Walker, You Are the Father!

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Walker, You Are the Father!

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Posted: 12/17/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

Walker, You Are the Father!

I never got a chance to meet my daddy because he left before I was born. Whenever I used to ask about him my mama would always say, "Lakeisha, forget about that man. He ain't never done nothin' for you anyway." Except I can't just forget about my dad. He's half of who I am. Every time I look in the mirror I see half of my identity and it's a face I don't even recognize. Who was this man Walker Newton, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Was he a good man, a fighting man, a spiritual man? Is he a man I want to claim as my flesh and blood, or in the end will I wish I had left well enough alone? Do I have any brothers or sisters out there somewhere? And most of all, who do I look like?

When I heard about all these perfect Reunion Stories I always thought my reunion would turn out that way too. Except it didn't. Not at all. Search Quest America found my father, Walker. My researcher also found lots of information about his criminal record, which I hadn't been expecting. It turns out he was arrested in 2008 for 3rd degree larceny. He was convicted and sentence to three years of probation. Personally, I was not happy to learn my dad has a criminal record. It made me pause and wonder if I wanted to be reunited with him at all, but in the end family is family so I decided to go ahead and contact him.

Ironically, his mug shot was a key piece of information in the case. My researcher got the mug shot and showed it to my mother to confirm that we had found the right man. Then, she contacted the probation officer for Walker's current phone number and address.

Can you believe when my researcher contacted him, Walker claimed he never even knew my mother and refused to accept the possibility that I might be his daughter? I was outraged. I was so angry that he would deny my patronage, especially when we look so much alike. I decided either he was lying about not knowing my mom or he honestly can't remember, and if that's true I'm not sure he's a person I want in my life anyway.

After the initial shock and disappointment wore off, I decided to ask Walker if he would take a DNA test. He agreed. We sent away our samples to a DNA laboratory out of state and low and behold, the results came back positive. I felt like I belonged on the Jerry Springer show and imagined my dad's reaction when he opened the envelope and read, "Walker, you ARE the father." Would he be happy, sad, angry, frustrated, or feel duped somehow? I find it insulting that he would not openly invite me to be a member of his life. It's not like I wanted anything from him. Now I feel validated now that my patronage is proven with no more doubts.

The DNA test was over six months ago. Walker warmed up a little bit to me, but never to the level I hoped for. We're still working on our relationship and I'm just hoping we'll get closer as we get to know each other. The best part of this whole search and reunion is finding out I have three half-siblings. We friended each other on Facebook and talk almost constantly. I know Walker might never warm up to me and be the dad I've always needed. But I'm an adult now and I can appreciate the most valuable thing I've gained out of this whole situation is my new best friends, my siblings.

I just want to give another quick shout out to SQA. You guys really made it happen and I'm grateful I took the leap of faith, saved my money, and invested in the company that was able to get results. I'll keep you posted as things continue to unfold, but for now, I'm cautiously optimistic that things are going to work out just fine. Thanks again for everything!

Written by Mica Burton on behalf of LaKeisha, a Search Quest America client.
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