Saturday night, October 8, 2016, clad in our pajamas, my friend Linda and I sat on her bed with our laptops and started to search for my sister. We knew she was born in California and we knew her birth mother's name. We guessed that she was born between 1960 and 1962. Not much to go on.
Adoption search websites inform users that finding family members who have been adopted is challenging. "The search can take years," they warn, "and don't always have happy endings."
Linda found my sister's original birth record on the California Birth Index. We had been searching for forty-five minutes! I expected to see my mother's name, but was surprised that my father was also listed. She was not given a first name. She was born in the summer of 1961, three months before I turned 11. I really had a sister!
While it was exciting to find the birth record, the only information it provided that we didn't already have was her birthdate. Linda and I started searching other adoption databases.
"We need more information," said Linda. "You have to talk to your dad and see if you can get the hospital, the doctor, and the attorney names."
It was close to midnight and I wasn't going to call my 90 year old father in the middle of the night. He didn't know I was searching. No one knew I was searching except my blogging friends, who, except for Linda and I, were fast asleep.
I called my father in the morning. He couldn't remember the hospital name but thought it was run by some religion...maybe Adventist, he said. He knew the hospital was in Van Nuys and remembered the intersection to turn to the hospital. He also knew both the doctor's and attorney's last names. My dad worked with the attorney's father, Al.
Linda was encouraging and thought my sister would be easy to find. "It was a private adoption," she said, "the baby probably went to a friend of the attorney." Linda suggested that I register on adoption search sites.
The internet is a powerful tool. I searched for adoption registries and found Find My Family Adoption Registry. I entered all the information I had discovered and my contact numbers and with the push of a button my search was registered. Then we all went kayaking.
|L-R Linda, DJan, Sandi, Jann, Deb|