You know them, these programs where people reunite after not seen eachother for decades. Brothers and sisters meet for the first time after being seperated from birth and parents and children get to know eachother after adoption. These stories are always touching and rarely without tears. Two weeks ago I got dragged into a story like this, that changed two people’s life completely.
Four years ago I went on a holiday to Ireland. Even though me and my friend were there for only a week, I fell in love with an Irish guy and so I kept returning to Ireland many times over the years. Here I met Tom, one of the closest friends of my boyfriend’s dad. I’ve met Tom a couple of times when visiting him at his house. Tom leads a very solitary life in his tiny cottage without electicity or bathroom. He still lives in the 60s, having the occasional smoke and listening to Bob Dylan records over and over again. He’s an interesting fella, who’s stories are as well interesting and funny as sometimes completely insane. A very kind man who you never get bored of talking to. During one of these nights at Tom’s, he told me about a woman he used to be in a relationship with. She was Dutch, just like me. They were together for two years when she left him, her being six months pregnant. After the birth of their daughter she sent him a card, saying the babygirl is his and a little birthcard with the baby’s name and birthdate on it, as well with an address. Tom wrote to her many times, but never got any reply. After a year he gave up, but still thinking of his daughter every single day. At the time he told me this story, it had been twenty years ago. He asked me if I might be able to find her, since I also live in Holland and she must be around my age. I told him I’d try.
Back in Holland I immediately tried to google her name. No results. Then I tried facebook and to my pleasant suprise five profiles popped up with the right first- and surname. Unfortunately all the profiles were blocked so I couldn’t see if the birthdate would match. Also the pictures were too small to see if she would be around twenty years old. I decided to send four girls as Robin is also a guy’s name and one of the profiles had a picture of a dark-haired guy in front of a ‘snowhite and the seven dwarfs’ wall a message saying;
Evalina 25 June 2012
I have a bit of a unusual question; I’m urgently looking for a girl with your name: Robin …. , born on 11 January 1991. I can’t find a birthdate on your profile so the question is: are you the one I’m looking for? If you are, would you please contact me? Regards, Evalina
For weeks I waited for the right Robin to reply to my message, but I never got any replies. Six months later I went to visit Tom again and he asked if I found his daughter. I told him I tried but I couldn’t find her.
A year and a half after I had send the message and had completely forgotten about it I opened my facebook and the red sign told me I had received a message. I opened the inbox and my heart skipped a beat. In my inbox was a message from Robin. A bit shaky I opened the message and it said:
Robin 25 June 2012
Hey Evalina, I just read your message because it gotten into the wrong inbox. My name is Robin …. What’s up? Regards, Robin
For minutes I’ve been staring at the message. Is it really her? Did I find her? She said it’s her right? Or does she just mean that’s her name? She wasn’t specific about the birthdate though. I kept reading her massage over and over again and decided to call my boyfriend. All hyper I told him that I might have found Robin. Now what’s the next plan? Now that I’d probably found her I all of a sudden realised I had to act on it. But what to do now? How do you tell someone you don’t know that her biological father is looking for her? How would she react? Does she even know about his excistence? What if she doesn’t and she already has a dad who she thinks is her real dad? I decided to e-mail my boyfriend’s dad.
Heya! How’s everything? To my big suprise I received an e-mail today over facebook from.. Robin! I’ve found her! No doubt its her; her name and birthdate match. Ofcourse she asked me whats up. Now I’m in need of your advice on what to tell her, because she might not know about Tom or the fact that maybe her dad is not her biological dad. How to go about it?
Ofcourse he was thrilled with this news and decided to tell Tom about it immediately. A few days later I received a letter from Tom, thanking me so much for finding her and advising me to make sure it’s her first. He gave me her mother’s name and asked me to ask her first if that name would also match. Then, if she’s aware that there’s an Irish connection to her life.
This sounded like a good plan to me, so I send her back the following message:
Evalina 25 June 2012
Hey Robin, Wow, I really didn’t expect to ever hear from you and find the right person. Just to make sure: you were born on 11 January 1991? Is your mother’s name Eva? So sorry, it all sounds a bit strange, I’ll tell you what this is all about when I’m absolutely sure I got the right person. Evalina
My reply must’ve creeped her out a little bit because she responded:
Robin 25 June 2012
Hey Evalina, I was indeed born on 11 January 1991 and my mother’s name is Eva.. To be honest I find it rather strange to be approached this way by someone I don’t know but clearly knows a lot about me. So an explanation would be nice.. Robin
At this point me and my mum, who I had told the whole story, were rather nerveous about the whole thing. This was it, there was no way back, it had come to the point where I had to tell her about her dad. What would she say? I took a deep breath and e-mailed her back.
Evalina 25 June 2012
He Robin, I can very well understand this is creeping you out, I’m sorry. I would probably feel the same way if I were in your shoes. I’m honestly telling you, I don’t know you either and I’m certainly not a stalker. I’ll tell you what the story is:
My name is Evalina, I’m from Amsterdam and have an Irish boyfriend who lives on the east coast of Ireland. Through him I’ve met someone who’s looking for you. Do you have any idea who this could be?
I thought this would be the best approach. If she knew, she would know who it is. If she didn’t.. I’d tell her to ask her mum. What happened next might be too private, but I’ll broadly tell you what happened.
She knew about it. She immedialy knew who I was talking about. Obviously she was shocked. I can’t blame her. I was bloody nervous and it had nothing to do with me. After her not responding for a while I finally got a message saying she was beyond happy to hear this news, she’d been looking for him a few years ago, but couldn’t find anything on the internet. So she had given up. She had thought she’d never know who her father was. When she was younger she had found a letter between her mother’s old mail. The letter was for her. It had the lyrics of a song, which she’d listened to all her life when she felt bad, knowing somewhere in the world was her dad, caring for her.
Now two months later, they’re sending letters back and forth, and getting to know eachother after 21 years. As far as I know, they’re getting on fantastically, and they might meet in the future. Tom is beyond happy and has a new meaning to his life. He now has a daughter.
As a thank you I received a pile of different kinds of chocolate!
PS All the names, dates and other details are changed in this story to keep the people involved anonymous