Since I last contacted you, Stephanie and I have been emailing on a pretty regular basis. As you know, she had many questions for me, and as the smart and reasonable woman that she is, I needed to prove to her that I was really her birth mother.
When I was young, eighteen, and pregnant, my parents thought a home for unwed mothers was the best solution. I stayed there from July through October when my daughter was born. I graduated from high school 5 months pregnant with only a handful of people knowing it. My younger brother still has no idea!
When the child was born, I wanted to make sure she knew that my decision was made out of love for her. I knew I could not provide the life a child deserves. I asked my counselor at the adoption agency if she would pass on a ring I had. It was heart shaped with a small diamond chip. My hope was that this was a symbol of love from birth mom to daughter.
Sure enough when Stephanie contacted me (with your help), she asked about a gift her birth mother left. She asked me to describe it. At that point, I knew this was real. I had connected with the daughter I gave up 36 years ago. I found her just before her 36th birthday!
She later told me she had just purchased poster board and was going to post on facebook with a sign and details of her birth, and announce she was looking for her birth mom on her birthday. We connected before she had to do that, thanks to your website. We wrote emails back and forth from October to February. Never a phone call, always an email.
In late January, I received news that a family member was in hospice, and was it was expected that the family would be planning a funeral soon. This meant I would be traveling back to my home state, where my roots are, including the daughter I long to know. I mentioned to my husband that this trip would be the perfect opportunity for me to make the connection with the daughter I gave up when I was eighteen, (before my husband and I met). He agreed, this was all fitting together like a perfect puzzle.
I emailed Stephanie and let her know this trip was becoming more and more likely. Then I wrote and told her the plan was in place, I was purchasing my airline tickets. We were both very excited and nervous. She told me her mother was also excited. We decided we would meet at a restaurant for lunch. It was perfect, a holiday Monday was planned to have lunch, she got the day off work because of the holiday.
It happened! We met for lunch! Four of us had lunch, Myself, Stephanie, her mother, and my husband. We sat in the restaurant for over 2 hours. I think I spent most of the time starring at her. Stephanie and her mom came armed the photos, photo albums, magazine articles all to share with me. I was overwhelmed. Her childhood photos look just like mine! I think I spent most of the time just looking at her. We now have each others phone numbers and will call each other, I just wanted our first conversation to be in person. Of course there is a whole lot more to this story.
I took a day, visiting each one of my grown kids to tell them they had an older sister in another state. I told my mother I found the daughter I was forced to give up. (She is of the "old fashioned" mind... still).... My children and husband have been very supportive in this adventure. My daughter (whom I had with my husband) was shocked to find out that "there is someone out there that looks more like her mom than she does!" Its all good. On the other hand, Stephanie has gone 36 years thinking she does not look like anyone! As you can see.... She does look like her birth mom.... Thank you Susan! You and your organization change lives, bringing us all to a better place, finding our loved ones, and helping us feel whole again.
Thanks for all you do.... Janice