When more than 30 years of birth records in were unsealed in Ohio last month, adopted Youngstown woman La-Sonya Mitchell-Clark, 38, was finally able to begin her search for her biological mother. Upon receiving her records a few weeks later, she was shocked to learn she really didn’t have to look far for Francine Simmons.
“There’s a Francine that works at my job. She works in VR and she works at the front desk,” La-Sonya told WKBN.
After contemplating what she should do next, La-Sonya reached out to Francine on the phone. When Francine called back, La-Sonya jumped right to the chase…
“She called me and I said, ‘Is this Ms. Francine?’ She said, yes. I said, ‘I think I’m your daughter,'” La-Sonya explained.
Although Francine was just as shocked as Francine, she said the chance to reunite was “amazing.” She added, “I got pregnant when I was 14. I had her when I was 15. 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.”
Francine went on to have three more daughters — including another who works at the same company. One of those daughters, Maisha Cummings, said they are just as happy about the reunion.
“It’s just amazing that all this time we’re thinking about her and trying to find her and she was trying to find us, too,” she said.
La-Sonya said her adoptive parents were supportive of her search and are now pleased to be part of the “bigger extended family” envisioned by Francine.