Nov. 15, 2013 at 6:16 PM ET
Betsy Boys was adopted at birth, a fact she knew growing up. The 29-year-old often thought about finding her biological mother, but was afraid that doing so would irrevocably change her life — for better or worse.
Boys overcame that fear last week when she least expected it., after she happened to watch a story on TODAY about how Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s adopted daughter successfully searched for her birth mother.
“Tears were just rolling down my face,” Boys told TODAY.com. She knew then that it was time for her to find her own birth mom.
Boys, who lives in Indianapolis, called her parents to share her decision, and to ask for their blessing. They were supportive, just as they were when Boys’ sister, also adopted, sought out her own biological mother.
So Boys did what most young people do to locate someone these days: She turned to social media, where she created a Facebook page called “Betsy’s biological journey.” Armed with childhood photos and just a few details, including her birth date and biological mother’s last name, she issued the following plea: Will you help me find my birth mother?
The messages of support quickly rolled in. People shared her page across the social network, and just 36 hours later, she received a message from a cousin who noticed a striking similarity between Boys and the rest of her biological family. Many of these relatives live nearby, including her birth mother and a half brother.
“To try to explain it — it gives me chills,” Boys said of the discovery. “It’s so surreal.”
She has yet to meet her birth mother, who is ill. “I want it to be the right time for her,” Boys said. “This could be life changing for her too.”
She has since spoken to other members of her newfound family and learned more about the circumstances of her adoption, including that her mother had severe postpartum depression at the time. Boys, who herself is a mother of two, doesn’t resent her biological mom for choosing adoption.
“I was pregnant with my son at a very young age,” she said. “I was scared…I thought to myself, I don’t know how my mother ever did this – it’s the ultimate selfless decision. She cared more about my happiness than her own. I’ve just always really respected her for that.”
Boys has relished learning more about her biological family. She recently talked with her half-brother well into the night, and was surprised to realize they shared a friend in common, and that he frequented the same barbershop where Boys takes her son.
And though Boys has long imagined what it would be like to meet her birth mother, she knows the experience could be uncomfortable or painful, and is prepared for disappointment. When the two meet, Boys’ adoptive mother will be by her side.
“I have to know whether it’s good or bad,” she said of her search. “It was a huge leap of faith."