I grew up with a father who read me stories at night, played tennis with me, drove me to piano lessons, taught me to drive and did all the other things good fathers do for their children. Still, Bob Miller wasn’t my biological dad. As an adoptee, I wonder who that man is and what I inherited from him.
Kara Sundlun’s amazing story of connecting with her bio dad stirred me up. Though she didn’t have the benefit of having him in her life as a child, Kara always knew his name. When Kara actually met her father, he didn’t exactly welcome her with open arms but he did not reject her either. It took a paternity suit to get Bruce Sundlun, the governor of Rhode Island, to acknowledge Kara’s place in his life. As a young adult, Kara moved into her dad’s home, bonded with her half-brothers and ultimately grew to love and forgive the man who was absent during her childhood.
I never had a chance to know Lillian, my birth mother, and it seems likely I’ll never know my bio father either. In my heart, I believe he’s dead. If my father was anything like Lillian, he burned the candle at both ends and died many years ago.
I envy Kara Sundlun. How fortunate Kara was to know her father’s name and to have a father who did the right thing in the end by welcoming her into his life. Kara got the answers to her questions and enjoyed a good relationship with her dad. It doesn’t get much better than that.
You can read more in Kara’s memoir, “Finding Dad: From ‘Love Child’ to Daughter.”