BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — In 1996, at the age of 19, Jennifer Middlebrooks of Bloomington became a mother for the third time. She made the difficult decision to give up her baby boy JayCe for adoption.
“He needed a better life than what I could give him at the time. I was young, living in the projects, with two kids already. He needed somebody that wasn’t already broken,” said Middlebrooks.
The process was supposed to be an open adoption, meaning both families would stay in contact through the adoption agency. But that didn’t happen and the families lost contact with one another.
In 2014, Middlebrooks started looking for a then 18-year-old JayCe. Earlier this month, she made a final attempt by way of Facebook.
“I really kind of gave up. And it was really a last-ditch effort, like I knew his adoptive parents lived in Rockford. So let’s try this one last thing and I guess resolve to pray for the best still,” Middlebrooks said.
JayCe was adopted by the Rohr family and his name was changed to Logan. Logan’s sister saw Middlebrooks’ post in the “What’s Happening in Rockford, IL” Facebook Group. And little did Middlebrooks know the Rohrs were now living in Washington State and had also been looking for her.
“It’s been a long time coming. It’s been 26 years. We searched for her and we found out that she was also searching for us. It was actually by pure luck that we even saw the post she made on Facebook,” said Tracy Rohr.
Logan immediately reached out to Middlebrooks, who said the initial conversation felt like he never left.
“Don’t give up. It might just be one post away. It happened overnight for me so I know it can happen for anybody that stays on the path. Just don’t give up,” said Middlebrooks.
The families have created a fundraiser so they can reunite in person. To donate visit their GoFundMe page.