The Search for Family

I started my search for biological relatives. I sent 25 messages to strangers on Facebook who share my birth mother’s maiden name – Arvin.

I am hoping one of these strangers will offer clues about my birth mother, a woman I’ve never met. I wrote a nice, polite letter of introduction with the few facts I have about this woman – her name, place of birth, age when she had me.  So far, I’ve only heard back from one Arvin. She said birth mom is not related to anyone in her family and hinted at a possible family tie in Kentucky.  I am pursuing people in that state along with Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Courtesy of Flickr/psycho_pixie
(Probably) not my family members

So this is how searches go. You wait and wonder who will respond to your message. You check email and Facebook frequently. You try not to think about it too much.

Some adoptees post their photos with a “help-me-find-my-family” message on Facebook and other social media sites. That could be a quicker way to get results, especially when the photos go viral, but I’m not ready to put myself out there just yet.

I’m sure there are more efficient ways to track down biological relatives but I chose Facebook because it’s free and relatively painless. I may spend money on DNA tests or travel to the Midwest to continue the hunt but for now I’ll stick with social media. What strategies have you used to find blood relatives?


11 thoughts on “The Search for Family

  1. Reblogged this on ADOPTEE Awareness and commented:
    Found mine through FB in 2009. However, now that they’ve changed it so we can’t see who’s in what school ‘n’ stuff like, I wouldn’t’ve found them except by chance. As it was, I happened on msis’s school and year just after they’d got on FB, and before FB changed.

    I wish Lynne inordinate amounts of good luck. 😀

    I was sad not to be able to find a button to ‘like’ this post, btw.

    1. Thanks for reading, 7rin! I have a feeling my FB search may not be enough to turn up relatives especially since you say they’ve changed things. But it’s worth a try.

      1. When I was searching I think I tried pretty much every free site I could get my name on, just in case. [wry g]

        You never know, your blog might get spotted instead. 🙂

        Also, do you Twit? If not, you probably should. 😉

  2. Search angel here. If you send me what you do know about your birth mom, I can search my databases. Email me at Put the word adoption on the subject line please.


  3. That sounds like you might have some possible “Jewish” roots. I would check some Jewish ancestry databases and see if anything turns up. I occasionally follow a Polish site but I’m not actively searching like you are. (Note: There’s plenty of Polish Jews, too). The Newberry Library in Chicago might have a few search ideas in their genealogy department. The Holocaust Museum in Skokie might be worthwhile as your birth certificate did mention Skokie. Several years ago, The Chicago Historical Society had an exhibit on Jewish ancestry and a friend found her grandfather’s name actually listed on an exhibit — so one never knows. Oddly enough, it can be helpful if a relative served in a war because it has been highly documented or a Holocaust survivor might prove to be a valuable lead but chances are you might have come from a normal, average family with all things considered. I can’t imagine what this journey has in store for you. Hope this helps, good luck!

    1. Hi Cara. Thanks for all those good suggestions. Do you think I could be Jewish just based on my having been born in a hospital in Skokie or for some other reason? I always thought it was odd that my parents, who were so tied to the Southwest Side, would have had me in a hospital north of the city. That should have tipped me off!

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