Last month I had the opportunity of my dreams. I visited Ireland and met my extended family for the first time. Ten years ago I decided to find my father’s family and thanks to familysearch.org and social media, I did.
My father was raised in an orphanage in New York and knew very little about his family. I had a few names and birthdates but that was all. I have used Facebook and e-mail to correspond with them for about a year when I decided it was time to take a trip to the Emerald Isle.
I spent 2-1/2 wonderful weeks meeting family, with lots of hugs and tears on both sides that made for a heart fulfilling experience. The scenery was fantastic, pictures don’t do it justice. I’m grateful I experienced the true Ireland…the real Ireland. People were so very gracious, accommodating and friendly. It wasn’t uncommon for people to stop me on the street, wherever I was and simply chat.
As I left Ireland my heart was full with the new found knowledge of the stories of my family’s lives and history. I’d found my family…forever.
Pictures: Above - Antrim Castle Gardens, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Below – Sheep posing for a picture in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland