Dad's desperate bid to find 'lost' daughter
By MARY MANN email@example.com WHEN a 19-year-old woman knocked on Neil Sparke's door claiming to be his daughter, he was shocked. So shocked in fact, he closed the door on her.
The Alstonville man did not believe the young woman, who had tracked him down after almost 20 years of not knowing her father. Neil sent her away in disbelief.
But, he said, the more he thought about it, the better he could recall a day in 1987 when he found out he was the father of a baby girl whom he only ever met once. When she was born, Neil was not in a relationship with her mother.
He had visited them both in hospital when the child was just a few days old but until just a few months ago, that was the first and last time he had been in contact with his daughter.
He said he did not believe he would ever see her. So when the woman turned up out of the blue and told him who she was, he did not think it was true.
"It was such a shock, I didn't know what to do," Neil said. But now having sent her away, he is desperately trying to make contact with the woman again he wants one last chance to say he is sorry.
He has not spoken with her since she went to his home in August and he fears she hates him for not believing her when she approached him. He is not even sure if she ever wants to see him again.
"I just want her to forgive me," Neil said. "I wasn't sure, I was so surprised when she came here.
"She may not want to see me but I need to see her to explain to her what happened and to get to know her."
Neil has put up messages on noticeboards in Alstonville and Ballina, pleading for the woman, who he said is now 20, to make contact with him.
He said he is ready to take on the responsibilities of being a father and would love nothing more than to get to know his daughter.
"It's hard, but I will never give up," he said. "I think she thinks I don't want to see her and that I don't love her.
"But I really do love her, even though I haven't seen her for almost 20 years.
"I feel hurt about my mistake, I cried for weeks when I realised she was my daughter."
If you can help Neil, call him on (133677) 6628 1882.