HOw to help an npe
Someday you may receive contact from one of us. You may feel blindsided yourself to discover there is an NPE on your own family tree. Please consider how important this contact actually is, and embrace these 10 very important pieces of advice.
Whoever the NPE is, this is pretty much what their thoughts are:
Hi. I'm an NPE and my DNA results led me to you because we are related biologically.
Be kind. I am adjusting to my own personal hell in finding out that my foundation has a crack in it.
I don't have an agenda to sue for back child-support or financial "birth-rights." I just want to fill in the void that is 50% of my own identity... my life.
While I am in need of DNA confirmation that I have found my missing parent, I will be grateful for only receiving medical history and a few photographs of the missing parent.
I am not going to jump feet-first into your life. And I don't want you to do that either. Let's start with building a friendship. Becoming *family* to each other will take time.
No. I don't want to call you "Dad." In fact, I don't know what I should call you.
It is not my intention to upset an established family or a spouse who was unaware of the incident that created me. However, don't expect me to continue to perpetuate your secret. I will not be treated like a mistress. I am not a "dirty little secret" and will not allow anyone to treat me that way either.
I want harmony with everyone I share DNA with. I put my own feelings and needs aside to get to know you - initially. Sometimes, I never even reveal the truth because I am concerned about your fragile health. I torment over EVERY scenario before I act. Any contact I make is not made lightly or impulsively.
Don't ask me (or demand from me) to never contact others (half-sibs, for example) because you want my existence to never be revealed, to save face. That's incredibly hurtful. I have the right to know the family I share DNA with.
Always remember. the NPE is not the villain or 'the bad guy' ... If there is a victim in this situation, it's me! I hate thinking of myself as a victim at all, yet I never asked for any of this. I have lost the most - my own identity. I look in the mirror and cannot recognize the stranger looking back at me.
Be patient with me. I know no standard social protocol since this is so unfamiliar. I am human... an imperfect being... doing my best to solve my mystery and I may not know the right thing to say.
So, please, be kind. At least give us the information we need to be able to find our peace, and recognize that we might just be a blessing in your life... given the chance. There is a magic at play here... you may find this as an opportunity to have more people to love and to love you.