A Windsor woman's search for her birth siblings has led her to Waterloo Region, where she believes her two youngest siblings are living.
Jennifer Rosati was adopted shortly after birth and has spent nine years tracking down her biological family.
There are seven siblings in total, tied together by one birth mother, a deceased woman named Marlene Walsh. Rosati has found and formed relationships with four of her siblings so far: her full sisters, Mandy and Tina, her full brother, Tom, and her half-sister Tracy.
Rosati says she knew it would not be easy to find her birth family, but she did not expect how complicated the search would become.
"It all started I guess on the day I was given to my adopted parents," said Rosati. "I always knew there was a sister out there to find. And it wasn't until about nine years ago when I found my older sister Mandy, and she let us in on a little tidbit that there was actually a younger sibling. Slowly but surely, as I unearthed the rest of my siblings, there was more of the story to tell."
But just a couple of months ago, the five eldest siblings discovered there were two more children born to their mother in 1987 and 1989. Marlene had been seeking treatment for addiction issues in Waterloo Region around that time. Her family revealed that the children had been given up to a professor through the Kitchener Children's Aid Society.
Asking for help through Facebook
To find them, Rosati and her siblings are reaching out through social media. The hits on their Facebook page have been growing every day. But Rosati says the five of them will understand if the remaining two are unwilling to be found.
"We've considered that [possibility] and it's not the outcome we are hoping for," she said. "It's quite overwhelming. We've been able to deal with this, finding one, finding one, finding another. For them it's kind of opening up a huge can of worms."
She added, "But I just think the experience we've all had and what we now share with each other is something we'd love for them to be a part of. It's definitely worth the risk, putting ourselves out there, for that possibility of rejection is a small price to pay for the rewards that could come out of this."
Rosati admits it's been a long journey, putting the pieces of her family together with the unwavering support of her adoptive family.
A combination of flukes, social media and the Toronto adoption registry has led her through the winding path of multiple siblings, fathers and cities. But this close to the end, Rosati says the experience has been nothing short of amazing.
"We just immediately share a connection, as soon as we meet each other," she said.
"We've continued to build a relationship from the moment we met. We're all very close with each other, in contact with each other and I consider them my best friends and I think we all look at each other that way."