EPISODE: Sisters Lost and Found. In conversation with two sisters of mixed heritage on being adopted and reuniting on Facebook

According to the adoption statistics, black, mixed-race and other ethnic minority children are historically the hardest to place. But what if you were from a mixed heritage background, adopted, AND as toddlers placed in different homes from your siblings? We’ll be talking about the challenges and trauma these two sisters faced, how they found each other on facebook and learning to rebuild their family.

Listen and read their bio's below

Lateshia Howell

My name is Lateshia Howell and I am 23 years old. I am a trained actor and graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in 2017 with a degree in acting. After spending two years in paid acting work I have decided to take some time away from acting to look after my mental health and purse my poetry full time. 
I started writing poetry while I was a national tour in 2018. After finishing I started going to poetry open mics and started performing. A year on and I have been on BBC radio London, wrote and featured in a poetry music video, been published in a Collection of Poems called 'Wordby' funded by Unicef. In September I was selected to go on a poetry exchange to Toronto, Canada to explore the Poetry scene there. It's safe to say that taking a year out of acting has been the best thing I've done in my career. 
Finding my siblings:

Getting onto the insane thing of finding my siblings! In 2015/2016 I found my three estranged siblings on Facebook. I have been separated from them all of my life after our mum died in 1999, and they had been adopted together and I stayed in the family. Over the years I tried going through social services, contacting names that I was given but nothing was leading to them until I decided to use 'Lauryn's name on Facebook. My only lead was her first name because it's spelled slightly different to the usual 'Lauren'. 
After 3 hours I had found her and then my other two siblings. I wasn't able to meet them in person for a couple of years because they were living in Canada and the distance made it impossible to create a relationship with them. Since then, our youngest sister moved over to Bristol to study at uni but fell pregnant with our nephew so she moved back to Canada l, it had made me sad that I wasn't able to support her. It was an amazing time having her here but I was on tour at the time so it meant that I didn't get to spend the quality time that I wished I had. Then, luckily Lauryn moved to London to study at uni and we've been slowly building our relationship ever since. It hasn't been easy as we are quite different but it has been great having her close by. 

Lateshia Howell

 

Lauryn Pierro 

My name is Lauryn Pierro and I’m 22 years old. I’m a third year student journalist at London South Bank University and will be applying for my masters in investigative journalism next year. I enjoy writing and documentary making- the presenting aspect specifically.

I was put into foster care straight from birth alongside my older and younger half siblings. My older brother was first to be adopted and shortly after me and Lia joined when I was 2 years old. It was tough for me and Lia to get adopted as we are both mixed race and my adoptive parents are white and the courts put a strong fight against the adoption due to race issues at the time. 

Lateshia was not adopted and grew up with my birth dads side of the family, bouncing from house to house. We knew each other existed but the main hurdle of finding her was not knowing how ‘Lateshia’ was spelled. I tried a few times and messaging a few Lateshia’s on Facebook who I thought could be the match, but failed every time. 

In the summer of 2016 I was at the beach and received a message from Lateshia saying something along the lines of “hello.. I think I’m your sister.” And I fell to the ground and couldn’t believe what I was seeing! We Skyped a few times and due to u fortunate events me and my half brothers and sisters found ourselves in Brighton attending a funeral and organised to meet up with Lateshia a few days after. 

That day was an incredible and rare feeling that I experienced. A warm tingling in my bones with butterflies running through my stomach. 

I moved back to London from Canada for uni and since then me and Lateshia have started building a relationship. Although we look like twins, we are very different people which has really tested both of us at times! Finding each other has made that little piece of me feel complete and I won’t have to live the rest of my life thinking “what if?” 

Lauryn Pierro

Sister's Reunited

Lauryn Pierro and Lateshia Howell Sister Reunited


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