What's the story? Who's my Mom?

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What's the story? Who's my Mom?

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Posted: 8/24/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

For many years, my husband Paul has been desperate to find his birth parents and little sister. When he was 43 years old, he was going through some paperwork at his parents' house after his father's death and found a suspicious document. When he asked his mother about it, she said "Well, I suppose now's as good a time as any to tell you the whole story, Paul."

He found out that day that the couple who raised him was not his real parents. One day, his mom was home alone when a neighbor frantically ran down the hall and knocked on the door. She begged his mom to care for him for a few days "until she got back on her feet." She had a new baby, a girl named Cicelia or Cece, and she said she was going to visit a friend who might give her a job. She didn't come back that day, or that week, or even that month. After three months had passed, she still had not returned. His parents moved to a different state for work, and rather than give Paul up for foster care, they simply made a fresh start with him as their "son." They changed his name illegally, and he was never actually adopted. He never had a birth certificate, but somehow they were able to get him a social security number under his new name.

This revelation was quite a shock for Paul. Ever since that day, he has been searching for his birth family. He is 56 now, and has had very little luck in locating clues that will lead him to his birth family. Shortly after his father died, Paul's mother was diagnosed with cancer. Since he was raised as an only child, he was really stressed out trying to take care of her while working to raise our family. When she passed away a few months later, Paul felt like he had no one left, and needed to reach out to his real family now more than ever.

He wanted to know why his biological mother never came back for him, and what the real story is behind his being given up. His story is unique because it's not a regular adoption case like all the others. He actually does not remember anything about his mother or his little sister. We didn't have much information when we started the search. We just knew his mother's name was Delores Frye and she was a single parent living in Manhattan, New York with him and his little sister. His sister's name was Cicelia or Cece, but we don't know the spelling for sure. His mom also remembered that Delores was born and raised in NY, and she was about 20-22 at the time. Now that Paul is reaching retirement age, he needs his birth certificate so he can apply for social security. He isn't even sure that he has been celebrating his real birthday all these years.

We have gotten all the Delores Fryes off the internet and made phone call after phone call but have had no luck. We are hoping she is still alive or at least to meet his little sister. We have tried everything and cannot locate her. After Paul's mom died, we felt even more urgency to solve this mystery before Paul lost the opportunity to know his birth family.

We contacted SQA and our case was assigned to Laura Bartling. It took about 2 months for Laura to locate Paul's family. Celena is living in New York, and Delores is living in Queens. When Laura first contacted Celena, she was overjoyed! She had always known she had an older brother out there somewhere, and the family was hoping that one day Paul would find them. Within a week of our first phone call, Paul's whole family drove to New York to meet us. They welcomed us with open arms and Paul feels so blessed to have found them. The other day he told me, "It feels like I've been given a second family, and every day I spend with them I feel like the luckiest guy on earth."

This family is so excited to be connected after all these years. Delores was especially emotional when she met Paul for the first time. She told him the story of how she returned for him just days after her neighbor moved and took him with her. She sobbed for days when she found their apartment gone. When she talked to the super, he didn't have a forwarding address, she hadn't left a note, and for years Dolores has been punishing herself for not coming back just a week sooner. Through the years, she made sure that Celena knew about him, and that members of the family never forgot about him. Now that Paul is back in the family, he feels like they have left an open seat at the table for him all this time, and we are just so grateful that his reunion has worked out so well. Thank you SQA and especially Laura for all of your help! We honestly couldn't have done it without you!

Written by Mica Burton on Pam's behalf.

Client ID#248467
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