Six Degrees Of Separation

I could never have imagined.

That a man who tried could find his birth mother through Facebook.

One young man, adopted after birth and with a child of his own now, wanting to find his real birth mother.

But it was a closed adoption, and he could not find answers to his questions anywhere.

Help was not being given to him because of legalities.

I’m sorry, but….” he’d heard it a thousand times.

He had almost given up, but the yearning to know more – the who, the why…the rest of the story – proved to be too powerful to allow him to let go of the hope.

He decided to put out a final plea for help. On Facebook.

The “Searching For My Birth Mother…” group was created.

Just over a month ago, he sent out this initial message:

Dear friends, I am in search for my biological mother. Please forward this to all friends to branch this across the entire U.S. I was born on October 18, 1977 at Charleston Naval Hospital in Charleston, SC. My adoption agency was Catholic Charities. Both birth parents were active duty Air Force and in early twenties. Both parents were possibly of Irish descent. I was given the name Matthew Patrick at some point in the process. This may be a possible lead as it may in fact be my biological name first and last. Again, with as many friends that each of us have, please share this with everyone. “

A couple of weeks later, this message went out:

400 everyone, please continue to add and add all friends. The connection can be made and a great statistic is that 1 in 12 people are on FB. Someone has to be out there that knows something. Add Add Add

And he kept his hope alive. Until last week when he sent out this message:

Will everyone look through your friends list and invite them to this group if they have not been already…I am losing hope that this will work and may end the group soon.

Yet, I still did not send any requests because I didn’t believe it could possibly work.

Then on Monday of this week, I was surprised and very excited to see this message:
Well everyone, I received a phone call today and guess what it was about…this woman! My mother and three sisters…thank you to everyone for the support. Thought you should all see her before I close the group down. South Carolina Adoptions…you are amazing! Thank you to Erica…my new sister

A picture was attached, and I knew that my cousin Eric had finally found his birth mother and his unknown but much needed history.

And our family is so excited for him and his new extended family!

On Wednesday of this week, through Facebook, we, Eric’s family that he’s known since his earliest memories, got to meet his sister, Erica.

He found his birth family because of 440 people that believed they could help him just by joining a group on Facebook.

Then the whole world shifted.

And so it goes…

Yes, this story is true, and my cousin Eric has finally had the opportunity to “meet” his birth mother and sister…because of Facebook.

As soon as I read the Red Writing Hood prompt this week, I knew that this is what I had to write about. The prompt was simply: “Write a piece that begins with the line, “I could never have imagined” and ends with the line, “Then the whole world shifted.” And to stick with a 600-word limit. This story was 512, for those who are counting.

We all love you so much Eric, and are so happy that you have found the peace and answers that you so desperately were looking for!

Comments

  1. Wow, that inspiring. And anyone who still doubts the awesome power of social media to affect our lives? Should look here and read this. I am so happy for your family that it worked out!
  2. Midwest Elle says:
    Such a wonderful story! The power that social media has given us is undoubtedly amazing.
  3. A beautiful post Natalie! "BELIEVE"!
  4. That is so amazing. There's the best case for social media right there! x
  5. Rock on. Proof positive that even though we mock it, Facebook can be the shiz. A most excellent story. Well crafted.
  6. That is amazing. Congrats to your cousin on finding his other family!
  7. It is amazing how much good can come from social media. How wonderful that he found what he had been looking for for so long. The subject of adoption is close to my heart as my brother and sister were both adopted. My brother recently met his birth mother and his sister and I believe found some answers he was looking for. We are so lucky that now we all get to have him in our lives.
    Great post!
  8. Booyah's Momma says:
    That is absolutely amazing! The power of Facebook really is incredible.

    I love those happy endings. And I hope your cousin finds the answers and resolution he was looking for.
  9. keymaster69 says:
    Now that is an instance of social media working in a way I had never thought of before. Wow.

    I'm so glad it worked for Eric and he found what he was looking for.

