Awesome - Man Was Seeking His Identity for a Long Time, Finally Finds Out Who He Is



There isn’t a single worthless life, useless truth, or a wasted effort. Each person we meet holds their own tale, a distinct tale no one else knows. This has its roots in people’s childhoods, rearing, friends, school-life and, most of all, the choices they make. Our tale still leaves some people with mixed emotions, and it’s certain you too will think there’s something weird about the question.


When your life feels perfectly normal, what happens when it stops being so ordinary? What if a single truth makes that happen and crashes it down? Something like that happened to a man in his thirties and his life absolutely changed after finding out one truth. And no ordinary truth could make such a difference, after all, this was an answer to the myriad of questions that used to be on his mind about his life. Steve Carter, now 39 years old, was used to living an ordinary life until his inquiring mind exposed the tremendous answers about his life.
Interested in His Origins


The Carter family decided to adopt Steve when he was only three and a half years old. His parents had told him all they knew about his life before he was part of their family.





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Steve was informed that his parents found him in a foster care center in Hawaii, but his interest in knowing his origins and the desire to find out more about his real family set him on a path to several surprisingly weird details.





An Immediate Connection


Steve Carter Sr. was a United States Army officer who was posted on the Oahu island in Hawaii in 1980. His wife, Pat, worked as a teacher and was staying on the island with him. This was the time when the two of them decided on an adoption.





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After going to a nearby foster care center, they immediately could feel a powerful connection with one boy who was three and a half years old. “It was love at first sight,” admitted Pat in an interview.




What Did the Records State?


The young fair-haired boy was given to the foster care center in June 1977, only three years before, and, as stated in his records, his name was Tenzin Amea and it’s also specified that he was born on January 16, 1977.





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The records also contained a short history regarding his birth parents, his father, a native Hawaiian, and his mother, Jane Amea, who he was taken from after she was detained five months after his birth. There was nothing more to know about them.




A New Beginning



After all the papers were finished and signed, the Carters gained complete custody of the child on September 23, 1980. He was welcomed with a new name to his new home - William Steven Tenzin Carter. Once named Tenzin, the boy now known as Steve Jr. didn’t take too much time getting used to a new lifestyle.





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The family moved back to their hometown from Hawaii soon enough and Steve Jr. had his childhood days in the small town of Medford Lakes, southern New Jersey, the Garden State.




Change of Luck


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The turn of luck for this boy was amazing. In the 80s and 90s, Tenzin, now called Steve Jr., lived a simple happy life with his family and friends as he was kept busy with various sports or parties with the rest of the neighborhood children. His was the life that every orphan longs for but few get to chance to live.





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Steve got his chance and he was never ungrateful for it. And even though everything looked like it was going perfectly, Steve Jr. did keep wondering about his previous life and the identity of his biological parents.




Doubtful Parents



Steve Sr. said in an interview that: “For several years after his adoption, Pat and I had a nagging fear that someone might pop up claiming to be his biological mother or father. When nobody did, our anxiety eventually passed,” then he added, “we kept in contact with the woman who had him in foster care.





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We called her when we had questions about measles or mumps and sent her letters during the holidays.”




Time to Part


Once he had fully become an adult, Steve Jr. reached the time to leave his family’s home in order to continue studying software at the University. Having a wonderful childhood with absolutely understanding parents who never failed to believe in his dreams, he was heartened to do what he likes.





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Steve was sorry to leave his family behind, but also equally happy about the new life that was ahead of him. At the time, he had no idea that soon it was his past that would come to face him.




No Care for the Past


Steve’s father confessed in an interview that “We belonged to an adoptee/birth parent clearinghouse (ALMA) that connects people who are looking for each other but never received any messages.



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When Steve turned 18, we asked him if he wished to continue registering on the site and he declined.” Yet soon, his son’s curiosity about it would renew.




Wild Imagination


Because he was living away from his family, Steve started to think about his biological parents who were always the laughing stock back home. His father illustrated this point in an interview: “





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With his blonde hair, blue eyes, and a light complexion, [he] does not strike one as being of Polynesian extraction.” A puzzling fact for Steve Jr. now because the records stated he was Hawaiian, yet his face did not match it.




A Christmas Surprise


Because of so many things going through his head, Steve made the decision to find out if he is Hawaiian or not.





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As a Christmas present, he bought himself a DNA testing kit and, without giving it a second thought, took the test. The result from the test was a complete contradiction of what the Carters previously had assumed.




