Below is an email I sent back in September 2012 to the adoption lists I have belonged to with thanks to all the people who were involved in my search going back some 30 years.
To all my friends:
I can tell you the exact date of when I started my search for my birth family....it was July 26, 1982, 4 days after my 37th birthday. I still have a copy of my letter and my application to ALMA. That file has grown quite a bit since then. Thirty years later on June 16, 2012 I posted the discovery of my birth mother.
Since that time, the ride to complete confirmation, has had it's ups and downs and few twists and turns.
On Friday, August 31, 2012 after 10 weeks of tortuous waiting - the results of my DNA test from FTDNA with my brother and a 1st cousin were posted. I got a double whammy - my brother, Robert, and I are FULL siblings! Actually, my brother's initial response to my request to test was somewhat of a rousing "No", but he came around (must be my charming ways! ). We always "thought" Robert Shumsky was my father and even had some DNA evidence linking this family to me....but we were never quite sure. (God Bless FTDNA!).
I've blogged all the events of the last few months at Finding Foleys, an adoptee's journey of discovery (including a very touching conversation with my brother on my last entry "Where were you?" ). Please feel free to add your email address there for updates as I plan to add much more, especially a "How To...." section. I want to share how WE did it and the resources available for anyone seeking lost family members. I've used the skills I've learned over the years to help others find that lost high school buddy or their old BFF, but all along I have also been helping adoptees reunite with their unknown families even while looking for my own. A new breed of search angel is now established - a DNA search angel. And I'm proud to say I have had several "finds" just in the past few months through a combination of DNA matching and good old fashioned sleuthing.
After several years of adding people to my private working family tree at Ancestry.com based on my DNA results - it went PUBLIC yesterday! I can't wait until I get a message from someone saying "Barbara Foley didn't have a daughter....who are you?"
The "WE" in the previous paragraph? (Now I know I'm going to leave someone out....but you know who you are!) Priscilla, Patty, Cece, Gaye, Rob, Richard (Hill and Slaughter), Gabriele, Diane, Marie Anderson of ALMA, everybody on the DNAadoption group, and even Bennett Greenspan and Max Blankfeld of FTDNA who I understand from Max has followed my journey - you all had a hand in this, some huge, others just because you were there and followed this all along. With the help of some awesome search angels we found my mother on June 14 in a matter of 2 hours when that updated non-id arrived. FTDNA gets all the credit for PROVING both my mother and my father.
The words "Thank you" seem so inadequate. I am indebted to you all.
I had my 67th birthday in July and never in a million years did I think I would locate my family....but it can be done. There is hope for anybody still searching....lots of it!
Love to you all,
-- born Carol Lee Foley 7/22/1945 Brooklyn, NY
mother found 6/14/2012 Barbara June Foley (1929-1961)
father confirmed 8/31/2012 Robert J. Shumsky (1928-1985)