Ever since La-Sonya Mitchell-Clark found out that she was adopted, the 38-year-old Ohio native has wanted to learn the identity of her biological mom.
And when Ohio’s Department of Health decided to release a long-sealed trove of birth records last month for residents born between Jan. 1, 1964 and Sept. 18, 1996, Mitchell-Clark received the serendipitous surprise of a lifetime.
Her birth mother, Francine Simmons, is actually a colleague at InfoCision – a local teleservices firm where the two have unknowingly worked together for the past four years. And that’s not all: Mitchell-Clark also discovered that she has three sisters – one of whom also works at InfoCision.
When Mitchell-Clark first received her birth records in the mail on Monday and saw the name Francine Simmons, she immediately plugged it into Facebook. Suddenly, everything clicked. “There’s a Francine that works at my job,” Mitchell-Clark told ABC News. “She works in [volunteer recruitment] and she works at the front desk.”
Though the two are in different departments – and Mitchell-Clark has been with the company for four years while Simmons has been with InfoCision for 10 – “they would come in contact around the building and during events such as our corporate summer cookouts, parties and using the facilities or in the hallway,“ a company spokesperson said.
Following a tearful reunion, the two also discovered that they live just six minutes away from one another.
“I got pregnant when I was 14. I had her when I was 15,” explains Simmons, who said she always wanted to reconnect with her daughter but never knew how. “I was put in a home – a girl’s home. Had her. Got to hold her. Didn’t get to name her. But I named her myself in my heart all these years.”
Mitchell-Clark added that her adoptive parents were wholeheartedly in support of the reunion. “They’re going to be a part of this, too,” she said.