I want to say that I met my biological father, James for the first time on 6 April 2021, but this isn’t entirely true. I think I’ve seen him about a handful of times in my life. I also only have one memory of him, from when I was a little girl of three or four years old. I can’t really remember how old I was. I remember asking him if he was my daddy and he never answered me. I think it was at that point I closed my heart to him being my dad. On 6 April with one video call God managed to break down and heal almost 30 years of hurt. He also showed me a whole new understanding of grace.
The back story
My mom got divorced when she was pregnant with me. She moved back to Cape Town and we eventually moved in with Richard. Richard took my brother and I under his wing and he was daddy to us. I called him dad, in my eyes, and heart he was my daddy. Even though I did not know James or have a relationship with him, I did not grow up without a daddy. Richard is the person I think of when I’m like, “if only my dad was here” when I need help with something car related, or if David needs help with something mechanical. Richard passed away 6 years ago, just incase you’re wondering where he is in the picture.
When I was pregnant with Noah I started wondering about James and I thought that I would like to find him, but then left that thought where it was. I was like, “let’s put pin in that” and then I forgot about it. Three years later I was pregnant for the second time and the desire to find my biological father grew. I had questions and I also just wanted to meet him again. I also felt like he should know that he has two grandchildren out there in the world. After Joel had been born David and I decided to try and find him. In the end it was my mom who helped find him and gave me a contact number for him. As soon as I got home, I phoned him. It was the weirdest moment ever to hear his voice, but also so awkward. The line was so bad, but we managed to set up a video call for the 6th of April – which is when I saw him/met him for the first time in 30 odd years.
Before the phone call, or even before I had James’ phone number I had been on a journey with God where I had worked through the many layers of hurt and forgiveness that was needed for this phone conversation to happen. God has also bought me to the realization that I’ve had a full life. The phrase “I have given you a full life” kept washing over me during this time. It’s from John 10:10 “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they may have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.” I had an earthly daddy – Richard and I have God as my heavenly daddy. I also knew that no matter what happened or resulted from the phone call God had me.
We then had the video all and like I said God had me and filled me with so much grace for James. I had to process a million different feelings from anger, which I thought I had processed fully before, which then lead to a whole new round of forgiveness and understanding. I also had crazy little girl emotions of, “I want to show you this or share this with you”, and then I would get sad because of what was lost over the years. This was where God would come in gently and remind me that it’s okay and that He couldn’t give me all the lost years, but He can restore relationships and bring reconciliation. God is in the restoration business, Joel 2:25 says “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” I can trust that God will bring and is bringing restoration, even if it looks very different to how I imagined it to be.