Venice woman finds mom
Her search began over ten years ago and stopped at a dead end. The World Wide Web made a joyous reunion possible.
By Patty Allen-Jones
Sarasota (Fla) Herald-Tribune Staff Writer
Karen Glover watched for an older woman, walking with a cane, to come through the gate at the airport.
She was waiting Monday night at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport to meet her mother, who had given her up 50 years ago for adoption. Passenger after passenger passed Glover. Finally, Marilyn Forseth walked into her daughter's life, greeting her with a big smile and a tight hug.
"I can't believe it's all happening," said Glover of Venice, who had a rose, five balloons and a stuffed teddy bear for Forseth.
Glover began her search in 1986, but hit a dead end. Monday's reunion was made possible by the expanding Internet.
Hardly anyone has not been touched by computers, and now they are being used more and more to bring family and friends together. Even insurance companies are finding lost beneficiaries through the Internet, said Linda Hammer, founder of The Seeker in Venice. She operates an Internet bulletin board dedicated to helping people find other people.
"On my site it's easy," Hammer said. "You can type in your year of birth and find out if anyone is looking for you. You can use any of the searchable databases. It's one of the largest sites out there for people looking for people."
But Kathy Sokolik, the southern regional director for the American Adoption Congress, cautioned against putting names and identifying information on Internet sites or bulletin boards that are accessed by the general public. She recommends using an America OnLine site devoted to the subject. She says it is carefully monitored and screens the information before putting it on the World Wide Web.
Glover knew her biological mother's maiden name was Marilyn Stoneburg. Her adoptive parents - Nina and Rudolph Johnson - had shown her the adoption papers from a Chicago agency. They got her when she was 5 months old.
She searched for Stoneburgs in the general Chicago area and found 90 listings. She wrote letters to 25 or 30 of the addresses on that list, five at a time.
One of those first five letters reached an aunt in Wisconsin. She forwarded the letter to another aunt living in Idaho, who mailed Glover letters written in 1967 and 1970 by her grandfather to the aunt. The letter mentioned that the grandfather had an adopted son and gave his name.
Glover found the son through the Internet, living in Colorado.
He called after receiving Glover's letter. He knew her mother's married name and that she lived in California. Glover searched the Internet again, and found just one listing for a Marilyn Forseth in California. It turned out to be the right one. Glover contacted her 67-year old mother on March 23.
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