I’m in my late 30s, happily married, and a mother of two. My mother divorced my biological father when I was 6 months old and remarried when I was 2. Her new husband adopted me and has raised me as his own. He is my dad and a wonderful man. I have never met or wanted to meet my biological dad. I have not ever heard from him. My mother died three years ago, and it was devastating. A few months ago, I received an out-of-the-blue message on Facebook from a woman who said she was married to my biological father, found me when she was researching their genealogy, and asked if I had kids. I was caught off-balance and said yes, and she said: “So excited! He’s a grandpa! We always wondered!” She asked for my number, and I gave it to her, still shellshocked, without really thinking it through. He called, and it went very badly. He cried, said he loved me, called me his baby, wanted to come to my house. I was uncomfortable and surprised. He called again a few weeks later and claimed that my mother had cheated on him and that he didn’t believe I was his until recently. He couldn’t clarify what had changed his mind.
I’m devastated by these allegations of my mother’s infidelity when she’s not here to defend herself. I’m angry he thinks he can show up after four decades and say awful things about her. He kept texting me, “What did I do?” So I told him why I was hurt and asked him to leave me alone. Now he and his wife are guilt-tripping me, leaving countless voicemails and texts, claiming he has cancer, and asking if I can find it in my heart to meet with him “just once.” What is my obligation here? My gut tells me he’s irrational, but my heart hurts at the thought of hurting a dying old man.
—Dad Wants to Reconnect