A WOMAN who was adopted as a baby has met up with her family for the first time - after her husband took a DIY diploma in private investigation and tracked them down.
Sharon Buchanan, 43, was only 11 when she was told by her step-mother that she was adopted.
She had been searching for her mother and siblings for decades but, despite finding her birth certificate, was ready to admit defeat after a series of disappointments.
Even a professional investigator was unable to make progress and returned his fee after failing to come up with answers. “I was on the verge of giving up. I kept hitting dead ends,” said Sharon, from Musselburgh.
But her husband Fraser was not ready to let the trail go cold. The 41-year-old had long been interested in detective work and registered online for a correspondence course with the Institute of Private Investigation at the beginning of 2008. He graduated with distinction less than a year later and, last October, put his skills to use in the search for his wife’s family.
And although it took him nine months to establish the name of Sharon’s mother, he needed only five days last October to find the Facebook page of the son of Annette Beck, his sister-in-law.
“It was a tough task,” said Fraser. “Her sister had remarried and changed her name. It took four or five days for me to track down Annette’s son.
“I was dumb-struck, shocked even, that I had actually managed to do what I set out to do and could not believe what had happened. After decades of looking, I’d managed to find Sharon’s sister.”
“He just had this grin on his face,” added Sharon. “He sat down and said, ‘I think I’ve done it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve done it.’
“I was just numb. I had been knocked back and come across brick walls so many times. I wasn’t ready to believe it.”
Shortly after leaving a message containing contact details, the couple received a text from Annette. Two weeks later they travelled down to Bradford and met her in a local pub.
“Since meeting Annette and finding out about my other siblings – Alexis, Arran and Michelle – I just feel like I belong,” said Sharon. “It’s like a weight has come off my shoulders.
“I don’t feel as lonely now. Before, through all those years, I just felt on my own.
“It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling at the moment. It’s bizarre – like being in a dream.”
Sharon said she and her sister are now talking about contacting their mother, Angela Robinson, who is currently living in Greece.
Although Fraser’s efforts have enabled Sharon to find siblings Alexis and Arran, the couple have set their sights on tracking down Sharon’s older sister, Michelle.
Fraser said he is looking forward to the challenge. He said: “The diploma directly influenced the way I worked on this case. It made me aware of just how much I could do.
“And I wanted to give my wife a gift no other person could give her.”