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Posted: 12/14/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My name is Daphne, and I have been trying to find my father. I have never met him and would really like to fill the void in my life of not knowing who he is. Recent I gave birth to my first child, a son, and I desperately want my son to know his grandfather. I want to know him to know where he comes from and be able to fill in all the branches on his family tree. I've wondered for years whether I have any other brothers or sisters, and if I do I would just love to meet them and let them be a part of my life.

My mom was always very tight-lipped about my father growing up. I know they met when he was stationed in Germany with the army, around 1980 and 1981. She told me he's probably from Alabama, but that's where the information ends. She has always insisted that he doesn't know about me, and that's the only reason he doesn't call. I wonder if she just says that because she thinks I'm not strong enough to handle the truth. But I am strong enough. If he knows about me and is just avoiding the responsibilities of parenthood, well I'm hoping he will embrace the responsibilities of grandfather hood instead.

When I saved the money and hired SQA to find my birth father, my mom finally got the message that I'm serious about this search. When my researcher called her to get more information, she finally shared some important information. In fact, my father's full name is Warren Davis, and he was from Evergreen, Alabama. He was discharged from the army in the Spring of 1981, and she believes he is about her age, in his early fifties today. He was between 5'7" and 5'8" and had a caramel complexion. He was stationed in Bremerhaven, Germany when they fell in love and she said goodbye to him without ever telling him she was pregnant. I guess that was one fact that stayed true. But with the other information, like his full name and home town, my investigator found my father within 30 days of the start of the search.

She learned that he has been married to a woman named Lorraine for 25 years, and they were married only a year after I was born. He appears to have at least 3 sons, one of whom is also married and owns the house right next door to his dad. With these details I started to put together the picture of who my father is. He's patriotic, hard-working, a loving father, and faithful to his wife to stay married for over 20 years. When my researched asked if I wanted her to contact him, I paused to think on it for 24 hours.

If I was an established man living in my home town, married for 20 years and with grown children, would I want someone to call me out of the blue? I was worried that this approach might be a little too forward. Instead, I decided to write him a letter. I gathered the only photographs of him I had... a picture of he and my mom out dancing at a restaurant in Germany. I also included pictures of me growing up, a photo of my mom today, and most importantly a picture of my son. I knew that this might be the only letter I ever sent and he may not decide to contact me, so I wanted it to be perfect. I included all of my contact information, including my cell number, house number, my husband's contact information, and my address. I'll never forget the prayer I said when I put that thick envelope in the mail. I was an insomniac for days, up all night just wondering if he had gotten the letter yet and whether he was happy or sad to receive it.

At 8:00 on a Wednesday night, my phone finally rang with an unknown number. I braced myself, took a deep breath, and answered the phone. "Hi Daphne, this is Warren, you're father. I guess it's about time I picked up the phone, eh?" was the first thing he said to me. His voice was more gravelly than I expected, but it was absolutely filled with love. That first call we shared many tears and talked for hours. He sent me a plan ticket to visit the next weekend, and my husband and I flew down from Maryland to Alabama. His whole family welcomed us with open arms. I met all my little brothers, who look just like me, but masculine. I took about a thousand photos, especially of my son with his grandpa. Since we first talked about a year ago, we've kept in touch every week. We'll be spending Thanksgiving together this year and when we go around the table and tell what we're thankful for, I already know what I'll say. I'm thankful I finally picked up the phone and called SQA, who gave me the priceless gift of meeting my father for the first time.

Thank you SQA!

Written by Mica burton on behalf of Daphne, a Search Quest America client.
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