I met Dean & Treena Salthouse in 2013, they had travelled from NZ to Australia to help with a church. I met them there, at that church and became instant friends. They are those kind of people - friendly, fun and easy to get along with. The church plan did not work out for any of us and it rather swiftly fell apart, but we remained great friends. Dean and Treena went home to New Zealand and I visited them there. 

We have the same passion for creative events and in 2015, we decided to run a Creative Worship Retreat in NZ. We needed more musicians for the worship team, so Dean & Treena asked their friends Dean & Jo to be involved. Now don’t get confused with the two Deans. While they were in Australia, Dean & Treena rented their house in NZ to Dean & Jo McQuoid, they all became good friends. They are amazing people and incredible musicians / worshippers and it is through this friend connection that my family was found.

When Treena scrolled through Brownie’s Facebook page, she found a conversation with Aunty Wana that connected Dean McQuoid. So she asked him, who was this aunty and the proceeding conversation revealed our connection. Aunty Wana was his aunty and he knew of Dalbert because they were related, but we had to ask Aunty Wana to find out who was who. Before the end of the night, after messaging Aunty Wana, it became clear, Dean McQuoid and I were cousins! This was amazing! We had already been hanging out, having dinner, laughing, joking and telling stories about our families. We had run a creative retreat together and then we find out that we are actually family. Dean Salthouse was right, he did know someone that I was related to! The whole story of my family unravelled from this connection point. And it was Dean McQuoid who had played and sung on Cindy's album, Karakia, the one that had impacted me so deeply. It was the sound of my cousin that had called me home.

Dean & Jo McQuoid

Dean & Jo McQuoid

Is this providence? Divine orchestration? If I had never met Dean & Treena, I may not have found the connection (Dean & Jo) that found my family, and what if they had never come to Australia? What if they had never rented out their house? They may not have become friends with Dean & Jo? What if Alison had not ventured to Australia in the first place? I would not have started down this path, if not for her insistence. All of the connections had to be made for this to unfold and like dominos, one by one the pieces fell into place.

Dalbert had been driving a bus in Auckland, right past the hospital where XXX had been working. After talking to Aunty Wana, I worked out pretty quick, that someone shouldn’t have been driving that bus round town. I was extra curricular activity, a little passion flower and I was hoping no one was going to come after me with a machete! Dalbert was married, he had a very nice few months with XXX, but she had left Auckland before she had found out she was pregnant and so in all probability, Dalbert didn’t know I had existed, which meant that his family doesn’t know I exist either. Shall I tell them? How terrifying!

This is the reason I had never initiated a search for my birth family, the fear of rejection. How can I enter into people's lives who don't know I ever existed and tell them, I am your sister? Besides my own terrifying fear, what would it feel like for them? How will they respond to the news that their father had an affair? Blast Alison, it's all her fault!

Me, Dean & Treena Salthouse

Me, Dean & Treena Salthouse

And as it turns out, not only does Dean Salthouse know someone I am related to, looking at his genealogy, we find along the family tree, a beautiful Maori woman. It turns out we are connected (through marriage), same tribe and infact, we are cousins! It just keeps getting crazier! Oh New Zealand, land of lots of cuzzies!