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Updated: July 15, 2019 

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Posted: 5/30/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

"Now that I have a family of my own, I am more curious than ever before about my birth family. It is important to me to know if there are any medical skeletons in the family closet, and of course I am curious to know if I look like anyone. All I know about my birth mother is that her name might be Adriane Cook and she was 24 when I was born in 1966 in California. Can you help me?"

That is the email Jeanette sent to Search Quest America in February. A few weeks later she received a call from SQA search consultant Andy. "Andy was very helpful. He explained my options and helped put me at ease. I researched SQA on the internet and then decided to pursue my search. I'm so glad I did!"

Jeanette's case was assigned to SQA researcher Patty Lawrence. Patty kept in touch with Jeanette as each clue was uncovered over the next two months. Like many adoptees, Jeanette had more information than she realized. After talking with Patty she remembered being told that her birth mother already had other children when she was born. She also knew that her birth father was an attorney and was married at the time of her birth. These clues were vital in solving her case, and finally, on April 27, 2009, Jeanette received the phone call she had been waiting for.

Unfortunately, Jeanette's birth mother Adrienne Cooke died in December of 1969 from an accidental drug overdose. But Patty did find two of Adrienne's sisters, Catherine and Karen, who found out about Jeanette's birth shortly after Adrienne's funeral. When Patty contacted them they were overjoyed to find the missing piece of their family. After only a few months of searching, Jeanette was reunited with members of her birth family.

"Of course it was disappointing to find out that my birth mother passed away. But I knew that was a possibility when I started the search, and I feel blessed to be reunited with my aunts. At least I have been able to get to know her through family photos and by listening to the stories my aunts tell me about her. The only down side is that because my aunts did not know about my birth until after Adrienne died, they don't know who my birth father is. That is a mystery that went with my birth mother to the grave."

Catherine and Karen were able to provide information about Jeanette's half brother, who was given up for adoption shortly after Adrienne's death. She now knows his name is Sean C. Cooke Teeter and was placed for adoption with an older couple in Arizona. Jeanette is about to begin another search for Sean, and hopes to find the last piece of the puzzle.

Jeanettes advice to other adoptees is, "prepare yourself for any kind of outcome. If you recognize up front that things might not turn out perfectly, it will be easier in the long run. Just be patient, take it day by day, and be grateful just to know one way or another. Even though my search didn't turn out exactly as I hoped it would, I'm still so happy I searched."

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

Client ID# 236968
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