Reunion Success Stories
We have recently added a new feature to our website! With the written permission of those involved, we are posting photos and reunion stories of birth family members we have reunited through our efforts at the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry. Our hope is that in seeing these photos and reading these stories you will be touched and inspired. Continue to check back as we’ll be adding new stories on a continuous basis. If you are interested in posting your photo or story, please contact Dana Brown at 404-657-3560.
"In 1966 I was married to Walter (we had been married since 1963). He was in the Army and was stationed away. He asked for a divorce because he had met a girl he wanted to marry. I agreed. I met Ralph and got pregnant. When Walter heard I was pregnant he came home and dropped the divorce. When Ralph was told I was pregnant he decided he no longer wanted to be involved. Walter was stationed at Fort Benning and we moved there in May of 1967. Once Walter came home he said that we would keep the baby and raise it as our own. When we moved to Fort Benning, Walter became (once again) very abusive. On July 16, 1967, I went into labor and my son was born on July 17, 1967. At this time Walter informed me that we would not keep the baby and it was to be put up for adoption. He informed me that if I did not do this he would take our daughter from me (Kathy was at the time 4 years old). I consented and was never allowed to see my son. On a daily basis I called the Children’s Service to see how he was.
In October 1967, we moved to Alabama where we lived until Walter was discharged from the Army and we moved to Columbus. For years I tried to contact different agencies to try and find my son but always came up empty-handed. The Children’s Service in Columbus, GA stated that there had been a fire and all records destroyed. I never gave up hope that some day, some how I would find him and see that he was OK. As any mother all I really wanted was to know he was alive and well- never did I want to cause a problem just to know he was OK.
In November of 2013, my step son gave me a website for an agency in Atlanta, GA with hopes that they may be able to help me. I contacted them and filled out forms for them to assist me in locating my son. I kept in contact with Rachel Anderson and on December 31, 2013, Rachel called me and said they located my son. On January 6, 2014, Rachel called again to tell me that we were to have a call on January 7, 2014. I could hardly contain myself until the call came in. This was the 1st time I had spoken to my son (since I heard his 1st cry) in 46 years.
Since that time I have spoken to my son everyday and really feel blessed that our relationship has been the way it has.
My husband and I went to South Carolina to meet my son on January 25, 2014 and it was the most wonderful feeling a mother could have after all these years to hold her son that she was never allowed to hold.
When Walter told me that I had to give my baby up for adoption I thought I could do it and would not have a problem. That is the furthest thing from the truth. There was not a day that went by that I did not think of my son. Birthdays, Christmas and other holidays went by and all I could do was wonder if he was OK and did he have a good childhood. I really believe that had I not given him up for adoption he would have been killed or hurt by the hands of Walter. He was abusive until the day I divorced him in 1975.
My son is such a joy in my life and I thank God and Rachel every day for him being in my life. What a joy he is!"
Hope and Jerrald
"It has been a year now since Jerrald and I found each other. We both used the Reunion Registry since we were both given for adoption when we were born. We talked at first and then met in person. We discovered our paths have not been too far off over the years. I am thrilled he only lives 2 hours away. When I see Jerrald, I am overcome with joy and I just run to him and embrace him. When he gives me that big bear hug, lifts me off the ground, and plants that kiss on my cheek, I feel like a giddy little sister. And especially since we had to work our way in to getting to know each other, I cherish our relationship all the more. We share a lot in common because of our circumstances of being adopted and being raised by adoptive parents. It is different and I did not know it was different until I met my birth family. I guess that is why we embrace each other the way we do . . . we both had always hoped there was someone out there we were related to and we finally found each other. It is a gift every time I see him. I love that we are able to share that together and I love him. Truly blessed and I thank you!"
Top: New Family Reunion Day 1
Middle : Jerrald's first visit to Atlanta
Bottom: Hope and Jerrald.
"Hello, my name is Mike and I am an adoptee. If you found this website you’re in the right place. I searched from the age of 21 (legal search age of the time) till I was 33 years old, with all the wrong people, that is, dishonest and incompetent people that preyed on people like you and I. After being connected with the Families First organization, everything changed for me. Not only did Families First make the connection for me, they have a support group once a month, for continued support after the reunion, which I still go to 6 years after our reunion. I can’t say how your search may turn out, but I will say this… not only did I find my birth mother I also found the x-factor of something I had never thought of…siblings and a 91 year old biological grandfather and so many cousins, uncles and aunts that I lost count. I have enclosed a couple of pictures of my great story to inspire you on your journey of hope and commitment to yourself.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this and would love to speak with you at one of the group meetings!
