“On a punishingly hot afternoon last June, Ali Cole stepped into Philadelphia’s elegant, French Renaissance Revival Bellevue Hotel carrying Father’s Day gifts for a man she didn’t know existed two months earlier ― her biological father, who was not the man who had raised her.
Until last spring, Ali had no reason to question whether the man she grew up believing was her father really was.
And to make matters even stranger, her friend Jess McIntosh had been through something similar just six months before that, when an email from Ancestry.com landed in her inbox naming the man who had donated sperm to her mother more than three decades ago.
Neither woman had set out to find her father. Ali, 39, and Jess, 37, have been friends for more than 15 years. They were roommates as undergrads, and have seen each other through the stresses of college, starting their careers, breakups, and family deaths. Ali recently left a career in advertising to become a floral designer, and Jess is a political consultant and broadcaster. They’re both my friends, too, and I’ve watched over the last year as they confronted these exhilarating and painful new truths about their lives.”
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