Thursday Weisblog: Technology reunites a family

Like most people who grew up as foster children, Patricia Lett Wells wondered where she came from. She wondered who her parents were. She wondered if she had siblings. She wondered what her relatives looked like.

As she became an adult, she decided she was curious enough to try and find out. Several times, she made exhausting attempts to find out her family history, only to come up empty each time. There were a couple close calls, but they turned out to be only reasons for false hope.

As time went by, she began to give up hope of ever finding out who she really was. All she knew was what her foster father told her: “There’s only one story. Your mom couldn’t afford to raise you. We knew her, and she gave you to us.”

Then came a day last month, when Joseph Lett of Alabama was surfing the Website “classmates.com.” Just for the fun of it, he typed in the name of his long list sister’s name. Much to his surprise, there was her profile, complete with a photo.

He then decided to try to find her on MySpace, too, and when he did, he sent her a message: “I believe we need to talk. You show some strong resemblance to family members,” he told her.

Joseph (her half-brother) and Patricia did talk, and Patricia, now 48, got the answer to her prayers. “”I was crying and screaming,” said Wells. “I put the phone down, and screams came out of my mouth. Every five minutes, I said, ‘Hold on,’ and I cried and yelled.”

Joseph summed it up best, when talking about Patricia and the six siblings she’s discovered (her biological mother passed away in 1993). “Thank God for the Internet,” said her half brother, Joseph Lett, a pastor and retired seaman who lives in Mobile, Ala. “She’d been looking for years. But for me, it took just a couple of clicks.”

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