We have covered many stories of heartwarming father-daughter bonds, and stories of heartbreaking father absences in families. It’s not too often that we’re able to cover a bittersweet story of a father and daughter reunited after 30 years apart.
April Becker Antoniou was born in 1979 on St. Patrick’s Day. That piece of personal information was about as much as her father, Scott Robert Becker, knew about his daughter.
He didn’t want to be removed from her life, but he and Antoniou’s mother had had a serious argument. It was so serious that it ended up costing him 30 years with his daughter.
Antoniou’s mother decided to leave home with their infant daughter after the fight. It wasn’t until Antoniou was 5 years old that she learned the man that her mother had remarried was not her biological father.
As she grew older, she felt the ache to know her biological father grow stronger. She had to process anger and resentment over losing the chance of having her father watch her grow up.
Antoniou made the decision to not be angry or hold grudges against either parent. When she thought of the situation, she realized that they both played a role in the outcome and its serious consequence of separating a father and daughter.
Becker made a significant decision as well. Not only did he decide to let go of his anger surrounding the lost years of knowing his daughter, but he poured all of his resources into finding his daughter.
Becker explained, “I spent thousands of dollars looking for her, but I just could never find her. I had a first, middle and last name, and her birthday. But I didn’t have a social security number.”
Unfortunately for Becker, the surname “Becker” was a common surname in the United States at the time the private detectives’ searched for his daughter. Over the years he searched for his daughter, he spent $40,000 on private investigators, without success.
Thankfully, Antoniou began her own search to find her long-lost father. Hiring a private investigator proved to be too costly, so she turned to the internet.
She searched her father’s name many times through search engines and websites designated to finding people. Many of Antoniou’s internet searches had failed, but then she cleverly tried searching a new phrase.
She searched, “Scott Robert Becker looking for April,” which ended up directing her to an entire website that Becker created years ago dedicated to finding his daughter. The website was called “AprilBecker.com.”
She knew it must really be her father when she noticed that the website included the correct spelling of Joi, her middle name. Becker and Antoniou emailed back and forth to confirm that they were both who the other had been dreaming of meeting for 30 years.
Becker got on a plane just two days after the initial email exchanges and visited Antoniou for a 10-day visit. He was even able to meet his grandchildren.
Despite the pain of knowing how much they’ve missed out on by not being in contact for 30 years, they’re both overjoyed to begin a relationship. They look forward to the next 30 years together!
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