I am an African-American adult adoptee from New York. It turns out that because of my birth mother’s illness her parental rights werw terminated and I became a ward of the state. I ended up being adopted into a family who was well regarded by Angel Guardian Home in Brooklyn. My foster home had been a haven for more than 65 children of which I was one of them before my official adoption. It wasn’t until I turned 12 that I learned that I had been born into a different family other than the one I had known about most of my life. Over time I learned the particulars of my adoption and was able to learn four critical pieces of information that would prove to be valuable in my reunion search years later. I knew my biological surname, agency that placed me, appeoximate locale, abs that I had a sister who was 13 years older than me. I didn’t realize that I had everything I needed to lead a successful search. With the help of directory assistance in New York, who cooperated with me in my quest collect random numbers in every borough in NY, I was able to find my family. I miraculously found my biological family on Thanksgiving Eve of 1996. SinceI met my birth mother and sister who was indeed 13 years older than me. It was a joyous occassion. Since that time 15 years had passed. Over a 15 year time span, I was able to trace my family back to the 18th century. Once I made it back to the Wall of 1870 I needed a breakthrough. A fourth cousin had an original document that helped me identify that my family had been enslaved on the historic Stagville Plantation in North Carolina owned by Paul Cameron. Oncw I found my third great grandmother Maria Justice, I was able to follow the records back even further. Today, I have been able to successsfully trace my family tree back 9 generations including myself. I am grateful!