Picture on the top: Andrea, Mike (me), Emily, Christin and Delilah.
On the couch picture / Left to right: Mike, Christin, Andrea, Emily, Delilah, Grandpa Larry, and my birth mother, Janice; lying across all of us.
Picture of two men: Grandpa Larry and Mike.
Hope and Bryan
"There is such a plethora of emotions that I have experienced over the past few months, I truly am not the same person, but better. I feel connected. To discover I do have half siblings after all these years of wondering is amazing and has left us all grateful for finding each other now.
My brother and I bonded pretty quickly through phone calls and finally meeting. We live only a 3 short hours away from each other and have managed to see and visit with each other 3 times in the past 3 months. We even had a weekend with both our families on vacation together. I felt like I was in a dream the whole time and spent most of my time just watching all of the activity and trying to soak in all my eyes could hold.
Finding my brother went beyond my own dreams. Now I am living out that dream. I had always wanted to know if I had any siblings that looked like me on the outside . . .now that I know him, I feel like I found someone that looks like me on the inside too! Blessed indeed!"
— Hope on her reunion with Bryan
"This photo was taken during my first visit with my sister Jennifer. I grew up as an only child and never felt like I looked like either of my parents. Being with Jennifer was the first time I've ever been in the presence of someone I have a biological connection with It was amazing!"
Kathy and Claire
"This picture (top) was taken on the first day that Claire and I met which was 2/2/08. It was 17 days after we first talked to each other on the phone and 24 days from the day I knew she was ok and alive! I had waited 38 years to see her again and I was convinced for all that time that it was never going to happen. But thanks to the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry we were able to find each other. And, now, it is almost 2 years later and my daughter and I are still communicating every day.
"The (bottom) picture was taken at Stone Mountain over a year later. Claire and I have developed a strong bond and a relationship built on trust and love. I cannot begin to express the absolute joy that I feel to be able to have my child back in my life – to once again have that which I had thought was lost and gone forever. It has been a journey that has taken a lot of time and effort, healing and emotion, but, oh, the wonderful rewards that are achieved! I now know when she broke her arm, when she lived where, and that she thought about me all those years and always wanted to find me. I have a wonderful loving relationship with her children and I have met her friends. I even have the Christmas tree ornament that she made in kindergarten and it goes on my Christmas tree along with the ornaments that my other daughters made as kids. Claire and I have talked about everything that happened concerning her birth, and we have both healed our wounds and are now at peace with the past. Reunion has been a beautiful, beautiful thing; and, hopefully, we will have many years together in our future."
— Kathy, natural mom to Claire
Gisela and Katherine
"After 30 years of searching, my birthmother found me when I needed her most. My adoptive mother had just passed and disowned me. Just when I thought all of my family had turned their backs on me, my real mother found me and she brought a large family with her. To find out that there were all these people that loved me when the didn’t even know me was just what I needed."
"This picture was taken the week that we all first met each other. May 2009. After 52 years of not knowing that I had any family, to find out that my mother had 18 children was an eyeopener for me. Of those 18 on 11 are still alive. I have met all of them except 3. I have talked with all of them except 2. I was too late to meet my parents, both of them had passed away before I found anyone. But Louise, my oldest sister has told me a lot of stories about both parents and all of us siblings while we were growing up and even after Shirley, Earl, Leroy, Gerry and myself were sold on the black market and given to out adoptive parents. Before I found the first of my siblings who was Kay, it was like a big hole in my heart. My adoptive parents and brothers were all passed away, so I didn’t feel like there was anyone on my side of the family left. It started me wanting to know more about myself. I am so glad that I went thru the adoption agency to find my family. Without their help, and God’s, none of this would have been possible. I was so glad on the day and we all felt the closeness to each other. We had so much in common with all of our likes and dislikes, it was scary. I will never forget this week we spent together getting to know each other."
Top Picture - back: Louise and Shirley - front: Deborah, Gerry, and Kay
"The excitement on my face expresses the joy in my heart at being reunited with my half brother, Tommy. It was like looking into a mirror! We both spent a lifetime seperately as “only childen” and now we had two glorious days of bonding with him and my six children,their spouses,and eighteen grandchildren! When he left California for Georgia everyone loved him as much as I did, and we can hardly wait to meet his children and my extended birth family! Finding out at age 65 yrs. that I was adopted was such a shock and sent me on a roller coaster ride that ended up becoming one of the greatest blessings in my life!"