Kyle didn’t have a daddy. Every day of his seventeen years he longed to know the man who fathered him.
He asked his momma a million times “Who’s my daddy?” He begged his momma a million times more to tell him something, anything about his daddy.
He asked his grandma, he asked his grandpops, he asked every one of his momma’s three sisters to give him a hint, even a guess of who his daddy could be.
Truth be told, his momma didn’t know, his grandma and pops didn’t know, his aunties didn’t know.
It was the good time eighties when Kyle was conceived, and there were a few options to consider and some of those options never told his momma his full name or possibly his true name.
And so, Kyle wondered. He dreamed of a daddy to shoot hoops with. A fatherly shoulder to cry on, a daddy to cheer him on in June when he walks on the auditorium stage to receive his high school diploma.
Kyle is a believer. He has deep faith, is a regular church goer and trusts that his endless stream of prayers to know his daddy will be answered.
He’s a good boy with good sense and it made sense to help the good Lord out by taking a DNA test and look for a familial match.
The 23andMe kit arrived a week after Christmas. A New Year’s gift to his curiosity and desire.
Kyle spit in the tube, packaged up his sample, sent it back and anxiously waited.
Everyone told him not to get his hopes up but that was wasted advice. His hopes were sky high.
Well-meaning friends and relatives told him horror stories about folks who connected with relatives only to be disappointed and even conned or harassed by unscrupulous people.
And still, Kyle was not dissuaded.
When his results came back. He went straight to the DNA Relatives Finder tool only to learn his father was not listed. He did find a first cousin and the two connected.
His new paternal relation told Kyle there was a strong resemblance between his picture and his Uncle Joe. Kyle sent a gift kit to the cousin who passed it along to Uncle Joe, who left it on his bedroom dresser for two unbearably long months until he got around to spitting and sending.
All this time, Kyle was emailing and calling other “new” relatives looking for clues to his paternal link. All signs pointed to Joe.
Just when he least expected, he received a notification from 23andMe and an email message from Joseph Engle Jr.
Kyle Jackson found his father.
His daddy lives less than six miles from his house. They arrange to meet at a Denny’s and Grandpops came with…just in case.
Daddy Joe is the answer to Kyle’s prayers in every way. Joe is a nice guy, and a good role model for the seventeen year old high school senior.
Kyle received more than he prayed for. He went from being an only child of a single mother to having three siblings close to his own age.
It didn’t take long for the “new” situation to be a “natural” one. The Engle-Jackson family is a blessing that goes two ways. The two families have a lot in common. They share the same values, culture, and faith.
There’s one more thing they will soon share.
They will share the pride and joy that comes with seeing Kyle walk on to the auditorium stage in June to collect his high school diploma.
And afterwards there will be a celebration with Grandpops manning the BBQ, the Jackson women serving up a graduation party feast, and Joe will be shooting hoops in the driveway with his daddy and younger brother.
Science and faith make for good outcomes. Thank God we live in a time when what was once impossible, becomes an answered prayer.
By Susan Diamond
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