Searching For A Family


Just in time for Christmas, James Norman found not only his biological father but a family he never knew existed. 

Growing up, Terre Haute native James Norman always knew part of him was missing. 

“I’ve never known my father,” James Norman said. “I wouldn’t have known him if he knocked on my front door.”  

His mom was a teenager at the time living in Youngstown Ohio, where she met James’ biological father, a solider home on leave from the Korean War.  

But soon the couple were torn apart, his father headed back to war and his mother moved to Terre Haute.  

“Always in the back of my mind I knew I had a birth father out there somewhere and I wanted to find out what the other side about me was all about,” Norman said.   

For 61 years James searched for his father, talking to private investigators and researching online.  

Then his daughter made a discovery. 

“Dad I think I found your father,” Norman said. “I said no way, 61 years and she showed me a picture, it was his obituary picture and it was so ironic. We resembled each other so much it was almost scary. It was like looking in a mirror.”  

Along with his father James found he had four younger siblings, who were just as surprised and excited to have a new family member.  

After taking a 23 and Me home genetic test it was confirmed that James had finally found his family.  

“There is some resentment, but it’s covered by grace, you know that’s what we are taught, that’s what we believe and if I can’t believe that myself how can I encourage others?” Norman said. 

“I see this difference in him my husband now of that piece and that contentment that has happened in his heart,” Dawn Norman said.   

James hopes his story will encourage those searching for family members to never give up.  

“I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Norman said. “I could lay down and go to Heaven and be content. I found my family. Greatest story ever.”  

On Christmas day the families actually Facetimed each other and have now connected on social media.  

James was given his mother’s maiden name but has learned that the Norman’s are a part of the Buffenbarger family. 

The two families plan on meeting in person for the first time, in the new year. 

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