Growing up, Shawne always knew she was adopted. But in her mid-twenties, she decided she wanted to search for her birth parents. However, instead, she discovered news that completely changed everything.
Questions on Questions
It can often be an emotional rollercoaster for those who are adopted, regardless of the situation. However, for those who decide to go on the search for their biological parents, things can get difficult.
When 26-year-old Shawne Bolton decided to start investigating her past, she had no idea what she would find on the other side. The curious girl had expected her search to be difficult in every sense of the word, but what she found completely shook her world.
Back to the Beginning
Unlike many adopted children, Shawne knew from an early age that her parents were not her biological parents - but they were open with her from the start. However shocked she might have been as a child to hear the news, nothing could compare to what she learned years later.
Shawne was thriving in her mid-twenties but always felt like she wanted to learn more about where she came from. After getting engaged, she felt secure and stable in her life, so she decided it was time to look deeper into who her birth mom was and get some answers. But how?
Where To Start?
There were a few different ways Shawne could go about finding her birth mom, but she decided the first place to check was to see if she had a criminal record. Because she had virtually no information on her, she decided that contacting the police station where she was born would be the best step.
After sharing with the police everything she had on her birth mother, like her age and birthday, the officer in charge took down the details. He ran some necessary background checks in hopes of some answers. And it didn't take much time for Shawne to get a phone call with some pretty startling information.
Gone Without a Trace
The police officer who spoke with Shawne was in total shock at what he found, so he knew that she would also find the information hard to believe. Once the officer gathered the information together, he told the confused woman to brace herself for the big news.
She could barely imagine what the news possibly could have been, and when he finally told her, she was in complete shock and disbelief. The police officer told the 26-year-old that she was actually filed as a missing person for all these years - and the questions just started rolling in.
Couldn’t Help but Wonder
As normal as it is for someone to be curious about their roots, it's far from normal to find out what Shawne found out: She was filed as a missing person, and she couldn't help but wonder where she truly came from - and, more importantly, if everything she heard from the officer was actually true.
Each story is very different when it comes to individuals trying to reconnect with their birth parents. For some, it's a happily ever after, and they re-build a connection worth years of lost time. But for others, the story does not have an inspiring ending. Which would be the case for Shawne?
So Many Emotions
The search in finding adoptive parents can be tricky. All families are different, but some children end up regretting their decision altogether when looking. On the other hand, some children have a tough upbringing if they are adopted into not such great homes, and often wonder: what if?
Unfortunately for some children, the emotions they feel as a child, such as abandonment and anger, can translate into adulthood and mature through other relationships in their lives. For Shawne, she felt secure in her recent engagement and other aspects of her life - but this was beyond what she could imagine.
Finding one's biological parents is no easy task. Even with the help of the police, biological parents sometimes just don't want to be found and don't share any specific details about themselves, making it even more difficult for the child who is on the search.
However, in today's day and age, it is a little easier to locate people than it once was. With the Internet, no one's identity is totally private, so even having one name could lead any detective on a deep, deep search to find the answers they want (or don't).
Social media could be used for better or for worse in this circumstance. For someone who is on a determined hunt to find their birth parents, a few Google searches could give them long overdue answers. But, for those who want to close that chapter of their lives? It could be tough.
As exciting as it can be to reconnect with one's birth parents, things can get a little challenging without the approval of the child's adoptive parents. Parents don't always immediately know how to react when their child asks about their biological parents. So, of course, things could get complicated…
Putting Together the Pieces
Regardless, if someone is determined to get down to the bottom of something, they're going to go to any distance to get there. If social media is a tool or not, there are plenty of other tools adopted children can use in order to get in contact with their birth parents.
When someone is adopted, usually the process is done publicly or arranged privately through an agency. So, technically all someone would need to find the answers they're looking for is to get access to these very important documents. And then doors will likely begin to open...
Looking for Mom
Typically, one needs just a small clue to get the ball rolling, anything from a name to an address, age, or location. With the limited information she had, she knew that one day she would search for her birth mom. So, she decided to share her adventures via TikTok with her followers.
"For the first ten years of my life, I didn't know that they weren't my parents. I thought that my dad was my dad, and my mom was my mom," Shawne shared with her followers. Eventually, her parents told her the truth but made sure not to give away too much.
An Unexpected Curveball
Shawne didn't have much information regarding her birth, only the area where she was born. But unfortunately, she didn't even know her biological mother's name. Although she had one piece of information, she knew that if she was ever going to find her, she needed more details.