Not From Hawaii


When Steve got the results, he couldn’t come to terms with the fact he was of Scandinavian origin, making him a European.





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Although he had wished the test would end his questions and help him to live an ordinary life, he was now more stumped than ever. Steve was pushed by many signed right back to his past.




Curiosity Kills the Cat


A story of an African-American woman, Carlina White, caught Steve’s attention back in 2011 as he could relate himself to her.





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She was stolen from a hospital in Harlem, New York City when she was a baby and had had no clue about her real life while she was growing up in Connecticut.




Under the Influence


Even after twenty-three years, Carlina White had the same story that her kidnapper was her biological mother. At the same time, her real parents never gave up looking for her and did not know she was living only forty-five minutes away from them, and, immediately, Steve knew something had to be done.






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His father remembers: “Then Steve read about Carlina White who discovered she was kidnapped as an infant from a hospital in New York. The article mentioned references she used for her search.”




Family Man


Steve was a family man by that time and had a lot of doubts whether he should try this out or not.











During such troublesome times, his wife Tracy always gave him support and insisted on him trying things out because it could lead him to a point when he could rest his past at long last.




Man in Action


Thanks to Carlina’s story, Steve regained a lot of energy. Because of the internet, he knew that methods for genealogy to track relatives lost a long time ago appeared like an extremely easy project.


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Following the same method Carlina had used, Steve started looking for his long-lost parents on a site sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.




Scrolled to Oblivion


Once Steve had gotten access to the website, he started to scroll his days away. When he went through more than a hundred pages, he immediately stopped at a photo, feeling numb for a second.





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That was the start of the untangling of the web and Steve had no clue how to start. Was there somebody out there looking for him, and if there were, how was it possible he was given into foster care?




Same Feelings


After Steve found the picture of a teen looking just like him, he called his parents right away and told them to look at the site. His father remembers “It was the spitting image of Steve.





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He called Pat and me immediately and told us to look at the website. We were flabbergasted!”




Report of a Missing Person


On the list of boys that were missing was one child named Marx Panama Moriarty Barnes who was missing from June 1977.






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Beside his name stood a sketch of his age progression, meaning a sketch of how he might look like today, as a teenager. Steve remembers the moment “I got chills. I was like, holy crap, that’s me.”


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Waiting for So Long


Unsure about what he had seen, Steve instantly made the decision to contact the police in order to make sure this was the reality.





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After he was lead through the process of DNA testing, Steve got the rests done by the professionals now, and yet it would take more than eight months for the results to come. And, 8 months later, after Steve had bravely waited, the results came in.




The One and the Same


The DNA results recorded that Steve and Marx were the same person.





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Unsure whether he wished to meet with anyone that made the missing person report on the site, Steve’s wife Tracy proposed to him that he should continue on and find out the entire story of how he ended up in Hawaiian foster care back in 1977 and Steve was determined to know everything at last.




Reaching for the Reason


After digging in deeper, Steve found out that a journalist and Vietnam war veteran Mark Barnes was gardening in his home in Hau’ula, Oahu, Hawaii on June 21, 1977.





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He had been living there with his then-girlfriend, Charlotte Moriarty. That day she had taken their son, a six months old baby, to the nearby grocers and while Mark was occupied with his plants, she waved his goodbye and left, never to return.




Never Returned


Because Charlotte was known for having the habit of leaving without informing anybody and returning when she wanted, as she was a free bird, Mark only told the police she was missing after Charlotte didn’t return home after three weeks.










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The police could not trace her and they never found either her or Marx and their photos remained on the missing persons' report for yours, without yielding results.





Perplexed and Perturbed


With the photos in his hands, Mark had looked for them both for more than a year in all the nearby places but never found his family. He never had the idea that small Marx was living a completely different life as another child very far away.





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Steve found his father, and yet he wanted to know about his mother and looked for her more only find out even weirder truths. His birth father remembers “I spent about a year and a half going crazy driving around the island. It was rough.”




The Weird Tenants


Actually, when Charlotte had taken Marx for their typical walk, she altered their path and just moved to another part of Oahu. There, they came across an empty house by chance.





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Once the owner had returned, she informed the police because she could feel something was wrong, but when they arrived, Charlotte was successful in tricking them and that changed their fates forever.




Made Up Identity


Once the police had found them, Charlotte gave them made up names for her and Marx - she said they were named Jane and Tenzin Amea, respectively.






