A couple days ago we launched a new site that’s really kind of unique. Not the mechanics of the site so much, but the concept. The site, familywanted.org , is the brainchild of a friend and colleague of ours, Jenna MacFarlane. She is a designer who lived for a while in Humboldt County but now lives in North Carolina. She did the design work while we did the html/css implementation and the database applications that support the site.
The idea behind familywanted.org is based on Jenna’s own experiences of having become estranged from her birth family and then, later in life seeking and finding another family who adopted her and accepted her as one of their own. The whole experience, odd as it may sound on the surface, was transforming for Jenna. Her story, which has been picked up by a number of media outlets (an article in Glamor magazine, an appearance on Good Morning America – she even had an offer from Oprah which she has not accepted) has touched the hearts of many people who have had a similar feeling of loss from being estranged from their families.
When word first got out about the concept, all we had on the site was a brief summary of the ideas behind the site and a contact form. Jenna received nearly 1,000 messages from people expressing interest and many sharing their own stories. While the ultimate goal of the site will be to offer a service where families and individuals seeking families can connect to one another in a safe environment, this next stage is designed to allow others to share their personal stories publicly and to realize they are not alone.