Searching For My Past


This is a story of how a change in an Ohio law changed my life. While I have lived in Chicago for much of my adult life, this change brought me back on a search for my roots that led to Cleveland and Euclid. It is a search that is still ongoing.

You see, I was adopted as an infant and lived most of my younger years in Garfield Heights, OH.  I went to a Catholic school and was given many of the resources and advantages that I am still grateful for in my life.  But the one thing I missed was the truth of where I came from.  Some people might wonder why it would even matter, but for me and for so many others who were adopted, it matters more than you can imagine. For years, our birth certificates were sealed away, and many of us never knew our original names or our nationality. When we went to the doctor, we had no family medical history to give.    

But in 2015, Ohio opened its records to adoptees, and I was finally to learn the name of my birth mother, Judy Sobocinski. Sadly, soon after, I also learned that she had passed away eight years before, and that I would never have the chance to meet her face face. And so, for the past year and a half, I have been on a quest to learn as much about Judy as I could from those who knew her. It hasn't been easy.  Her husband passed away as well, and she had no other children, no brothers or sisters.

Last year I placed an "In Memoriam" ad in the Plain Dealer obituary page, and invited anyone to contact me.  To my utter surprise, I got a call from Judy's cousin and was able to meet her.  I also found a good friend of Judy's from St. Peter High School and got to see photos and hear stories from her younger years. I learned that she was a fan of Simon & Garfunkle, that she loved owls, and that she had quite a sly sense of humor. I saw that we had the same smile. I wish I knew more. 

I know that Judy was born in Euclid and came back to Euclid to live on E. 260th St. when her own parents passed.  And I want to keep searching for anyone who knew her, both when she was young and when she got older.  I hope to hear more stories, even if some of them are sad, though I'm sure there are happy ones too.  Her name was Judy Sobocinski, and she was the woman who gave me the gift of life. If anyone has any information, I hope you will contact me at I hope for nothing more than a little of your time and as many memories as you'd want to share.  It would mean so much.

Kevin Gladish   

Kevin Gladish

Native of Cleveland with family and history in Euclid. Currently living in Chicago as an actor and writer.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 5:16 PM, 04.11.2017