In 2011 I gave birth to our first child, a beautiful daughter, Olivia. Just 11 months later I gave birth to our second child, Isabelle. Two beautiful little girls.
Both Robbie and I loved being parents. Watching Olivia interact with her Daddy (aka my amazing husband) was really special. The way he looked at her and the way she bonded with him was unique and a sight to behold. Just beautiful! It made me realise how much I had missed though not having a Father growing up. I had not thought of the little moments or day to day acts that a Father role would play until I had my own child.
Not long after Isabelle was born in January 2012, I remember she was still wearing size 000's, I woke one morning to find a text on my mobile from Dad. This surprised me, we usually email.
I read the text. It was short and didn't really give me all the information I wanted. But it did give enough info to make me stop! It said something like... 'Flying to Melbourne, my Mother passed away'.
First I'd like to say that I was deeply saddened at the news that my grandmother had passed away. I knew less than 3 things about her. I didn't even know her name, but I loved her. As a teenager knowing that she was from Malta I had daydreams of my sister and I spending time with her in the kitchen learning how to make some passed down family recipe pasta. In my head she was like an Italian Nonna. She was strict, traditional, pudgy, with accent and loving. This version of her I knew and I loved.
When she, my Nonna passed away my daydreams passed too. No traditional Maltese cooking. No pudgy hugs. Never seeing her smile. And no listening to a back in the day grandma type story.
However, the text also brought great excitement. My Father by now would be almost in Australia. Our country. Here. So close.
Questions flooded in: would we get to see him? Where would we meet? When? What would we eat? Would we meet other family, uncles, aunts and cousins? What would I wear? Why does my sister have to live interstate? Would we go to the funeral? Would people like us?
I called her. She got a text too. We were like screaming monkeys! We were finally going to meet our Father. Dad. After all these years. In person. Face to face. How exhilarating and scary!
Dad arrived safely and got to see his mother before she passed away. Praise God. I thought he had missed that time when I first received the text message. He spent some time with his family and grieved.
We got a call from him saying he would like to meet us. Woohoo!! So we arranged it to be on a Saturday for lunch. My sister and brother in law would drive down from Canberra and stay the weekend. It was all set. I was so excited!
However silly me with my over excited feelings and my sleep deprived baby brain, I said we'd do lunch at our house. I would cook. Haha. In my head it was nice and homey until the day arrived. I was in a tad of a flap with a house to tidy, meal to cook, a young toddler and a newborn.
Thankfully my husband came through and was like a domestic angel that day. He remained calm. He did most of the cooking (which I planned to be roast chicken maryland and roast vegetables with gravy -- yum!) and helped tidy our small lounge dining area. Thank you Mr Boyle.
My sister arrived looking gorgeous as always and I realised I had ran out of time to dress nicely. I was wearing newborn mummy, breast feeding, unattractive, sit on the couch clothes. Never mind.
As we saw a car pull into the court and park in front of our house I was nervous. We were about to see what he looks like in person and talk to him in real life. Would words come out of my mouth? I hoped so!
I was so glad that I had my church family that day. I had posted a message on our church Facebook page asking them to pray for us and the lunch meeting. I was overwhelmed by the loving messages and support given. And in that moment as he was walking towards my front door with a lady beside him, flowers and wine in hand, I felt the power of prayer. My church family had prayed and I tangibly felt Gods presence, peace, comfort, confidence and love. Yes there were still nerves but I was not a crumbling mess and I knew God, my Abba Father was with me and that would never change.
The guys (my hubby and my bro in law) opened the front door. We were standing in the lounge nervous and expectant. The moment was here. Really here. Arrived. The moment I had dreamt about for many years. It was not how I had envisioned it but in the moment it was perfect and true. I was meeting my Father.
My very first impressions of him: tall, nervous too, warm, loving and he looked like a Dad. Whatever that is.
He brought me flowers - and my heart melted. He was teary and overcome with situation of meeting two of his daughters for the first time. It was evident he had loved us and longed for this day too.
I'm not going to go into all the details but the lady was his sister and she was just coming to drop him off and make sure that he was ok in the initial getting to know you. They both mentioned how peaceful our home was.
We talked, ate good food and drank for hours. We got to know each other a little. Much more than you can via email.
We heard how he had searched thoroughly for years. He had even hired a detective to help him, taken trips back to the last place our mum had lived, looked up legal records and sent letters. It was nice to hear that we were searched for. We were wanted. For me it was like hearing I was not abandoned or forgotten. We were loved all those years. This did my heart well.
We also learnt -- the boys picked up -- that some of our mannerisms and features were from our Father. This made me smile. I was like him.
On all accounts our first meet was a success. I enjoyed his company. I had a nice Dad. I was falling in love.
And that is the story of how I met my Father :)