I finally mailed a three month old letter to a doctor whose picture I saw in a yearbook. This particular man looks just like my oldest son (and both of my daughters!) and a lot like me. It took three months to send that letter because I wasn't sure that I wanted to know for sure if he could be my biological father. I mailed it and I prayed. A little more than a week later, I got a response. The answer was no, no way he could be my father.
I have to admit that it was hard to read that. I think because I spent three months debating and thinking and praying, it was harder than it had to be if I had just gotten up the courage to send it much sooner. It was a hard thing to accept for three reasons: 1) he looked like a really nice gentleman from his current website picture (and his note to me only cemented that thought) and 2) it mean that I am starting back at square one, and this time, there are really no men who jump off the page at me. It means having to revisit all those questions that were seemingly answered when there was a possibility of a match. And third - it means that I still don't know my genetic father.
Did I not pray enough? Did I not look diligently enough? Did I do something to deserve this? What do I need to do?
The apostle Paul was "caught up to paradise" where he heard "inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." Then he says, "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me..." (Found in 2 Cor. 12:4-10)
I haven't seen inexpressible things, and I'm not sure that I can say that being donor conceived is a messenger of Satan, however, like Paul, I am weak. Like Paul, I've prayed for God to give me a conclusion to this. I've prayed to discover who my father is. I'm looking as diligently as I know how. And I feel depressed when I look through pages of men and wonder how in the world I'll find him. But through this all, I know the Lord's answer to Paul is His answer to me: His grace is sufficient for me, and His power is made perfect in my weakness. So I will boast about my helplessness if it means that Christ's power may rest on me.
I think that ultimately, this isn't about finding my father and then being satisfied. I believe that it's about being satisfied in Christ, whether I ever find this man or not. It's about hanging my hope on the eternal God, and not on a mortal man.
I love this quote by John Calvin: “Whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives after something beyond absolute perfection.” I would add that when I am satisfied with anything less than Christ, I am too easily satisfied.