An Adoptee’s Story

“In 2021 I read something that talked about adult adoptees born in the State of Illinois being eligible to receive their original birth certificates. Even though I had been in reunion with both my birth families, I knew it was something I wanted to have. After receiving my OBC from Illinois, I was surprised to find that my birth mother had given birth to a previous baby. My birth mother was residing in a memory care unit for dementia and would not be able to answer any questions regarding this sibling. My birth sister who was also very curious reached out to my birth mom’s sister who in turn contacted her childhood best friend. She remembered that my birth mom had indeed relinquished a baby boy before relinquishing me. She could not remember what year it had been, but had an idea of how old they were at the time. She did remember that my birth mom had resided at a Florence Crittenton home for unwed mothers in their town. My sister and I both tried calling there, receiving no information as our mother was still living. I had joined a Facebook group for adoptees in reunion and reached out to other members for advice. A ‘search angel’ told me that without a date of birth it would be ‘virtually impossible’ to find him. A private investigator wanted thousands of dollars to try with no guarantees. I hit pay-dirt when someone told me about the CISI program.

I called and spoke with LaKisha. She was so helpful and positive. She emailed me all the forms to start my petition and be assigned a CI. The forms had all the instructions that made the process easy. From the time I submitted the forms ’till I received my CI assignment took about five months. Denise was great, keeping me advised during the search (which took about three months) and after she made the initial contact with my brother. He was a little hesitant at first, but agreed to exchange anonymous letters and medical information. After my second letter, he agreed to reveal our identities. We hae since met in person once (we live on opposite sides of the country) and have exchanged many emails and photographs. I guess form start to finish it took about a year, but was well worth the wait. I liked the letter exchange process as it gave us both the opportunity to get to know a little about the other before jumping in. I feel very lucky to have found my brother AND the CISI program. I would totally recommend it for someone like me with so little information to go on. THANK YOU CISI!”