Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Letter to my father, whom I've never met

Today I was given an address.  It could very well be my biological father's.  After 35 years of wavering, I decided to  look for him, with that hope that maybe, he was wondering about me.  Thanks to my mother and aunt who worked to find his address. 
For all the women who wonder about the father they have never known, I put a copy here for you to read.  I hope you too find peace within, whether or not you decide to make contact with a parent you've never met.  

Feel free to find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/april.charleson with concerns, comments, or just someone to listen.
March 18, 2013
Dear Michael,                                                                                   

I have written the first sentence of this letter about twenty times and erased it.  I find that I don’t know how to start.  While this may not seem unusual to you, as an English teacher and Literature major at University, there has never been a time when I have been at a loss for words like I am now.

I am with hope that you are indeed the correct Michael.  If so, you are my biological father.  I have thought about you, what you look like, how you act, the sound of your voice and so much more, more times than I could count.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to the man who my mom says I resemble, the man whose DNA partly I carry. 
So, I suppose I will tell you about myself.

I am now 35 years old and have begun a new stage in my life.  I have a Bachelor’s in English with a literature concentration from Plattsburgh State University and a Master’s in Teaching from the State University of Potsdam.  Having taught English for the past 12 years and still teaching in the same district, I am now enrolled in classes at Canisius to become an administrator.  I will graduate in about a year with another master’s degree and hopefully the opportunity to continue my career working in education.  Eventually I plan on transitioning to politics, specifically I would like to work with foreign countries, especially in developing literacies.

I would like to think of myself as an activist, a humanitarian, with a philanthropy that is aligned closely with men such as Mandela, Ghandi, and Kofi Annan.  I am also an autodidact and I will never settle for what I know now when I can be better.  I believe in compassion and understanding, listening before speaking, and the good of the whole over the self.

I have two darling daughters, Madeline and Elizabeth.  Your granddaughters.  They read well above level and they are interested in global issues as much as the Disney channel and jumping on the furniture.  They are in gymnastics and dance classes, summer soccer lessons, and go to Science and Swim camp.  They are well rounded and absolutely engaging kids.  I can’t imagine not having them in my life. 

I have been divorced for five years.  My ex-husband is a very good father and loves the girls as much as I do.  We have a good relationship and understand the importance of presenting a united front for our daughters.  We share custody, which I agreed to because I never had a proper father figure in my life and I wanted that so badly for them.  It makes me happy that he is a good father to them.

I wish I could tell you all the things that are inside my heart, not just the types of things that I might put on a resume, but I do not know you.  Unfortunately. 

I hope that over the years that you have thought about me, too.  That you have imagined what kind of woman I became.  That you wondered about me and maybe even worried.  I hope that you understand that I don’t blame you.  I am not that kind of person.  I believe that everything happens for a reason.  I don’t want anything from you other than perhaps a reply.  And maybe, someday, you and I could come face to face.  Maybe we could shake hands.  Maybe I could look into your eyes and see something of myself.  That is as far as I can see for us at the moment.
I could never forgive myself if I did not try to make contact with you.  We are both growing older and eventually we will die.  I could not face myself if I let time slip away and never made an effort to know you.  If you decide not to respond, then at the very least I know I tried my best.



  1. Hello,
    I'm 30 and I've never met my biological father either. After 10 years of searching, I had some luck about 2 weeks ago. I would like to send him an email but I'm not sure what to say.
    I'm very curious as to how this went with you? Did he ever respond back?

    1. Diana,
      Thank you so much for your message. He did not respond. It was crushing at first when he didn't. I even sent the letter certified, so he would have to sign to receive it. I am still happy I sent it, though, and do still struggle with the fact that he chose to ignore me.... Please feel free to email me at acharleson1@gmail.com, or facebook me April Charleson. I'll be happy to talk more, if you'd like.

  2. Wow. Such a great letter. I'm currently facing a situation where a woman I had an affair with is pregnant. In order to save my marriage, I may not be able to have contact with this child until he/she is 18, all while paying child support. I can only pray that they will be as warm and understanding as you seem.

  3. Ben,
    Thank you for the kind words. It hasn't always been so easy and I've struggled and continue to struggle with having a "romantic" relationship with man in my life because of the lack of a reliable father figure. I think we each find salvation in its own form when we seek it. I have found solace in so many ways, and ultimately, forgiveness. May you find peace as well.

  4. April,

    I am searching for my birth father who left my mother before I was born.
    I am not sure how or where to start. I am using BeenVerified.com at the moment but I was wondering if you recommend any others?

  5. For those looking for an unk parent, I used ancestry.com. I sent in my DNAand received a list of relatives I share DNA with. I found a second cousin who with the help of her first cousin who had not done the DNA test they have figured out who my bio-dad is. Without me knowing a name or anything at all these two strangers scrutinized my other DNA relatives and narrowed it down to the branch of their family I had to be part of. When they gave me a name of the guy they believe it has to be I asked my mom if 43 years ago she knew a man by that name...and she said yes. It's a shocking thing to find a bio-parent this way, but it happens! I haven't reached out to him yet, but I plan to at some point.