GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WXMI) - Tony Trapani says he wanted to have a child, but realized it was a life goal that he would never accomplish after his wife's death.
However, he made a shocking discovery while cleaning out an old filing cabinet.
Trapani, who is now 81-years-old, decided to clean out an old filing cabinet after his wife passed away.
That's when he discovered a letter that was hidden in the cabinet for decades.
"I have a little boy," it reads. "He is 5-years-old now. What I'm trying to say Tony is he is your son. He was born November 14th, 1953."
Trapani says he was stunned.
He says his wife must have intercepted the letter and hid it in the filing cabinet after they couldn't conceive a child of their own.
"Why my wife didn't tell me, I don't know. She wanted children. She couldn't have any, she tried and tried," said Trapani. "He's my full son that I've had my whole life, but why my wife hid that letter is beyond me."
Growing up, Samuel Childress assumed his father had received his mother's letter and simply didn't want anything to do with him.
56 years after that letter was sent, the men finally met for the first time.
"Just to know him now is so important to me. It's going to fill that void," said Childress.
The pair is now catching up on a lifetime of memories.
They are also planning on a paternity test to make sure they really are family.