Shawne knew she was going to have to go full detective to get any answers, so she knew what she had to do next. The TikToker went to the local police station near her birthplace to see if they had any helpful clues. However, she couldn't prepare herself for what she was about to hear…
Being a mother herself, Shawne felt even more connected to the process and getting the overdue answers that she was anxiously waiting for. The young mother felt secure in her personal life and was definitely not expecting the breaking news awaiting her.
Shawne decided to share her story with her followers and recalled the moment she uncovered what really happened. “[The sheriff] became extremely interested in who I was and my personal information and, after a few minutes of having a conversation about who I was, he asked me to please sit down and that he had something to tell me.”
Reliving the Events
Shawne recalled that there were so many thoughts running through her head - but she immediately thought of all the worst possible scenarios. She wondered: did her mom pass away? What could the policeman possibly have to say when he asked her to sit down for the news?
"I sat down," Shawne said in her TikTok video. "He told me that he couldn't find any information on my mother but that I was a missing person." She automatically assumed there must have been some sort of misunderstanding. But as it turned out, there was not. And Shawne was left in awe.
The Police Report
The police officer explained the situation to Shawne, but she could barely hear or understand what he was saying. The sheriff told her that shortly after she was born in 1980, a missing person report was filed for her at the police station, prompting many further questions.
Shawne learned that her birth parents told the police station that their baby daughter was kidnapped. So after years of searching for the "missing baby," they were ultimately unsuccessful. However, 26 year years later, everything was about to change for the "missing" girl…
Hiring a PI
Both the sheriff and Shawne were equally as baffled by the news. Immediately, she began to question who her parents really were. So much time had gone by, and authorities were never able to locate her. And since she was a baby when this all happened, there was no way she would have known.
Shawne began her search, hoping to find her birth mom - but she could have never predicted the information she got instead. There were millions of questions running through her mind, and she didn't know where to start. All she knew was she needed to find a professional to help her out. And so she did just that.
The confused woman knew the only way to find answers was to get outside help. After hiring a private investigator, she was hopeful she'd discover what truly happened to her as a baby - why she was listed as a missing person. Luckily, the detective was able to get some long overdue answers. He even found her birth mother.
So what really happened all those years ago? Shawne found out that though her parents were not her biological parents, they did not kidnap her all those years prior. The sheriff from the police department told her she went missing as a child. But what the P.I. unearthed was even darker…
A Secret Scheme
After the investigator continued his search, he found out that Shawne was not adopted or kidnapped - instead, she was sold. The woman who gave birth to Shawne met a couple and gave them her baby for money. She then went to the police and created a whole story about her child being taken from her.
But that's not all: Her birth mom even went as far as involving herself in the investigation, telling everyone that she was aimlessly searching for her missing daughter. "My mother's family - they all believe I was kidnapped," Shawne said after finding out that everyone from her past still believed the tale.
So Many Questions
The story just spiraled out of hand - but Shawne's mother never strayed far from her story. When she told the police officers what happened all those years ago, she even said to them that a man named Steven had stolen her daughter, which was kind of true…
As it turned out, Steven was indeed the man who raised her, not the man who "kidnapped her." Investigators did find this piece of information a bit strange, as they wondered why she gave away the name so quickly. Again, there were so many questions - no one knew where to begin.
Her Adopted Parents
Even though Shawne's mother gave the authorities the name of the alleged "kidnapper," no real investigation was ever conducted, so no one found out any details regarding the situation. However, Steven and his wife Angie were proud new parents of a baby girl!
Angie and Steven had absolutely no idea what was going on the whole time Shawne's birth mother filed a complaint that her daughter was missing. But the investigation never got back to them. Nonetheless, things were not great for the little girl growing up…
A Tough Childhood
Sadly, Shawne wasn't sold into the most loving of all families, which considering that she was bought from a complete stranger, isn't the most surprising. So growing up, she, unfortunately, felt a great deal of neglect from her parents, Angie and Steven.
As a result, she had a less than pleasant childhood. She shared that she went through a number of traumatizing experiences as a child that defined her unstable and tough upbringing. Shawne believed that it must have been some sort of karma for the way she was brought into her parents' lives.