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The police asked her for her son’s birthday date in order to check her story, and she immediately made up a fake date of birth as well. Unfortunately, this got the police to believe her and it never crossed their minds Tenzin could be the missing child, Marx.




Disappeared


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Marx was sent to the foster care center when Charlotte got diagnosed with mental illness and detained in a psychiatric ward. After a few days, Charlotte was able to run away from the hospital and couldn’t be found again.





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When she went missing, the truth about her son disappeared as well. For the next three years, Marx lived only thirty miles away from his real dad’s place, with no one the wiser or any idea where he was. But, his disappearance affected more people than just his dad.




Reopening the Files


Jennifer, the other person besides Mark, an eight years older half-sister of Marx also did not lose hope that he would come back and she always prayed for the younger brother.





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She was able to convince the police to reopen the files again in 2001 and, as is the procedure for such cases, they had employed an artist to make a sketch of Marx’s possible features as a teenager. And this was the picture Steve Jr. found and exposed his true identity.




After So Many Years


Contrary to what was anticipated from Steve, even after the truth was exposed, he wasn’t rushing to meet up with his real father and half-sister.





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In an interview, he confessed he felt terrified and wasn’t at all ready to meet his new-old family.




Sister’s Thoughts


Jennifer remembers ‘scanning crowds’ to find her missing brother while she was growing up. “I felt like we’d taken someone else’s child, though that wasn’t true.





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Truthfully I thought they were dead. I was really numb,” she said. And as the truth was in the open now, Steve wasn’t ready yet to meet his biological family.




Taking His Time


Steve had made the decision to take his time in order to become comfortable with the idea he can now meet his real father. After months of finding the truth, he then called Jennifer, his sister and afterwards talked with Mark, his birth father, as well.












Mark, now living in California, was overwrought after hearing his son’s voice. He recalls the moment: “All I could say was, ‘Wow. Oh wow. Wow.’”




A Difficult Change


Steve’s adoptive family was also, just like Steve, dealing with their own fears as well.











They remember thinking: “On an emotional level, I felt like we’d taken someone else’s child. It’s taken a while for us to get used to the idea that we have to share him. But I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful.”




Keeping the Distance


Steve Carter Sr. said in an interview that “Steve has spoken to his biological father several times. Pat and I have not.





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We have no plans to meet him, but with Steve’s permission, we might somewhere down the road.” For both of them, it took a long time to get comfortable with it.




Police Work


Steve’s adoptive father wanted to find out more about his son’s story and remembers: “We met the artist who created the photo Steve discovered on the web.





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We also met several investigators from the center and one from the Honolulu Police Department who all worked together on the case following Steve’s initial contact.”




Forever Thankful


Steve’s adoptive family has given a lot of thought to the police work that helped bring families back together again after their son had reunited with his biological relatives.











He revealed that “we learned about the wonderful work that the NCMEC does, not only to find missing children; but also to reunite parents and children who have been separated by disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. It’s an amazing group of highly skilled and dedicated people.”




A Reunion is on the Horizon


Steve had at last taken the last step and met up with his biological father and sister, while the rest of the Carter family met them later in the year.






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They had, at last, come to terms with the fact that Steve is a son of both of the families and it was a poignant occasion for both.




Hope for the Same


Steve’s adoptive parents realize the extent of Steve’s luck to have been able to reunite with his family while also live a happy life with the Carters.











“We believe Steve’s story is one of hope for all those parents who have suffered and continue to suffer the unexpected disappearance of a child,” they said.




Long-Lost Relatives


Missing family members can now reunite thanks to the internet and police hard work.





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Steve and Jennifer are able to stay in touch and they meet up whenever their time allows them to as their reunion was an incredible miracle.




Happily Ever After


Thanks to Steve’s tale, the light of hope still is burning for all the ones who are still searching for their lost families.











Even though the chances diminish with each year passing, hope still remains in a place deep inside and after finding out tales like this one, people try their best to have the case files open on their lost members and put the missing image on bigger scales, like some missing people’s sites sponsored by the police.




Attention from Around the World


Steve Jr.’s tale is beyond extraordinary.





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Even when there is a person that went missing, and people turn towards posting on Facebook, which did help in many cases, what is the percent that was able to come back to their biological families?




The Real World


If someone’s loved ones are lost in the world, it is not often they ever get reunited.






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Had Jennifer not persisted in her efforts to have the case files reopened and had Steve also not given his try after hearing the story of Carlina, the stolen girl, they never would have been able to get the perfect conclusion to their tale.

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