Here is a brilliant interview by Sue our Senior Researcher with a customer of ours called Lori Smith. Lori used us to search for and then contact her birth mother. Things don’t always work out the way you would hope but Lori got the answers she was looking for.
We would like to say thank you to Lori for sharing her story. We understand that this is not something everyone would want to do and are very grateful to Lori for doing so.
Sue Harrison – Senior Trace Researcher
Hi Lori. Thanks for doing this. I would like to know what feelings drove you to begin a search
It’s something I’d thought about for a long time but always put it off. From my own experience I always felt like there was a missing piece of the puzzle from my life. Not knowing what your parents even look like and wanting to know more about them and where you came from.
Why did you want to find your birth Mum and what answers/information were you looking for?
so much over the years. I finally decided I was mentally and emotionally ready to start the search in the hope I would get some answers. What always put me off before was the fear of rejection and my mum not wanting to know me. I’m sure it’s something that unless you’re in that situation it’s very hard to explain to someone. Also, I had no idea if anyone would know about me or whether I was kept a secret. To start a search where you’ve got no idea what to expect is actually quite daunting.
Had you done any searches yourself before approaching us?
I would do searches myself on the internet but didn’t have a lot to go on. I would look on social media sites but with such limited information I didn’t know where to begin.
I would also like to know how you heard about us and why you made the enquiry with us.
I googled ‘find birth mother’ and you were the first people to come up on the search. Although I was initially sceptical about everything.
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 decided it was now or never and that if I left it too late I wouldn’t get the answers I was hoping for. The older I got the more important it was for me to find my birth mum. I wanted to let her know that I was OK.
I had loads of doubts! In fact it took over my life at one point! I felt nervous throughout the process and questioned whether it was the right thing.
So how did you find the process with FinderMonkey?
Fantastic! From the minute I made the first contact. What I loved about everyone I dealt with is that I felt valued and looked after. You must deal with thousands of people but it never felt that you didn’t have time to listen to me.
Whenever I emailed asking for an update someone came back to me straight away. Even if it was to say you were still waiting for documents to arrive.
The news about your mum wasn’t good though…
When you phoned me to tell me my mum had passed away I broke down. I didn’t cope well with the news that it had happened just a year before. But you were able to help me and it felt like there was always a friend on the other end of the phone.
How did you feel when we told you the news about your birth mum and that we had identified and could search for a sister?
Not finding my birth mother was hard. The news about her passing still hurts and will do for a long time knowing I had left it too late. I did a lot of crying. I’m still coming to terms with the fact I’m never going to meet her, talk to her, hug her and let her know anything about me or her grandchildren. This was hard but I know deep down that its better to know and what happened next made it all worth while.
You phoned me and told me that mum had another daughter. At that stage I wasn’t ready to say I wanted to trace her. I really wasn’t in a good place on finding out about mum, but again Sue you were brilliant. After many chats I was able to think more positively about the situation, I have a sister! There was someone who could tell me about mum, who could provide a photo which for 43 years I hadn’t had.
Also, Sue you were able to help me see things from my sister’s point of view, she was an only child who had lost her mum. If I could find her she wouldn’t be on her own, but at the same time I was nervous about whether she would know about me.
How did your family react when you told them we had been successful in the search for Georgina?
They were over the moon! They could see how important it was to me and how happy I was. I showed them photos and what was lovely is they could see the resemblance between us.
How did you feel waiting for a response from our initial contact to Georgina?
Really nervous! I was worried that she wouldn’t know anything about me, and wouldn’t want any contact with me. I was wrong on both accounts! When you phoned me to say Georgina had been in contact and would love to hear from me I cried…but happy tears this time.
And eventually, what was it like when you met for the first time?
Well that’s happening soon so watch this space!
Lori has agreed to give us some feedback on the very first meeting with her sister. We’ll be doing a follow up post in the coming weeks.
If you’re ready to start your search for a missing loved one or old friend call us for an informal chat on 0113 2825900.
We understand what your search means to you and we’ll do everything to help you get the answers you need.
Update: To read part 2 of Lori’s story click here