A woman recently went searching for her birth mom after receiving a copy of her adoption records (these recently opened in her home state of Ohio). She didn’t have to search very far: just in a different department at her workplace.
“When [La-Sonya] Mitchell-Clark first received her birth records in the mail on Monday and saw the name Francine Simmons, she immediately plugged it into Facebook,” reports the story on Entrepreneur. It didn’t take long for her to recognize her mother as a woman who worked at the same business she did.
“Following a tearful reunion, the two…discovered that they live just six minutes away from one another,” reports the article. La-Sonya also learned that she has three birth sisters, one of whom also works at the same company. Wow! Company picnics and water cooler chats must suddenly seem a lot more meaningful after this birth family reunion.
Learn to use your own DNA to search for genetic relatives (whether you’re adopted or not!) in our free Genealogy Gems podcast interview with CeCe Moore, a leading expert who appears regularly on television shows to talk about finding family with DNA.
A new one-hour TV special, Long Lost Family, will air on TLC on Sunday, March 1 at 10:00 pm EST /9:00 pm Central in the U.S. Here’s the storyline about two adoptees reunited with birth families, from a press release from TLC:
“Hoping to find their biological families, two adoptees team up with hosts Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner to embark on an emotional journey…through the ups and downs of trying to track down loved ones they’re so anxious to meet.
[As adoptees themselves, hosts] Chris and Lisa are uniquely poised to provide emotional support and guidance as [Christopher and Paula] brace for the rigors of this difficult search. Hitting so close to home for both Chris and Lisa, the two will stop at nothing to try and give Christopher and Paula the news both so desperately want to know.”
- Christopher Hanson hasn’t seen his mother in 30 years. After being left in a grocery store parking lot when he was only 6-years-old, Christopher has been haunted by this memory for most of his life and has always longed to reunite with his mother. Eventually adopted by a loving family, Christopher is desperate to unlock the mysteries of what happened on that day and discover exactly why he never saw his mom again.
- Paula, a 54-year-old grandmother of 10, knows very little about her biological family. She is longing to meet them and find out why her parents kept her for a few days, only to give her up and never reach out again.
Ancestry teamed up with TLC to sponsor Long Lost Family. Ancestry provided the AncestryDNA kits used by the two adoptees to confirm their biological families and access to records on Ancestry.com to help Christopher and Paula.
If you watch it, let us know what you thought of it! Post on our Facebook face.
Recently we announced our featured book title for the first quarter of 2015: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. A major theme in this book is what happens to a child’s identity when he or she is separated from parents and kin.
With this story fresh on my mind, Lisa sent me a story from The Press and Journal (Aberdeen, UK) about Irene Robertson from Scotland. Irene grew up never knowing much about her birth family. Her mother had released her into foster care but never allowed her to be adopted, so she stayed with a foster mother until she was an adult.
Over the years she wondered whether she had birth relatives out there somewhere. It was painful. “When I saw programmes on the TV like Who Do You Think You Are? I couldn’t watch them,” she told The Press and Journal. “I couldn’t watch people meeting their relatives, I would just start crying. I so wanted it to be me.”
When she was nearly 70, a charity called Birthlink helped Irene locate her niece and, through her, her brother. Their reunion over the phone, and then in person, felt to Irene like coming home. “The minute I spoke to him he said, ‘You sound just like family’ and that’s all I wanted to hear really,” she told the paper. “That’s great. He made it very easy. I mean somebody called me ‘Sis’. What a feeling that is, it was just amazing.” Read the full story about these birth siblings reunited and see a picture of them in the The Press and Journal.
Join our “virtual book club” in reading Orphan Train, a novel about two people fostered out in the U.S.–one an orphan train rider and another a teen in today’s foster system. In March we welcome author Christina Baker Kline to the Genealogy Gems podcast to talk about the experiences of her characters in Orphan Train–feelings that might very well resonate with Irene in Scotland.
(Note: when you use our links to shop for the book you are helping to support the free Genealogy Gems Book Club and Podcast. Thank you!)