A father and daughter have enjoyed an emotional first meeting years after they began searching for each other.
Allan Young, 62, of Lambeth Walk, Stamford, was delighted when his 43-year-old daughter Sarah finally tracked him down and they spoke on the phone for the first time.
He said: “I’m ex-directory but she went through all the A Youngs in Stamford and got through to Adrienne Young, who just happens to be a near neighbour of mine.
“Adrienne came over and told me about this strange phonecall and gave me Sarah’s phone number.
“When I rang she said I’m Sarah your daughter and we couldn’t say much for crying, except that we’d tried to find each other and we’d love to meet up.”
Sarah, who now lives in Cleethorpes and has three children and one grandchild, began searching for her father when she was 18.
She knew he was from Stamford so she had visited the town on numerous occasions trying to research her family history. She discovered his full name when she applied for her adoption papers a few years ago.
Sarah said it was a friend’s insistence that she make a new effort to find him that led to the breakthrough.
She said: “I suffer from fibromyalgia and am currently having tests for lupus and my adoptive parents are both unwell. It felt the right time to make that extra effort and it’s been absolutely amazing.
“I always wanted to know who I looked like but not in my wildest dreams did I think my dad would be such a lovely, lovely man. Susan has been amazing as well and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the family.
“I didn’t think I would ever have this happy ending.”
Allan was just 18 when Sarah was born. His relationship with her mother had broken down.
Baby Sarah was handed over for adoption at the Lincoln nursing home where she was born and Allan was not allowed to see her.
He said: “I consulted a solicitor but was advised to leave well alone - in those days custody for a father in my position was out of the question.”
Allan went on to marry twice and have six more children but he never forgot his firstborn.
He said: “It was a big upset and I thought at the time I would never ever see her again.
“But all through the years I often wondered what she looked like and what she was doing.”
He tried to find her a number of times but his efforts always hit a brick wall.
He said: “The first time I tried to find her was before we had computers. I wrote a letter to the nursing home but had no reply and I found out it had closed down six months after she was born.
“Later I tried to find her on the internet but not knowing her last name made it impossible.”
Following their first phonecall Allan drove to Cleethorpes to see Sarah for the first time and said it was difficult to explain the extreme emotion of that first meeting.
“My first thought when she opened the door to me was oh my goodness - it was like looking at myself,” he said.
“She looks so much like me. We spent the day cuddling and crying.
“It was an instant strong connection - she didn’t feel like a stranger to me and she felt the same way. She asked if she could call me dad and she didn’t want me to leave.“
Allan has since made a second visit to Cleethorpes with his wife Susan and has met his new grandchildren - an event which he described as “just unbelievable”.
He said: “It was a magical day. They are all fantastic children and we all got on well.”
Sarah, whose surname is Pacey, will be visiting her newfound Stamford family on Sunday next week.
Among those who can’t wait to meet her is Allan’s 84-year-old mother Winifred who lives in Essex Road.
Allan said: “Sarah had always told her adoptive parents that she would look for her birth parents.”
He said Sarah has also tracked down her birth mother but she decided not to meet her daughter.
Allan, a former administration officer for the Department of Work and Pensions and before that for the prison service, was forced to retire with ill-health two years ago.
He said: “For me this is a dream come true. I was always sure deep down that I would find her one day.”