January 31, 2013

12,000 Likes, 135,000 Shares Leads 21-Year-Old to Birth Parents via Facebook


Is it just me, or does it seem like social media has skyrocketed into a rallying campaign as of late? Whenever someone wants or needs anything, all they need to do is post a status on Facebook petitioning for likes and shares, and before you know it, you get a definitive conclusion. Need to answer a question on the fly? Asking on Facebook can sometimes prove even faster than a search engine. Need to conduct some research? Just ask a question via status and see the answers and opinions filter in. Recently, two girls asked for one million likes on the social media site so that their parents would get them a new puppy, and it happened in only seven hours.

Social media is truly a culture and world all of its own, where the possibilities are endless and nothing is impossible. Another heartwarming story can now be added to the list of social media phenomenon, where 21-year old Utah-based Jenessa Simons, shared a photo of her holding a poster that read, “Help me find my birth parents!” followed by a long list of criteria needed to complete the job, including her birth date, place of birth, original birth name, and even birth dates and ages of her parents when she was born. She also provided her personal e-mail address to prove that this was no hoax, followed by a smaller poster reading, “Please Like & Share.”

Now you may be thinking, “Why doesn’t she just go through the normal process?” Apparently, Simons was becoming frustrated with the long and complex process of filling out the necessary paperwork when dealing with the mutual consent agencies that typically connect people with their birth parents, one report explains. So she turned to Facebook, where she indeed received nearly immediate gratification.

She posted this information on Sunday, and apparently after asking her friend to share it on Facebook, it has raked in about 12,000 likes, 135,000 shares and 89 comments wishing her luck on her quest. She even received approximately 30 e-mails, all which offered her help and provided links to adoption websites. In typical Facebook fashion, some, of course, offered fake claims.

“I figured a few friends might share it, but this has been overwhelming,” Simons said. “It’s mind blowing.”

In a “it really is a small world, after all” moment, a woman who caught site of Jenessa thought she looked quite similar to a woman who she went to high school with. She believed this so much that she sent Simons, who is married and has a child of her own, a message.

While Simons was a bit skeptical about the woman who apparently knew her birth mother, she eventually came around to trusting her after she was able to provide her with extremely detailed information, including the fact that she was born by caesarean section.

“She sent pictures of me as a baby that my mother had given her,” Simons recently told ABC news. Her birth mother was even able to divulge information regarding her apparent birth father, too.

So now what? Simons hopes to find out more about her birth parents and hopefully someday meet them face to face. Even more, she hopes to leverage social media to help others and continue this momentum – kind of like a digital form of paying it forward.

She wrote on Facebook, “This page has gone crazy and I would love to turn it into a resource for others to help find birth parents,”

Not only is social media serving as a platform to connect beyond long lost friends, but it’s becoming a networking tool that rises above the criteria of similar interests and hobbies. It’s transitioning into something that can help people find their long lost parents, and help others to do so as well.




Edited by Jamie Epstein



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