31 Years in a Black Hole

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31 Years in a Black Hole

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Posted: 9/30/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

"I am the Aunt of the a child I have never met. My sister has requested my help in assisting to find her the son she gave up when she was only 15 years old. That was 31 years ago. She has suffered many hardships over the past 31 years, including low self esteem, self-destructive behavior, alienation from her parents and family members, etc. Yet despite the challenges she has blossomed into a wonderful, caring and loving individual, aunt and wife that needs closure to a part of her life that continues to haunt her every day. She describes it as a black hole. She gave up her most treasured and precious gift through the most selfless act of love so that he might possibly have a better chance at life and a stable environment. She was one of seven children in our Catholic family. Our parents were unable to offer support as it was a different era with pregnancy at fifteen and being unwed was a taboo. She named him Joshua Matthew. The biological father died a year after the baby's birth. I would like to help her pursue this as she is very fearful of the possibility of disappointment--something she knows all too well. It would be a godsend to be able to help my sister through this event and end the emotional torture of not knowing. She has attempted to research his whereabouts in the past by herself but has been denied information and told the records are not available. I have been told by a close friend that Search Quest America handles situations like this one every day with compassion and sensitivity. Please if you could help my sister and I at least know if he is ok it would release 31 years of sadness and regret. My sister would love to meet him and would respect his wishes in the best interest of all as she has never been able to have any more children. He is her only one--her son."

Theresa sent this email to SQA in May of this year. Susan Friel-Williams, SQA CEO and head researcher, took the case personally. Within 15 days, she located the adoptee, whose name is Scott, living in California. This proved to be an unusual situation, however, because Scott had just been released from jail. His current phone number was not yet a matter of public record. Theresa was unprepared to receive this news, but handled the situation with resolve.

"He's my nephew, and the fact that he was in jail doesn't change anything for us. It only shows that he needs us just as much as we need him. He needs to know that he has always been loved and that love is unconditional--mother to son," Theresa said.

Theresa took the bull by the horns and contacted Scott's probation officer, who supplied contact information for Scott's parents. She contacted them the same day, and they agreed to facilitate a meeting between Scott and his birth family. It was an emotional experience for everyone involved, especially Scott and his birth mother. "They have a lot of catching up to do, but I can already see that healing is taking place for everyone involved, and I am grateful to have a part in making this happen for my sister and her son. Thank you SQA for living up to your reputation and not only solving our case, but doing it with professionalism, compassion, and grace. God bless you all!"

(Written by Mica Burton on Theresa's behalf.)

Client ID# 244387
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