The Journey

The Journey – Audio version

Blog Post read time – 4-6 min.

2018 was the year I fell apart. I lost my job, I lost my apartment, and I ended up losing my freedom. And to make my mental take a deeper hit, I was still feeling lost in my identity disbelieving my true purpose in life. I am wondering if you have ever experienced hardship. Those moments in life that place you on a solitary journey of self-doubt and asking what’s next? I was at that stage in my life where I was just searching for something better in my life. Something to restore my belief that the mistakes I made would not be the end for me. Feeling all of this, I was prompted again with the desire to pick back up on my adoption journey, praying there may be some greater understanding there.

To begin, I did some research online about accessing closed adoption records in Tennessee. I discovered that upon turning 21 any adoptee can request access to their records, sealed or unsealed. I completed the necessary paperwork process and after months of anxiously waiting, I was given the biggest gift I could have ever received, finding the origin of my existence.

Somethings readers should find helpful in making this journey more fruitful was connecting with my case manager in the adoption records department in Nashville. From start to finish, I received quality communication, availability, and clear expectations of the process. The packet containing my adoption history was filled with extensive records, and it took me quite a while to digest everything. Birth certificates, court records, hospital records, case manager notes, and much more. The best part was seeing my actual biological mother’s name and seeing who was allegedly named as my biological father. I felt this wave of emotion wash over me and it was overwhelming. The answers I had been praying and begging for most of my life, were now in my hands.

This packet was thick I tell you…

One of my immediate thoughts was to reconnect with the cousin I had contacted a year ago on 23andme. My hope was that with more information she could help me figure out which side of the family we were connected through. I did not hear a response back and became discouraged.

I felt that I had obtained the Golden ticket from the Chocolate factory, but no one to go inside with

With persistence and perseverance, I continued to try to find someone who could help me confirm this newfound information. I Google searched my biological parents’ names and reached out to my father first. I was excited and nervous once I had his contact information. Who wouldn’t be? Would he accept me? Would he reject me? More importantly, would he believe me? Our first conversation did not go well, and we disconnected. I tried to understand what went wrong. I gave him the adoption record information I had and thought he would be excited and shocked to know of my existence. That was a fantasy I had created in my mind because I had spent years yearning to connect to my biological father, when in reality this man was a stranger to me, and I to him.

I stopped the process again and considered if it was not the right time or the right way. I later redirected my internet search for anyone tied to the familial names I had found through my adoption records and 23 and me. I found an obituary for my biological paternal great-grandmother, who had died, naming a grandson who had the same name as my prospective biological father. I was shocked with disbelief, but as I continued reading the obituary, I saw that the woman had additional family members with a familiar last name. At that moment, the pieces finally began to come together! It was confirmed that my cousin on 23andme had the same last name. Then with disappointment, I realized this was an important link missing in my initial conversation with my father. If I had mentioned 23andme and the connection to my cousin, that might have resonated better with him in how we were connected.

I searched tirelessly on Facebook and other social media sites for my 23andme cousin. I was able to find her several weeks later. I immediately felt a sense of accomplishment, like I was some sort of amateur private investigator. Shortly after she confirmed that my biological father was indeed her cousin, and we were 3rd cousins! She said she knew immediately from my profile picture that I was his son. I cried tears of joy and relief. Finally! All of my dedication and hard work brought me to a point of confirmation. We talked on the phone for hours. We discussed my story and how I arrived at this place. She shared her background and how she believed her 2nd cousin was my father. The love and happiness I felt talking to her were undeniable. Meeting this cousin provided gratitude and a stronger capacity to love myself and others. She did not reject the notion of our connection or the possibility that her cousin has another child he does not know.

 My cousin later took on the responsibility of helping me make a connection with my biological father. She presented him with all the pertinent facts about my coming to be and gave him space to process all of the new information. She also introduced me to my great aunt, her cousin, who shared her value of close family ties. Her role as my 3rd cousin gave her the opportunity to bridge the gap between me and my father. I believe God used her as a secondary family member to strengthen the connection between me and my father. I did not know that God was going to bless me with a new loving family like this in my initial meetings. I had dreamed of it, but my reality has surpassed my dreams.

It’s like looking in a mirror…

 A few weeks after that, I received a call from my biological father randomly. I remember the specific day as I was doing a self-tour at an apartment complex and an unknown area code popped up. I answered and as soon as I heard his voice, I stopped breathing. It was like my body lost all function. I was paralyzed with shock, excitement, nervousness, and surprise altogether. It was not expected, as I thought it would take much longer for him to reach out. He shared some of his life with me and the thoughts that took place when my cousin, shared this new information to him. He was devastated to know that I existed for twenty plus years without his knowledge. He told me that he would have fought for me if he had known. I felt pride at the time, in knowing that my biological father would have wanted me and did not actively choose to relinquish me. He shared that I had other siblings with who he has taken an active role in their lives. Time has taken twenty-five years away from him to watch me grow up. Time has taken twenty-five years away from me to know and love my father. However, twenty-five years gave me the opportunity to come face to face with a man who I know is responsible for my existence. That is still an important realization when I reflect back on the “why” behind embarking on this journey.

See this all comes together when I explore…the connection in my next post.

The Connection (
The Beginning (

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