VEC Member Reunited with Birth Parents 42 Years Later
Most people have heard the phrase, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” That is especially true of long-time VEC member Suzy Campbell, whose biological sister discovered her from a photograph.
Suzy Campbell (Arntz) was adopted after Suzy’s biological mom, Robin, found out she was pregnant before Christmas of 1967. Robin and, her now husband, Ron were in high school and didn’t know what they were going to do.
“We were way too young and [the pregnancy] horrified my parents,” says Robin.
They sought counseling from a priest and decided the best thing to do was to create an adoption plan. Suzy’s adoptive family consisted of her two parents – Richard and Barbara – and her brother – Tim, who was also adopted. Suzy and her family lived in Mansfield, Ohio before moving to Cleveland, TN when she was eight years old.
In 2012, Suzy appeared on the Racheal Ray Show to tell her story of how her biological sister found her on Facebook 42 years after Suzy was adopted. On the show, Suzy’s sister, Shannon, describes when her parents told her and her other two siblings – Heather and Jaime – they had an older sibling who had been adopted at birth.
“I remember being in Mom and Dad’s bedroom, and she [Mom] told us. From then on, I had always wanted to find her.”
After much searching, Shannon came across one of Suzy’s high school photos online.
“She was a spitting image of my mother and myself all in this one picture, so I knew it was her. I found her on Facebook, and sent her a message.”
Suzy recalls, “I think the date was January 9. I thought, ‘I’ll check my Facebook to see if I’ve got any new friends,’ and I saw I had a message. I read it, then I read it again, and I think I even read it a third time. Then I pulled the picture up of Shannon, and that’s when I freaked out. I think it was just time to meet.”
They met for the first time on March 5, 2012, while the Racheal Ray Show’s cameras captured their reactions.
The family embraced one another with many hugs and had many laughs. Suzy’s father Ron says through his emotions, “We’ve been waiting 42 years for this, and I’m thrilled.”
Ten years later, Suzy still maintains contact with her family.
“In the 10 years since we’ve met, we’ve spent family vacations, holidays, birthdays – and in the past year, we’ve came together to throw my parents a 50th wedding anniversary. My husband and my father are two peas in a pod. They talk on the phone all the time – and actually with my mom, too. He’s probably on the phone with them more than I am, which is hilarious.”
Suzy’s adopted parents and biological parents never got to meet. After Suzy got married in 1992, her adoptive mom, Barbara, began to have symptoms that were later diagnosed as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Barbara passed away when Suzy was 26 years old. Six years later, her father passed away from cancer.
“My parents never hid that I was adopted and had always told me that if I wanted to find my real parents, they would pay to try to find them. I was very blessed and never felt the need to find them,” Suzy says. After my mom passed away, my Dad asked me again about finding them, and I told him that he and mom were my parents. I never felt a void, even after they were gone.”
“Things happen for a reason, and I assume when I was found in my forties and that my biological parents were married and I had adult siblings, I guess it was meant to be for us to meet. I am very blessed to know them all, and we spend time together when we get a chance,” Suzy continues.
“I feel like God had a plan for me from the time I was born. I could not have asked for better parents growing up – they were the best. Then God brought my biological parents into my life when I think he thought I could handle it. I am so blessed to have a good relationship with my biological parents and will continue to!”
“In my heart, I truly don’t have any ill feeling toward the situation. I had a great life. Now, we’ve got a new beginning.”
If you would like to see Suzy’s story onscreen, you can visit: https://www.rachaelrayshow.com/lifestyle/25717_facebook_reunion_parents_find_daughter_42_years_after_adoption.