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“Looking For My Dad.” How The Internet Helped A Woman Find Her Father After 25 Yrs.

Jordyn ONeil with son Asher and dad Brian Ahern

It’s never too late for another chance at being a part of a loving family.

When Jordyn O’Neil was just 8 months old, her mother left her father in Michigan and went to Texas, bringing Jordyn with her. However she soon abandoned her infant daughter, leaving Jordyn to be adopted and raised by her maternal grandparents in Alabama.

Jordyn’s birth mother died when she was a child, and her beloved grandmother died in April 2020. Feeling rudderless, Jordyn decided to start searching for the missing piece from her childhood: her father, Brian Ahern.

“After she passed away, I started looking for family members or anybody that would want to know that she had passed,” Jordyn explained. “She was everything to me and so after losing her, [it] was really hard. So, I wanted to know who else I had left, as far as my father and maybe his side of the family, thinking, I could lean on them for support and just having them back in my life.”

The only problem was Jordyn didn’t yet know her father’s last name, much less where to start looking for him. She finally got a break when her boyfriend suggested she take a DNA test, which lead her to a great-aunt named Pam. Pam not only knew Brian’s last name, she even had a photo or two of him. Armed with this information, Jordyn turned to Facebook for help tracking him down.

Jordyn shared her post on a Michigan group called “Downriver and Friends,” and next thing she knew her inbox was filled with messages from strangers who knew her dad.

“[The Facebook post] blew up,” she recalled. “So many people knew him. They were messaging me with his phone number, his address. Somebody went and knocked on his door to tell him about the post. Like, it was getting crazy.”

The next morning, Jordyn called her father for the first time in her life. Little did she know that for the past quarter of a century, he’d been thinking about her and wishing to be reunited as well.

Brian said he felt helpless when his ex-wife took Jordyn away all those years ago.

“I talked to her a couple of times, maybe within the first year that she said she’d keep in touch and then she just totally lost all contact with me,” he said of Jordyn’s birth mother. “Her number got changed. I couldn’t get ahold of her and then this went on for this long and I’ve always thought about Jordyn. I prayed to have her back in my life.”

Jordyn and Brian are now working on making up for lost time. They have met several times and talk on the phone daily. Brian even got to hold his only grandson, 3-month-old Asher.

“Being able to pick up the phone and be like, ‘Hey, Dad,’ it’s surreal,” said Jordyn. “It leaves me speechless even still. I still just can’t believe it.”

Brian is over the moon to be back in touch with his daughter and grandson, calling it a “gift from God.” They are both acutely aware that their reunion wouldn’t have happened without the help of total strangers on Facebook.

“Those people didn’t have to share anything with me,” Jordyn said, “They don’t have to be loving and supportive, but they have been and my heart really just goes out to those people. It’s been an amazing journey and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

It’s a shame Brian and Jordyn missed all those years together, but we’re so glad they can support one another now. It’s never too late for a new beginning!

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