Last month, the Ohio Department of Health released birth records for those born between Jan. 1 1964 and Sept. 18, 1996. One Youngstown woman is thankful they did, after she was reunited with her mother this week.
“Ever since I found out that I was adopted, I wanted to know who my biological mother was,” said La-Sonya Mitchell Clark, 38, of Youngstown.
On Monday, Mitchell-Clark finally got her answer in the mail.
“I picked it up and seen the Department of Health from Columbus. So, I knew right then and there this was it,” said Mitchell-Clark.
Her birth records included her mother’s name, Francine Simmons. So, she looked her up on Facebook and found out she worked at Infocision in Boardman. So does Mitchell-Clark. Then, it clicked.
“There’s a Francine that works at my job. She works in VR and she works at the front desk,” Mitchell-Clark said.
She reached out to her friends on social media. And then, a day later, she got the long-awaited phone call from her birth mother.
“She called me and I said, ‘Is this Ms. Francine?’ She said, yes. I said, ‘I think I’m your daughter’,” Mitchell-Clark said.
They had plenty to talk about, but started with tears of joy.
“I’m still in shock. It’s amazing,” Simmons said.
She said she always wanted to reconnect with her daughter, but never knew how.
“I got pregnant when I was 14. I had her when I was 15. I was put in a home, a girl’s home. Had her. Got to hold her. Didn’t get to name her, but I named her myself in my heart all these years,” Simmons said.
But the story doesn’t end there. It turns out Mitchell-Clark has three other sisters she didn’t even know about. One even works with her as well.
“I feel a sense of relief for my mother,” said Kamala Cummings.
“It’s just amazing that all this time we’re thinking about her and trying to find her and she was trying to find us, too,” said Maisha Cummings.
To top it all off, mom and daughter live just 6 minutes from each other in Youngstown. Mitchell-Clark said her adoptive parents are happy for them, too.
“My Mom and Dad have always been supportive of me. (They’ve) always encouraged me to look for them. They’re going to be a part of this, too,” Mitchell-Clark said.
“Now, we’ve got a bigger extended family where we can just be together,” Simmons said.