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article imageUtah woman, 21, finds birth mother via viral Facebook appeal

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 31, 2013 in Lifestyle
A Utah woman, Jenessa Simons, 21, found her apparent birth mother only three days after she posted an appeal to Facebook that went viral. She had reportedly been trying to find her birth mother for three years through conventional channels.
ABC News reports that Simons posted a picture of herself to Facebook on Sunday. The picture showed her holding a large sign with her birth information written on it and an appeal to Facebook users to share the information.
The Daily Mail reports that after Simons posted the image to Facebook, it went viral, receiving more than 12,000 likes, 135,000 shares and several comments from Facebook users wishing her good luck.
She also received about 30 emails from people who offered help in various forms, and from several other people with spurious claims.
Her Facebook appeal said she was born at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo on November 17, 1991. Her parents were both 16 years old when she was born and they named her Whitney.
With that scant information she went online, asking her friends to share the information.
Jenessa Simons
Jenessa Simons
The appeal message finally came to the attention of a woman who attended high school with persons she thought might be Simons' birth parents. The woman passed the information to the woman she thought might be Simons' mother who in turn contacted Simons.
ABC affiliate KTVX-TV reports Simon said: “She did send me a message on Facebook and said, ‘I think I’m your birth mother. I can’t believe it’s you. I've waited all this time.'"
But Simons proceeded cautiously because she had previously received emails from people making false claims. She prodded the woman for more information, gaining confidence after the woman supplied such facts as that she was born by cesarean section. Simons said: "She sent pictures of me as a baby that my [adoptive] mother had given her."
She told ABC News that the woman has also provided information about her apparent birth father.
Simons said she hopes to learn more about her apparent birth mother and possibly meet her. She said: "I hope I’m the daughter that she pictured me as all these years." She said that in the meantime she is also looking for her birth father
She explained that she decided to go online with an appeal after she became frustrated with volumes of paper work while dealing with the mutual consent agencies that normally connect people with their birth parents.
She said that now that her Facebook page has gone viral, she may be able to use it to help others in a similar situation as she was: “This page has gone crazy and I would love to turn it into a resource for others to help find birth parents... I figured a few friends might share it, but this has been overwhelming. It's mind blowing."
She posted a message to Facebook thanking users who shared her message:
Everyone I am happy to announce that I found my birth mother :D Thank you so much for everything you all have done for me, I have been on the news, and done interviews, and because of all of you, I have found my birth family :D THank you all SO SO much.
Simons said that when she meets her birth parents she would thank them for putting her up for adoption, saying she was raised by a loving family in Alpine.
KTVX-TV reports she said she considers herself lucky, because some people spend long years searching for their relatives without success. She said: “I found my birth mother just because 70,000 people shared that picture and took one second of their day to hit share and I found my family."
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