As an only child growing up in working class 1970’s Scotland things were tough, with no father on the scene it was that bit tougher. Mum didn’t talk about a chapter of her life that didn’t work out. I grew up with snippets of information.. dad was an American…..mum had BEEN to America!! I was BORN in America.
It all sounded very exciting, but the reality was I grew up in a one parent family thousands of miles away from a father I never knew, with a burning desire to confront him, even though it should have been obvious he didn’t care. Not one letter or inquiry proved that much.
Fast forward to 1988 when I went to the US in search of the long lost Da.. Turns out he had died in 1980, he had been married 4 times and had fathered 4 (known) children.. of which I was the 4th!! Wow, I had MORE family.
I have to say, many people throughout my life have heard my story and have declared they would find my siblings but with no success and the years were now flying past. However a chance conversation led me to a member of a group supported by Finding Family. Amazingly their determination, doggedness and hard work brought me the news that they had found my half brother Earl but sadly, our 2 half sisters had both passed away in childhood. The amount of information I suddenly knew was mind blowing. Earl and I are now in regular contact and hope to visit with each other in the not too distant future. I can never thank these guys enough or recommend them highly enough for what they have given me.
Thankfully however, a distant family member introduced me to someone who was curious about my story. They sat me down and told me to just start talking, to talk about anything I remembered as a child, any old family photos, places etc and they just kept writing, looking for anything that would help. We talked for hours and I actually felt that, even just talking had somehow lessened the enormity of the task ahead of me and I thought “you can do this” !!
There were several highs and lows along the way but it was the lies and the attempts at misdirection that surprised and upset me the most, people still covering things up, more than 30 years later, one at one point saying that he had died in his 20’s and to “leave it alone”. But the search team here did not give up, they were relentless and it all paid off. One day out of the blue I received a phone call to say they had found him. I couldn’t believe it. They met with him first as he was somewhat nervous and had lots of questions. He then agreed to meet with me and it was like we had known each other all our lives.
We keep in contact, not as much as we should as life is busy for both of us but we know that we are just a phone call away should either of us need it. I never knew my dad and my mum passed away too soon but I will always have this other person who shares my genes and was once a part of her, my little brother. And that feeling is so special.