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Staring into His Eyes for the First Time- Meeting my Father

Getting a bit more personal than I have in a while, some of you have asked that I share this experience and to be honest, I feel that as it pertains to my own level of personal confidence and value and worth, I need to share.

Where do I begin?

Meeting my father and his/my family

I LOOK Just. Like. Him.

This September, I turn 32. Thirty-Two years old and meeting my father for the first time. Growing up without my father and FINALLY meeting him raised feelings I never knew existed, showed me actions in my life that were both protective, questionable, and understandable…

Seven years ago, I decided to Google my father. Then I was 24, about to graduate from undergrad, dating a man I was in love with and was curious about where I came from. Unbeknownst to me, it was father’s day when I found him. This week was both the highest, lowest, and most self-revealing time that both excited and scared me.

You see, I grew up with a single mother and a grandmother who pushed independence, education, and self-preservation.  My mother wanted me to see the world, be able to stand on my own two feet with or without a man, teaching me to cook, clean, be a lady, eat at a $5 or $5000 table, and to have my education to lean on.

All I knew was how to be strong- or how to push aside my emotions and forge ahead. To keep moving forward regardless of circumstance. I longed for Love.

But growing up as a child, I longed for my father. Longed for the hugs from the man who I came from. Longed for those father daughter dances. Longed for the love and affection from the man I never known to be my father.

In that longing, I acted out. I buried my feelings. I over achieved. I sought out acceptance from others. I longed for love.

It was hard for me NOT to question myself with what’s wrong with me. What did I do wrong? Was I not good enough? Why am I being punished? Why doesn’t my father love me? I constantly questioned my existence. I never felt like I was good enough, so I had periods of my childhood where I rebelled and then others where I worked and hustled even harder to prove myself to whomever…

All of these thoughts that until a date was set, I never knew that were buried under the surface- all the while time formed a protective barrier always second guessing, questioning, and doubting a man’s affection…

Seven years I waited, emotionally conflicted.

Seven years since finding him, I also found my father’s family (or they found me rather). A few cities away this whole time. Seven years since finding him, he lived in Mississippi, now a PASTOR, with three children and a stepdaughter.

Where do I fit in? I asked myself.

These past seven years, I waited… exchanged phone calls and listened to promises of meeting in real life. I was conflicted, frustrated, excited, and spent. Was our meeting really going to happen? Would I have the chance to hug my father and stare into the eyes of the man who I was half of? Would I be accepted 100%? Was I ready for this emotionally? How would I feel? How would his family feel? How do I make room for this family and their love? Was I capable of making room?

As you can see, I had questions.

But my emotions are what surprised me the most.

Emotions that ran deep. Deeper than I ever knew. Emotions suppressed.

Then a date was set.

He was headed to California for my cousin’s wedding and wanted to make time for us to finally meet. Again, I was conflicted. Emotions surfaced. My nerves were shaken. Every call I had with him leading up to our meeting left me in tears and an emotional wreck.

Thank GOD for friends, Uncles, Stepfathers, and Brothers in Law.

As I drove to my aunt’s (his sister’s home) accompanied with my close friend, my nerves took over. I was afraid. I had no expectations- trying to protect myself and keep myself ready for the worst. This day, I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. As I pulled up, my cousin (who if not for her, this would not have happened) was there with my father.

He was Tall.

He was a bit of a light bright.

He was handsome.

He had tears.

And…

I Looked. Just. Like. Him.

Meeting my father and his/my family

We stared. We hugged. There was silence. And the only thing I could find myself saying was that “I look just like you.”

I cannot even begin to put to words how therapeutic it was to look into the eyes of the man you come from, knowing WHERE you come from. See, I vaguely resembled my mother, but my father? Even as I write this, I have tears. Overwhelming, disbelief, and relief all fill my heart and mind…

There was NO denying this.

Meeting my father and his/my family

We talked. We spoke. I was both frank and open. I shared my feelings, opened up emotionally; my family surrounded me with love and acceptance.

I prayed for this. Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes as this makes me so grateful and happy about this chapter, this little girl’s wish, and the new family who opened their arms to me.

Meeting my father and his/my family

Over the next few days, I met my great aunt (my grandmother’s sister), celebrated in my cousin’s wedding festivities, and spent quality time with my newly found sisters.

Meeting my father and his/my family

I AM BLESSED.

Meeting my father and his/my family

Interestingly enough, this could not have been better timed. You see, I am currently at a place where I am ready for a relationship. Ready for my own love and family… but I did not want the baggage of my emotions with and of my father to come to and with my relationships. Maybe this was why I busied myself in work… SMH.

I am BLESSED.

To have met my father, my sisters, my cousins, my aunt, and others and to celebrate in this momentous time in my family’s life- my cousin’s wedding, THIS was a blessing. My Aunt Shon was even rocking a Monif C Dress!

