Fox 11's Vinnie Vinzetta united with birth familyPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- It's a scene played out time and again on daytime talk shows, adults adopted at birth, united for the first time with their birth families.
Without the help of the likes of Oprah, the search can be long and draining, but the rainbow at the end just as big.
This is the story of Fox 11's own Vinnie Vinzetta and his life-long search to find his birth family.
Life is a non-stop journey of self-discovery.
For the man we know as "Vinnie" Vinzetta, the journey involves a search for his birthright.
Raised with love by a tall man of Italian heritage and woman with a touch of Native American blood, William Brent Vinzetta knew he didn't look like his parents. One day, when he was a young child, they sat him down and explained why.
"Over the years I've told people 'I'm adopted.' Maybe not knowing what it meant. Hey I'm adopted. I have brothers and sisters. I don't' know who they are. That's cool. It's something I just rolled with as a young child and just knew it was part of who I was," says Vinzetta.
The love in Vinnie's life didn't waver as his adopted parents went through divorce.
As he grew from a child to a young man, Vinnie began his journey to find out more about who he was. To learn where and who he came from.
And the journey became a mission.
In an Oklahoma courthouse a judge initially refused to unseal Vinnie's birth records.
"I just let out 18, 19 years of frustration and almost broke down and told the judge in his chambers how important this is to me, and essentially pleaded with him and said I need to know who I am," said Vinzetta.
In the end, the judge relented.
The birth certificate read, "Baby Boy Carrol." And it gave him an address, a place to start the search for his birth family.
He found a run-down trailer where they used to live.
"It looked like it may have been some tough living for them. And that was surreal and difficult for me to see," said Vinzetta.
Noelle Cablay once lived in that run-down trailer. A home much different than the one Vinnie knew as a child.
She doesn't share the same fond memories of childhood. Noelle's memories include images of her mother covering up a pregnancy, that turned out to be her youngest brother.
"My honest true hope was that in his own world and own life, he had found something that was far better than what we were raised with," said Cablay.
Vinnie and Noelle knew each other existed. And through a private investigator, before the explosion of the Internet, Vinnie came close to reaching her. But as a young man starting a career and paying off private school, he couldn't afford it.
But he didn't stop thinking about it.
"I would always wonder, what do they think about the one they don't know," said Vinzetta. "Do they wonder about me? Do they wonder about what's happening in my life. How my life turned out?"
Then, this year, in a cry for help, he posted on Facebook what information he knew about his birth family. A short time later his cousin Melinda, an expert on Ancestry.com, called with something to show him.
For the first time, the information was all there, his sisters' married names, something to plug back into Facebook.
And one search later, there they were, just a message away.
"I think perhaps you could be my big sister. And I don't mean to scare you with this but I'm hoping you are who I'm looking for. Hope to hear back," Vinnie said in a Facebook message.
He heard back. And they could hardly wait to set up a meeting.
Vinnie's mother had passed away years earlier, but his sister delivered a message regarding his adoption.
"In our case, I think our mom made one great choice and that one great choice was to give him the opportunity to have what the other children didn't get," said Cablay.
She worried the successful sportscaster on a lifelong search would be disappointed in what he learned.
"I knew that the rainbow didn't exist. And that made me very sad for him. I really wanted something so much more," said Cablay.
What she doesn't realize, is that she is the rainbow.
So is her sister Roxanne. So are the rest of their sisters and brothers and all of their children.
"This has been something that has brought this entire family even closer together. And I just love that," said Roxanne.
Vinnie struggled to explain how his world has expanded.
"This can open so many avenues for me. So many more facets of life. So many people to meet. So many people to interact with, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters. I mean this is so beyond me right now," said Vinzetta.
The ending of this story has yet to be written. There will be many more meetings and conversations. Some difficult. Some joyous. But to be here right now in life's great journey means a lot to Vinnie.
Vinnie says perhaps the most important thing in his efforts to find his birth family is that his adopted parents have been supportive of his search.
He was nervous throughout the years of what they'd think of this effort. But they never wanted to hide anything, and that means everything to him.