POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 11:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 31, 2014 - 3:13pm
PORT ALLEN, LA (NBC33) — Imagine going your entire life not knowing who your birth parents. Well it happens more often than you might think. That's where a Port Allen private investigator comes in. She helps people find their loved ones. The thing is, she was once in their shoes.
"By degree, I'm a journalist. Investigative reporting fascinated me," Mary Ellen Davros said.
By practice, Mary Ellen Davros is a private investigator.
"I knew this was an area I wanted to pursue," Mary Ellen continued.
Then a few years later that pursuit led something else. The search for her parents.
"I wanted to find my own birth family, and I did, and in six and a half hours, I located my birth mother's name and phone number," Mary Ellen said. "The gist of it is, I located the birth mother doing some good old-fashioned investigative reporting, researching court documents and putting the pieces together."
Now in her 60's, Mary Ellen has taken her experience finding her birth family to help others do the same.
"It's always about a happy ending, and I like happy endings. Nobody's getting divorced. Nobody's been accused of murder. They're not necessarily joyful," Mary Ellen said. "Reunions are 99% of the time are genuinely joyful."
Mary Ellen lives in Port Allen. She's worked on hundreds of investigations, but she said none of it compares to reuniting families. There are three reunions that really stick with her. There's this one:
"An adoptive father contacted me and asked to help locate his adopted daughter's birth parents," Mary Ellen explained. "So we found the birth mother and the adoptee was so comfortable with her birth mother, she actually moved out of state and worked on that relationship. never, of course, forgetting her adoptive parents."
The one that still makes her smile:
"When we met the son, the next thing I saw was him hugging her and her head nested in his right shoulder," Mary Ellen described. "There was a few tears coming out, and she said 'Do you know the first thing he said to me? I have missed you all my life.'"
Then there's the ones that aren't easy, but she knows she made a difference.
"The birth mother had some apprehensions about identifying herself as the birth mother, and I very politely said, 'Oh, I must have missed something in doing my research,' knowing fully well that she was the birth mother," Mary Ellen explained. "As I walked away, back to the car, she projected her voice loudly enough toward me said 'tell her I love her.'"
Since Mary Ellen was an adoptee herself, this isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.
"I think a person needs to go into the search with a willingness to understand and a willingness to love, a willingness to have a relationship with someone else," Mary Ellen said.
During her career, Mary Ellen's reunited more than 50 families.