I was born in our nations capital, Canberra to a mum who had been desperately trying to fall pregnant for more than 10 years. I was born wanted and loved. I was like my mothers miracle baby... Finally she had a child to call her own.
Although my Father was not in a committed relationship with my Mother, they conceived another little girl, my younger sister. We are thirteen months apart and I adore her!
Our parents did not continue their relationship and so we grew up not knowing or seeing our Father. In fact we knew only a handful of details about him, which when the time came, made it very difficult for us to look for him. In my mind though, he was a good man and I dreamed about the day that we would first meet.
The first time that I had a desire to find him I was 12 years old and in 7th grade at high school. I told my best friend everything I knew. Name, date of birth, he had been a scout leader in Ringwood Victoria, he had three children older than I from another woman, tall, curly hair and Irish/Maltese heritage. That's it! So my friend and I started a mission. We were going to find him.
Over my six years of high school we attempted many times to the best of our ability, to find him. Once we tracked down a girl with the correct surname who we hoped would be my step sister. Another time we sent hundreds of emails during our library visits to men all over the world with the same name that we had found online using yahoo.com. Then llastly we called people of the same listed in the White Pages Victoria telephone book.
We feel that we came very close with one of our emails. It was an email address registered to a man with the same name and date of birth. It was a United Kingdom email address which also made us more curious. My mum had said that he did plan on going to England after they went their separate ways. But did he go to England? And was he still there? The email we sent bounced back saying that the account had been closed.
I never really discussed these plans or my feelings with my mother and it wasn't planned that way. It just was.
At the age of fourteen, at the beginning of 9th grade, I gave my life to Christ and became a Christian. This did not change my curiosity and desire to know my Father, but it did give me a secure knowledge and a comfort that I did have a Heavenly Father, Abba Father who was watching out for me, loved me and would never leave me. My relationship with my Abba Father became strong! I depended on him, trusted him and by letting him into my whole world, I saw many miracles and answers to prayer.
This flows into a lesson I learnt through one small scripture verse. That 'if I delight myself in Him, he would grant me the desires of my heart' (Psalms 37:4). So my search continued but less intense. I believed I wasn't doing it on my own and that it would happen one day.
I tried to look for him again, the year after I got engaged (we were engaged for 19 months). There was a movie that was released to DVD titled What A Girl Wants. It was the story of a young girl who had a similar story who went to England looking for her Father. Well needless to say I watched this DVD a number of times. It always made me cry and it always gave me hope. Though this particular search got interrupted by the sudden death of my older adopted brother and our wedding preparations.
In 2005 after I had been happily married for a just over a year my little sister got engaged. I was so happy for her! While visiting with her in Tasmania she told me she and her fiancé were looking for our Father. They were hoping to find him in time for their wedding. I wasn't too sure about the idea then, I was worried that she may get hurt and told her I didn't think the time was right. She didn't find him anyway.
In September 2008 I tried again but with a new approach... Ask someone else to find him for us! I was casually spending time online one weekend when I saw an online advertisement for a television show Find My Family produced by channel 7. Basically they put families back in contact with each other. I thought this is just what I needed. So I applied online there and then. I don't remember even mentioning it to anyone. I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up.
But amazingly one month later while in Tasmania for another sisters wedding (My mother married when I was two years old and had three more girls), I got a call. It was Find My Family! They called!!! I answered the call in my mums lounge room in Hobart, while there were people everywhere. it was just days before a big family day. People were flying in from interstate, being settled and catching up. I couldn't believe who it was calling and at such a time as this! They were calling to confirm all the particulars I had listed on the application and ask if I had anything more. I didn't but I quickly explained to everyone (in the room) what I'd done and who was on the phone. There were shocked faces, smiles of delight and screams of happiness. The phone was passed to my mum and she talked with the producers for what seemed like 30 long minutes giving them her side of the story and anything else she could think of that maybe useful. They had decided to take on our case. They would look for him on our behalf and be in touch. Of course it meant we would have to be on tv. But I'd decided that was going to be ok if it meant we found our Father.
We celebrated loudly that afternoon and then we waited.
To be continued... Part 2 coming soon :)