I need help!
I found out a few weeks ago that my brother who lives a few hours away has been keeping secret from his parents and siblings that he has an eleven year old daughter in his town. I was very calm when I discovered the news, prayed for guidance and confronted him about it. He said that a few people in his town knew about the girl. He said he was ashamed of the woman who is the mother of the girl and that's why he never told us about her.
He has supported the girl financially but not much otherwise. I have told him that his family will support him and encourage him to start a relationship with his daughter. Although he said he was open to having a relationship with his daughter I am very concerned that he will move at a glacial pace. I understand that I can't make him have a relationship with her but I can control my relationship with him. Although I understand some reasons from our growing up in the same household why he may have considered choosing this path, I am still shocked and disappointed that he did. I have not told the rest of the family because my brother promised to do so after certain legal proceedings are complete.
I have suggested that he get a good spiritual director and Catholic therapist to help him move forward and work on things. I would like to meet and get to know the girl at the appropriate time. I am still pondering how I fit into things as a long-distance, unknown aunt.
Any comments on how families cope with family secrets once they are out or dealing with "surprise" children discovered when they are no longer babies. Please pray for us.