Finding Living Relatives
This week’s blog post is really special. It’s a long one but it’s so interesting. Very interesting. If you’re in a similar place to where Kay started her journey then I think you will enjoy reading it.
My name is David Oates, Head Researcher at Relative Connections, you can view my LinkedIn by clicking here. I am also the director of the adoption support agency which is regulated by Ofsted. I have spoken about finding long lost family on BBC Radio 5 and was part of the featured team on BBC1’s Family Finders TV series.
“My initial search was to find my Dad. I was told about my Dad when I was 11 years old and had extremely little information on him. Through the years I looked via telephone directories and asking people in and around the area who knew my Mum and Dad but nothing ever came of it. I spent many years yo-yoing back and forth looking, searching, investigating but found nothing. I always asked a lot of questions about him, and two years ago when I was 29 years old my mum sprung it on me that my Dad loved me to bits. He left me due to reasons out of his control and that before he left he gave me a silver bangle that she presented to me. It was at that point that I realised I needed to find him. I longed to see the person that gave me rhythm to dance, a voice to sing and passion for music which are all things I love to do and apparently he was amazing at.
I came across Relative Connections on google when I searched ‘how to find your father‘. I enquired but did not pursue it for another year. The following year too many nights went past where I longed to meet him, wondering what he would be doing while I am looking at the stars and if he ever thought of me. I contacted Relative Connections again and started my search in June 2016.
I never had any doubts with using Relative Connections. I had done a lot of homework on investigators through the years and nothing stood out to me like this company. Their reviews, their stories and their amazingly high rate of finding people honestly made it an absolute no-brainer for me.
The process with Relative Connections was emotional. I had just a first name for my Dad, a five year window of when he could be born and the name of his little sister and that was everything! I felt the chances of this progressing to answers were extremely slim.
Yet after a matter of week I was told that there was a woman who could potentially be my grandma. I was just over the moon, but yet absolutely petrified, Emotions were everywhere. The information that was given to me regarding my grandma was spot-on.
My family were all so supportive which did make things easier. They knew this was the light at the end of my tunnel, the wish that I had been dreaming for, the gold at the end of that rainbow. I had been chasing for so many years. I plucked the courage to contact my grandma and wow!! Three whole hours on the phone. It was like we were connected immediately.
The sad part of the story is that my Dad passed away 19 years ago. The situation was very bitter sweet for me. I was so distraught to never get to look in my Dad’s eyes and see myself but yet absolutely besotted with the new family I had gained from this. My brother Johnathan is an only child (or was an only child until I came along) and didn’t know he had any siblings. He welcomed me with open arms. He was completely ecstatic to have a sister. We both were so shocked as to how alike we really are.
My grandma has always wanted great-grandchildren which she has never had and fortunately for her I have two beautiful children aged 2 and 5 and she is completely over the moon with this. She loves them so dearly. I cannot tell you how weird it is to have this unconditional love two people who are strangers to you. The connection is so surreal. When I speak to my grandma over the phone, we are on the phone for a good 2-3 hours and in that time have both had a bottle of wine and we just laugh, and talk and take trips down memory lane about both our pasts. She fills me in with some amazing stories of my Dad and how he was so loving and caring. Just the information of what he was like is good enough closure for me to take my next steps in life.
I have been to Blackpool twice in the weeks that I have known about my new family. We took the children to Coral Island and went on so many rides, stopped or coffee and cake with them, went out for tea afterwards and just had the most amazing day in the world. The whole thing is still a bit like a dream to me. My children adore my grandma, I think it is partly to do with the fact she gives them biscuits and sweets every time we see her, so they just think she is amazing :)
The one thing that really made me pursue my family was playing in my head the “what if” game. I play it a lot. “What if I get to 70 and realise I made the wrong decision not searching” “what if they are looking me but they have no information on me and can’t go any further with their search”.
I know that if I didn’t do this I would never have forgiven myself for the rest of the years of my life.
My researcher, Sue, was stunning. She had just a dot of information to go on. A first name and a five year window of his birth. I had no grandparents name, no last known address, and no last place of employment. Sue definitely has a magic wand, I know for a fact she was definitely my fairy godmother!! Without this remarkable woman I would not have the closure I needed. I will be eternally grateful to her!
I don’t give Relative Connections 5 out of 5, I give them 25!!! They are an incredible company, passionate about their work, sympathetic, reassuring, and optimistic! They go to great lengths to get the results you need, I cannot thank you enough for everything!!”
Kayleigh Roberts 2016
We’d like to place on record our thanks to Kayleigh and her family for telling her story and helping people understand what we do.
If you think you might be ready to start your journey call us now on 0113 282 5900 and we can have a friendly chat to at least tell you how we can help you. If it’s not the right time for you, that’s OK too.