« Go back

Reunited with my Birth Family after 65 years

Susan was born during the difficult times of World War II in 1941 which made it impossible for her mother to keep her. So Susan was left in the hospital in which she was born and the nurse that had delivered her decided to take her home and look after her for the first 15 months of her life.

After this time, Susan was taken to a Catholic Convent where she was raised by the Mother Superior until the age of five. From there she went to the U.S where she was adopted by a Cuban family who took her back to Cuba. Susan lived with her adopted family until 1960 at which point the family moved to Florida.

With all the moving around Susan had never really built an affinity with any of the places that she lived in and always felt British at heart. Susan knew that she had a family in the UK but had never really been told anything about them apart from the first name of her older brother, Christopher.

In her early 30’s Susan decided to start looking for her family using her mothers’ maiden name. The initial search threw up a number of results for a man named Christopher and after writing to them nothing more came of this initial search. Susan decided to write to the Mother Superior from the convent who told her that her mother had married and changed her name but she did not know what to.

In 2000, Susan decided to visit her oldest daughter who was married to a British man. During her visit to the UK Susan visited the General Register Office to search for her brothers’ birth certificate. During her search she found a certificate for a man named Christopher under her mother’s maiden name who was the right age. Susan said "The certificate had been re-issued under a new name. I knew that this just had to be my brother".

Armed with this new surname, Susan went back to 192.com and searched for her mother under her new name. The search results gave the address of woman with that name along with Electoral Roll information which showed that there was a Christopher living at the same address. Susan knew that this had to be her family but only had the address wanted to wait until she had a phone number.

After a few more visits to the UK Susan eventually found a phone number. When she called the house a man answered the phone. This turned out to be her brother, Chris. The initial conversation was difficult for him as his mother had never told him that he had a younger sister. At the end of their conversation they decided to meet that Sunday in a hotel lobby near to his house.

Filled with expectation Susan went to the hotel armed with the birth certificates she had found and met with two men, her elder brother Christopher and another man who turned out to be her younger brother. During their conversations Susan asked about her mother at which point she was told that she was actually still alive and aged 94! Susan was excited that she might get to meet her birth mother. Her brothers agreed to take her to the nursing home but asked Susan not to reveal who she was as her mother was very ill.

That same day, Susan went with her younger brother Michael to the nursing home and met her mother for the first time in over 65 years. Susan vowed to travel back to the UK every four months in order to spend time with her mother. Over the next year Susan built a strong relationship with her mother and although it was never said she is sure that her mother knew who she was.

Sadly, in early 2008 Susan’s mother passed away but Susan was overjoyed to have had the opportunity to spend time with her mother. Susan said "I cannot believe that I have managed to find my family and I could not have done it without 192.com. This has completely changed my life and made me a more happy and contented person. It’s absolutely wonderful!"

This incredible story has been captured in full in the book "A Random Figurine" written by Susannah D. McCallum.

The three strands of the family are now happily reunited including children and grandchildren.

Would you like to know more?

For advice on finding family and friends read the 192.com Guide to Tracing Relatives & Friends

To find someone that you've been looking for search the 192.com People Finder

Susan with her mother and half brothers
Susan with her mother and half brothers