A Mother's Desperate Search
Reconnecting lost loved ones isn't just work for Pam—it's personal. She started her business after the search for her own birth mother ended badly. "I loved my family, [but] I think there's a big misconception that people search because they're lacking something," she says. "I don't understand why people don't understand that basic need to know who gave you life."
At age 15, Linda says she ran away from an abusive home. After living on the streets for a few months, she returned home—and found out she was pregnant. "I hadn't experienced the feeling of love," she says. "And I thought: 'God, I'm going to have a baby, and this baby is going to love me. It's going to be my baby.'"
When she was seven months pregnant, Linda got heartbreaking news. "My social worker said, 'I just have to tell you, your mom said no way is this baby ever coming into your house,'" she says. "I just raged. It made no sense."
Feeling like she had no other choice, Linda gave the baby up for adoption in 1968. "I knew that the last time I held her was the last time I held her," she says.
Now, Pam is helping Linda find the baby girl she loved from the start.
When Laura hears the news, she is in disbelief. "My childhood, it was difficult," she says. "I used to think that from the day that I was born, I've been rejected because I haven't been able to find anybody that cares about me. I can't believe I'm going to meet her. I can't believe she actually looked for me."
Watch their emotional reunion.
Linda and Laura not only meet one another—they learn they have more family than they could have dreamed of. Linda meets Laura's three children, and Laura discovers she has a half-brother. Laura also learns that Linda is the one who named her. "It's like a validation," Laura says. "When your birth mother looks for you, it's a validation that you were never forgotten and it heals a piece of you. It's a gift."
Linda says it felt surreal waking up and knowing her daughter. Still, she says she struggled after she learned Laura's life was not what she hoped for her baby. "I had a fantasy life for Laura. I had her in a castle having this great life. And that's not what was there," Linda says. "But looking at her and being so proud of her and all of her accomplishments and seeing her brother and her together just melts my heart knowing that she's not alone. And she loves me as much as I love her."
Adoptive parents may also experience their own ups and downs. Pam says adoptive parents should understand it's nothing personal if their children decide to search for their birth parents. "It's just a desire to know. You need to know your Chapter 1," she says. "We're not searching to trade you in. Our family is our family that we were raised with."
A foster mother's search for the girl that was taken from her
How to start your own search for a lost loved one