Library lends help to man in search for his family

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) -- Many people adopted at birth have to live with the reality that they may never meet, or know the identity, of their biological parents.

Austin Bond was given up for adoption the moment he was born. He grew up knowing he was adopted, but never knew why.

That is until one day at the Danville Library in Danville, Virginia, when he met Danielle Pritchett in the Genealogy room and said, "'I have this story. I bet you've never heard anything like this before,' and I was like, I've heard it all. Try me," says Pritchett.

"I gave her the backstory, or what I knew, and I told her that I had my original birth certificate and the original adoption papers, and she said, 'Well, bring them in, let's see what we can find,'" says Bond.

He took in the items the next day, and Pritchett got to work. She searched dozens of websites and found Bond's mother. She died in 2008. Pritchett found a picture of her headstone on findagrave.com, which led to an obituary.

"It had a list of all her children and so from there, I looked on some other different websites and found their addresses and so I wrote out a letter, sent it to them and just waited for a response," says Pritchett.

A few weeks later, she got a call from Bond's biological sister, Tina Kay.
She remembered her mom being pregnant with Bond, and wanted to meet him.

"It's emotional, because, you know, you think, it wasn't like I hadn't tried to find my family over the years," says Bond.

Bond called his sister that night and they talked for nearly two hours, comparing notes and trying to come up with a plan to meet. On Labor Day, he traveled to West Virginia and he met his sister and brother for the very first time.

"For me, it just came natural, it's like we've known each other all our lives when we haven't," says Bond.

Bond says he and his siblings talk regularly now and have several plans to visit, all thanks to a chance meeting at the library.

"It was a fluke. I mean it wasn't like I went to the library saying, 'What can you do to help me here?' Everything was just dumb luck. Right place, right time, right individual," says Bond.

Bond says he and his siblings are planning a beach trip for over the holidays.

He says sometimes ignorance is bliss, but he has no regrets searching for his family. He encourages anyone that's having issues finding theirs to contact their local library.

Read the original version of this article at wdbj7.com.