Christmas Wishes

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Christmas Wishes

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Posted: 12/19/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

When my daughter was a little girl, Christmas was always her favorite holiday. It tried to make it special by baking Christmas cookies, reading stories about the importance of giving and building traditions around Santa Clause and reindeer. Every year she diligently wrote her letter to Santa and I would make arrangements for an "elf" to ring the doorbell in the middle of the night and deliver Santa's letter back to her. My husband and I made every effort to buy her one special gift every year, and we look back fondly at Christmas as the time for dreams to come true for our little girl.

This year is a little bit different because Chelsea is not a child anymore--she is 19 years old. She has grown into a beautiful young woman but has been struggling with difficult questions in the recent years. Chelsea knows that the man who raised her is not her biological father. She knows she was conceived from a brief relationship I had with her birth father while we worked together in a restaurant in Milwaukee. Over the years she has asked questions about him and I am have done my best to answr honestly, though I am embarrassed to say that I really know very little about him. His name was Robert and he worked part time at the restaurant and full time as a computer technician and I can remember him showing me pictures of his beautiful children--a son about 14 years old and a daughter about 4. He was estranged from his wife when we met, and our relationship ended when he got back together with her. He never knew I was pregnant, and I made the choice to walk away from the situation rather than disrupt his marriage. I am not proud of the past, but I have never regretted the miracle that brought Chelsea into my life. I have always felt that honesty was important in our relationship, and I have not kept any secrets from her.

This year for her Christmas gift, Chelsea asked for something out of the ordinary--she asked me to find her birth father. At first, I was shocked by the request and a bit taken aback when I realized she was serious. We sat down and cried together as she opened up and shared her struggle to find her true identity without knowing her father or her half-siblings. We talked about the best and worst case scenarios and to her credit, Chelsea understands that this search may turn out badly. Robert may not acknowledge her as his child or may not even remember me. But together we decided that for Chelsea's peace of mind, it is better to know one way or another.

After doing some research on the internet, I decided to contact Search Quest America. They put me at ease right away and assured me that cases like mine are solved every day. They let me know up front that the search could take 6 months or more, might be un-solveable, might end in rejection, or that Robert may even be deceased. I appreciated their honesty and immediately felt that Search Quest America is a company I could trust.

I was not disappointed!! My case was solved in only 4 days. Julie Jones is a genius and she tracked down Robert living in Oakland, California living with a friend of a friend. I still don't have any idea how she did it since Robert doesn't own a home or have a phone number published in his name. I didn't have an exact birth date or social security number. Julie used his family members and known associates and found him through the grapevine. When she called to give me the news, I asked to make the first phone call myself. I thought it was only fair that I face him for the first time to tell him I have been keeping a secret from him for 19 years.

Thankfully, Robert remembered me. In fact, he did not deny being Chelsea's father, but asked if he could meet her. I am overwhelmed by the fact that against all odds, I have been able to give my daughter the most memorable Christmas gift of all--the chance to know her father, and in so doing, discover herself. I have arranged for Robert to call on Christmas morning and I am nervous, but SO excited to see how it all turns out. My husband has been supportive every step of the way, and I could not ask for a better experince. Thanks so much to SQA for helping me make this Christmas the best ever for my little girl!

(Written by Mica Burton on Patricia's behalf.)

Client ID# 261445
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