So close yet so far away; a very familiar phrase. Have you ever felt that way trying to reach a goal, passing an exam, or simply that the timing is not right? Or maybe it’s just that you weren’t in the right place at the right time? What if you were searching for something, or more important someone, and continued to find dead ends?

This was the story for John Barton. He was adopted at birth but did not find out he was adopted until he was 10 years old, according to this news article. His adopted family had little information about his biological family due to it being a closed adoption. His many searches were unproductive.

Ironically, growing up, John had no idea that he lived only minutes away from his biological family. He had three biological siblings who were raised by their biological mother. She placed John for adoption because she knew she would not be able to financially provide for another child as a single, working mother.

However, a breakthrough for John happened when Pennsylvania passed a law allowing adoptees to request the names of their biological parents if they are listed and do not object to having their names being released. John asked for the names and received them in the mail.

People who have been adopted have many different reasons as to why they search for their biological family. According to this adoption article, these reasons include medical history, biological siblings, and answers to their questions to name a few.

Through social media, John was able to connect with his biological siblings. What is even more special is he was able to connect with his biological brother, who was battling cancer and passed away a short time after their meeting.

Because they lived in such close vicinity, the siblings are sure they had crossed paths at some point and just never realized it. They are very thankful to have this relationship, even after many years. Loretta, John’s sister-in-law, stated, “one reason we wanted to tell this story is so people who have been adopted know there is hope and to never give up. They are out there somewhere.”