Donnie Ray Jones // Creative Commons, flickr.com

I was raised without my biological father. A lot of my friends were raised the same. So it never crossed my mind that I was different.

When I was 12, me and my sister got home from school and I saw a blue van in front of our house. We didn’t think anything of it until our mother told us to go outside and say hello to our biological father. I was shocked and surprised. I had never thought about meeting him. I just blocked him out of my mind entirely. I was always told he used to abuse my mother, so I really didn’t like him. The thought of him putting his hands on my mother infuriated me. I wanted to repay the favor.

Now, as an adult, I don’t feel the same hatred toward him. He was a heroin addict and is still on drugs to this day. Now, I want to help him — even though he wasn’t there for me. He is struggling to survive in Atlanta and I want to be there for him. I understand no one is perfect. I also believe we all deserve a second chance and we all deserve happiness.