    Such an amazing story.
  10. This story made my heart smile and fall a little more in love with Facebook! Thank you for sharing it with us.
  11. That is so amazing! Facebook does wonderful things! Congrats to Eric and his new found family!
  12. LindsayDianne says:
    Fcebook helped me to connect with my father's side of my family who I have never had the chance to know, so this story hits home.
    Thanks very much for sharing!
  13. That is one of the most amazing stories I've read. I couldn't believe it was true! How amazing for your cousin and what a small world we live in now.
  14. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) says:
    What a wonderful and inspiring story! Thank you for sharing. I still can't get over it...through facebook? Amazing.
  15. moveovermarypoppins.com says:
    What a great, great story!

    A twenty first century fairy tale, with Facebook as the fairy godmother.

    And congratulations to your cousin on his expanded family!
  16. Not a Perfect Mom says:
    tears to my eyes..how amazing...
  17. I live in South Carolina...glad he was able to find them. I believe in the 6 degrees of separation thing, and I never believed it more until I got on Facebook. It's amazing how we're all tied together somehow!

    Congratulations to your cousin!
  18. MultitaskMumma says:
    What a wonderful story!
    I'm so happy for your family and cousin.
  19. What a great story. I thought that the actual facebook entries were a nice touch.
  20. Wow...THAT is definitely a testament to the power of social media!
  21. Ms.Wasteland says:
    Wonderful story!
  22. The Twin Spin says:
    That's amazing! Very true about the power of social media.
  23. That is amazing! What a wonderful ending. Social media is both growing & shrinking our world in so many ways.
  24. How incredibly cool! Hooray for Eric!
  25. Sippy Cup Mom says:
    Amazing! I love the power of social media! So happy for your cousin!
  26. Wow, that is absolutely amazing. Just when I thought that Facebook was for the devil ;)
  27. Megan (Best of Fates) says:
    That is SO amazing.

    Isn't the Internet just the best thing ever?

    (You know, most of the time.)
  28. Mrs. MidAtlantic says:
    That is so freaking amazing! Wow. The power of Facebook!
  29. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:
    What a great story!!!

    I love hearing things like this.

    So so so so much.
  30. Not Just Another Jennifer says:
    Wow! Isn't our new technological world amazing?
  31. I think this is a wonderful story, and it does not surprise me in the least that facebook would have the power to do this. It's like that the concept of "6 degrees of separation" (are you familiar with that). I am happy for your cousin-- it is NICE to see something positive.
    ________________________________________________
    Kids are dirty! Today I talk about what's gross vs what's funny? Where do YOU draw the line? http://35daysamonth.blogspot.com/
  32. Good grief! I just now noticed you titled your post 6 degrees of separation... how did I miss that.
  33. Karen Peterson says:
    Such an amazing story.

    And I love how you make the point that you didn't do anything because you didn't think it would work. I'll admit that I've done that so many times.
  34. So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? says:
    Wonderful story and one that is close to my heart regarding finding and needing to find birth families.
    Well told and the power of social media is amazing!
  35. SoCalFashionista says:
    what an amazing story, so happy for your cousin!
  36. myevil3yearold says:
    Incredible!
  37. WOW!!!! how awesome is that.
  38. Jennie @ Modern Mamaz says:
    Wow, that's absolutely crazy! I never would have thought!
  39. I'm always a sucker for sweet stories that speak to the power of patience and perserverance. That brought tears to my eyes! Awesome writing...
  40. wow, that is awesome!
  41. Wow - that's amazing. I hate joining groups because I just don't think things like this will ever work. Guess I'm just a pessimist.

    Next time I'm asked, I'll definitely have to think twice about it.
  42. Elizabeth Flora Ross says:
    What a story! I am adopted, but have never been interested in looking for my biological "family." I know many people are, however. How neat that your cousin was able to use FB to find his, though. That's so cool!
  43. My natural father died when I was just a toddler. My mom lost contact with his family. I found them on Facebook too. THis is such an awesome story.
  44. What a neat story and what a wonderful ending! I'm so glad he found them!
  45. Whoa! I was not expecting this to be a true story. And I'm so glad it is. You hear about so many bad things happening because of social media, so it's refreshing to know that some amazing, life-altering things can happen as well.

