MATT'S STORY - A Birthfather's Story of the Search for His Son, and How Events in His Life Put Some Direction in His Search
"The search for my son began shortly after I returned from Southeast Asia, in November of 1969. It was, however a “Silent Search” felt by the heart.
While serving in the Vietnam War, I was notified by the C.O., that the USAF was launching an investigation after receiving word from the States that I had a son resulting from a long standing relationship. Not remembering what month this was, I of course disavowed any knowledge of the possibility. Between the “events of war,” and returning home in July of 1969 to bury my father, the time just by went very quickly and I did not give this much thought.
I married a year or so after my discharge, and became busy working, going to school and raising a family. During those years I could not shake the possibility of a son somewhere out there. During my 36 yr. employ at the Transit System in NY, I had tried on several occasions to locate him, through the agencies I had at my disposal, as I had been given a name.
It wasn’t until after my divorce and remarriage that a family tragedy occurred, my wife’s brother Sterling, was murdered during a home invasion. He too was adopted at birth, and the family finally found him after searching for 41 years through a “family genie.” I remember the happiness they experienced at the reunion after all those years, and seeing the five siblings together, especially his arrival at the airport. Sixteen years passed, always keeping in touch, attending family weddings and wonderful celebrations. Then came the early morning phone call and the horror that followed.
I will never forget the look on the son’s face when he arrived at this father’s wake, they too were estranged for 15 years…All that time wasted, I knew that I had to start looking again before it was too late.
Through happenstance, my wife met a woman at a DAR meeting, and explained she too was adopted, and located her birth parents through an organization called ALMA. She virtually had very little information and within a short period of time located both her parents. She still has contact with one of them, perhaps her story turned out differently than mine.
We contacted ALMA, filed the necessary papers, and they started to search. Within a little more than 48 hours, they called us to say they had found both my son and his mother. She had married twice, the second husband adopting David, hence changing his name, making this search extremely difficult.
ALMA gave us both an address and phone number, decided to write rather than call, giving all of us a chance to take this in. It was scary, not knowing what to expect, after all the years that had passed.
We were contacted by David’s mother and both my wife and I spoke with her. She was a wonderful and kind person then... I hoped that had not changed. The letter was forwarded to my son, and after a few days he called. I cannot put in to words what I felt, after all the years that passed. This is REAL…this is NOW!
We flew out to Indy in November, met with David, his wife and my grandson. I have four more grandchildren and two great grandchildren in Nebraska, and I have been in contact with them. The family photograph albums are growing by leaps and bounds. David and I talk several times weekly, and is planning a visit with us in the summer.
I am forever grateful for the efforts of this wonderful society, bringing families back together. While all of these stories do not have a “happy ending,” mine had a “new beginning.”
Thank You, ALMA, you do wonderful things."