Finally, a Good Use of Facebook: Mom Finds Daughter She Gave Up

huggingI like wasting time on Facebook just as much as the next gal. (Oh, my neighbor from fourth grade just got a cat? Hey, look at that, that guy I used to work with just got back from Thailand. Ooh, my third cousin is going out for Italian tonight.) But in spite on this, I'm still sort of against it. Not against it, like, I'm-going-to-quit-it against it, just against it in the sense that I generally feel like it's not making us better people. I actually think it's making us worse. Except in this case.

Helen Torres, an 80-year-old woman from California, was reunited with her first-born daughter that she regretfully gave up for adoption. Through Facebook. Isn't it wonderful?

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Here's the story: When Helen was 17 years old, she got pregnant. Since she wasn't married at the time, she was placed in a home for unwed mothers. After she gave birth to a little girl she called Christina, she was forced to give her away to a couple. She said, "I gave her a kiss and got into the car with my mother and we took off."

Helen kept track of Christina until she was about 12. After then, she was in the dark about her whereabouts and what she was doing. She tried to put her in the back of her mind, but couldn't. Every year, on March 8, the day Christina was born, Helen would find a private place and say "Happy Birthday" to the daughter she couldn't find. 

Fast-forward to the year 2011, AKA the year of social media, and Helen and Christina are reunited. The youngest of Helen's five children, Deneen, created a Facebook page for Christina, featuring as much information as she had on her, along with any photos she was able to scrounge up. It took a few months but, lo and behold, Christina -- now Chris Gray -- contacted Deneen. The reunion went so well that Chris is actually relocating to be closer to her newfound family.

It's easy to forget because, well, complaining about things is much easier than praising them, but Facebook and social media really have done some great things. And by "great things" I don't mean they've allowed us to be notified every time Bethenny Frankel drinks a Diet Coke. I mean stuff like this. The majority of our time on social media sites is (usually) strictly for entertainment (read: escapism) purposes -- and sometimes that makes me feel like a worse person. Like, it's all a big waste of time. But then something genuinely touching and heart-warming happens, and it makes me think, "It can't be all that bad."

Who have you reunited with through Facebook?


Image via indi.ca/Flickr

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