MAHONING VALLEY After losing touch, woman hopes to find family again
Her biggest hope is to see her sisters again.
By PHIL NOVAK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Pauleena Ann and Pauletta Ann Jenkins were born Sept. 9, 1969, in Sidney, Ohio, to Carol and Ron Jenkins. Pauletta was a few minutes older than Pauleena, and they were the youngest of the Jenkinses' five children.
But they were born into an unstable home, and they would never get a chance to know their parents.
When they were still babies, their aunt called social services and had the children removed from the home. There had been problems in the family, and the children were sent to foster homes.
The Jenkinses' older children, Tina, Kim and Tommy, were adopted into the same family, but Pauleena and Pauletta were separated.
Where they went: Pauleena went to a family in Jackson in southern Ohio and was renamed Paula by her adoptive parents. Pauletta went to a family in Springfield in western Ohio and was renamed Mindy.
Paula McCallum, who lives in Holly, Mich., always knew she was adopted, but she never thought she might have brothers or sisters. She certainly didn't think she would have a twin, although she always wondered what it would be like.
Then about six or seven years ago, McCallum's adoptive grandmother called and said there was a picture of her in the local newspaper.
"She thought it was me, and I think she thought I was in trouble or something," McCallum said with a laugh.
The picture was actually Mindy Smith, McCallum's twin, who had requested an article in a Jackson-area newspaper to try and find her biological siblings.
"Mindy, Tina and I reunited in Michigan where I live now," McCallum said. "Mindy, Kim and Tina played volleyball against each other in high school. They never even knew it."
Lost contact: But things became hectic in McCallum's life, and she lost touch with her sisters. She's never met her brother.
"I kept in contact with my them until about four or five years ago," she said. "Then I got divorced, I moved and I lost all of the information on them."
McCallum remarried and changed her last name from Zahorchak, the name she had when she met her sisters. She's hoping to find her family again, but she doesn't have a lot of information to go on.
She knows that Tina, Kim and Tommy's adoptive parents lived in the Youngstown area, but she can't remember their names and she's not sure if they still live here. She knows Mindy is married and that she moved from Springfield; Kim was in the Air Force, married and living in Texas; and Tina also was married. But despite attempts to locate her family, she can't find them.
Biological parents: McCallum knows only a little bit about her biological parents. She knows their names and where they were from, but not much else. She doesn't know where her biological parents are, but she knows her dad moved to Texas and lived there with his family. She knows even less about her mom.
"I know she had a lot of medical problems, so I'm not sure if she's even still alive," she said. "But I never knew where she lived after we were adopted."
McCallum said she would like to have a chance to meet her parents.
"I really would," she said. "My sister Mindy had a family reunion and my father was there, but I couldn't make it. I really would like to meet him and find out if my mother is still alive."
But McCallum's biggest hope is to see her sisters again.
"I would love to find my family so we can reunite and share our lives together," she said. "I think about them every day and miss them dearly."