW! I went home and Trevor sort of talked me off of the ledge. He told me that maybe I should slow down and take it all in and figure out what I really wanted to do and not get swept up in my Oprah moment. He was right. A few months later, Daryl was in town so I agreed to take Trevor to meet him and his girlfriend for dinner.
Me and Daryl at my wedding

We sat across the table from each other just staring at each others faces. I can't even tell you what a Twilight Zone moment that whole dinner was. It was the best and most weird all at once. After dinner we parted ways but kept in contact. The following year, Trevor and I got married and I invited Daryl. Let me tell you, he was the talk of the town. For 27 years, to my entire family, Daryl had just been a name. And all of my friends thought he was a babe, which was super gross and weird. It is the curse of having young parents. But I am glad that he came and was able to share in one milestone moment
in my life.

I don't consider Daryl my "dad." I also don't consider him my sperm donor. He is a nice man that gave me life. He has a good heart and he has tried his best. We have since fallen out of touch, but that's ok. I went into finding him with an open mind and no expectations and I feel that what I got out of it was the best of all possible scenarios. I know that a lot of people go on the same hunts only to have their hearts broken. I wake up every morning now feeling that my last puzzle piece is in place and knowing exactly who I am and why.
Thank you for my life, Daryl. It is the best gift anyone has ever given me.


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  2. What a touching story Cherry <3

  3. A beautiful story, cherry! Thanks for sharing xx

  4. Thanks for Sharing. My Mother had a baby who was adopted by another family after becoming a single mother to two small children after her marriage broke down. I am from her second marriage. It's helpful knowing the other side.

  5. That is quite touching and honestly thanks to this post I don't feel weird out since I've been planning for who gods knows how long to track down my family from my dad side (he was adopted). The only thing that I know is that they're from Russia and Latvia and maybe still in New York that all I know.


  6. What an amazing story! I'm glad the outcome was a good one and you were able to find some peace of mind. You have a strong and brave soul and you are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing! :)

  7. I have a VERY similar story, only I am the mom. I appreciate, like my daughter, you don't seem to be bitter towards your mother or dad. I know that the thought of my daughter being angry was a huge burden for me for many years. I got to choose her amazing dad and he's still daddy, 22 years later. She, too,respects both men, the one that taught her life and the one that gave her life. That's a huge blessing to not be angry and feel peace. My daughter, I believe, is equally blessed, as am I. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I'm glad things worked out well even if it was short term.

  9. Bravo darling! So glad that you were able to create an amicable and hopefully lasting connection with Daryl!

  10. Your bravery to find him not knowing the outcome is admirable 💚 Wishing you happiness, love and positivity for years to come 💚

  11. Beautiful! My brother went through a similar situation. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. Oh what a beautifull story ! And it's look like... My life.
    My mom got pregnant of a married man so she decided to keep the baby, alone... It was me ! Then she met my father when i was 2 years old. He adopted me, they got married and had a baby, my brother.
    I knew the thruth since my 20 years old. I met my biological father when i was 28 years old, when i try to get pregnant too : i need to know my family story and my family medical story.
    Now i'm a mother of a lovely girl, i sent a card to my biological father when she was born.
    So, thanks for sharing your story,
    Merci beaucoup, elle m'a beaucoup touchée et elle m'a rappelée tellement de souvenirs...
    XoXo - French Girl

  15. That was great to read. I am also adopted but by my grandparents on my mother's side. Until I was 12 I thought my bio mum was my sister! Again, thanks for sharing.

  16. My bio mom got pregnant by a married man, but my bio dad and his wife adopted me. His wife, my adopted mom, didn't know the truth about my dad until I was 6 or so. I grew up to know them as my parents and didn't find out the truth until I was in my 30s and my adopted mom had died. I had had suspicions before that, but couldn't pin down the story and nobody would tell me. My bio dad passed a couple of years ago and I have found my birth mom's family, but she died in 2008 at 49. It's so great that you were able to meet your bio dad, even if you've fallen out of touch.

  17. Whoa! Somehow I missed this one! So crazy! Your story is nearly identical to mine right down to finding him on classmates! I also told him I didn't want any money or expect a relationship, I just wanted some medical info since my son was born with a birth defect (totally fine now). I was raised by my grandmother and my mom's brother. My uncle died when I was in high school but I considered him my dad. Sometimes our bio dads are gifts that keep giving and other times, like you said, they are dads that give us life! My dad walked me down the aisle last year. All my friends and family also thought he was hot. My mom and him were pretty young too! I also gained a brother. We aren't all super close but we talk now and then and meet for lunch when he is in town. I loved your story. Many parts touched my heart because it felt the same! Thanks for sharing!

  18. I was diagnosed with poor ovarian reserve and very bad prognosis of having a baby with my own eggs. I was even given the option to consider donor eggs. That was around july 2014. I was absolutely devastated with the news and I arranged an IVF for November 2016 and it failed also, given that I had nothing to lose, I contacted ( ) i meet online and he send me his herbal product,. Believe it or not... I am already pregnant within few week after his help. contact him today with any kind of problem and be happy like me on: OR call or WHATSAPP +2348104102662

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