She was able to track down her father after posting two photographs of him on a Facebook group called Downriver and Friends.
Our parents are an extremely crucial part of our lives as our first caregivers, friends, teachers and everything else. Children who grow up without either of their parents often find it challenging and spend much of their lives wondering about their identity and wishing they knew them.
Jordyn O’Neil was also in such a position as she was eager to find her father but lacked essential information about him. Thanks to the assistance of a group of Facebook strangers, she was ultimately able to track him down. O’Neil's mother passed away when she was only 10 years old, and she was subsequently raised by her maternal grandmother.
The 25-year-old did not even know her father's last name and spent her entire life wondering about him. She told WMBF News, "I knew I was adopted at a young age, and it’s always, as I got older, it crossed my mind wondering who my dad is. I didn’t have any information on him growing up. No one would give me his name. I didn’t have pictures. I didn’t have anything." Despite attempting to use AncestryDNA to locate her father, O'Neil encountered nothing but roadblocks. As a result, she decided to contact her sole known living relative: her grandmother's sister. This individual recalled possessing ancient, overlooked photographs of O’Neil's biological father stowed away in her attic. The two photographs, taken in 1997, depicted O'Neil's mother and father during her mother's pregnancy and on the day of her birth.
Years prior, O'Neil was informed that her father may have been employed in Southgate. Armed with solely this knowledge, along with her father's first name and the discovered photographs, she took to Facebook in search of answers. Ultimately, she came across the Downriver and Friends group, a community consisting of 130,000 members renowned for their willingness to assist others. She said, "I posted the two pictures with his name being Brian. And I’m like, ‘I know these pictures are from 1997, but does anyone recognize him? This is my only hope.’ And it blew up."
Numerous individuals belonging to the Facebook group were actually acquainted with O'Neil's father, recognizing him as Brian Ahern. "There were people that were sending me his phone number, his address. Somebody went to his house and knocked on the door to tell him about the post," O'Neil shared. Following this, O'Neil and Ahern were reunited on April 9 after 25 years.
Ahern said, "I used to wonder all the time about her. I thought about her quite a bit over the years. And I hoped that someday she’d find me or I’d find her." It was revealed that Ahern had raised his daughter on his own until she was 8 months old, at which point her mother took her to Texas. He doesn't have any other children.
O’Neil said, "My first thought was, ‘Wow, I look exactly like this man.’ There was no denying that this is my dad. I just feel so grateful... to experience this love and support from strangers on the internet and now finding my dad."
According to O'Neil, locating her father felt akin to discovering the elusive fragment of a puzzle. Furthermore, she was able to facilitate an introduction between Ahern and his three-month-old grandson, Asher. Ahern said, "I get the whole package right away, didn’t I?" Presently, the father and daughter communicate with one another on a daily basis. Ahern has also conveyed to O'Neil the extent to which she has revitalized his life with love.