"It Was Confusing"
Regardless of her traumatic upbringing, Shawne openly shares stories of her traumatic childhood for others to listen. She ended up growing a loyal following on social media after she bravely opened up to so many people about the hard challenges she faced growing up.
"It was confusing. I couldn't work out why they didn't love me and why they treated me as terribly as they did," Shawne confessed to her followers on TikTok. She couldn't find the words or reasoning behind why she grew up the way that she did. There was simply no explanation.
Tying Loose Ends
She originally went on the journey to find her birth parents, thinking it would give her the answers she's always wanted... and most definitely never expected the answers she got in return. The once-hopeful 26-year-old felt completely lost after the recent news. She wanted closure.
Once the private investigator located Shawne's birth mom, she was curious to meet her in real life and potentially clear the air and get some more answers. However, upon reaching out, she handled the situation poorly and sadly even denied what she had done years prior. She never even apologized.
Meeting More Family
After getting a big fat "no" from her birth mom, Shawne wondered what to do next. She thought that maybe, she could contact her mother's extended family, who would be potentially more welcoming than her. However, things didn't go the way she wanted - again.
Shawne eventually found out that the only person who knew the truth the entire time was the woman who went to the police station decades ago. Her biological family believed that she had been kidnapped. So for years, her biological grandmother believed her granddaughter was gone. How would she react to the latest development?
High Expectations, Low Results
Naturally, Shawne was thrilled to reconnect with her biological grandmother after all these years. When she originally learned the truth behind her disappearance, she was excited to connect to her past. But unfortunately, once they met, things didn't go as planned - the two women didn't hit it off.
Emotions were high, and she couldn't believe what was going on. After finding out she was sold by her birth mother and being disappointed by her grandma, she felt drained - emotionally and physically. However, there would soon be some positive news coming her way.
Shawne decided to share her experiences on TikTok for people from all over to follow. And as it turned out, her videos got a lot of views! People from all over followed Shawne and offered her tons and tons of support during her emotional rollercoaster of a ride.
Supportive followers commented on her posts - but there was one comment in particular that soon caught her attention. Someone who had been following her story for a while offered to work together with her and help her find her biological father! This could be her last chance.
Searching for Her Birth Dad
After seeing what this follower offered, Shawne felt like she had no choice but to accept. Luckily she did because after a short amount of time searching on the web, the user was able to locate her biological father. However, no one knows exactly how the follower pulled it off.
Shawne didn't feel too concerned with how the user got there - she's just happy that they did. She hoped that eventually, this would lead to more answers. But after so much rejection in the past, she wasn't sure how it would end. However, she reached out to the stranger her follower found and asked for a DNA test.
Reunited and It Feels So Good
To Shawne's surprise, the mysterious stranger was willing to partake in the DNA test. And after all that waiting - the test was a match! The once hopeless twenty-six-year-old found her birth father, and when they finally met in person, it was unlike anything she'd ever imagined. Her hope had finally been restored.
However, she still needed answers. After a big happy reunion, Shawne found out that her birth mom accidentally fell pregnant all those years ago. Since they weren't actively dating at the time, her dad had no idea what happened to her after she was born. However, they maintain a good relationship, and he even appears on her TikToks.
Although she had reconnected with her biological father, she felt utterly exhausted from all the ups and downs she had experienced. Shawne had been rejected by almost everyone in her life. She needed some time to reflect on the long, devastating ordeal.
The whole experience left Shawne feeling alone, disappointed and devastated about many aspects of her life. She began the journey hoping she would gain a new family - but instead, she unearthed dark secrets that changed her entire life. She still couldn't believe it.
“I Did Feel Love at Times”
However, Shawne still tried to remain as positive as she could about the whole situation. Despite all the tragedy she had faced, she held a special place in her heart for the people who raised her, Angie and Steven, regardless of the troubling circumstances.
"I did feel love at times…" Shawne assured her followers when explaining how she felt towards the parents that raised her. "When you're in an abusive situation, you will take even little bits of love and cherish that. It's complicated." However, she explained she no longer is in contact with them.
Working on Herself
As for today? "I'm doing much better now," Shawne updated her fans. "I own my own business. I don't have any contact with any of my family. I do have a very complicated relationship with my children that I would love to repair. And I spend every day trying to do that. I'm not perfect."
Shawne's followers continue to send her a whole lotta love and support on her journey. "Love all the pieces of who you are. We grow and become different people with every choice we make! Choose happiness and self-love," she told her followers. We wish her all the best!