From Kansas to Romania: Gina Schneider finds her birth family

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For Gina Schneider, a global gamble paid off in every way she could have imagined.

“It’s just a question mark, I couldn’t answer it,” she said.

At a young age, she was adopted from the country of Romania. She grew up with the only parent she knew – Doctor Stephen Schneider and his wife Linda.

Both of whom were convicted nearly a decade ago, when prosecutors accused them of running a ‘pill mill’ operation. They’re both serving sentences for illegally prescribing opioids to patients.

But even before that, she always wanted to know about her family from Romania.

She made that dream a reality when her friend invited her to go along to on a trip to the country. At the same time, her adoptive sister did a DNA test, which led them to mutual connections and eventually, a contact who knew her birth mother’s address. It was remote – but Schneider followed the path she was given.

“It’s not a simple address. It’s up in a mountain – turn this way on a broken road, avoid the horse and the buggy,” she said, laughing. “It’s not a regular road.”

But eventually, she made it to that village and the moment she’d waited for, captured on her cell phone.

Suddenly, everything made sense.

“I know my personality, I know why…. I just see everything,” she said. “I just appreciate my life more.”

The trip took another turn when her newly-discovered brother showed her the way to her birth father. After another hours-long trip she met him, too. She called it a trip with the biggest reward for which she could’ve hoped.

She hopes to make similar ones annually in the future, and plans to stay in touch with the Romanian families via cell phone.

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