Meeting my father and his/my family

 

I think to myself how fortunate I am… to have the chance to find my father, come to terms with my emotions and inner turmoils, and to finally look him in the eyes- I am blessed. BEYOND.

This could have gone a gazillion different ways and I am grateful that I kept my heart open and teachable and reachable to allow my father and his family into my heart. I now feel, in the weirdest way complete…

One Chapter closed and a new one to be written… where will this new relationship and family fit in? I do not know. All I know is that I am so grateful for this chance to let love into a place where fear, doubt, and emotional scars once lived. Baby steps. Baby Steps. Baby Steps.

I am Open…

This transition will be work. Engaging my new half of my family, getting used to having two sides to interact with, remembering to call my aunt and cousins to say hi. This will take some time. This will be a welcomed change that I have to work on and with. THIS will be the new step into my future mending old wounds, creating new memories, and learning who I am and where I come from…

I AM OPEN

I wanted to share this as some have asked me to share this story, share my thoughts, share my concerns, and talk this out… for my own emotional growth and sanity… I hope my sharing helps those of you who are and have gone through this as well… in one way or the other…

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Written by Marie Denee

I am the Editor in Chic of The Curvy Fashionista. Often goofy. Forever emo. Always a Virgo. You can find me somewhere grooving to 90s R&B.

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  1. I’ve been a fan of yours for over a year now and was surprised when finding this article when I googled “meeting your father for the first time” thank you for sharing. Two days ago my bio father’s family found me and we are set to meet tomo. I’m not afraid, or nervous but I am feeling very confused. I hope when I meet him these feelings will solidify into something positive.
    Thank you

    • My heart goes out to you and yours… it is an emotional time and let whatever you feel flow through you… do not hold back but embrace and grow through whatever happens tomorrow! I prayed on keeping an open mind and heart in this entire process… my heart out to you boo! XOXOXO GOD LUCK!

  2. I love this post. Brought me to tears as i can relate. I am 25 years old and I grew up with my mother and step father and their child(my sister). At 20 is when I found out my dad wasn’t my biological father as he had been looking for me my whole life (he says). I met my biological father for the first time in October of 2015. He lives in TX, I live in CA. I may or may not continue a relationship with my biological father as it is not supported:/. Thank you for sharing your post and congratulations 🙂

  3. Hello, thank you for this post. I came across your post while searching for “meeting dad for first time.”

    Like yourself, I grew up in a single parent household. Not having my dad in life hurt like hell! But more than anything, I just wanted to see the face of the other half that brought me into this world. Having a relationship truly doesn’t matter–simply seeing his face is enough to give me closure.

    Here’s where it gets weird. When I would search his name, only white men and one black guy would pop up. Years ago, I sent the black guy a message just asking if he had ever lived in my city. He never responded back, so I left it there assuming he was my dad.

    Tonight, something told me to search again. This time, I decided to hit up someone on his friend list, explaining who I am and giving the few details my mother told me about him to them to see if it matched. (They haven’t checked their message yet, so I decided to do one last search on FB.)

    There was a profile of a musical instrument with the state my dad lived in, so I said to myself, “Go ahead click and see what’s in the profile.” I didn’t think much of it.

    To my surprise, there was one more picture–a picture of a tall, slim, light skin male as my mother described him to be. Also, a dark skin male had left him a comment stating something about being his brother. (My mother told me he had a dark brother.) Since he was more active on FB, I decided to check out his profile to see if there were any details that could assure things for me.

    SHOCKINGLY–his brother listed his hometown as the city my mother said my dad is from. Tears rushed down my face when I saw this info., inside I knew that even if I never speak to him, I know this man is my dad. The picture is enough to give me the closure. As I scanned through the profiles of other people with their surname, I saw what would be my cousins, aunts, even my grandmother who look just like me.

    God has a funny way of doing things and revealing things. Even though the other guy didn’t live in the city/state, I had put in my mind it was him, but now I know for a fact he isn’t and who is.

    Lastly, my other confirmations from God is: I was listening to a random Youtube video while finding his profile and they mentioned the city my dad is originally from. Then when searching for what to expect when meeting your dad for the first time, I found your blog–I am 32 and you stated you met your dad for the first time at this exact age. Thank God for all the signs and finally allowing me to get the closure I very much needed. I am also happy for you because I know how you felt not having him in your life and fianlly being able to have him in it. Stay blessed!

    • OMGGGGGGG! Have you reached out? I need to know more! Thank you so much for sharing your story and I pray for closure and healing for you love! OMG, I need to know what happens! Okay?!

      • Hey, thanks for the reply back. To be honest, I’m scared of what may happen. I haven’t even told my mother yet. I did send a message last night, asking if he lived in a certain area of town in the 80’s just to see his response. I haven’t received a response back yet as he hasn’t been on there since. However, I wonder if he ever will receive it because I have heard that people have to be on your friends list to receive your messages, so unsure.

