Jenessa Simons has spent the past three years searching for her biological parents.
Simons, 21, was given up for adoption by her then-16-year-old parents just days after being born — a fact she has always known.
She longed to reconnect with her biological parents, but being from Utah meant having to wait until she turned 21 to ask the state for help.
After her 21st birthday finally came around last November, Simons filed the necessary paperwork, but impatience soon got the better of her.
She decided to post a photo of herself on Facebook holding a sign detailing her quest to locate her parents.
"Everyone on Facebook's been posting posters like, 'One million likes and I get a puppy,' and I thought, ‘Hey, these are getting shared around. I've seen kids get likes and get a puppy, so I should probably give it a shot,'" she said.
It paid off: Within 48 hours the post had racked up over 133,000 shares — and one biological mother.
It turns out the woman who gave birth to Simons still lived in the state. A Facebook user who had seen Simons' post passed on the information to the woman she believed was Simons' mother.
Simons biological parents are no longer together, but have kept in touch. "He sounded really surprised, but happy," Simons said about her father, who reached out to her shortly after Simons spoke with her mother.
As for her adoptive parents, Simons says they took part in her joy, "and they want to meet my birth mother, too."