My Father Search Update: The DNA Results are in.....Earl Rideaux is not my biological father. Joe McCray is.

It has been over 72 hours since we got the results of the DNA test that Earl Rideaux and I took on September 17. As soon as I got the results I sent the word out to many people via text message and also Twitter. Short 140 character messages....because that's really all I could say at that time.

I could not gather myself to write this blog that same day or even the days following because so many thoughts were going through my head. We walked into the office of Dr. John Lovely around 3:15pm CST on Tuesday, September 22. I had not been that nervous since playing in a playoff basketball game back in high school.

Earl, my mother and I were on the edge....Dr. Lovely reached for the document labeled 'DNA Parentage Test'...leaned back in his chair and said "Gentlemen, the results are 0 % probability. He is not the father."

"Whoa," I thought.

I even smiled out of shock and amazement. Or maybe it was a smile to keep from crying. Yes, my initial reaction was being hurt. Yes, honestly my initial reaction was shock....yes all of that and then some. Why? I guess deep down inside I wanted this man to be my biological father because he is alive and Joe McCray is deceased. God had another plan.

Earl's countenance fell immediately and he asked seriously, "Is this thing accurate? Are you sure?"

Dr. Lovely replied, "Yes sir". The doctor then explained additional details to us. It was official. Earl is not my biological father.

Reality kicked in just last night.

A lot of people started following my father search updates since day one and others started just a few days ago. Many have asked me, "Will you keep searching?" The answer to that question is there is no need to search anymore; this DNA test proves that Joe McCray, who was killed in 1988, is my biological father.

Some may have forgotten about the 'Joe factor' in all of this or did not have a chance to read the first blog I wrote on Sept. 4 wherein I described how it was either Earl or Joe (Read archive here: Global Grind Blog: 31 yrs later.....Can GG help me find my father?)

In that blog I wrote in part that "One man, named Joe McCray, she was with for years. He has my dark complexion and she describes him as a man who was helpful, nice, business-minded, committed to his endeavors, an overall good person, and was loved by my family. He worked for several years at a service station in a prestigious area in Houston because the White owner trusted him. Once that owner died, Joe got involved in drug dealing. This was the same man that was coming by my grandmother's home weekly bringing me toys as a child but I was only told he was my "Godfather" and nothing more....my mother said Joe always felt he was my father. He was always dropping off money to her at her jobs to take care of me."

After we left the clinic, my mother took Earl back to his home and she shared with me that he was hurt by the results as was his family. But he also said that he is not going anywhere and if I choose to, he still wants to be a part of my life. His daughters feel the same way.

And that's exactly what I plan to do. I have learned that family goes beyond blood.

His daughters still call me “brother” and they will now forever be my extended family. That's for real. And they will be coming over to my home real soon for a gathering to bond even more. Within a few weeks, a bond has been created that I do not want to break.

These DNA results brought closure at this point. Thank you to my (our) mother for her courage in all of this and thank you to Earl for stepping up like a real man to even do the test. I admire that brother and his spirit. Good man.

So what are the next steps? The time is now to search for the family members of my biological father, Joe McCray. I am going to take the advice given by many of you to obtain his death certificate in Austin and get busy searching for his family. As of now, we have no contacts.

I also plan to post a lot of footage of all of this really soon and a book is in the making. The book is really not about me, but will be for all of those who have asked me to help them find their fathers. I spoke to 5-8th graders yesterday at a local school in Houston and many of those students are 2-3 grades behind. When I shared my father search with them, many of them shed tears because they too want to know their fathers. The stories are deep.

Many have told me I am being used to inspire others to make this journey and I humbly have encountered those who have. People are suffering in silence. Are you one of them? To undertake an uncertain and surely emotional journey is not something to go about lightly; however, if you are contemplating your search, I say go for it. The truth is out there.

I thank everyone who has supported us through all of this via email, blogs, Twitter, phone calls, text messages, Facebook comments and more. I thank Russell Simmons and the GlobalGrind.com family for allowing me the opportunity to launch this journey on their website as a guest blogger.

On September 24, reality set in for me. The man, who I thought was only my godfather, was the man God used to give me life. He looked out for me until the moment he lost his life....

I will never be able to talk with him, get advice from him, hang with him or even hear him say "I am proud of you, son". Many of you have that opportunity....don't take it for granted.

Everything happens for a reason. Appreciate who is in your life...The truth shall set you free.


  1. You may not get to hear it from Joe, but do hear it from us - we are proud of you Bro Jesse.

  2. I agree with Tracie! We are proud of you Brother Jesse!

  3. I am happy that you have found some peace.

  4. What a beautiful story...you are so brave to make this so public. Much success to you.

  5. Earl definitely gets props in my book and you too for the courage to share this with the world. I now want to find my father for real!

  6. I am overwhelmed by your testimony, your strength and your courage. I was attached to your story like one of my favorite books that I can not put down and read all in one day. Your story truly hits home in many ways....thanks for your insight and your courage.

  7. Lakichay Nadirah MuhammadSeptember 26, 2009 at 8:14 AM

    Thank You for giving hope to so many people. May Almighty God continue to bless you as he uses your experience to make a difference in the life of others.

  8. I was inspired to write a blog about this. Since I run a PR blog, you'd be surprised that I found a connection to the field. Check it out.

  9. Thank everyone for their support during this journey! You all have inspired me.

    @Zack Isaac Brother I am honored that you would put me on your blog. I humbly thank you for the words you have written.

  10. if it was me, I'd be happy with your existing mum and dad and family. Sometimes the dream can be a harsh reality. And once contact is made it is difficult to walk away if the biological family start getting on your case.
    Just be happy being who you have always been. Love and being loved is what is important in life. Too often biological parents like the novelty when they meet their offspring, just for it to get tedious and bored after a short time.
    think long and hard


What are your thoughts? POST A COMMENT!