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Posted: 7/3/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My name is Gretchen, and my son Matt is my pride and joy.

I am so proud of the man he has become; he is a wonderful father, an accomplished professional, and a wonderful human being all around. About six months ago he took me out to lunch and blindsided me with a hidden agenda. He wanted to pick my brain about his father, who he has only met a few times in his life. Matt's father's name is Sherman. He was born in 1951, and we had a brief affair that lasted about six months. We did not get married; I raised Matt as a single mother and was later happily married. Now that Matt is a father himself, he has been feeling the need to reconnect with his dad. He is also interested in meeting his half-sister, Mary.

While we were dating, Sherman told me the story of his first marriage. He was only 18 at the time, living in Oklahoma in 1969. He got a 16-year-old girl pregnant. Her name was Robin and he did the right thing and married her. Robin gave birth to a healthy baby girl, whom she named Mary. However, her family objected to the marriage and it ended in divorce shortly after Mary's birth. When Sherman and I were together, one of his greatest regrets was that he had lost touch with Robin and had not been the father to Mary that he planned to be. History repeated itself when our relationship ended and I raised Matt alone. Matt grew up wondering about his sister Mary but had never met her. That afternoon over lunch, he convinced me to help him find Sherman and Mary. I suppose I had known this request would eventually come, and the timing seemed just right.

Finding Sherman was the easy part. I had a string of phone numbers that I had kept over the years from his sporadic visits. As I suspected, however, Sherman had totally lost touch with Robin and had not seen Mary since she was a baby in 1972. He did not know her exact date of birth, social security number, or last known address. We assumed that by now, she would be remarried and maybe even located in another state. Matt was able to speak with his father for the first time in a few years, but still felt a strong desire to locate Mary.
Unfortunately, we had very little information to go on. We knew we needed professional help. We researched several companies and decided to put our money on SQA. We were not disappointed!

Julie Jones was our researcher. She attacked the task with dogged determination and some unconventional ideas. I gave her an old address where Sherman and Robin used to live. She found out who the neighbors were at the time and tracked them down to inquire if they had kept in touch with Robin or Mary. They hadn't. Next, she found Sherman's 5 brothers and contacted them to see if they could remember any additional details about Robin or Mary. She also searched birth and marriage records.

Only two months after initiating the search, Julie located Mary living in Lander, WY. She is married and has a family of her own and until Julie called her, she had no idea she had a half brother. Julie reported that she is very open to contact with Matt. I haven't spoken with Mary personally, but she and Matt have been talking for hours and hours on end. They are Facebook friends and have exchanged photos and talk on almost a daily basis. I always thought Matt's life was full and rich, but now I see that Mary was the missing piece that helps him feel like a whole person. Mary could not remember ever having spoken with Sherman, and she is very grateful to be reunited with her father AND her half brother. Two for the price of one!

I am so pleased with the service we have received. It was a pleasure working with Julie and my expectations have been exceeded. I will definitely recommend your services to my close friends and family as the need arises. I know that you will continue blessing the lives of individuals and piecing families back together, as you have mine. Matt, Mary, Sherman and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

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

Client ID# 275885
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