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Updated: December 13, 2018 

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Posted: 3/13/2010
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My name is Karen and my son Edward is my pride and joy. He is turning 50 this year and for the first time, has expressed an interest in finding his father. I promised him years ago that if he ever decided he wanted to locate him, I would be right by his side and help him any way I could. Now that the time has come, I feel nervous as a schoolgirl!

Edward's father's name is Robert. We were high school sweethearts at Rincon High School in Tucson, Arizona in 1959. We were in love, but Bob went into the Air Force and that was the end of it. I never heard from him again. A few months later I discovered that I was pregnant. My family was ashamed, but I was grateful and never thought twice about raising my son. I never told Bob's family about the pregnancy. His stepfather was a sergeant in the Air Force and was a very intimidating man. He had goals and expectations for Bob, and I wasn't going to be the person to get in the way of his potential. As time passed I got married and raised a family. When Edward was 2 years old, Robert came home from Vietnam and saw Edward for the first time. He loved him, but by that time, it was too late to really be a father to him. That was the last time they ever saw each other. Edward had a wonderful stepfather, and never expressed an interest in finding his biological father. That is, until now.

A dear friend of mine with a similar story was recently reunited with a loved one using Search Quest America. She recommended that I contact the company, and of course I followed her advice. My case was assigned to Julie Jones, and Julie was wonderful! In less than three weeks, she already had answers. She contacted Robert's mother, Lucille, and found out that Bob died many years ago from cancer caused by Agent Orange, which was used in the Vietnam War. His wife died soon after he did. She said he's buried in a military cemetery in South Carolina. He has twin daughters but she could not remember anything about them. She declined contact with Edward, saying she was in ill health and could not take on anything else right now. Robert had never told her about Edward.

I was discouraged when I got the news that Lucille did not want contact with Edward. I am not surprised that Robert never spoke with her about him, but there is no denying the fact that Edward is Robert's son, Lucille's grandson! We took a break from the search for about two weeks to decide what to do from there. I spoke with Edward and the rest of the family, and though disappointed, we decided we should not give up yet.

Bob had 2 daughters, Michelle and Shannon. We asked Julie to search for Edward's half-sisters so he could at least get photographs and make contact with his half-siblings. Unfortunately we hit another road block. Julie found out that Shannon has also passed away, and Michelle's phone numbers were disconnected. We had a family conference again and agreed to follow the case through to the very end. With Julie's help, Edward wrote Michelle a letter and enclosed photos of himself and his family. Ed told me that when he put the letter in the mail he felt peace for the first time in years. Even if she never writes back to him, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he has done everything he can to reach out to her. He says that is enough for now.

Thank you Julie and everyone at SQA for giving my son a wonderful birthday present. After 50 years I am relieved that he took a chance and reached out to his paternal family. Whether it turns out or not doesn't seem to matter as much as the fact that he found the courage to do it anyway, and to answer the questions in the back of his mind. You have all been a pleasure to work with and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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

Client ID# 262883
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