LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's been a father-daughter relationship nearly six decades in the making for Mindy Wilson and Mike Johnson. Mindy was given up for adoption after she was born in Colorado.
Johnson was young and in love when Wilson's mother broke off their relationship for the second time.
"About a month later, she called me and said, 'I'm pregnant and I expect you to pay half,'" Johnson said. "Here I was 17 at the time and scared to death and didn't know what to do. Totally lost and broken-hearted. I had hopes we could get back together. She didn't want anything to do with that. She went on and had her baby."
At three months old, Wilson was adopted by a family from Texas, who moved back to the Panhandle area when she was four.
"You see people, meet people and think is that what my mom was like or is like?," Wilson said. "Is that what my dad is like? Do they think about me on my birthday? What's going on with them? Are they still around? What happened originally? Why did it end up like this? Would my life had been different if I had been raised by them?"
Meanwhile, Johnson, who moved to Oregon, was thinking about his daughter.
"I thought about her all the time, wondering where she was, what she had turned out to be," Johnson said. "Every birthday was the hardest."
He would escape work to find a special place to remember his daughter.
"I had a favorite place that overlooked the Pacific Ocean," Johnson said. "I would go up there and sit and watch the sunset thinking about her. Those were the toughest times."
Curiosity got the best of Wilson when her son suggested enlisting help in a search from an outlet that specializes in the type of work. Several years went by and just when she had given up hope, she got a call.
"My heart was racing," Wilson said. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh. This is crazy. It's real.'"
She had the organization give her father a call, as well, which claimed to be asking questions about his family tree.
"She hit me right between the eyes and said, 'Could you have fathered a child born March 12, 1960,'" Johnson said. "Once I got up off the ground and put the phone to my ear I said, 'yes.' She said, 'Your daughter has been trying to find you,'. I couldn't talk for a while. She gave me the most wonderful news."
The two eventually exchanged their own phone calls and Wilson arranged a surprise trip to Oregon to meet her father for the first time.
"My life was great, now it's just a different feeling," Wilson said. "It's like OK, now I know. It's still unreal. It's like a Hallmark movie or something."
"In one of her emails I got from her she said, 'I don't know how I could love someone so much I never seen or never met,'" Johnson said. "That was my feeling, too."