My name is Michael Canaday, and I am a bastard. I have never met my biological father. I do not know who my biological father is. My children do not know the identity of their paternal grandfather. I have wrestled with this problem my entire life, and this will not be my first attempt to deal with this deeply personal issue.
One of my earliest childhood memories is my Mother and Stepfather explaining to me why I had a stepfather instead of a biological father. I was four years old. Mom told me that she didn't feel that staying with my biological father was the right thing to do. She explained to me that he was a wealthy and powerful man, and she was afraid his wealth would corrupt her. I remember when I asked where he was, my Stepfather responded, "we don't know where he is, as far as we know he's dead." My Mom then explained to me that it was very important that my biological father never learn of my existence. She told me that he had told her that he always wanted a son, and that if he knew he had one, he would hire lawyers and take me away from her.
Growing up in a small town in Idaho, I had a lot of problems. I experienced a great deal of abuse, mostly at the hands of my Stepfather and his family. I was the youngest of seven children from several different combinations of parents. I was never particularly close to any of my step-siblings and half siblings, and mostly just tried to avoid being victimized by them. At school I was unable to fit in. I acted out a lot. I was in trouble all the time, and teachers often resorted to corporal punishment. I have struggled to live a healthy and productive adult life as a heavy combination of adverse childhood experiences continues to affect my ability to trust or empathize with others.
When I turned sixteen, I left home with nothing but the clothes on my back. Since then I have only been back to Idaho for weddings and funerals. I have never received any kind of support from my parents, and at one point even sent my Mother two thousand dollars. She said she needed the money to save the house I grew up in, and that she would will the house to me if I sent her the money. She sold the house less than a year later, and would always act offended when I suggested she repay the money. I found out later that she had worked similar scams with some of my other siblings.
As a young adult I was finally able to get my Mother to give me some information about my biological Father. She told me his name was Robert North. She did not have a middle name. She said his last known residence was in Oregon. She said he had thinning red hair, and some scars on his arm from a car accident. I spent countless hours calling every Robert North in the United States. There are thousands of them. If one of them was potentially my biological Father, they never admitted it.
When I finally obtained a copy of my birth certificate, I noticed the document said my Father was named James Harrison. When I confronted my Mother with this, she told me that Jim wasn't my Father. She claimed she was with him at the time I was born, and used his name on the birth certificate to prevent Robert North from seeking custody. I did some research, and found that James Harrison passed away a few years ago. His children are not interested in speaking with me. My Mother passed away a few years ago, and she took whatever secrets she knew with her.
So here I am, approaching forty years old, and dreading the day my children start asking questions about their family tree. On advice from a friend, I look to gogetfunding to try to put the issue of my identity to rest. I will use funds to hire a private detective to attempt to determine the identity of my biological father through whatever means available. Some funds may also be used to cover traveling and living expenses incurred in my attempt to do this. I will compile an email list of everyone that contributes to this effort, and will send out updates regularly. In exchange for your support, I offer you the opportunity to be a part of this crazy mystery, and the chance to share the sense of fulfillment that hopefully comes once it is solved.
I would like to personally thank everyone who took the time to read all of this, especially those who choose to contribute and join this effort to uncover the truth and discover the identity of my biological Father.