Rockford Facebook group reunites mom with biological son

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 7:35 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Call it a miracle, fate or just a perfect coincidence. A mom out of Bloomington reunites with her son after 26 years, thanks to a Rockford Facebook group. The “What’s Happening in Rockford, Illinois” Facebook page is usually a place for neighbors to share information, but it changed Jennifer Middlebrooks’ life.

“Had it not been for Facebook, I would have never found him,” explains Middlebrooks. “The post got approved on Saturday afternoon-ish, and then by Monday at 4:30 he was texting me and friend requesting me.”

She put her son up for adoption after getting pregnant at 19 years old. She called him JayCe. He’s 26 now. She’s tried to find him since he turned 18.

“The more I was pregnant and the more I knew the situation he was going to be brought into, like no he deserved a better chance,” she says. “And I knew when I seen him, like you’re mine but you deserve better.”

Middlebrooks say the plan was to have an open adoption. She wanted to be in contact with her son, now named Logan, and his adoptive parents wanted the same.

“From the time Logan was about three months old, that’s kind of when we lost contact with each other,” says his adoptive mom, Tracy Laven-Rohr. “I was sending information to her that the agency was supposed to forward and they didn’t. They told me she had moved and didn’t leave forwarding information. They also apparently told her the same thing.”

After trying Ancestry, 23andMe and every matching service she could think of, Middlebrooks turned to Facebook groups.

“I kept seeing them in my news feed: Rockford, Rockford, Rockford and I thought, ‘okay I’m gonna do it,’” she says, explaining it took working up some courage to actually make the post.

”My daughter just happened to be on Facebook,” adds Laven-Rohr. “And she got really excited crying like ‘Oh my God Mom, you’re not gonna believe this.’ She started reading the post to me and I started crying, I’m driving down the road in tears.”

Middlebrooks says she wanted to keep her baby, but she knew giving him up was the right thing.

”I left the hospital in a taxi with a little pair of boots and a hat and no baby. I mourned him. I wanted him more than anything in the world.”

Now she excitedly waits for their in-person reunion, knowing what happened was for the best.

“I’m glad that we have risen so far above that, so that when he does come, it will be something good to come home to.”

Middlebrooks’ post garnered more than 50 shares in the hours after she posted it. She has since posted an update sharing the happy news.