Siblings Reconnect After Years Without Contact | Lifestyles
Jeff Adam and Samantha France, siblings who were pen pals at a young age and then lost touch, reconnect for Adam’s 60th birthday party.
Adam’s story begins in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on May 16, 1962, the day he was born. Two months later, her parents, the late Irish McGuirl and Evelyn Adam, divorced.
His father moved to Alaska and his mother took baby Adam to Richmond. In 1963, her mother remarried, creating a new family that included a brother and a sister, living in Massachusetts.
Samantha was born on January 22, 1969 in Anchorage, Alaska, although it was years before Adam realized it.
Adam’ said he was too young at the time of the separation to remember his biological father. One Friday afternoon in 1979, just before he joined the army, his parents were out of the house and he answered a call from Irish McGuirl.
Adam said he spoke with his birth father on the phone for a while. They exchanged addresses and started writing each other letters. McGuirl eventually sent a photo of her daughter, Samantha France, who at the time was a “cute little red-headed” elementary-aged child.
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Later, Adam and France also started sending letters to each other. Things were going so well that Adam and his father planned to fly Adam to Alaska for a visit after he got out of the military. However, on May 1, 1982, McGuirl was killed in a car accident, ending these plans before they could all meet.
Adam received a letter from McGuirl’s fiancé about his death and was allowed to return home on leave due to the death in the family. He said he had returned home to Massachusetts and his mother was surprised to see him – she had no idea of the death.
After his biological father died, Adam said, he and his sister from Alaska lost contact. Adam ended up living in Germany even after leaving the military until returning to the United States in 1989.
In 2000 Adam started looking for France so they could reconnect but had no luck. It is difficult to find women, he says, because their surnames change when they get married. When Facebook became popular, it started trying to track her down, but still had no luck.
Adam moved to Martinsville in January 2015. He owns Motrak Models, which offers model railroad accessories and kits for HO, N, and Z scale buildings and scenery. He said he also works on other projects like etching glasses and making wedding and hobby items, all from her home in Druid Hills.
Two years ago, Adam received a message from France asking who his biological father was, and they got in touch again. Adam said that when he received this message he “had the biggest smile” on his face. He added that he told France: “I’ve been looking for you for so long.”
“We talk all the time,” he said. The pair had previously planned to meet in person closer to their first reconnect, but plans were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. When he told her he was celebrating his 60th birthday in May, she immediately replied, “I’m coming,” he said.
France, a fifth-grade teacher with three sons, is currently on a month-long vacation from her home in Eagle River, Alaska to explore the east coast, but she’s based her trip on coming to see her lost brother. for a long time for her birthday. She told Adam that she enjoys quilting, photography and gardening.
Adam said that from the moment they met in person, the pair “just clicked right away” and met with hugs and kisses from the start. Adam’s other sister from his mother and stepfather’s side, Rebecca Adam, was also there to meet France, and the two were thrilled to meet and got along great.
He said the next time they meet it will be his turn to visit and take the trip to Alaska to see where France lives.
Both Adam and France bought kits from ancestry.com to test their DNA but are both sure they are related, although he said some people were skeptical at first. Adams added that he knew she was his sister because they both had exchanged letters when they were younger.
“I knew in my heart that I was going to meet her one day,” Adams said.
Monique Holland is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at [email protected] or 276-734-9603.