        I truly appreciate your well wishes. You and your dad are twins lol. You are beautiful people and I’m sooo happy for the both of you as well as your siblings!

  4. I want to thank you for sharing your story! I know this is several years old, but my mom sent it to me because tomorrow I am meeting my father for the first time and couldn’t be more nervous. I am 34 years old and like you have always had that yearning for the missing piece. Last Friday I decided once again to look (as I have on and off for the past 20 years) and bam, one thing led to another and I found him. I am excited but also scared, thinking is he going to live up to the fantasy I have always played in my head of what and who he was. All I know is being in your 30’s and saying over and over again, “i have a Dad” is the most unreal and exhilarating feeling. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I don’t know there wont be a dry eye in the house!

  5. P.s. I also couldn’t help but think, it was totally meant to be it happened to be as well Father’s day weekend!!!

  6. My daughter who’s turning 13 never met her father. I learned that her dad is in London for a visit from USA. A friend of mine suggested the idea that it’s about time for the two to meet up. Although it will be me reaching out to him through social media because we lost contact. I am very hesitant at the same time I knee deep inside it will make her the happiest. Just at a lost about it.

  7. Your story is incredible. Thanks for sharing. I loved every bit of your story. It’s a dream come true. I am a father to a daughter in Spain. Well, I think so… I was in the Air Force and had a girl friend for a short time in Spain. 3 weeks to be exact. Then I returned to Germany. I received one letter from her shortly after returning to Germany, it was a simple letter, like you are a nice guy, I like your smile, etc… I (we) just knew it was nearly impossible to continue a relationship due to such distance. That was it. No more letters, nothing. Well… about 16 months later, the mother eventually wrote me another letter about two months before I departed to Florida. The letter stated that she has a daughter, and I was the father. Well, she hid her pregnancy from me. She waited for the child to be 7 months old, before I was contacted. I was in disbelief. I didn’t believe her at all. I didn’t trust. I didn’t know her any more. I shipped my possessions and left for FL. Never heard from her again. I was curious over many years.. I looked for this child on social media when it became available. From AOL to more common sites after a couple decades. She had a very common Spanish name to work from. Nothing… Then when she was 27 years old I found her on social media. Two years ago now. I was surprised of her resemblance. It was stunning. SHOCKED! I felt so bad, words can’t describe. I eventually reached out to her mom asking permission to speak to her. She eventually approved and even thanked me for letting them live an uncomplicated life. To sum this up quickly, her daughter was head over heals happy, I was an emotional wreck, overwhelmed with happiness, regret. Then things turned for the worse after about one year of very limited sharing of our lives on her behalf. It seems I was too over whelming for her and she said she’s at the end of the road with me. She doesn’t want to talk or even meet me. So, I’m back to square one. Asking why did she retract? No DNA… is she really mine despite such a remarkable resemblance? Is she that hurt that I moved on to FL, feeling abandonment?

  8. Thank you SO much for sharing!!! I, also recently met my Dad at 40 which was surprising because he was “REVEALED” to me as a result of submitting my DNA to Ancestry DNA less than 1 month ago!
    Your article comforted me and helped me to realize that EVERYTHING that I am feeling is “normal”

    I thank you, I thank you, I TRULY THANK YOU!!!!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story! I’m about to meet my biological Dad for the first time in 49 years. I’m feeling so many new emotions that are so foreign to me. Just like others, I submitted my DNA to Ancestry.com just to learn my ethnicity – I had given up finding my father years ago. My DNA matched to a women who is an Aunt to me and a sister to my father. We started messaging, followed by a call from my father (which was MIND BLOWING), followed speaking more with my aunt on the phone and then an uncle. I went from never having a dad (only a single mother) and having a very small family to having a very large family – a father, a grandmother, and 4 siblings! Next week we (husband and son) travel to Idaho to meet many family members. I’m so excited, nervous, and open minded – heart and soul! Yikes/Yay!

  10. Wow! What an amazing story. I, too, and going through the same thing at 30 years old. I didn’t think anyone could possibly be going through the same thing as me and literally just googled “Meeting my biological father for the first time” and came across your story. I am still in the middle of it all- found him, have been speaking to him through text and planning on meeting for the first time in a couple of weeks. The emotions are everywhere and your story really hit home with me. It’s a unique and strange feeling for sure. I am anxious to see where my story ends up. So glad yours turned out great. Much love 🥰

  11. I’ve found so much comfort in reading OP’s story and the stories in the comments! Mine is a story of mom being convinced my dad was one man but DNA said no. Ancestry DNA and a gracious maternal cousin helped me find my dad and I’m meeting him and taking a DNA test on Saturday! I know he’s not going to receive me with open arms because he needs the proof of the paternity test, but maybe when the results come back positive I can finally get my embrace. Thank you all for sharing your stories!

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