    Thank you for using this prompt to tell this story. Just amazing.
  46. Sally's_Blog says:
    Wow Natalie that is awesome! I had no idea all that was going on-on facebook! Congrats to Eric for finding even more siblings:-)
    I love the way you write and wish I had more time to read all your fantastic blogs, thanks for sharing his story.
  47. wonderful story!
  48. How cool is that!
  49. How unbelievably amazing is that?
    You've sent shivers down my spine with this story!
    I am so happy for Eric...so happy that his prayers were answered and he can ask the questions that he needs to ask.
    Truly remarkable!
  50. so my story is similar. I found my birth father on facebook.

    well, I'd found his name through a public records search years ago. even though I had a closed adoption, I searched babies born in that hospital on that day. there were only two and of those, only one was listed as "baby" instead of a name. and there my parents' names were.

    anyway, I searched my dad on FB and, well, let's just say I'm glad I did because FB told me all I needed to know. and I'm glad I was adopted. just sayin'.
  51. mommylebron says:
    I love this story! I found my paternal family initially through Myspace and then connected with them (my father passed)on Facebook. It's a wonderful, comfortable way to build new relationships. My stepsons also found us through Facebook (their mother ran off with them when they were little).
    Congrats to your cousin!
  52. The mad woman behind the blog says:
    I so love this story. I too got to know my niece through FB, even though her mother discouraged it. What a gift that was. And yes, reunions can be so sweet, not matter the age. I have a full blooded sister that found us just a few years ago. And our hearts only grew bigger to embrace her.

    Amazing the capacity we have for love, isn't it?
  53. Ilana @mommyshorts says:
    That is UNBELIEVABLE! You know what this post just did for me? It reminded me to call my childhood best friend who I recently reconnected with on facebook. It is amazing how we can find people and stay in touch with people and reconnect with people that we never would have otherwise. Congrats to your cousin!
  54. Wow, what an amazing story. Nearly had me in tears. I'm so happy for your cousin. Amazing, the positive power of social networking:)))
  55. the power we have in just a few minutes of typing.
  56. adriel, from the mommyhood memos says:
    amazing story! and i love that it's true, and it's your family, and that... well, everything. truly incredible and so worth celebrating. i'm so glad they had a happy ending. what a gift.
  57. Dolli-Mama says:
    that's amazing! My mom has two half sisters and a half brother that she has never met in person, but they found her on facebook last year. It has been awesome getting to know them on facebook, without it they never would have "met".

    Also, my Great Grandmother had a son who was taken away by the government at birth because they said she had too many kids. He wanted to find his birth family, but they had no leads. Somehow his oldest daughter found my Great Uncle on facebook and the families have been reunited.
  58. I love reunion stories and now social media has added a new element!
  59. Sluiter Nation says:
    Oh my gosh! This is a WONDERFUL story, Natalie! This is why I love social media! such power and wonder!
  60. What an absolutely amazing story, and what a timely prompt to help you tell it!
  61. How cool is THAT? Love love love it! Eric must be so happy!
  62. Very, very cool! Congrats to your cousin. I wrote about something kind of similar, but mine was 100% fiction.
  63. Hello! I'm Kate. says:
    WOW! This is absolutely amazing!!!
  64. OMG, that's amazing!!!!!!! Good for him!!!!!
  65. in our world of technology wonderful things like this are happening every day, everytime I am ready to say "DOWN WITH ALL THE STUFF" in this world, a story like this reminds me that some very good things happen because of it too. CONGRATULATIONS to him. WOW.
  66. Lady Estrogen says:
    Wow, that's amazing. I got goosebumps :)
  67. I missed this being out of town last week, but man what a powerful story! So incredible, and now his entire life is changed.
  68. Thank you for your story! I found you while googling Six Degrees of Separation. Very Inspiring; it gives me hope. I am a 44yo Chinese-American (born in 1967) and living in Pennsylvania. In February of this year, I found out (confirmed by DNA testing) that I was ADOPTED. It blew my world. My adoption took place in another country: Macau, China (formerly a Portuguese colony). Because my adoption was not by any conventional means (no agency, no official documentations, no papertrail), I have turned to using Facebook. I too am using FB to apply the 6 degrees of separation to reduce the odds of finding my birth parents/biological family. I am befriending complete strangers living in Macau in hopes to link to that one person who may know of someone giving up a male son back in March 1967. My story and background is on my FB. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002195959671 If you have any suggestions/advice to help connect my 6 degrees to my birth parents, it would be appreciated. Thanks.