To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first.  New York is a "closed" adoption state, so I assumed that the small bit of non-identifying info I was able to secure from the Department of Health would constitute all I would ever know about where I came from.  As we delved into things, it seemed that there were obstacles at every turn, leading me to think that this whole venture wouldn't bear fruit.  However, after a 5-year journey of ups and downs, Eureka - you were able to piece together the puzzle with the help of DNA testing and some good old fashioned detective work.  Aside from the years of legwork, you handled the initial contact with my birth family quite skillfully and proved to be an artful proxy. 

I'm equally grateful for the efforts of my wonderful aunt, who was a key component in helping to make everything come to fruition.  Without her, my desire to locate my parents probably never would have turned into action.  She connected me with your services, spearheaded the follow-ups, and always stayed positive - from the day we began, through every obstacle, DNA test after DNA test, all the way to the finish line.  This has definitely been a team effort.

To say my reunion has been seamless would be an understatement.  When I first got word that you found my biological mother, an unending list of questions ran through my head: What if she doesn't want to talk to me?  What if by showing up in her life I somehow upend her current situation?  What will she think of me?  However, all of my concerns fell by the wayside after our first conversation, which was followed up with an in-person visit less than a month after our first connection.  In the subsequent year since our meeting, we've kept in touch on a regular basis and have made arrangements to see each other next week, which I'm really looking forward to.    

This whole thing has been a bit surreal for me.  Although I've always been aware of the fact that I'm adopted, as a child, I never felt a pressing need to find my biological parents.  My adoptive family had their issues, as does just about any family, but seeing as how I was never treated any different from the rest of my siblings, there was no real void to fill. 

As I crossed over into young adulthood, my curiosity about where I came from slowly grew as I began my own journey of self-identification.  Although I'm definitely of the belief that a person is molded by way of "nurture" rather than "nature", my desire to learn more about my beginnings really took hold after the birth of my first son.  Up until then, I had no blood relatives to speak of and the experience of having a flesh-and-blood relative made me feel as if I truly belonged to something - someone - for the first time.  Recognizing how this connection to my son made me feel, I felt compelled to share this same feeling with my birth parents, knowing they were denied this sense of connectivity toward me.  

As fate would have it, I was blessed with another son less than three months after my biological mother and I met face-to-face, giving her the opportunity to hold a baby that was hers.  The significance of this was not lost on me, and it was evident she truly appreciated the moment as well.  As happy as I was for getting the chance to fill the gap that lived inside me, I was probably more excited about having the opportunity to do the same for her. 

Thanks again for all of your help making this happen - you do fabulous work and you are truly changing lives.  By all means, feel free to check in for updates along the way.

Keep up the good work!

Ben