Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after 63 years
AFTER more than six decades apart, a Cannonvale woman has met her step-brother for the first time following a 15-year search.
Annette De-Lisle, 65, was aware she had a step-brother, Brian Poulton, 63, in Sydney, but her efforts to discover him intensified seven years ago when their mother died.
"Mum had money for him in the bank and I wanted him to have it,” Ms De-Lisle said. "I assumed he was still in Sydney and I rang every Poulton in the phone book.
"I assumed the solicitors would find him but they didn't, so I really tried to search for him and my niece was researching our family tree and we eventually found his daughter, Tracey, in Tara.”
Ms De-Lisle sent Tracey a Facebook message in June and when Tracey asked if they had met, Ms De-Lisle responded with the hopeful words "your dad might be my brother”.
Ms De-Lisle's mother had been separated from her son when he was just two years old and despite travelling to Sydney in later years in an attempt to find him, she died before she had the chance to see him again.
After three months of discussion, Mr Poulton and Ms De-Lisle arranged to meet in Sydney during the first week of September, an experience Ms De-Lisle said she will never forget.
"The first time I saw Brian, I was coming down the escalator at the airport, and as I was coming down I could see the two of them, Brian and his daughter, about 50 metres away,” she said.
"All I could see was these big smiles and my jaw started to hurt because I was smiling so much.
"We had the biggest, longest hug and there were tears. Then we got on the train and just laughed and smiled and cried all the way to his house.”
Ms De-Lisle said her trip wasn't made without some hesitation.
Despite the initial excitement, nerves started to kick in a few days before she made the crucial journey to Sydney.
"I had no idea what they were like and I only had one photo. I was freaking out. He told me later that he was nervous too,” she said.
"But once we got the hugs out of the way, I felt like I'd known him my whole life.”
Ms De-Lisle met Mr Poulton's children and grandchildren in Sydney and said they have all formed a strong bond, something she couldn't be more thrilled about.
"He's lovely, he's awesome and he's just like me,” she said. "Everyone says his daughter looks like me too.
"We just got on like a house on fire. I just loved it. I don't think we'll ever lose connection now because we're so close.”