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My Four Fathers

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My Four Fathers

Sometimes I believe we find forgiveness in the only way we know how.

Bill and Jo

To my siblings’ father whose name is on my birth certificate—I am a spitting image of my birth mother that you obviously cared for deeply, even through her relentless unfaithfulness.

When you signed on the dotted line to place me for adoption as my “father” because of infidelity, I imagine you would have never guessed that years later your relatives wouldn’t be entirely sure that I wasn’t your child. I could have passed as your flesh and blood. But an expensive blood test with living family members proved otherwise.

I didn’t know birth certificates lied. The exposed truth hurt. It meant I had another absent father out there that hadn’t been a part of my life.

After having met your wonderful sister and brother, I know that if you had still been alive you would have shared openly and honestly with me the good attributes as well as the shortcomings of the love of your life…my late mother.

Were you the one who drove her over 145-miles away from your home to where she gave birth to me?

I wish I could have given you a hug and said I was sorry for your heartaches.


To my first adoptive father—I know more about life than I did when I was a child and you left and I never saw you again. I had no adult explaining to me that alcoholism is a disease. That it didn’t mean you loved me any more or less or were necessarily a bad person.

While you were still alive, I wish you could have seen me one more time all grown up and not as an annoying little girl. The questions I would have asked you in hopes that you might have told me the truth were, “Who was so desperate to get a baby girl that you would do it illegally, under such false pretenses? Was I supposed to have saved your marriage?”

The one last thing I would have said before we parted ways is, “I forgive you.”

My late stepfather— I’ve always said in the past, I loved you more than anything in this world. It has been a slow process, but I am beginning to understand that little girl in me better. I needed a daddy at any cost. To be continued…soul-searching in progress.

Love, JoAnne

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  • Camilla says:

    JoAnne, I sure do hope you find the answers you need. <3

  • Jay Hudson says:


    Your story is heart-breaking. I wish there was some way we could help you find the peace and comfort you have been seeking so long.
    In each of us,, if our lives had been different we don’t know what the results would have been. We can only hope, and assume that our lives would be better.
    When I read your comments, and posts on Facebook I see a wonderful, caring, authentic person.
    I know nothing can erase the hurt you feel, and I can’t begin to imagine how it feels.
    You are always in our hearts.

  • J. Hancock says:

    This is great stuff, JoAnne. You are such a warm and loving soul. It is an honor to be your friend!

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  1. Well written! Thanks for sharing I really connected with this one. Peace and Love!
  2. So sad, what a terrible experience. and I know it was only one of many for you. Love you friend!!!
  3. This fills me with sadness: “No child should have to continually try to make a parent love them.” What a tragedy that your mother was not able to accept love from you. My guess is that deep down, she didn’t feel lovable, and she had to cover that shameful fact up with a bunch of br…
  4. It’s insane that these findings were made but nothing was done about it. All these years later, you are still waiting for the wrongs to be righted.
  5. I love you❤