9 months later I was born and I'm so grateful that my grandparents and extended family took a big role in raising me. My mom always said I was raised by a "village" and I couldn't be happier with that. My unique upbringing is what started my love of community, a love that continues to motivate me everyday.
I've looked on and off for my biological dad and started to get serious about it in 2015. Then, my grandfather was diagnosed with brain cancer and I knew my "real dad" needed me. He passed away less than a year from diagnosis and it's been 5 years since then. I'm 29, the same age my mom was when she met my biological dad that spring in Paris. My birthday is December 7th and I'm starting a new decade in life.
For my 30th birthday, I want to raise funds to help me locate my biological father and make a heritage trip to Japan (when the world opens back up). My whole life people have asked me "where are you from?" and I want to hire an international Private Investigator to help me find out more about the "other" side of that question.
I've been doing research and in addition to hiring someone I will also use the funds to take some of the different DNA tests out there to see if I am successful with any distant relative matches. All I know is his name and where he worked in 1989, but it's a start.
Anything you feel compelled to donate will ultimately support me in my journey to learn more about the Japanese side of my story and connect with relatives I don't know yet.
Thank you reading, for being my friend, family and community member. Thank you for supporting me on this life-long journey and wish.
With love and gratitude,
- Collin Smith
- Andrew Rubin
- Kimberly Paxton-Hagner
- Sara Grove
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