Danielle—let's call her Danny, to keep her straight from my birth mom :-)—quickly e-mailed Mr. Fantastic back to confirm that we were indeed talking about the same person. I'm still not sure how she was so confident. I'm telling you, we're not talking about a real unique name here, people. Anyway, Mr. Fantastic passed her e-mail on to me to handle as I saw fit. You see, I hadn't truly expected to find him. Before Mr. Fantastic had come across this messageboard, I had decided that I didn't want to invest the money in the investigator he had talked to. I didn't imagine in a million years that we would be able to contact him on our own. So now that the opportunity was right there in front of my face, I was no longer so sure I wanted to go forward with it. Mr. Fantastic assured me that he would leave the ball in my court.
But then, for some reason, he didn't. He felt obligated to respond to Danny's e-mail, and he told her why we were searching for George. It seems like such a minor detail now, so unimportant, but at the time I was absolutely devastated. This was a big step for me, and I wanted to take it in my way, on my time. Instead, he'd pushed me right down the staircase!
It was probably the shove that I needed, though. I now felt that I had no choice but to e-mail this woman about this man who I wasn't even sure I wanted to find. So I did. I told her who I was—probably reiterated a lot of the things Mr. Fantastic had already said—and explained why I was looking for George. I had no idea when I hit the "send" button what an integral part of my life she would become over the next several years.
Somewhere I still have that first e-mail that Danny sent me. I was in awe of how God had dropped her in our laps—I still am. Yes, she said again, we were talking about the same George… and she also knew who I was. She and George had had a relationship shortly after his relationship with my birth mom—but theirs had been… well, more "real", for lack of a better word. While I surmise that George's relationship with Danielle had been a fling (and had definitely been an affair), he and Danny had been in a long-term, somewhat-committed (more on that later) relationship. One where they lived together and had a child together as a result of actually TRYING to get pregnant. She had known about George's affair with Danielle and knew that they'd had a child who had been given up for adoption. And now here we were, 21 years later, "meeting" for the first time by the miracle of the internet.
And then I got it—George's address. I'm not sure if the message Mr. Fantastic had come across online was an old one, or if she had found him in the interim or what, but she now had his physical address. And she sent it to me.
And this man… the one who had lived in Colorado when I was born… who had lived in California when I was a child… who had traveled the world as a member of the Air Force… lived in Columbus, Ohio. Two hours away from me.