I’d known my birth father’s name since 1997. I had pondered locating him for many years. I finally began searching in earnest for my him in 2010. I could not believe my eyes when his name matched a profile on Facebook. I’d written him many letters, but had, of course, never mailed them. In the early morning hours of June 2010, I tossed and turned all night. Finally, I crawled out of bed, hid in the bathroom as not to awaken my husband, and wrote my first email to this man who shares my blood.

As carefully as I had written the many letters never sent to him, I was just as haphazard with this memo. I sent a quick private message on Facebook asking if he remembered my birth mother. I tried desperately to somehow will him to understand who I was without telling him. My letter was brief. Do you remember my mother? I am her daughter born in 1973. Twenty-four hours passed without a reply. I began to feel desperate. Did I make a mistake in waiting 37 years to contact him? Did he even use his Facebook? I felt rejected without even hearing from him. I was obsessively checking my email to no avail.

Just when I thought I could not take another moment of watching the clock, I received a response back. Yes, he did remember my mother. He had dated her briefly in 1972. He recalled she was sweet and lovely. He was concerned about her health and asked me to reply as to how she was doing these days. That’s when I broke the news to him. My next Facebook message took me an eternity to compose. How do you tell someone you are their daughter via social media? It was difficult to do, but I did just that. “I was adopted in 1973, and my mother has told me you are my father.” That’s exactly what I said. I steeled myself for no reply, or at the very least, a negative reply. I played all sorts of horrible scenarios in my mind. I hoped only for a chance for medical history.

At this vulnerable time I would not allow myself to imagine anything greater than this. Forty-eight short hours after searching his profile on Facebook, my birth father responded to me with a message I never dared dream I would ever receive. He welcomed me as his third daughter (he also has a son he adopted at age 10!). He told me he was thrilled and shocked to have another beautiful woman to add to his children. I was stunned. My heart was beating out of my chest. Was this real? I read that email so many times through my red, watery, sore eyes. I had been brave, and it had paid off.

We have known each other for a year and half now. I know my sisters and brother. We talk often and have visited five times. I’m so happy to have all of them in my life. Most of all, I am so thankful that Facebook helped me find my father.