Minden resident Georgia Schroth had her only child, a son, on Nov. 8, 1971. A single mom, she struggled to keep him for two months, but with no money, no family support and just one steadfast friend, the struggle became too much for the 19-year-old.
"His father and I dated for 21Ú2 years, but he was gone by the time I was seven months pregnant," she said. "After I had the baby, I was living on $126 a month welfare. My rent was $99 a month."
She gave the boy up for adoption thinking she'd never see him again. Thanks to the internet and a little luck, she located him 37 years later.
"The day after Christmas, I looked on a Web site called cousinsconnect.com and I had two hits in the first half hour," Schroth said. "A lady named Lorie asked me for a few details and within an hour she found him in Columbus, Ohio. I was blown away."
Schroth made the first call to her son's adoptive mother.
"I waited for about a week. Then I couldn't stand it any longer," Schroth said. "I called his mother and she was very welcoming. She contacted him and he called me.
"He's already enriched my life. This is incredible. I never dreamed this would happen," she said.
"The first time she called me, she was crying," said her son, Sidney Leon Long Jr., who is named after his adoptive father. "I told her I had no animosity about the fact that I was given up for adoption. She couldn't take care of me."
Now 37, Logan has large dark eyes and and a gentle demeanor. A landscaper, he lives in Columbus, Ohio and has one son, Michael Anthony, who is 12.
Logan's adoptive parents, Sidney and Nellie Logan, have one natural child, a daughter named Patricia. He had a happy childhood with a loving family, but this reunion answers questions he's had all his life, he said.
"When I looked into this woman's face, it filled a void," Logan said. "People who know their families can see themselves reflected in them. Now I have that, too.
"Human beings are based on a family. Take a child from his roots and it affects them," Logan said.
Mother and son both agree that DNA testing isn't necessary. Records and other evidence, including old photos to family resemblances, have sealed the deal for both of them.
"Just after he was born, I got two pictures of him from the social worker," Schroth said. "I kept that picture in my wallet, but with time it became so worn I thought I'd better put it away."
Together with her lifelong friend Debbie Chatman, who supported her through the pregnancy and after the birth, Schroth flew to Ohio to see her son. His adoptive parents, Sidney and Nellie Logan, had black-and-white photos just like the one she had, taken at the same time, in Sidney's baby book.
Schroth said she didn't consider abortion and planned on giving the baby up for adoption, but after his birth the doctor put him on her stomach and she couldn't let go.
The two celebrated their first Christmas under an old aluminum Christmas tree a neighbor had given her, with Chatman.
"Branches were missing, so we just used the top of it. We decorated with a string of lights and pastel-colored Dixie cups," Schroth said. "It was a pathetic little tree."
If she had it all to do over, Schroth said she'd still give him up for adoption, for his own sake.
"God has a plan for my life and I know he arranged this," Sidney Logan said. "I'm thankful for all my parents, and thankful that everyone gets along. Otherwise this could be tough for both sides."
• Susie Vasquez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 211.