So many beautiful and memorable adoption reunion stories have touched my life through the years, as the founder of Trustify, the first technology platform to connect clients to the only nationwide network of licensed private investigators and the former Executive Director of Joint Council on International Children’s Services. These five stories are ones you will likely not forget anytime soon! If you would like to learn more about finding your birth family member, check out Adoption.com’s Adoption Registry.
5 Great Reunion Stories You Should Know About
Reunion stories are wonderful things to hear and read about. Here are 5 great reunion stories you won't want to miss.
Pregnant and unmarried, Roseanne had little choice—due to her parents—than to place her baby for adoption after living at the Salvation Army’s home for unwed mothers. She placed her baby through Jewish Family and Children’s Services when she was 18. Years later, a tabloid magazine told her that they found the birth certificate of her birth daughter and were stalking her adoptive family. Roseanne did not want her daughter, Brandi Brown, to find out she was her birth mother through a tabloid, so she hired a private investigator to find her. Within three days, they were in contact. They eventually met and have had a relationship ever since.
One of the most viewed adoption reunion stories in 2017 was the meeting of Catherine Su Pohler with her biological parents Qian Fenxiang and Xu Lida on the Qixi Festival in China. When Pohler was three days old, she was left at a market in China. She was adopted a year later by an American family. When she was 20, Pohler learned that her birth parents left a note and that annually they visited a famous bridge in Hangzhou with the hopes she would read their note and meet them. Their story and reunion was is the basis of the documentary, Meet Me On the Bridge.
A woman who regularly road on Dee Starkey’s bus route looked just like her friend Molly. Dee told her often that she had a doppelganger, a woman with the same mannerisms, looks and was also biracial. Melanie Russell knew that her mother placed a baby girl for adoption, but knew little other than her birthday, July 29th. Years later, Dee, said to Melanie as she boarded her bus again that asked if she could take her picture to send to her friend Molly who knew she was adopted at 9 months. It was an emotional moment when both women realized they were likely sisters right over the phone, there on the bus. They spoke over Messenger and eventually met, along with their birth mother. The sisters have a beautiful relationship today thanks to a chance encounter Melanie had with her bus driver.
Christmas 2017 was a season full of surprises for Kieron Graham, who was reunited with his biological family after taking a DNA test. He quickly was matched through Ancestry.com with his biological brother who also turned out to be studying political science, just as Kieron is, at Kennesaw University. This holiday season also brought a reunion with this birth mother and younger brother who live only 15 minutes away from him. The adoption search and reunion was complete when he was finally reunited with his biological father and brother. Graham said, “It was pretty much all I could wish for.”
Greg Louganis, the U.S. Olympic diver was reunited with his birth mother last year. It was a day of gratitude on Thanksgiving 2017, a story he waited 57 years to be completed. He met his biological mom and learned he had biological siblings. As Greg stated “My family’s tripled! It’s such an unexpected surprise.”
He ended 2016 by submitting his DNA to an online DNA search site with the hopes of confirming the identity of his birth father, whom he had known for many decades. However, instead of just receiving that information, he was contacted by a now confirmed biological cousin who reached out and said “I think you may be my aunt’s son.” Greg was connected with his biological mother, and together they met for a Thanksgiving neither one will ever forget.
Jennifer Mellon has worked in the child welfare field for more than a decade, serving in varying capacities as the Executive Director and Chief Development Officer of Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) and the Corporate Communications Program Manager for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Jennifer has served on the Board of the Campagna Center, which provides critical educational services to children and families in the DC Metro Area and on the Development Committee for the National Council for Adoption. She is the mom of three children and resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
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