Sandra Cox does not remember being put up for adoption. She was just three days old. For three decades, Cox wondered where her siblings were. She grew up and had a daughter and a grandson. When her daughter was killed by gunfire, it was her turn to be a parent to a child in need.
Patricia Williams was also put up for adoption at a young age. One day, she got a note from one of Cox's grandson, Parrish. In the note, Cox revealed her birth parents' names. Williams discovered they had the same parents.
"I almost passed out. I started grasping for air," she says. "We have a commonality and that is sisterhood."
Williams has already met two other siblings. They think there are 11 brothers and sisters all together. She says she wanted to meet a sibling, but never looked.
"I was scared to find out about my past. They might not want to accept me or something," Williams says.
This weekend, Cox and Williams are going to see a brother and another sister for the first time. They are waiting to meet their other siblings to fill several more spaces reserved for them in their hearts.
It is estimated as many as 500,000 adult adoptees are actively searching for their birth relatives. Only two states, Hawaii and Kansas, allow adult adoptees complete access to their birth and adoption information.
In North Carolina, the records remain sealed. Several efforts to open up adoption records have failed in theGeneral Assembly, including a bill this past session to create an adoption registry.