This morning the Internet finally came through for me.
For some backgruond, Clare is a girl that my mom and I hosted back when I was 12 or so through a program called Project Children. The program brings young kids from Northern Ireland to the US for the summer where they can experience a “normal childhood” for a summer away from all of the “troubles”. It was one of the best summers of my life. Clare and I kept in touch through letters and things for a few years after she left, but sometime around the start of high school, we lost touch. I’ve been trying to find her ever since.
On my “things to do” list you’ll see an item that says “get back in touch with Clare.” It is one of the few items on that list that I have actively been pursuing. Every once in a while I’ll stick her name into a Google query with all sorts of other identifiers – anything to even get a lead on locating her. I’ve never come up with anything helpful.
I got a notification from a new twitter follower who happened to be from Northern Ireland. I didn’t think much of it, but I soon found myself typing Clare’s name into google yet again. This time, though, the results were different. It was a profile page for a social network. I clicked through and tried to figure out if it was actually her. The profile was from someone my age from the town Clare is from. Promising. I got up the guts to send a message. “hey there- this is going to sound crazy – but do I know you? Have you ever been to the US? To New Jersey?”
Not even a minute later I had a response. It was her. Holy heck – after nearly 8 years I finally managed to find her.
We chatted for a bit on MSN this afternoon. She’s now engaged and has kids and is doing great. Hopefully it was the first of many chats. Wow. It’s amazing what the Internet can do, isn’t it???