It is a strange feeling knowing that your actual biological family don’t know you exist. The fear of rejection is the first feeling. What if they don't want to know I exist? How do I face that? What if they slam the door in my face?
Dalbert John Kingi, that was my father’s name. XXX really didn’t know very much about him, they had a great few months, but then they went on their separate journeys. She didn’t know his people or his place of origin, she remembered he had told great stories, but didn’t even know if they were true. She did however believe that the day would come when I would want to know, so when I met her for coffee, she gave me his name and two photos.
After my meeting with XXX, I was scheduled to visit with my friends Dean & Treena Salthouse in Auckland. As I arrived at their place, we discussed the possibility of finding my father's side of the family. I was skeptical, as we really did not have much information to go on, but Dean was absolutely convinced that we would not only find them, but that I was probably related to someone he knows! ‘This is New Zealand’, he said, ’of course we can find him’. 'It really can’t be that easy', was my response, can it?
Google of course, is the first place to begin such research and what I found was an article about Brownie King (a.k.a Dalbert John King), a musician in Whangarei, who was recording an album. This article was from 2010. If this was Dalbert, he looked good for his age, or it could be his son, which would make him my half brother. This article was our starting point and Dean set about phoning every pub and club in Whangarei, every place Dalbert or Brownie had played or had even been seen.
I facebooked every person in the article, all the band members, the recording studio, anyone who might know something, but no one answered me. No one knew anything. Dean kept phoning from one place to the next, but he also couldn’t find anyone who had seen him recently. This guy was not trying to be famous, all the Facebook events were from years back.
Then Dean decided to go systemically through the white pages, searching for a D.J. King, in the North. I was entirely skeptical, but Dean was still convinced, ‘You don’t understand New Zealand’ and sure enough after a few more phone calls, Dean was talking to a cousin. We found out that Dalbert had died, years ago, but his son Brownie was still around and he could find his number.
I was deflated, my father had died, there would be no meeting, no reconciliation, no more answers to my many questions. I couldn't believe our search could end like this. We had travelled overseas, from Australia to New Zealand and through both North and South Islands, from Christchurch to Auckland, how could it end this way? So now I was even more determined to find Brownie. Finally I found his Facebook page and the person looking back at me looked so much like Dalbert, it was freeky and it made me cry, something deep within me knew this was the right person, this was my brother.
I couldn’t find anything useful on Brownie’s Facebook page and he wasn’t answering my messages. In fact, he hadn’t been on Facebook for some time, he may never answer my messages. Treena was searching his Facebook page from her page and found that she could see a lot more than I could, because they had mutual friends.
Scrolling through Brownie’s Facebook page, Treena found quite a few common connections and conversations with people she knew. So she messaged one of them and the whole story started to unravel and we found them.