Year 6: Searching For Rachel
My birth-sister's name is Rachel. I'm not supposed to share that publically, but after 6 years of inaction by the Montgomery County Orphans' Court I'm now taking the search for my birth sister in to my own hands. Below is a transcript of my email conversation with Helen Blair Schuler, the Administrator of Pennsylvania's Orphans Court. I'm posting this on my blog primarily for my own records as I move forward in this search.
March 16, 2012
I left you a voice mail at the end of the day on Friday inquiring about the status of the letter I had sent requesting the opening of my birth sister's file. I had addressed it to Judge Stanley Ott, but it's my understanding that you open it first. I have asked the Bethany Christian Services caseworker, Heather Bert, about the status and she stated that you would be requesting consent for this search from my birth mother.
I received a receipt for the $200 check I sent the Orphans Court for my search. Thank you. I wanted to check in with you to see if you've been able to locate/make any contact with my birth sister? Are you able to give us any more information? Please let us know if you need us to do something.
March 25, 2012
Angela, I just received your e-mail. I apologize for the delay in responding, the county system diverted to a spam file. I am still gathering information in an effort to locate your birth sister. I am currently working on search requests which preceded yours, in addition to various other work responsibilities which demand my attention.
In the meantime, you may be interested in writing a letter of introduction to your sister. Once you have completed the letter you can send it to me. If I am able to locate her I can tell her of your letter. I have attached a guide for writing a letter in case you need it.
May 15, 2012
I've attached the letter to my birth sister for you to forward along. I will be anxiously awaiting your reply.
June 27, 2012
Hi Helen, I'm assuming that you have not heard anything since sending forth my letter, is this correct? Can you tell me how current the address that you had for her was? Thanks for your assistance.
June 28, 2012
Angela, I have not heard from your sister. I did receive an e-mail from an attorney responding to my letter to your sister. I was asked to contact the attorney to discuss the matter. I responded that I needed authorization from the adoptee giving me permission to discuss the matter with the attorney. I have not heard anything since. I need to have your sister's permission before I can discuss anything.
July 12, 2012
Helen, I'm not sure I understand why you'll need to speak with an attorney and furthermore, how might you obtain permission from my birth sister if you don't know her whereaouts. Did the attorney state that he’s representing my birth sister? If so, why would you need my birth sister’s approval?
Is it possible that my birth sister has a guardian and thus has an attorney appointed? Would a cognitive disability constitute needing an attorney to represent her in adulthood? Thanks again.
October 13, 2013
I thought I'd just take a shot in the dark, and ask if you've heard from my birth sister or her attorney since last summer? There is a documentary that might put her at ease as it's about my search to find my birthfamily. Might you be able to get this link (www.closuredocumentary.com) to her attorney?
Hope you're well,
My search continues - and I won't be paying any more monies to the Montgomery County Court in Pennsylvania. I can't wait to meet my birth-sister, Rachel.