In 1981, Tracie Gasbarra was a student who found herself in a predicament with which she had seen her peers struggle. She was pregnant by her high school sweetheart.
She gave the baby up for adoption 30 years ago and has now turned to her 114 Facebook friends for help finding him. Her mesage is spreading quickly on the social networking site, she said.
“I just want to make sure I did the right thing,” Gasbarra said, of why she has spent years searching for her son.
“I saw several of my classmates have babies, drop out of school…I knew there was no way I could do it,” Gasbarra said, explaining her mother had died a year earlier and that her father was fully supportive of whatever decision she made. “I was looking at the bigger picture.”
Gasbarra posted the following statement as her status on Facebook last Friday:
It is said that there is only 6 degrees of separation, I believe that through Facebook, the degrees have lessoned. So I'm asking for everyone I've friended to help me with my search. In 1981 I gave up my son Chris for adoption. He was born December 10th at Peekskill Community Hospital. My email is Tgasbarra@gmail.com. Please copy and paste this message and help me find him. I've joined so many adoption sights without any response so maybe this will result in my finding him.
“I didn’t expect it to travel as fast as it did. It is insane” Gasbarra told Patch.
Last Friday, Gasbarra was on the computer and thought about how her older son had advised her not to post her search on Facebook, for fear that she “might get weird people” contacting her.
“I thought you know what, I don’t care, and boom. I love how supportive people have been. I have people from clear across the country contacting me about their similar situations. And my husband is in the military and he posted it and his friends know people around the world,” she said. “The world is getting smaller,” Gasbarra said, explaining she hopes that works to her advantage.
Gasbarra was born and raised in Peekskill, where her baby was born, as stated in her message. After the adoption, Gasbarra said she thought it might feel like it never happened. But she suffered from the experience.
"The first evening I had returned home from the hospital, I kept hearing a baby crying. I later learned that this was something normal. It tore me up," Gasbarra remembers today.
She is now a 47-year-old insurance agent who recently moved to Walden, N.Y., and has had four children since the one she had adopted – two boys, 27 and 23 and two girls, 10 and 11.
She said she still gets sad every Dec. 10 on Chris' birthday.
"His birthdays always make me miss him, even though I never even held him. That's the one thing I regret with all my heart. I was afraid I would change my mind and do the wrong thing. Hopefully, with all the support I'm getting from all over the country, I'll be able to wrap my arms around him and give him the biggest hug."
Legally, Gasbarra could not attempt to find the adopted boy until he turned 21 and she cannot get any information from the Town of Cortlandt or others until he turns 50.
“He may not even be looking. He is 30 years old now,” Gasbarra said. “I know he might be fine and happy and not worried about a thing.” She explained that if he is looking she would have more easily been able to find him. If he had searched his name and date of birth that would show up in google, she said.
"Whatever the outcome may be, I think I'm ready to accept it, be it good or bad. Hopefully it'll turn out good for everyone involved," she said.
The adoption in 1981 was closed and Gasbarra knew very little about the people who raised her son.
“I knew the parents couldn’t have kids, which helps me feel better. I know they adopted a little girl before they adopted him. I know they were both in the medical field; one was physical therapist. That is all I know about them,” Gasbarra said. She also knew the name they chose for him, Christopher John.
Now Gasbarra has a Facebook page made titled “Find Chris” and people continue to spread her message. If you think you have any information on the adoption please contact Gasbarra at email@example.com.