A WOMAN has told of the moment she found out that her dad wasn’t actually her real father which made it feel as if her “world crumbled.”
Louise Stoppani, 40, was just seven at the time and later spent 20 years searching for her biological parent.
Now with two kids of her own and a third on the way, Louise remembers when her mum sat her down to tell her.
John, who she’d always known as dad, was actually her sister’s biological dad but not her own.
Louise’s mum fell pregnant to her boyfriend Paul when she was just 16 years old, but they didn’t stay together.
“I felt my world had crumbled and I didn’t belong because John was my sister’s birth dad but not mine,” she said.
I felt my world had crumbled and I didn’t belong because John was my sister’s birth dad but not mine.
“I didn’t feel wanted, even though Mum and John told me they loved me as much as my sister. I remember thinking ‘I’ve got another dad but where is he?’”
Growing up she did nothing to look for her real dad but a single comment from a workmate in her teens sparked a quest to find him.
She was told that she looks “just like her dad” but Louise knew this was impossible since her and John weren’t actually related.
It was only when the colleague corrected her and said “no, not John – Paul” that she decided she wanted to meet him, with her mum Dawn supporting her every step of the way.
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She reportedly contacted the Salvation Army, trawled phone books, quizzed family and messaged every Paul Stephenson she could find, according to Mirror Online, but she had no luck.
It was only when she applied to appear on ITV’s Long Lost Family, which will air on Monday at 9pm, that she discovered her other family, including her dad’s two sisters.
The show’s host Davina McCall and the team of researchers reportedly tracked down her dad Paul, but sadly, he’d lost his life to drugs at the age of 28.
Louise said: “It was devastating. But Davina gave me a photo of him – the first I’d seen. It was a moment I’d waited for since I was seven.”
I didn’t feel wanted, even though Mum and John told me they loved me as much as my sister. I remember thinking ‘I’ve got another dad but where is he?’
From this photo, which she carries in her bag, she noticed that she has his smile.
With help from the show, Louise was able to meet her two aunts, Sharon and Michelle, who were happy to be in touch.
While she was able to meet Sharon, from Ely, Cambs, in person, Michelle had to join via video call from Nebraska, US.
They shared stories with Louise about her dad Paul as they “cried happy tears,” with Louise saying “it felt like Christmas Day.”
Louise and her two aunts have reportedly stayed in touch, and they even gave her a sweet gift on her 40th birthday.
It was a locket holding a snap of her dad Paul, with Louise saying she is “now complete.”
Long Lost Family airs Monday, 9pm on ITV
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