Posted March 29, 1997
The news about Joni being reunited with her daughter is truly marvelous. Here's what I know :
Joni gave birth to a daughter in February 1965, but was not able to handle raising the child by herself. Difficult as it might be for some to comprehend these days, it was a great disgrace to have a child out of wedlock at that time; Joni didn't even tell her parents about the birth until two years after she gave the child up for adoption.
Joni did make a few attempts over the years to find her daughter, but adoption secrecy laws in Canada are apparently very strict. She hit one barrier after another in her search, but fortunately her daughter also began looking for her birth mother recently.
A friend told her about a report he'd read in a Canadian tabloid newspaper about Joni's search and she went to the research library at a local college but was unable to find any substantial information on Joni there.
Now here's where it gets amazing: Joni's daughter, who was taking computer classes, then went to the internet and found the Joni Mitchell Homepage (here!). She discovered 15 leading facts about Joni's history from reading the bio sections that matched information she'd received about her parents; After reading the information, she decided that she'd found her birth mother. She then contacted me thru e-mail.
Joni had mentioned in an interview that her daughter had been born around Valentine's Day, so I asked one pertinent question: her birthdate. When her answer was close to that date, I referred her name to Joni's managers. She'd contacted their office by phone around the same time but she'd met, as could be expected, with distrust. There had been many pretenders who'd contacted the managers and myself claiming to be "Little Green." (I had inquiries from more than a dozen women looking for their mothers). The managers eventually investigated and verified her authenticity after she faxed her birth records to their office.
Les Irvin from the Discussion List was also contacted and he e-mailed her a couple of articles about Joni's search that had been printed in Canadian news periodicals.
Sue McNamara, who at the time was assisting me with the mail, was also helpful in urging me to be certain to pay attention to this particular e-mail. She said she had a feeling about this one.
Joni's daughter's name is Kilauren Gibb, a former model and current computer student living in Toronto with her boyfriend Ted, and her 3 1/2 year old son Marlin. (So Joni is now a grandmother!). Kilauren flew to L.A. in mid-March and spent nearly three weeks with her mother there. When she returned to Toronto, she e-mailed and told me : "Just got back from L.A. It was wonderful. Thanks for your help. If it wasn't for your J.M. home page I would have never found her!"
I was told by Julie Larson, my friend at Reprise, that Joni was preparing a statement about her experience for publication on the homepage, which she thought was appropriate considering the role that the Web played in helping Kilauren find her. When the news leaked out to the Canadian press, however, Joni decided that she must talk to the L.A. Times, which she did.
My very best wishes go out to Joni and Kilauren.
I feel that the Web connection to the reunion was the spiritual purpose of my project. My work began from love, and more love still has sprung from it. This is real magic and no one can ever take that away.
My work here, however, would not have progressed so far without the encouragement of the thousands of folks who've written and thanked me for providing a place for everyone to join together to celebrate Joni. I thank all of you for your emotional support. It was a lonely place for Joni fans on the Web before I started the homepage two years ago, and now look what we've created together!
I also salute those who've directly helped me. Because of their assistance and enthusiasm, I was inspired to spend a year building the bio sections and when Kilauren came to the Web, the information that she needed to positively identify her mother was there for her to read.
The only credit I'll personally accept for the reunion is for doing a great job on this website. And it's a job I'll continue to do. The fact that my homepage was here to facilitate Kilauren finding Joni, that I share with all of you. Thanks for being here with me.