Facebook post leads to family discovery

Mike Krumboltz
March 13, 2013


Two women meet at a party. They become friends. People comment that the pair kind of look alike, but the women laugh it off. Now, flash-forward four years. Thanks to a Facebook post, the women discover they're more than just friends—they're family.

Davenport, Iowa's KWQC reports that Paula O'Brien had posted a note on Facebook commemorating the fact that, when she was 10, a sibling of hers gave up an infant for adoption. "It really had an impact on me, and for years I had hoped to find her," she told the station.

The Facebook post read:

"On Sept. 19, 1982, my very first niece was born and given up for adoption. I know it wasn't an easy decision for my brother to make, but it was the right one for that baby girl. Hope you can take a moment to read this & be thankful for the selfless sacrifice of adoption. I know many families whose hearts are full because of it.

Her friend Abbey Donohue saw the post, which mentioned the infant's birthday. "I read it, and I'm like, September 19th, that's my birthday," Donahue told KWQC. Donahue told O'Brien the names of her adoptive parents, and then O'Brien knew Donahue was her biological niece.

Donahue explained that she never felt the need to seek out her birth family: "I always knew I was adopted. I actually never felt the need to go out and search for my biological family, because I was loved so much."

"My family had prayed for this for years," O'Brien said.

In an interview with the Quad-City Times, the pair explained that Donahue's adoptive mother is supportive of the discovery and is looking forward to being involved in their suddenly larger family.

"The fact that this person has been right before my eyes for four, five years is just amazing," O'Brien said. "It feels like I got a little sister. This is not a niece; we’re closer than that. The beauty about it, too, is that we are so alike and get along so well. It’s a huge blessing.”