GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – November is National Adoption Month. A Girard woman’s decades-long journey of separation from, searching for and reunification with her biological parents shines hope on the subject.
Maggie Coburn, 33, was adopted when she was a month old.
“I realized there were pieces that were missing from me that I didn’t even realize were missing,” she said.
Maggie always felt loved and whole, but there was a part of her that wanted to know her biological family.
In February 2019, she signed up for Ancestry.com. Weeks later, there was a match and she sent a message.
“I did the Ancestry thing and I think you’re my dad,” Maggie wrote.
She met her biological father, Jack Menichellai, a couple of weeks later. He then gave her the contact information for her biological mother, Lisa Blair.
“These are my people, you know?” Maggie said. “My family has expanded. I feel so connected.”
Jack and Lisa were only 18 and 15 when Lisa got pregnant. They decided to put Maggie up for adoption because they felt it would be the best thing for her.
But it wasn’t easy.
“It was rough. It was rough,” Jack said.
“It’s selfish sometimes to want to hold onto something that you know deserves better and I decided not to be selfish,” Lisa said.
Jack knew he always wanted to find his daughter.
“It’s kind of like looking for yourself in a way,” he said.
He said there was one fear he lived with every day.
“That I might die and not ever find out who my daughter was. Scared me to death.”
Maggie’s adoptive mother, Linda Shields, was always open with her about her adoption.
“It was important for me for her to know that she was special,” Linda said.
When Maggie told her she had reunited with her biological parents, Linda was thrilled. They all met each other just weeks ago. It was emotional.
“I was crying. I just gave her a hug and said, ‘Thank you,'” Linda said.
“I just wanted to know that I made the right decision so having her as an adult tell me that I did and having her mom tell me that, that really is what I needed,” Lisa said.
Their adoption story shows the most difficult decision for one family became the best thing for another.