Hope and Forgiveness

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Hope and Forgiveness

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Posted: 9/2/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My mother and father divorced when I was one and I have no memory of him at all. I know that there are two sides to every story and I don't want to go on any further in life thinking that my father didn't want anything to do with me. That fear has clouded my childhood memories for too many years--it's time to find out the truth. I am looking for answers and to reunite with him, but if I need to I will settle for closure.

When I first contacted Search Quest America, all I knew was that my father was in the service in the mid and late 1970s. He met my mother in the Philippines when he was stationed there, and they were married. He brought her home with him to the United States, but they were divorced in Kansas City, Missouri in the early 1980s and we never heard from him again. My mother remembers that after the divorce, he returned to New Jersey where his family lived. I know his full name--Michael Dimino, and that he was born in the mid 1950s. Besides that I had no information about his profession, interests, appearance, or family relationships. For all I knew he could have 10 children, be in prison, or a millionaire, or a military man.

I can't even describe the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when Julie called to tell me that she had found my father. He is alive and still lives in New Jersey. When Julie called his home number, his wife answered the phone. She actually refused to give him the phone thinking that Julie was some kind of telemarketer or something. She did take the message and Julie sat back to wait. Finally, he called back, and was willing to reunite with me. Somehow I expected him to be more excited about the prospect, but I think he's still getting warmed up to the idea of meeting his grown-up daughter and digging up the past he never talks about. Our relationship is progressing slowly, but steadily. I hope to one day be able to meet my half-siblings and meet my dad in person, but for now I am content with the weekly phone call and emails we share.

He sent me pictures of him and my siblings, and I actually share a lot of his features. I work for FedEx and one of our biggest jokes is that he owns a few UPS stores. Its kind-of ironic that we both ended up in the mailing business, but on opposite sides of the line! From what I can tell my father is a good man, someone I can look up to and be proud of, even if it means putting a lifetime of forgotten birthdays behind me. Ultimately I have had to choose what matters more to me--the bitterness of abandonment or the hope of a new beginning. I choose hope and forgiveness.

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

Client ID #246633
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