THE POWER OF THE INTERNET

     This wonderful story is from Betty LaRobardiere, and how she was able to find her family through the internet.  Betty has visited them this summer and fall, and says it was a wonderful experience. Many thanks to Betty for sharing this with us and giving hope, in this new year, to
all who have yet to make that connection.

      From my early teens I had know that I was adopted.  From the adoption papers I learned the names of my birth parents, my place of birth and the orphanage where I was placed.
     When I was twenty, in 1944, I drove to the town of my birth and paid fifty cents for a copy of my birth certificate.  I talked to some local folks and received a few facts and a great deal of undocumented information. My birth parents, who were never married to each other, owned businesses nearby.  I visited my mother and her present husband’s small restaurant and saw pictures of her six adult children that she had displayed on the back counter.  It was as if I was looking in the mirror. I spoke only a few words to my mother. She asked me to come back after her husband left for work. She said that we could talk then but I took it as another rejection so I left town.  I never went to see my father. As the years passed I often thought of that visit.  After all it was a small town and surely my sudden appearance and continued questions did not go unnoticed.  Today I would not have done that but at that time good judgement was not one of my strong points.
     In 1998 I decided to try again.  It all started with the help of our local librarian.  She used the computer to find addresses for the various town historians and the Adirondack Genealogical-Historical Society.  I wrote to them all and then waited impatiently for answers. They were very helpful in sending me, by slow mail, a great deal of data. 
    This took to long, I had to have a computer.  I wanted everything as fast as I could get it.   My grandchildren and great-grandchildren all learned to use one, so could I too! With their help I learned the basics, got on the Internet, and set at my quest for everything I could find.  I found several genealogical web sites and left help messages on everyone with all the data I had from the obituaries I had received. 
Not a lot happened until February 2000 when I received an email message from a young man in California.  He had seen one of my postings, and said the man I was looking for was his grandfather.  Furthermore, the young man’s father was alive, and for days after my newfound family and I burned up the Internet exchanging information.
     This past August I made the trip to see my brother and his family.  There are no words to describe that wonderful feeling seeing each other for the first time.  We talked for hours. Being younger then I, he did not know my mother, but he did know some of her first husband’s relatives.  He had me call a lady he knew of and she had startling news for me.  I had a sister who lived in the area!  I was stunned and probably speechless, but with this wonderful lady’s help, I soon recovered enough to call – and meet – my new, found sister. It turns out that we were our birth mother’s two younger daughters, and she had given us both up at birth. 
     The power of the Internet bought great joy to three senior siblings and their families by finally reuniting us all, and it continues to help us keep in contact as often as we wish, over the miles that can never again keep us apart.
Betty LaRobardiere     October, 2000
 

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