I Love You Dad, and I Forgive You

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I Love You Dad, and I Forgive You

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Posted: 6/10/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

When my fiance and I met 6 years ago, our first deep conversation was about our parents. Jay opened up to me and told me something he never told anyone--that he still has a gaping hole in his heart and aches to know his father, who abandoned the family when Jay was 15. I could see the pain in his eyes that day and although we've shared many happy times since then, I can tell it still eats at him. He wonders what could have motivated his father to walk out on his family. Jay has lived in the same house his entire life, and he still keeps the last letter he received from his dad 15 years ago, stamp and all. He has an old photograph of his father on the mantle as if he was a part of our life today, except his absence is the elephant in the room that no one talks about.

Jay believes that after he left, his father remarried and had other children. He knows their names, Jennifer, Patricia, Anthony, and Timothy, but has never been a part of their lives. He wants to know why. We recently had our first child, a beautiful baby girl named Gabriella who is about to reach her first birthday. She was born prematurely and spent 6 weeks in the hospital. Jay needed his dad during those hard times, and wanted nothing more than to introduce his little girl to her grandpa. A month ago I mentioned that we should try to find his dad, and Jay broke down and cried like I have never seen him cry.

So even with all the hospital bills piling up, we decided to make the sacrifice and contacted Search Quest America. My daughter is a miracle, and we figured we would ask for just one more--the chance for Jay to be reunited with his father.

Our case was assigned to the best researcher ever, Julie Jones. Almost right away she discovered that Angel moved to Illinois after leaving Jay and his family. He was working as a truck driver out of Omaha, Nebraska and worked there until just a few months ago. Julie found Angels brother, Luis, and when she couldn't get a hold of Luis, she found his ex-girlfriend, Eva, who provided his cell phone number. Unfortunately Luis' cell phone was turned off with the mailbox full. She gave us Luis' address and asked us to write him a letter, which we did. We were disappointed when it came back to us--he had just moved and left no forwarding address. But Julie didn't stop there. She put us in touch with a neighbor, who put us in touch with one of Angel's cousins, who passed a message along to Angel. The next day Jay received the phone call he has been hoping to receive for the last 15 years.

"So I hear you've been looking for me, son. Well here I am," Angel said. They talked for hours and I saw the relief and peace settle over Jay. They laughed and cried together and finally Jay has closure. Angel never gave a straight answer about what happened 15 years ago or why he never came looking for Jay. They still haven't met face to face, but Angel is going to come visit us in New Jersey to celebrate Gabriella's first birthday. We are hopeful that they will be able to have a good relationship from here on out, but even if it doesn't work out, Jay is so grateful just to be able to tell his dad that he had a good life and grew up to be a good man. Of course he wants his dad to be proud of him and to be a part of his life, but he is satisfied just to have the opportunity to say, "I love you dad, and I forgive you."

To other people in Jay's shoes, don't give up. Don't be afraid to hope for the happy ending you deserve. We asked for a miracle and we got two of them. Julie and the team at Search Quest America are miracle workers. Julie was excellent and professional all the way through. Our case was solved much sooner than we expected, and we couldn't have asked for a better experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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

Client ID#230272
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