TORONTO – It took less than 24 hours to become a minor Kijiji sensation. An ad on the well-known classifieds website entitled ‘Looking for my family (Amherst NS?)’ garnered more than 34,000 views less than a day after it was posted by Dave Rogers of Toronto (see the ad:
“It’s absolutely unbelievable,” said the married father of one (soon to be two).
Rogers is trying to find his birth mother and/or her extended family. A chance encounter 12 years ago – before he even knew he was adopted shortly after birth – has led him to believe his blood relatives may live in our area.
On a train ride out to Moncton from Toronto, a physician from Amherst approached him assuming he was a member of a family the Nova Scotian knew from his community. A strange misunderstanding at the time – this was almost a decade before Rogers was told by his parents he was adopted – but it took on extra significance after finding out he was adopted and his birth mother was Nova Scotian (although she gave birth to him in Ontario).
From Rogers’s ad: “My mother…had brothers (I think) who were musically inclined …It’s quite possible that no one back home even knew she was pregnant or ever had a baby …From what little I know, my birth mother would be in her late fifties or early sixties.”
Rogers felt some anger and resentment toward his birth mother when he first found out he was adopted four years ago. Ontario changed adoption legislation in 2009, allowing children and birth mothers to know each others identities if both parties requested that information. Rogers put in his request but was disheartened again when it wasn’t reciprocated by his birth mother (it’s unclear whether her disinterest in contact was made explicit back in 1976, or if she’s even aware of the legislative change).
Anger has faded over the intervening years. He said he tries to view her decision from different perspectives, saying there are lots of possible reasons she gave him up for adoption. His goal sounds positive.
“To reconnect with members of my birth family…I would love to be able to connect with them…”
Rogers initially used Craigslist to try and drum up information, but received little response. One responder did suggest using Kijiji instead. Rogers has never been to Amherst, although he’s been to Atlantic Canada a number of times, and has a friend who lives in Moncton. (Interestingly, the friend in Moncton heard about Rogers’s search virally, through online channels independent of Rogers.)
The father said he has a handful of names from his Kijiji ad but isn’t revealing them at this point. Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (that’s two underscores between the names, not one).