LONG Lost Family viewers admitted they were ‘a blubbering mess’ as woman meets her dad’s FOUR siblings after finding out his surprise nationality.
Fans of the ITV show watched as Paula Stillie appealed for help to find out more about her father’s background and said: “I don’t know where I come from.”
Paula, 51, was adopted by her parents, Joyce and Jim Stillie, and brought up in Scotland.
But clearly mixed race, her childhood was spent growing up looking different to her adoptive family and not knowing why.
She explained: “I don’t know where I come from. What are my roots? Who do I look like?
“I don’t feel as if I’ve got an anchor in life I could come from anywhere in the world. I just don’t know.”
She added: “Being adopted you’re different, but also of mixed race as well makes you even more different.”
A previous attempt to find her birth mother was only partially successful, as when she found her living in England she did not want anything to do with Paula.
Also discovering her mother was white led to more unanswered questions and so it was left to the Long Lost Family team to delve deeper into her father’s side.
But her birth mother did provide details of a man called Larry Smith who had come over from America to the UK with the Navy.
Reaching a dead end, even with the extra information provided, experts used DNA testing to find a match with an online family tree.
I don’t know where I come from.
It was here researchers discovered Paula was from an family of Native Americans and her birth father was a man called Lawrence, but known as John to his family.
Unfortunately John passed away in 1982 but his younger brother Joe, living in Montana, America was keen to welcome Paula into the family – along with his siblings Mary Louise, Nancy and Richard.
Learning the news from host Davina that she is of Native American heritage, Paula said tearfully: “It’s life changing this.
“That means the world to me in my heart, it’s that sense of contentment.”
Paula, who is herself a mum to 26-year-old son Kyle and married to husband Euan, was given the chance to meet her uncles and aunts via video call.
Joe commented that although his brother did not know about Paula, the discovery was “kind of bringing John back into our family” again.
Paula gushed: “I can’t describe how happy I am. I belong somewhere.
“It’s the start of a new chapter and it’s gonna be incredible.”
Paula’s aunt Nancy added: “She is a part of the family and will always be.”
One viewer wrote on Twitter after the show aired: “I have no idea how
@ThisisDavina and Nicky Campbell Manage to film #LongLostFamily
I’m a blubbering wreck”.
Another added: “”Must be heartbreaking when your search results in rejection, or the person is gone – but what these people find can also be amazing and absolutely fascinating.
“What a journey for Paula. #LongLostFamily #NativeAmerican”.
A third commented: “Paula’s story is so moving”.