There’s a reason why they call them broken families. When a mother or father, a sister or brother is missing, the whole family unit simply isn’t complete.
In the past, when an abduction or out-of-wedlock birth occurred, there was nothing a mother or father or child could do. Many times, they simply didn’t even know it had occurred.
However, the rise of social media, with all its benefits and faults, helps in one undeniable way: It can track down long-lost people.
Consider the case of Terrell Starr. According to the “Today” show, he was another fatherless man in his mid-twenties.
With his mother in the military, he’d spent much of his Detroit childhood under the care of his grandmother. But a simple Facebook search changed his whole perspective.
In 2009, he found a man who shared the name of his biological father and sent him a message. “I didn’t believe that anyone would actually reply because I was just so used to being without him,’’ Starr said.
But Chris Truesdale did respond, and he turned out to be Starr’s father.
“I’m not a guy that has children and don’t take care of them,’’ Truesdale said. “Shoot, I mean, had I known he was my child, he’d have been right there.”
An Ohio man felt much the same way. When Steven Williams separated from his wife, she had custody of their 3-year-old son.
According to WHIO-TV, Williams had no contact with his son for almost two decades — until he happened across him on Facebook. “I found a picture of him,” Williams said.
“Took me about three weeks to figure how what (sic) to say to him.” The two did eventually chat and connect in person, during which Williams learned he had a grandchild.
Andy Gerhold of Visalia, California, lost contact with his son in a far more traumatic way. Over two-and-a-half decades ago, his then-girlfriend decided to leave and take their baby with her.
“I always believed in my mind, and I thought years ago, one day I’m going to see my son,” he told KMPH-TV. “One day I will see my son. I always believed it.”
They were able to connect on Facebook, and Gerhold’s 2-year-old child had grown into a married man named Joshua. Gerhold was understandably nervous about reaching out to him.
“I always want to talk about love and say, ‘You do have a father. He loves you,’” he explained.
Well, he’ll be able to on Jan. 9. Gerhold’s wife gave Joshua enough airline miles to fly and see his father.
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