Christmas in July

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Updated: April 24, 2019 



Updated: April 24, 2019 

Reunion Stories

Christmas in July


Posted: 7/26/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

/images/stories.asp?i=20110715191903.0.jpgI'm 22 years old and I have always felt like a part of my life is missing. One of my earliest memories was when my mom married my stepdad and he adopted me. I grew up calling him Dad, and in my heart he really is my father. But in the back of my mind I have always known that somewhere out there I had a biological father. As I have gotten older the need to find my biological father has grown and become a real necessity. I want to fill the gap in my life and get some answers about what happened, why he left, and whether or not I have brothers and sisters from his side.

I guess you could say I'm pretty desperate. I have been trying to locate him for about 5 years on my own and have had no luck. I've gone through a website my aunt went through to find her biological parents but they couldn't find the right person. I've even tried getting my original birth certificate from the lawyer who handled my adoption, but he didn't seem to want to help. I don't have enough information to find him on my own and have done all I can think of to do. I really don't feel my life will be complete until I can find him and talk to him and have my questions answered that only he can answer.

My mother was married to John Lopez in July of 1985 in California. I think he was born in 1965. Their divorce was finalized when I was four or five in Washington, and my mom says he moved to East Washington, somewhere around Wenatche. I also know that at one point my mom had a restraining order against him in Washington, but it's not clear why.

When I decided to pursue the search with SQA, Linda and Julie both warned me that it could take 6-9 months to either solve or close the case. I went into it the search my eyes wide open, even though my husband was very skeptical. He had seen me get ripped off and let down with other websites and companies, and he didn't want me to get hurt again.

Both of us were shocked when Julie called me only 16 days later and told me to grab a pen and write down my birth father's phone number and address. I was so happy! I was overjoyed and ecstatic that he wanted to meet me. Not only that, but Julie told me when she called him, he said he had been looking for me for years, and he was so happy he broke into tears on the phone with her! Although I may have been legally adopted by someone else, there has been emptiness in his heart that matches the emptiness in mine. When he hung up the phone with Julie, he said, "Please call and give her my phone number. Tell her to call me right away!" So of course I did.

I called him "John" at first, but by the end of our long conversation, I entered his information into my phone as "Daddy Lopez." He works for the city of Los Angeles and his job is to "paint the town" and remove graffiti from public areas, like the Hollywood sign. He likes his work and loves his family. I have 2 sisters and a brother, a plethora of cousins I got to meet when I visited him and the family in LA.

It felt so good to see everyone gathered to meet me and celebrate my return to the family. It was so surreal. It didn't feel like I was talking to complete strangers at all. There is no denying people who share your blood. It was like coming home. It was honestly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I could not have asked for a better reunion with him, or a better experience with SQA.

Even though she hadn't been willing to help me along the way, my mom got on board once the case was solved. She even took the time to make a scrapbook with pictures from my childhood and adolescence for him. He was overcome as he accepted the gift and I loved sitting next to him for hours talking about the things he missed, and sharing my dreams for the future that he will get to be a part of.

I'm proud of myself for not giving up. It took years to finally find him, but my determination paid off. I've been keeping in touch with my siblings, especially my oldest sister. We text and talk on Facebook all the time. They have definitely become a huge part of my life and I'm so grateful that the gap in my life has been filled.

I sent out this card for Christmas with a picture of me and "Daddy Lopez." From the bottom of our hearts, we THANK you SQA and especially Julie for all your help. It wouldn't have been possible without you!!

Written by Mica Burton on Katie's behalf.

(Client ID# 222835)

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