Day 5 – SOLSC #sol1
Facebook can be a bad thing, but it can also be a good thing. It can distract you from life. It can make you angry. It can make you laugh. It can help you to stay in touch with family and friends. It can occupy all of your free time – if you let it. For us, Facebook turns out to mostly be a good thing. After all, if it wasn’t for Facebook, my husband might have never found his biological father, after being separated for 28 years.
28 years is a long time for a son to be without his father, and for a father to be without his son. I can’t even imagine what those years would be filled with. Anger, sadness, wishing, hoping, praying? My father-in-law’s 28 years without his son were probably filled with all of these and so much more. But, my husband’s years were not really filled with anything but wonder.
Brad was born in South Carolina and moved to New York when he was about 4 years old with his mom, stepfather, and step-brothers. He didn’t know much about his real father; just that his name was Andy. For many Christmases he would receive mystery gifts – never a card. He was told they were from his grandparents, but he remembers having this feeling that they were from his dad. Maybe it was just hope or his intuition – who knows. But, when he was 16 years old, all of his hopes and dreams of one day meeting his biological father vanished when he was told that his biological father had passed away.
Years went by, we got married, and started our own family. Life was good, but lingering curiosity about his dad persisted in his mind. He started doing some research (without me knowing), but it turned out that he had been looking up the wrong name. I had once pointed out on his birth certificate that his dad’s name was Roy Andrew, not Andy. I thought nothing of it at the time, but as it turns out, that tiny detail ended up being the missing piece of his puzzle.
One night, after more secretive research, Brad came to me and said “I think my dad is still alive.” I remember not knowing what to say – I was shocked. Could this be true? Is he still alive? And then he showed me the picture he found on this Facebook page. I looked at it and froze. The man in the picture had a gray beard and dark sunglasses on so I couldn’t see his eyes. But, I just stared at his nose and mouth – I couldn’t look away. It was like I was looking at Brad’s nose and mouth. They were the same (thinking about it now still gives me the chills). Could this man really be his dad? Could his dad really be alive? I remember praying that it could be true. Together, we did some more research. We had to be sure before contacting this stranger. Once Brad was sure enough he said, “I’m just gonna send the message. What do I have to lose?” And that’s exactly what he did – and didn’t hear anything for 11 days.
Those 11 days were pure agony. He just wanted to know one way or the other – “Is he my father? Isn’t he? Just respond one way or another.” I remember the protective mother hen coming out in me – “I’m gonna send this man a message and give him a piece of my mind for leaving Brad in suspense.” And then it happened. On the morning of May 25, 2011, Brad opened up Facebook on his phone, and he had a message waiting for him. The message that made all of his dreams come true…
“I am, without a doubt, your biological father.”
Miracles can happen. Dreams do come true. Prayers do get answered. Second chances are possible. Love wins.
(Stay tuned for the second part of this story – the Reunion)