Looking For A Family Member

My lost family member The past few years I’ve been thinking a lot about family. More specifically family that I don’t really know. I’ve been thinking about looking for a family member that I lost touch with years ago.   My mom and biological father divorced when I was around 8 years old.  After a nasty custody battle my biological father disappeared from my life.   I have lots of random memories of the time we spent as a family and the times we had short weekend visitations.  Sadly, I have no memories of his family. I know nothing about them and it breaks my heart.  My boys don’t ask me many questions about him and it’s really a good thing because I don’t know much.  

I’ve also found myself wondering if he ever looked for my brother, Ray, and I. We were adopted about 4 years after our last contact with him, so our names changed and we became harder to find.  Years later I found out how they were able to get the adoption to go through without his consent.   Since then I’ve gotten married and had yet another name change. I know with technology that it’s not impossible for him to find us, it’s just difficult.  I’ve looked for him on social media sited without much luck.  Both Ray and I have looked into those people searches online for him and we’re pretty sure that we have found him, at least his phone number. So now I’m left wondering what to do with the information we have.  

Option one: I can do nothing and pretend he never existed. I’m 99.9% sure this is the route my mom would prefer I go. Over the years she hasn’t shared much information. When I asked questions about him or his family, she would change the subject. Honestly, I’m amazed she held on to old photos that he was in!  I have those now so I know they still exist.  

Option two: Pick up the phone and give him a call. Ray and I have talked about this many times but neither of us has followed through. What do you say to a man that you haven’t spoken to in over 20 years? For some reason I feel saying, ” Hey dad! What have you been doing the last 20+ years?” is a great way to get hung up on and all other phone calls ignored. How exactly do you start this phone call? 

I am seriously torn over what to do. What if he doesn’t want any kind of relationship with us? I’m not sure how well I’d take that.  Honestly, I’m not one that handles rejection well and this kind of rejection would be the worst.   He walked away once and I don’t 100% know why.  Was it because my mom was given full custody?  Was it because he wanted a new life without children?  Was it job related? At the same time, what if he has been looking forward to reconnecting with us? Am I ready to deal with the unexpected fall out from my choice? So many questions and I don’t even know of there are any right answers.

Have you looked up a family member that you lost contact with? How did it work out for you? 

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About Jennifer

I am a stay at home mom of three boys who relies on caffeine to make it through each day. My boys Zander (9), Quentin (7) and Brody (5) make sure to keep life interesting and full of challenges! I have been a volunteer with American Youth Soccer Organization Region 49 for over 13 years. Read more about me here.


  1. Wow, I can imagine how curious you would be to know. He may have the same fears as you do and because he walked away he might feel like he doesn’t deserve to have you in his life. But like you said, you have to be prepared for the whatever that outcome is.

    I personally think I’d rather know for sure that he WASN’T interested in getting to know me than risk that I blew the opportunity. Life is too short for regret.

    Good luck coming to terms with it though!

    • You’re right! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about life and choices. Even if he rejects me, then I will have his answer and be able to move on.

  2. I agree with Kim. Its better to know for sure one way or the other than to be left wondering. Maybe you can do a reverse search to find an address and mail a letter? Gosh – HUGS. I can imagine the anguish of not knowing has to be terrible.
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