Posts made in November 25th, 2012

Barbara Duane Clark – Chapter 2

Read this story from the beginning

Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you all enjoyed a restful and bountiful Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. We celebrated the holiday with my parents at the Christmas tree farm where they live (read my previous blog post – “The Thing I Have in Common with Taylor Swift“).

I have some other big news to share. On Monday, I’ll be starting a new position with Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and I’m really looking forward to the new challenge. However, I do plan to continue writing in between the cracks of my life. Not sure what my next big project is, but I can feel something rumbling on the horizon. I’ll let you know once it comes more clearly into focus.

Now, onto the second chapter of my “Barbara Duane Clark” story. If you read my previous post, you know that back in January of 2011, I was contacted by someone named Mark Harmon who asked if I’d be interested in helping him find his birth mother. (If you need to catch up, read Chapter 1.) After many months of searching, I finally caught a break when I found a random reply to a CraigsList posting that Mark had made several months earlier. A man by the name of Jason Hoffman had replied to Mark’s post saying he, too, was searching for Barbara Duane Clark. In 1977, when Jason was just 7 years old, his mother (Barbara Duane Clark) had dropped him off at a Detroit police station saying she was no longer able to care for him.

Unfortunately for Mark, he never received Jason’s reply to the CraigsList post. And because Jason had left no contact information in his reply, Mark was unable to get in touch with him. For weeks, I searched for any “Jason Hoffmans” living in the Miami area (the location of the CraigsList posting), but was unsuccessful. The few I contacted who seemed to be the right age weren’t the correct Jason Hoffman.

Stumped. Again.

When I had finally hit my last brick wall, I asked Mark if I could share his story on my blog and “put it out there to the universe” to see if something might come up by publicizing the story. Mark agreed, so I started typing. As I typed, I suddenly noticed something… a clue I hadn’t noticed before. In my last post, I asked if anyone else had spotted the clue. I received a couple guesses… both wondering if it had something to do with the police station in Detroit. Nope, that wasn’t it.

Here’s the clue… it was in Jason’s reply to Mark’s CraigsList post:

Written By
Sat, 26 May 2012 07:10:46 GMT
Mark, I’m also looking for Barbara Duane Clark, My name is Jason Hoffman (former name, Jason Charles Williams) I had a different father, Charles A Williams, but I was born in 1969 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. My mother was Barbara Duane Clark, born in 1942.

Do you see it? Even though Jason hadn’t left any contact information, the search engine robot that had picked up Mark’s CraigsList ad had included one important little piece of information… the address of his web server. That number after “Written By” at the top of the post,, is an IP address. IP stands for “Internet Protocol” and is a unique string of numbers (separated by periods) that identifies each computer attached to the Internet. So, by doing a simple IP trace, I was able to determine that Jason Hoffman had replied to the post from a location in Marietta, Georgia. From there, it was a simple matter of looking up his phone number and giving him a call.

Bingo! It was the correct Jason Hoffman.

I immediately emailed Mark and gave him Jason’s phone number. The two of them talked and had similar stories to tell. (Interestingly, they are both even in the computer/IT business!) After they hung up, they were 99% certain they were, indeed, half brothers.


Mark Harmon with his wife, Belinda


Jason Hoffman

So, one problem solved, but the bigger question still remained. Where was Barbara Duane Clark? Unfortunately for both Mark and Jason, neither one had any photos of their mother to share with the other. That was disappointing news, since any adoptee is naturally curious to know if their biological birth parents resemble them in any way. Bummer. If only I could track down some photos of Barbara Clark to share with them…

Oh, but wait, I did!

Next time… Mark’s brief visit with an older relative leads to a wealth of new information.

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