How I Met My Brother

by Linda Jobes

My name is Linda Hill Jobes and I was adopted by a couple (Ben and Lucille Hill) in Miami, FL, in 1943, and was the only child of this couple. They never told me that I was adopted, but I just knew early on but never let on to my parents that I knew. After their death, I started searching for my birth parents. I wrote to the HRS in Tallahassee, Florida, and they gave me non-identifying information, such as my biological mother was around 35 when I was born and that my grandfather owned a jewelry store in Miami. They knew very little about my birth father except he was a sergeant in the Army during WW II. I had always thought that I was a New Year’s accident as nine months from New Year’s Day is October. I was born the first part of October. I had registered with all of the adoptive websites, but could never find any other information. I did write to my adopted mother’s sister and told her that I knew that I was adopted but that my parents never knew that I knew. She never called me but sent a package in the mail with my legal adoption papers. This was such a hush-hush subject in the family that very few people knew about the adoption. In the legal papers, it gave my biological mother’s name as Elizabeth W. Hall, but the HRS said that many women in the 1940’s never gave their right name. I even hired a detective and attorney in Miami who had asked the courts to set up an intermediary to give me some health history. The Miami judge, however, denied the request. Florida is a closed adoption state.

After many years had elapsed, I had given up finding any siblings, as I knew by now that my biological mother was deceased. I had been searching since 1987 (the death of my adopted parents). I retired from Lilly Pharmaceuticals and moved back to Jacksonville, FL, (my home town where I was raised). After being retired for a few months, I started working as a temp through Kelly Services just to keep busy. One of the companies that I was sent to was Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. I met a guy (James Wagner) while eating lunch one day and we started talking about families and genealogy. I told him that I was adopted and I had a blank slate as far as health history, etc. I told him about the information I had received from the HRS in Tallahassee, FL . I didn’t think anything else about that, but the next day he appeared at my desk stating that he had found my brother after 69 years and he was living in Americus, GA, with his wife. I thought he was joking and laughed at that thought. After all, I had been searching all resources that I knew about and had come up empty handed. He was serious, however, and had called my brother telling him that he thought he had found his sister, but was leaving my name and any other information up to me to contact him. My brother was overjoyed to find out that he had a sister. I called him on New Year’s Day, 2013! He and I talked for about three hours on the phone and made a date for me to drive up to his home the following Saturday. We shared pictures, information and documents about our past. It was a miracle that James Wagner and I had crossed paths that day at lunch as I would have never been able to find any blood relative. George was raised as an only child. His father was not my father so we are half brother and sister. Our mother died when George was a child, so he never had any other siblings. Since then, James has found a cousin in Palm Harbor that didn’t know either George or I existed. I put him in touch with George and they exchanged e-mails. We plan to get together in the next few months and meet each other.

I have a grown son and daughter with four grandchildren. They have known for quite some time that I have been searching for any siblings that existed. They are so happy that I have found my brother and they now have an uncle and aunt and cousins to meet.

All of the information that James gave me was like a puzzle falling into place. I have finally found my brother after 69 years due to this guy that I was talking to at lunch one day. I truly believe that God placed me at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and allowed me to run into James at lunch that day to put the pieces of the puzzle together for both George and I. We now have each other! We have met and hit it off immediately. I have met his two grown daughters and his grown son and their children.

Just thought this might be an interesting story for you with a very happy ending.