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Posted: 4/10/2010
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My daughter Amanda is 28 years old. I am searching for her half-brother, Michael Barnes. Amanda was adopted by my husband when she was less than a year old. 3 years ago he passed away and for the first time, I told Amanda that he was not her biological father. I did not feel like it would be right to tell her while he was still alive, because I knew Amanda would want to find her biological father and half siblings, and I did not want to hurt my husband by supporting her. Now that he has passed, I can do the right thing and help Amanda find her father and siblings.

About a month ago, I did some research and to my dismay, discovered that Amanda's father and grandfather recently passed away. I knew that she would be crushed with this news, so I set out to find information on his children, Amanda's half-siblings.

That is where I hit a dead end. I knew that I needed to either seek help to find them, or tell Amanda the sad truth about her father on my own. I contacted Search Quest America last month, and was put in touch with my researcher, Julie. I gave her all the information I had. I knew that one of Amanda's half-siblings is named Michael. There is also another half-brother, probably named Jonathan, but I think he was adopted by his biological mother's husband. I am 90 percent sure that he was born in Tennessee and went to school in Selmer, Tennessee in 1981. Michael was raised by his paternal grandfather George Barnes, who died in 2008.

With this information, it only took Julie about 48 hours to find Michael, living alive and well in Tennessee. That same day, she emailed him on Facebook and gave me a copy of his photograph. He and Amanda share the same coloring and resemble one another in several ways. Julie also called and left messages with him, as well as his relatives. A few days later he called back and was excited to get to know Amanda!! I am so thrilled that it turned out this way. I am of course sad to have to break the news to Amanda that her birth father passed away, but I am glad I am not going to the table empty handed. At least I can put her in touch with her half-brother, who can help her get to know her father vicariously though photographs and anecdotal stories.

28 years ago when Amanda was born, I never imagined that we would be where we are now. It is crazy how things seem to come full circle. This experience has taught me that life is too short to worry about who was right or wrong, it's about family. A family is defined by more than blood, it also comes down to the people who love us the most and who are there for us when we need them. I hope that by performing this search and going to these lengths to find answers for Amanda, she will understand that I always did what I thought was right, for better or worse. That's the very best we can do for one another, right? Thanks again for all your help!

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

Client ID# 262751
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