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Skye, New York

Gerri Berger, Genetic Genealogist, DNA Adoption Search Expert, Genetics, Genetic Genealogy, genetic genealogy coach, adoption, locating biological parents, discovering your biological parents, biolgial parents, family origin, finding family origin, DNA,

I met Gerri by chance through an ex-boyfriend who wrote a  song about my search for my birth mom called "Simple Piece of Paper."  Gerri was touched when she heard it and contacted me.  Now before I give the details on my angel, Gerri, I'll give you a little back story. 


I was adopted two times - both times to horrible adoptive families. I decided to leave at 14 and start my life. But I always had this hole in my heart that only my birth family could fill. I had never known them and needed to find them to be happy.  I had literally tried everything to find them. Every door slammed in my face. But I decided to take a DNA test and that is where my angel comes in. 


Gerri literally worked almost non-stop on my case for about two weeks to figure out who my family was.  When we finally found them she not only gave me the information but made the first calls for me to ease the first contacts.  I could have never filled that void if it wasn't for her.  I just needed to know who they were.  And I got 10xs more than that!


This is picture of my mother and me that was taken the moment we first saw one another, on the day of our reunion, which was also my 30th birthday.   Saying thank you is just not enough to express my gratitude. 

Michael, New York

Michael and Jodi.JPG
Michael and family.JPG

I have known I was adopted as far back as I can remember. My parents told me at a very young age that they brought me home shortly after my birth. My mother shared with me as I got older that she and my dad could not conceive. So, for her to adopt me was the most wonderful answer to her prayers, and I was truly her son. She always gave me unconditional love, and she was the best mother anyone could wish for!

When I became an adult and had children of my own. I became a little curious about my background and wondered if there was any medical history I should know about. My parents didn’t know anything. I never really pursued this quest, as I was so happy to have grown up with such an amazing mother and father.

I met Gerri in the mid-1980s. We went to the same small college in New England, where everyone quickly knew everyone. We became good friends and stayed in touch on and off over the years. I knew Gerri was adopted and found it amazing, her passion to reunite families of origin. On multiple occasions, she encouraged me to do a DNA test. I had just lost my mother, my father’s health and memory were not good, a lot was going on, and I didn’t feel the time was right. Gerri said that because of my age, I may want to consider testing sooner than later. She was concerned I would miss an opportunity to unite with relatives while they were alive. I heard what she said, but I was so preoccupied that I continued to postpone.

Months later, my wife gave me a DNA test kit as a Christmas gift. I reached out to Gerri, who immediately encouraged me to take the test and offered her expertise in doing the research. I retained Gerri to begin her work.

Within a short period of time, Gerri told me she had found my birth mother and was in communication with my half brother, who was interested in connecting. He and I talked on the phone for quite a while, and I learned that my biological mother had never shared her story about me with her family. Neither her husband nor her children knew anything of my existence. So, we have kept things at a distance, as my intentions were not to put any pressure on her but for her to know that I’m well and have a great life. If she wants to connect, that’s fine.

During that conversation with my brother, Gerri was texting me and trying to call me. Finally, I realized that obviously something major was up, so I finished my conversation and called her.

Gerri had just found my birth dad, and he wanted to communicate right away! Gerri shared with me that my biological father had been searching for me for over fifty years on and off with no luck. He and my birth mother were from the Bronx and were sweet on each other in high school. My birth mother became pregnant and was sent to stay at an unwed mothers home to give birth in the final months of her pregnancy. My birth dad, who was only seventeen years old, went to visit her periodically. He told me about the first and last time he got to hold me in his arms and how it broke his heart to know he’d never see me again. He said he told his wife about me from the beginning of their relationship, and she was always supportive of his search for me. He never shared the story with his daughter because the chances were so slim of finding me. Well, now my half sister, who grew up as an only child, has a brother, and she could not be more excited!

Our reunion took place in Georgia, at my birth dad’s home. He, his wife, his daughter, and his son-in-law could not have been more welcoming, loving, warm, and accepting. I was welcomed with open arms!

Sadly, my birth father passed away within a year of our reunion. I called Gerri to share the news. I literally was in tears as I thanked my old friend for pushing me to do the research work and DNA test. Without Gerri, I would never have had this amazing opportunity to find out where I came from. I see the physical resemblance to my birth dad and that part of the family! While my birth mother hasn’t come around, I understand and respect her reasons. I am in touch with my half brother!

If you are in your forties, fifties, or even sixties, don’t wait! I’m so glad I entrusted Gerri with the task that I considered impossible. My dear friend, who has such a deep passion because of her own firsthand experiences, gave me the missing parts of the story of my life. I have met wonderful people who were looking for me. My birth dad, who reached out to Gerri periodically, said, “You answered my prayers!” I’m eternally grateful for what Gerri has done for me and my biological family!

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