Genes Reunited Blog
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Another amazing episode of Long Lost family last night on ITV1.
Davina and Nicky introduced us to two new people desperately searching for lost loved ones. We heard the story of Jeannie Edgar and her baby brother Geoffrey. When Jeannie was eight years old and Geoffrey only 4, a couple named Mr and Mrs Smith came to their London home and took Geoffrey away. Their mother was a single woman struggling in post war London to support her two children, and it was only later in Jeannie’s life that she realised her mother must have had Geoffrey adopted.
Jeannie has been searching for her brother for 30 years, she had found a record of her brother and Mr and Mrs Smith, along with another baby boy they had adopted, on passenger lists documenting their departure from England on a ship bound for Fiji. This is the only record she has ever found, and with Smith being the most common surname in the English language, there is a long road ahead.
Nicky Campbell helps with the search, but they can find no record of the family arriving in Fiji. Mr Smith was a civil servant, which means he could be stationed anywhere in the world. After much investigation they find that Mr Smith had also spent time in Bermuda, so post an article in the local Bermuda newspaper asking for information on the Smith family. Amazingly, the daughter of the other adopted son, Robert, contacts the Long Lost Family team, and Nicky heads to Bermuda.
Sadly for Jeannie, Nicky learns from Robert that his adopted brother Geoffrey died aged only 34 in a power boating accident. However, Robert does share happy memories of their childhood and confirms that both he and Geoffrey had a very happy and privileged upbringing. When Jeannie and Robert meet it is both a happy and sad occasion, Jeannie is thrilled to learn that her brother never forgot about her, and even tried to look for her. She is, of course, devastated that she will not get the chance to meet Geoffrey after all these years, but she is please and relieved that he had a happy and loving upbringing with his adopted family. There is a sense of bitter sweet happiness, Jeannie is relieved that she finally knows the truth about what happened to Geoffrey, but sad that his happy life should have ended so quickly and before they could find each other.
We also meet Kirsty who, when she was only 15 years old, became pregnant. Kirsty denied and tried to ignore her pregnancy right up to the moment she was giving birth, she had told no one, and now faced the hardest decision of her life. As much as she loved the healthy baby boy she had given birth to, she knew her only option was to give him up for adoption.
Now, 25 years later, and unable to have any more children, Kirsty is desperate to find Steven, the baby boy she gave up all those years ago. The most important thing for her is knowing that she made the right decision and that Steven has had a happy life.
Nicky Campbell enlists the help of an intermediary to help find Steven. An intermediary has the legal right to look at adoptive records, and contacts Steven to ask his permission to pass his details on to his mother and the Long Lost Family team. When Nicky goes to meet Steve, now called James, it is clear he has had a happy and loving childhood. James is now a father himself and knows it must have been desperately hard for Kirsty to make the decision forced upon her. James has never begrudged being adopted, although he has always wondered about his biological mother and after seeing a photo of her, knows he wants to meet her.
Kirsty and James meet in Kirtsy’s favourite park. It is a very happy reunion, Kirsty relieved and happy to know that she made the right decision and that James has had the childhood she so hoped for.
Another successful episode of Long Lost family, but also touching on the sadder elements of searching for loved ones and in Jeannie’s case, not always getting the news you hope for, but getting new, unexpected connections.