Spokeo Search Angel Reunions: A Birthmother’s Journey

Karen and Mary

Spokeo Search Angel Award winner Mary Wilson helped Karen Erickson reunite with her son. Karen was kind enough to share her beautiful story with us… 

My child was born in the Summer of Love, 1967. I was 17 years old and dependent on my single mother for support. Like most unwed mothers at that time, I went to a maternity home out of town to await the blessed event. The first and only time I held my child, I had already signed the adoption papers, a requirement before I was allowed to see him. I kissed him goodbye and I assumed that would be the last time I ever saw him.

I never forgot him and always wondered what became of him. Following his 18th birthday, when I could legally start a search for him, I registered with every adoption database that I could find.

In 2002, I was contacted by a woman who told me she could help me find him for $150. I was given a name and an address, as well as assurances that this was my son (according to her research). After years of several heartfelt letters and cards mailed to that address with no response, I was heartsick and finally gave up. The emptiness, sadness and loss of hope ate at me for 11 years.

In March of 2013, while reading through a young woman’s posts about searching for her family, I came across a woman named Mary Wilson who mentioned the maternity home where I stayed. She was a volunteer Spokeo Search Angel and after connecting with her she provided me with a list of names of the 25 males born on the same day as my son. After receiving detailed instructions from Mary and conducting some library research, imagine my surprise at seeing my supposed “son’s” name, listed as legally born to his parents. He wasn’t even an adoptee!

Together Mary and I narrowed the additional names down to four possibilities and Mary took it from there. I was heartsick again following another failed attempt. I told her I couldn’t continue searching. She said “well, I can! I WILL find your son.”

A couple of days later, Mary called me after tracking down an email address for one of the likely possibilities and a current location from Spokeo. I nervously answered the call as I was driving and she said, “pull over, honey, I need to talk to you but I need for you to park.” At long last, we had the right person, the right name, and the right face. Mary and I celebrated a joyful day by stuffing our faces with german pancakes. It was the first time I had met her.

On June 16th, 2013, almost 45 years since I’d held him, I had my baby back in my arms again standing on the sidewalk in front of my house. His first words to me were “Thank you, thank you.” He has had a wonderful life and was raised by “phenomenal” parents. We spent an afternoon talking nonstop, sharing photos and stories.

I don’t know what the next chapter will be for us but I finally have peace in my heart. I’m writing this for others to let them know it’s okay to search for the lost ones. It’s okay to need peace in your heart and it’s okay to share the joyful news with others when you’ve been reunited. I hope that all who read our story will remember it in the spirit it was written…with love, joy and a grateful heart. Thanks be to God for his blessings and thanks to Mary for her persistence!