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I waited and you did not come for me

March 8, 2012

I have one memory of my biological dad, Mark.  I was three, wearing a striped headband, waiting for him to come pick me up.

He never came.

A few months later, he moved to St. Thomas.  We spoke once when I was nine.  He sounded nice on the phone, I guess.

As I grew up, I assumed he died.  I rarely thought about the man who left me to be raised by my crazy mother.  I was too busy surviving childhood.

Yesterday an old friend of my mother’s called and gave me information about Mark’s whereabouts.

As the person gave me the information, my hands shook so badly that I had to ask them to repeat Mark’s last name seven times as I wrote down the correct spelling.

He’s married.  He’s been married for a long time.

He has four children.

And he moved recently from St. Thomas to North Carolina.

I don’t understand. How come he is alive?  How come he is a dad? That doesn’t make sense to me.  I can’t really understand this.

I spent hours looking up his kids on facebook.  I scanned through pictures, whispering, “does she look like me?” over and over.  

One of his girls looks a lot like me. 

What does this mean?  Am I related to these people?  How come Mark is their father?  

He’s NOT a father.  That’s my narrative.  That’s my truth.

He left me.  HE LEFT.

I waited and he never came.

I put on a new headband and he never came for me and I grew up and told everyone for decades that “I don’t know my biological dad.”  I’ve said the phrase “biological dad” thousands – hundreds of thousands – of times.

Stuff feels like it’s spinning.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know why this matters.  I’m embarrassed that it does.

I’m embarrassed that I care.  

But a part of me wants to forget embarrassment and run screaming out of my house, jump in my car, drive to the Carolina Coast, find him, and just ask:


Why were you THEIR dad, Mark?  Did you ever think about me? Waiting for you by the window in my new headband?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 10:44 am

    Oh, Jess. I can’t even fathom what a maelstrom this must create in your mind and heart. There’s no reason to be embarrassed that it matters- of course it matters. Our hearts are hardwired to having a longing for our fathers, and even when we have our Father, part of us still reaches out for an earthly father. It’s why kids who are adopted as infants still grow up wanting to know their birth parents, and wanting to ask, “why?” If it were me, I would want to contact him. Any shame is his, not yours. He may have a reason. He may not. If he does, you may find it doesn’t matter, or doesn’t matter enough. You love a God who redeems and restores, though, and He is more than mighty enough to bring healing and reconciliation between you and your bio-dad, if that’s what you want. Praying for you to have Jesus’ perfect peace and that His grace is your guiding light and fulfillment, no matter which path you choose.

  2. Rainbow Brite permalink
    March 8, 2012 10:59 am

    Oh Jess, my heart is breaking for you right now. All I can say is that I am praying for you right now, and I am here if you need to talk or scream or cry or just sit in silence. You are loved by many. Don’t ever forget that.

  3. Solveig Engh permalink
    March 8, 2012 12:11 pm

    Some things make no sense and they never will. This is one of those things. His negligence or lack of love is part of your heritage and you’ll have to accept the reality. Ouch. Hurts, I know. Obviously, you won’t–can’t–do it on your own. Other people might help a bit, but in the end, you need a deep, deep healing that only comes from God.

    Someone did something terrible to me–a one-time occurrence–that scarred me and truly altered my ability to interact with others. One day I cried out, “God, where were you, anyway?” And I had a vision of sorts. He was iin the upper right-hand corner of the room.

    I realize this doesn’t make sense, either. Many would think it an insult. But that bit of altered reality somehow brought comfort and healing. At times I’ve wondered why He didn’t intervene, but it doesn’t matter. He was there and He understands and He is enough. He loved me. He loved me through all the aftermath–through all the times I lashed out at Him in fear.

    I don’t claim to have the answers, but I do know God is enough. So hang in there, Jess. I believe this is actually part of your healing. He’s exposing another infection that needs His Spirit. I send my blessings along with prayer. You’re going to make it through to victory in Him.

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