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DNA Confirms it--We're Sisters

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Posted: 8/19/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

Who do I look like? What is my family history? Who is my father and do I have siblings? I have always wanted to know who I am. I have looked for the answers to these questions ever since I found out I was adopted. As a teenager I found a copy of my adoption papers and felt like my whole life had been a lie. I have been searching for my birth family ever since.

I was born in 1950 and have been told that my mother's name was Armilda Rose. She was 19 when I was born out of wedlock, and in those days she had little choice but to put me up for adoption. The woman who raised me told me that my grandfather's name was Patrick and he spoke with a thick Irish accent, but I couldn't find her or her family anywhere in the 1930 census. The adoption agency, St. Elizabeth's, gave me all the information they could, but today, Armilda would be 77 years old and I know we are running out of time to find her alive. I have so many questions I need to ask her! If miss this opportunity to search, I will regret it for the rest of my life.

I contacted Search Quest America for the first time in April and my case was assigned to Julie Jones. She put me at ease, wracked my brain for every little piece of information I had heard over the years, and walked me through the steps to request my non-identifying information. Meanwhile, she worked her magic and found 11 women by the name of Armilda who would have been the right age at the time of my birth. Then, through good old-fashioned detective work, she contacted them one by one and through a process of elimination, found my birth mother's family.

Denise, the daughter Armilda Patricia, now deceased, was intrigued by Julie's phone call. At first, she denied that her mother had ever put up a child for adoption. But from the information Julie provided, there were too many coincidences to dismiss outright, so she agreed to speak with her aunts and see if she could get to the bottom of it. Armilda's sisters could not confirm it either, but Armilda's best friends name was Rose, and her father's name was indeed Patrick. Also, she did work for the Globe American, as confirmed in Denise's non-ID, and she was listed as Patricia Rose in the city directory. Julie suggested that before we made contact, we exchange pictures and look into maternal DNA kits. Denise was unsettled by all the coincidences and we both decided it was worth finding out for sure.

A few months later, we received the results--a MATCH. For me the news was bittersweet. Those test results meant that I have a sister who wants to meet me and an extended family who will welcome me into the fold. But it also means that I will never have the opportunity to find out for sure the circumstances behind my birth, or the name of my birth father. Armilda, or Patsy, as she was called, took the secrets of my birth and adoption to her grave with her. When all is said and done, I haven't lost anything, I've gained a sister!

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

Client ID# 241921
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