If Everyone Lighted Just One Little Candle

by Alice Syman

A few years ago a member of my Orphan Voyage Adoption Search and Support Group in Arizona hosted a Christmas party. The home was a Christmas Wonderland. Thousands of lights twinkled on the lawn; the inside looked like a Santa-Land. The atmosphere was warm, loving and affectionate. The Christmas music and candlelight sparked some real magic that night.

Each person searching for someone was invited to light one of the red or white tapers arranged in a circle around a lighted taper in the center of the dining table. Those who were already reunited lit a candle for a member who couldn’t attend. Each person’s name was called as they lit a candle. Then, everyone joined hands, observed a moment of silence and visualized a reunion taking place.

During the next 16 days Janice had a telephone reunion with her birthfather and two siblings. Sadly, Victor found out that his granddaughter died 10 years earlier. Carole’s birth-daughter, and Sho-Mei’s birth family, were located. Sho-mei’s mother had died. Carl’s birth-sister, who was located in spring, but had not consented to meet with him, called; they met before New Year! His adopted daughter’s birth family was located.

Linda, a birthmother, received word that the court finally located the record of a son she had given up. She had also lost custody of several children she’d not seen since they were small. They were now all adults with families of their own. The night of the party, Linda was home alone, ill, wondering where her children were and if she’d ever see them again. She knew nothing about our candle-lighting ceremony but said that suddenly she felt all her children around her and knew she would see them again. I asked what time this happened. She said about 7:30 PM. We were lighting candles at 7:30 PM! We located Linda’s children shortly after.
As far as I know everyone at the party that night has been reunited with the person they were searching for.

About the author
Alice Syman operated Orphan Voyage of Arizona 12 years and now operates Orphan Voyage-at-St. Augustine (Florida). Orphan Voyage, founded by Jean Paton in 1953, was the first search and support organization for the adoption triad in the US. They have an adoptee/birthparent memorial site on the web; request guidelines [email protected]; 904-810-5596.