Give Yourself the Gift of Family for the Holidays
Posted Nov. 30, 2010
Written by Timothy McClanahan
The holidays are upon us - Thanksgiving and soon enough, Christmas and New Years. Thanksgiving is the traditional time to gather with family and be thankful for what you have, but if you've lost touch with - or become estranged from - your family, now may be the time to get back in touch with those lost family members, and reclaim the gift of family.
Other people don't have any family at all, whether adopted or separated from their family for other reasons. These people have to try to find people they may have never known, or known only as small children. To them, all they may have is a name and perhaps a location. For these people, finding family may be the most important gift of their lives. Even if an adoptee finds a birth parent that didn't and still doesn't want them, they'd at least know, at last, and find some closure. Peace of mind is invaluable, and can help one move on to bigger and better things. The extreme case of finding an organ donor could even help you save a life.
WE TV's show "The Locator" demonstrates there is a real need for help in finding lost family, loved one or not. Even if your story doesn't have a happy ending, it could still be an interesting or inspiring story for your children, or even a cautionary tale. Perhaps you're just a genealogy buff, and want to know your family's roots. Finding all those distant relatives can be a chore, even for celebrities. The BBC has a show called, "Who Do You Think You Are?" where celebrity's backgrounds are researched, often with surprising results. Everyone's family has a story. Even Oprah helps reunite separated family members.
While you may not have Oprah around to help you, may not have the money to hire a private investigator, or be famous enough to have the BBC look into things for you, there are still low-cost or no-cost options for you to use. If you've been stymied trying to use typical online search engines like Google or Bing to find people, you should try a dedicated people search service. These services use public records to find people using just their name, though more accurate results can be had if you know a location. But even just a nationwide search with a name may be enough to help you find who you're looking for.
One last piece of advice - if you can't find that one person directly, don't give up! Look for people they knew, such as their friends or coworkers. Someone, somewhere, knows where that person is. It's just a matter of finding the right person to make your holiday gift become family.