What Kind of Father? A Son Confronts The Troubling Past Of A Man He Never Knew


When Frank L. Christlieb found his birth mother, the story of his birth father began to unfold. It was a difficult one. His father had lived much of his life in a dark spiral of self-destructive drinking and fighting.

This is how the author describes his story:

“When I began searching for my roots at age 44, an obsessive need to find my birth mother drove me. What I discovered, several months later, was far from what I expected.

I was sure I would learn that my mother had been a young woman, likely a teen, who had a child out of wedlock in 1961 West Virginia. But Betty Louise Workman was a divorced mother about to turn 40 who conceived me with her alcoholic ex-husband, the father of her other three children.

When those 3 older siblings and I confirmed through DNA that their father was also mine, I knew I needed to uncover everything I could about him: the good, the bad, the unforgivable.

Learning about and, with difficulty, accepting Bob Workman and what he’d done to break up my birth family took years. It’s been a journey of discovery about him, and about me, that I’m thankful and fortunate to have taken.”

Here is the story of Bob, his family, and me.

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