In early April 1998, I found myself standing in front of the mailbox. I was sending in a registration form to the International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR). My search had officially started.
Just a couple of weeks later, my husband and I were enjoying some post-work, homemade margaritas on a Friday night at our house. Happy hour had officially begun and the weekend lay ahead in all of its no-work-required glory. I was three quarters of the way through my second margarita when the phone rang. It was around 8 p.m. in the evening.
The caller identified herself as a volunteer with ISRR, confirmed that I was the person she was trying to reach and asked if I had a few moments to talk. She explained that they had received my registration form and believed there was a match. Your father, she told me, had registered six years earlier.
She told me to grab a pen and some paper. Despite my tequila-induced haze, I managed to write down everything she told me. My father’s name. My paternal grandparents’ names. Where they had lived. It was so surreal and such an out-of-mind experience that I didn’t know what was the margaritas and what was simply the reality of the phone call.
My search was over. I had a natural father. And he had been looking for me.
I asked the woman what happened next. She told me that they would send him a letter and once they heard back, they would put us in touch with each other. I said “that’s it?” and she responded “yes, that’s it.” As I laid the phone back down in its cradle, my stomach started doing flip flops. I walked into the other room where my husband was watching television and sipping his margarita. He asked who had called and I told him.