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Father, daughter reunite ahead of Father's Day

Posted at 8:57 PM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 06:59:36-04

CAPE CORAL, FLA — Annmarie Goff, 29, says she grew up with a lot of questions.

One of the chief among them was linked to her ancestral heritage.

"I didn't even know what nationality I was," she said.

So, almost 10 years ago, Goff bought a 23andMe DNA testing kit.

And she said the kit led her back to another burning question she's always had.

"And then I said, 'Hey if I could find that out, maybe I could find him,'" said Goff.

That "him," would be the father she never knew, who was presumed dead.

"When I got the results back, I had all these first cousins and aunts and uncles and it said they were related to me and I had absolutely no idea how," she said.

After about a decade of deep dives through and social media from her home in the Bronx, NY, she found her answer all the way in Southwest Florida, in 2020.

"My aunt called me up last august and told me was in New York in 1989 and 1990. I told her, I said 'Yeah, why? The police looking for me? And she said 'No your daughter is looking for you.' I said 'Come again?' and she said 'Yes, you have a daughter out there,'" said Goff's biological father Frank Rizzi.

And after 30 years, Frank finally met Annmarie during a recent visit to Florida.

"I always said, if I was able to have a child I wanted to have a girl. So I got one," said Rizzi

"I feel like I finally had the answer to something that always bothered me my whole life," said Goff.

Since that meeting, the two are experiencing a lot of "firsts," including on Sunday when Goff wished her Dad a Happy Father's Day for the first time.

"My heart feels full and emotional," she said.

"I had some family members calling me up for the first time and saying 'Happy Father's Day' and I'm not used to it," said Rizzi.

Another big adjustment?

Frank is having to get a crash course on dad jokes.

"Don't have any jokes, but I'll think of some," he said.

"I know a million corny jokes. So we'll definitely trade jokes and I can help him out with his," said Goff.

But don't worry, the pair will have plenty of time to practice, because Goff and her fiance are moving down to Florida to be closer to frank and other family members.

And the countdown to when she touches down in Florida, is on.

"Two weeks and five days," she said.

The family also tells FOX 4 that Rizzi will also be able to walk Annmarie down the aisle at her upcoming wedding.