An episode of “Long Lost Family” shared the story of Chris Thrasher last week. A series of events led him to look for his birth family. When the producers of the show contacted him to tell him they found his biological mother, he was in shock. “I really lost it. I wasn’t as prepared for the news as I had anticipated,” he recalled. He flew to see his adoptive parents and get their blessing before taping got the show.
Thrasher was raised by a white family in the 1970’s. Even though his parents told him he was a dark-skinned Sicilian, his classmates teased him relentlessly. He dropped out of school at 16 and developed a drug addiction. He entered rehab at 19. Upon completion, he went back to school and became a professor. In 1999 he moved to Atlanta where he spent 13 years working at the Morehouse School of Medicine and another two years at Jeff Arnold’s Sharecare. Thrasher is currently the Senior Director of Substance Use Disorders and Recovery at the Clinton Foundation. He is married and has two daughters, who were his only known blood relation before the show.
In 2016 fate intervened and sparked Thrasher’s adoption search. First, he saw the film Lion about an adoptee searching for his birth mother. The film stirred unfamiliar emotions inside him. Next, the therapist recommended the NBC show This Is Us. The premise is about a black child adopted by white parents in the 70s. The plot paralleled his life and touched him on a personal level. Lastly, a friend told him to check out the show “Long Lost Family.” After viewing the show, he decided to apply on their website. After several months and a lot of correspondence, TLC decided to sign on to his story. He took a DNA test that revealed his ethnicity, including the Italian descent he received from his birth mother. His reunion story aired April 8th.