Salvation Army employee reunited with birth family
CASEY BEIGHLEY (c) was reunited with his aunt Anne Bowling and sister Tamara Cohen with assistance from The Salvation Army Missing Persons Department.
BY CASEY BEIGHLEY –
In 1979 my adoptive mother started looking for my birth mother. She used various resources, independent searchers, and state agencies. The non-identifying information we were given indicated I had an older sister who was also placed for adoption.
Through the years we got very few leads, and most of them went cold. Around 1985 we found information on my suspected father, who we later found out was my actual father. However, he did not respond to our letters of inquiry.
In October of 2000, I came to work at The Salvation Army THQ. I learned of the Missing Persons Department and made an inquiry. A few months later I learned that my mother had been murdered in 1978; however, my aunt was alive and well and wanted to meet me. I also learned of two younger sisters.
My first contact with my aunt was by telephone and went very well; we talked for two hours. All of my medical questions were being answered. She described my birth father’s traits and they fit all too well. I called him and we talked for over an hour; it was very nice. The conversation with my sister went even better. The empty space in my chest created by not knowing my origin was full.
I planned a reunion visit for just after the Christmas holiday. The reunion was picture perfect–everything was great. The only downside of the visit was that my birth father died on December 23. It’s too bad we never met in person. At least I was able to talk to him.
As time permits I intend to try to find my older and youngest sisters. It feels very good to have contact with my birth family. My adoptive parents couldn’t be happier with how everything is working out.