Find My Family

November 24, 2009 by USA Post 

Jamie De Haven (l.), who was adopted by a white family from Indiana, hopes Tim Green can help find her biological mother.

Jamie De Haven (l.), who was adopted by a white family from Indiana, hopes Tim Green can help find her biological mother.

If “Find My Family” co-host Tim Green had had the option, he would have used the show to find his biological parents.

The ABC reality series, premiering Monday at 9:30, helps bring families back together.

“I was at a point in my search for my biological parents where it looked like it was impossible, like it wasn’t going to happen,” Green, who is adopted, told the Daily News. “If a TV show had approached me and said that they’d help me find my family, I would have done it … without any hesitation.”

Green eventually found his parents, and now, with Lisa Joyner and the producers of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” they’re reuniting others.

In each one-hour episode, former pro football player-turned-author Green meets with those searching for someone – be it a couple, single parent, child or sibling. He narrates their story of separation and why that person or persons would like to be reunited with their lost loved one.

Meanwhile, Joyner, wife of actor Jon Cryer, visits the searchees, who have been tracked down by the show’s researchers, and reveals someone is looking for them.

With all the pieces in place, both parties are finally reunited in-person at the “Family Tree.”

“Every single reunion, every single time, is emotional,” said Joyner. “I like to call us the crying-est show on television. You don’t have to be adopted or have lost touch with a loved one to have compassion for these people.”

On Nov. 30, “Find My Family” will move to its regular time slot at 9.

The concept may sound similar to We TV’s Troy Dunn series, “The Locator,” which chronicles Dunn’s business of finding and reuniting those who have lost touch over time, but Green stresses that “Find My Family” isn’t as much about the journey of coming back together as it is what happens when the families finally do.

“This isn’t really about the search. While we do chronicle the investigation, that part is mostly summed up in my narrative,” he said. “This is really about the story and the emotions of the people.”

In the first episode, Green and Joyner head to Brookfield, Wis., to meet with Scott and Sandy Steinpas, who gave up a daughter for adoption when Sandy was just 15. The duo later grew up to marry and have been together for 27 years with three children, but they’ve always wondered about their first-born.

“I show up at [the Steinpas'] door and they have no idea what I’m going to say, if it’s good news or bad news,” Green said. “I get to be the first person to say, ‘We found your daughter.’ It’s a wonderful gift to give.”

Green and Joyner agree that if viewers want reality, there’s no other show on television that delivers it like “Find My Family.”

“People have this sense of reality TV and what it’s become – this heavily produced machine,” said Green. “But this is just the pure emotions of people when they first find out about a loved one. It’s not like we can do any moment over. It is what it is, and that surprise and the spontaneity is very unusual in television these days.”

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