When Leigh contacted us to find his birth mother, he was nervous, scared and unsure of what to do. Once he had found her he used the words Brilliant, emotional, unbelievable and surreal. This is the story of why he wanted to find his birth mother and what happened when he did…
FinderMonkey Case Study
Leigh (Son) Carol (Mum)
I would like to know, what feelings initially drove you to begin a search? Why did you want to find your birth mother and what answers/information were you looking for?
My story started in 2014 at the age of 52. The Brother I grew up with was terminally ill and although we didn’t have a very close relationship at all I went to see him as I was made aware that he didn’t have long to live. It was perhaps the most meaningful conversation we had ever had, touching in places when we reminisced about our childhood. During this conversation he told me that my real mum wasn’t my birth mum. Three days later, my Brother, passed away. I thought quite often, what if I was abroad or away on business and I didn’t get the chance to have this final conversation with him? I still would have been none the wiser. The next year was a real battle as my emotions ranged from not wanting to know who my birth mother was to absolute curiosity and anxiety as to whether I should find out.
Had you done any searches yourself prior to approaching us?
Nothing that I could call actual searches. I researched some companies, looked at their details but, on the whole, it looked too complicated or too process driven which put me off.
I would also like to know how you found out about us and why you made the enquiry with us.
I have to be honest and say I didn’t. Having now accepted my past, my story became quite a talking point and intrigued those that would listen.
My partner was no different except for the fact that, quite quickly, she told me that “we have to find your Mother”
Fast forward 3-years and unbeknown to me, my partner contacted FinderMonkey and made contact with a lady called Sue.
Speaking to my partner as to why she chose FinderMonkey, she told me that she did so because that they were linked to the BBC and she had watched ‘Family Finders’ and thought that this was best organisation to use.
Once you had made the enquiry, what made you decide to go ahead and use us and did you have any doubts at this point?
I know my partner had zero doubts as to whether to proceed with FinderMonkey or not. Once she had spoken with Sue a few times she had all the reassurance she needed to go every step of the way.
Then how did you find the process with FinderMonkey?
The process was extremely easy but again it was Sue that made this possible. My Partner told me everything that Sue had done, and said, and she couldn’t have been more impressed. In short, Sue made a process that can be riddled with emotion, easy and even enjoyable. This was achieved through regular communication updates on anything that was relevant to the case.
How did you feel when we told you we had found your Mum?
Well, of course at this stage, I still had no idea that Sue and my partner had actually found my Mother. I know how it made my Partner feel as, when the time came to tell me what she had been doing without my knowledge, she broke down in tears (happy tears) and that very moment was unbelievably emotionally charged. Knowing what an incredibly special thing that my partner had done and then seeing a picture of my Mum for the very first time, well, it was simply very, very special.
How did your family react when you told them we had been successful in the search?
I have 2 teenage boys and up until my Mother was found, I had no other family beyond them. But anyone that has 2 teenage boys will know that emotions other than playing computer games or socialising with friends rank quite low. But in fairness to both of them, they were keen for me to find my Mum and were genuinely very happy to find out that their Grandmother was still alive and well.
How did you feel waiting for a response from your initial contact?
I was of course quite nervous especially as the ‘unknown’ was about to be revealed. And perhaps this is a more appropriate place to highlight the questions I wanted to ask and gain information that would help me understand more about what happened. At this stage I had no idea who my Father was as his name was not on the Birth Certificate. Many questions were racing through my mind and waiting for them to be answered was, once again, taking me on that emotional rollercoaster again. But I needn’t have worried as, once again, Sue from FinderMonkey was just brilliant. She guided me through every stage with compassion and total understanding. She made it very easy for me and made everything I did ‘acceptable’. What I mean by acceptable is that, in situations like mine, I had no idea of what the protocol was, how I should be, how I should ask questions etc. FinderMonkey provided the necessary support and guidance and without them I could have made a real mess of things.
And…….eventually what was it like when you first spoke?
Brilliant, emotional, unbelievable, surreal. No amount of adjective’s can really do this first moment justice. After all, I was speaking to my Mum for the first time in 55-years.