My name is Joel Chambers. I am an active search angel or search assistant for adoptees and birth parents. For most of my life I have been a person who attempts to fix things that are in need of repair.
My first job was in picture framing and art restoration. I worked for numerous galleries, and sometimes more than one at the same time. My mission at that time was to apprentice myself to new skills unfamiliar to me. Once I felt I had attained mastery, I moved on to another gallery.
I’ve participated in State and National competitions in unique picture framing and won awards at both levels. I have framed everything from inexpensive posters to Redoute Botanicals and masterpieces from Claude Monet. To object framing the first minted coin in the United States, and Arabian Scimitars several centuries old. I was one step away from acquiring a Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute on Art Restoration, when I decided I was done earning my black belt in the arts. While I was esthetically rich, I was economically poor.
So I turned my attention to a hobby that I had been participating in for several years on the side. I enjoyed playing strategy and role-playing games with friends, and had an interest in computers. I had started, what is called a dial-up bulletin board for gamers. This allowed individuals with computers to dial-into my system and participates in games with other players on a turn-by-turn basis. I taught myself computers at the same time and worked with three local game conventions to provide them an outlet for online registration forms for their events free of charge, as long as they let me advertise my bulletin board for free at their conventions.
One of the companies I worked for was Wizards of the Coast. Later they started the game Magic the Gathering; a collectable card based gaming system, and many years after that they purchased the rights to own Dungeons and Dragons.
After acquiring a great deal of experience working with computers as a hobby, I applied for a job at a company called Art Now Gallery Guide. Which distributed their gallery advertisement magazine throughout all the major art museums, both large and small. I was their technical support for a staff of twelve editors. I also transcribed their articles from print to an online magazine version.
After four years, I met my wife and moved to PA. I adopted her son from her first marriage, and we had two more children together. During this time I acquired a job at a multimedia production company. Since that time I went from a simple help desk position, through system administration and finally the manager of the IT department. When I first started there they had two servers. Now they have a robust VMware SAN with over fifty servers and a fiber based network for their video production department.
Having completed my search to find my birth parents a year ago, I became actively involved as a search assistant for ALMA; otherwise known as the Adoptee Liberty Movement Association. I helped adoptees on their search and assisting them with information on DNA testing and helping them understand their results. After about eight months, I left ALMA to move on to other groups associated with adoptee search assistance and started this website searchangels.org to provide independent assistance.
In each of my capacities I played some role in restoration. One started in the Arts, then another turned toward electronics and computers, and my last involves a deeply devoted philanthropy for adoptees. You could say that I have always been an individual who has thrived on self-development and fixing things that need repair.