And Now There Are Six

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And Now There Are Six

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Posted: 4/22/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

/images/stories.asp?i=20110523185859.0.jpgIn the summer of 1973, Angela met a man named Rodney in Florida. After a brief romance, she conceived a son, whom she has loved and cherished ever since. But as he grew older, Eric wondered about his father. Angela told him stories about the bongo-playing musician from Michigan whose brother was killed by a police officer in a shooting. She remembered Rodney as an outgoing, earnest man but had little more information to give her son.

Eric grew up happily and joined the military as an adult. In February of this year, he contacted Search Quest America in search of his father. "My name is Eric and I would love to meet my father one day. I often wonder what he looks like and if I have other brothers and sisters. I am currently in the United States Air Force and I'm married and we have a beautiful daughter who often asks about her grandfather. It hurts me to tell her that I don't know my father. I'm at a point in my life that I need to know who my father is and my daughter needs to know her grandfather. Can you help us?"

After speaking with Linda, SQA search consultant, Eric's wife and mother decided to pay for the search as a gift to Eric. The case was solved just thirty days later, thanks to SQA researcher Julie Jones.

Today, Eric's father Rodney lives in California. With over 35 years of experience in the entertainment industry and a wealth of experience with youth development and community service, he has dedicated his life to educating, enriching, enhancing, and empowering the youth and young adults of inner city communities. He is a well-known spiritual leader and activist, and is married with a large family. Unfortunately, he didn't know he had another son, and the revelation came as quite a shock to him and his family.

After receiving Julie's report, Angela decided that the best way to make contact with Rodney was through email. She sat back and waited for several days for a response.

A few days later Angela wrote, "Julie, you will not believe all that has happened! I emailed Rodney directly last Sunday. I told him the story of what happened between us, and I gave him the website to see pictures of Eric as well as myself.

"In the meantime, Melinda went on Facebook to see if she could find anything, and--you're not going to believe this--she found Tim, his oldest son on Facebook! She sent him a message asking if Rodney is his father. Tim said yes and asked why. Melinda told him about Eric, and who he is. Needless to say Tim was shocked, but he listened. Melinda sent him pictures, and told Tim about his late uncle. Tim listened and then said 'well I guess there are six of us now.'

"Since that time, he and Melinda have corresponded regularly, so much so that it seems as though they've known each other for quite some time. Tim's wife Veronica has also come on board. She has accepted Eric, and she and Melinda speak frequently.

"Rodney called me for the first time this past Tuesday. He claims not to remember me and he requested a DNA test. That was no problem, and I even offered to pay for the test because I can understand his skepticism. But since Tuesday, I heard nothing else from him.

"But through the correspondence between Tim and Melinda on Facebook and by phone I've learned the following: Rodney's wife was quite upset when she heard the news, and I am told she cried inconsolably, but she always had a feeling that there might have been another child out there. The sisters are just finding out, and the youngest one was mad at her father, but not with Eric, and all the sisters wanted to know if their father knew about Eric all the time. He did not. I had told him that I was pregnant, but that I didn't know what I was going to do, and then he never saw me again because I told him that I didn't want to see him anymore (mind you I was only 19 and had never been in a situation like that before).

"Anyway, Melinda never believed that Rodney would go through with the DNA request, and so far he has not, especially after seeing the pictures of Eric. The resemblance is strong, and Eric looks like his late uncle. Tim sent Melinda and Eric pictures of the family, and Eric looks more like Rodney than any of his siblings. Tim met with Rodney and during that time Rodney told Tim that he's 99.9% sure that Eric is his son.

"All of this happened this week, and because of the information you obtained for us, Melinda and I were able to find the second brother on My Space. As it stands right now Tim and his wife Veronica accepted the situation immediately, and they correspond with Melinda and Eric. Tim joked with Eric that he's still the older brother. Rodney knows about Eric, but so far he has not contacted him.

"Thank you Julie for locating Rodney. I never would have known to look for him in California. In the past I had concentrated in Michigan. I never thought he'd be found, never, and for this to happen, and for Eric to have an opportunity to know his father as well as his siblings, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc, is more than I could have ever imagined. And if there are a few blips along the way regarding the family's adjusting to this new knowledge regarding Eric, well that's a small price to pay for Eric's knowing who his father is. Thank you soooo much Julie, and thanks Search Quest America. Sincerely, Angela"

In the past month since Angela sent this email, Eric and Rodney took a paternity test and are still waiting to receive the results. Meanwhile, Eric is about to be re-stationed and hopes to have the opportunity to meet Rodney before possibly being moved overseas.

Eric's advice to other individuals in his shoes is to "have faith. Have patience. Something will happen. I went all of my life without knowing my father and I never thought I would find him. Somewhere in the back of my mind I hoped I would, but with patience and faith it all worked out."

(Written by Mica Burton on Erics behalf.)
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