Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why don't you look like the rest of your family?

"You look nothing like your brother and sister." - I've been hearing it ALL my life. What do you think?
sister, brother, Mom, me
The reason? I'm adopted. My mom has told me since I was tiny - like 2. I've always known, I've always been totally cool with it. My mom was diagnosed with Cancer before I was born and was told she couldn't have kids. So, they went ahead and decided to adopt. My mom was in the Army at the time and a young girl (about 18) worked in their office. She was single and pregnant - so what's my mom do? Yup. She asked her what her plan was and if she could adopt the baby. She's pretty cool, my mom.

So, July 29th I was born and my mom was right there when it all happened. Pretty cool. Of course, 2 years later my mom had my sister and then my brother two years after that. So - she COULD get pregnant. :) Oh doctors, what do they know?

I spent my life growing up being the only blond in a sea of brunettes. Totally OK with it. I liked talking to people about being adopted. Everyone always seemed so impressed with how open my family has been about it. What's not to be open about? That's just the way it was. I did daydream how my biological family were movie stars, millionaires, somehow famous......you know - the usual.

My Mom and my biological mom kept in touch. I had no clue, but they sent letters, my Mom mailed her pictures every year. My Mom is awesome. So, I went off to college and when I came home for winter break (I was 18) there was a letter waiting for me. My Mom handed me the letter and said "This is for you". I opened it and began reading. It did not take me long to realize that I was reading a Christmas letter from my biological mom. Wow. I sat down and just couldn't believe it. I cried. My Mom cried. I was slightly disappointed that she wasn't a movie star - but I got over that quickly.

Mom, sister, me

I quickly sent her an email. I introduced myself and we started a friendship. We emailed here and there. I asked alot of questions about family medical history and things like that. I never asked about how she got pregnant and how the adoption came to be - I didn't care. I love my life and am super happy. She sent me family pictures and we got to know each other a little.

Then Sam proposed. We debated on whether or not to invite my biological mom (Joyce). I was not nervous about meeting her, she felt like a friend. My Mom was totally cool with it - although a little nervous - so we sent her an invitation. She and her sister were going to come! Sam and I picked them up from the Metro the day before the wedding. Yup, I met my biological mom the day before my wedding.

She was nice, we talked - it was nice.

Years passed and I all of a sudden caught a bug to find my biological dad. I had very little information. Ok, I had NO information. I emailed Joyce and asked if she knew where he lived, his name (I was hoping she knew this), anything......I got a name and a small town his parents lived in. So, I started my detective work. Even with all the technology we have today I had SUCH a hard time. I burst into tears more than once. Sam felt terrible - he tried to help. He called SOOOOOO many numbers in hopes that it was his. Nope. None of them.

I found out what highschool he went to and joined their facebook page. I felt like such a stalker. I googled his name like crazy. Nothing. I tried for weeks, then gave up. I didn't do any searching for a few days. I started looking again and came across a woman's name that went to his highschool and could have been his younger sister. I googled her and she had a myspace page. I looked on that and she seemed like the right person. I sent her a message at 2:00 in the afternoon. I shut the computer and went to pick up my kids. At 4:00 I got a phone call.

"Hi, is this Ann?"
"Yes. Is this Reggie?"
"Yes Ma'am. My sister told me to give you a call."
"Ok. Well, (swallow throw up) I'm the daughter that you gave up for adoption 30 years ago."
please don't hang up. please don't yell. please be the right guy
"Well I'll be. I've thought about you for the last 30 years. I've waited for this day for a long time."

We talked for an hour. I didn't cry. I asked questions, told him about me....it was very natural. I called Sam to tell him - Yep.....burst into tears. I sat on the floor and sobbed. I was so happy.

That was just over a year ago. Reggie/Dad and I talk on the phone a few times a week, he sends my kids birthday and Christmas cards, he has driven from Alabama to visit me to meet for the first time, to see one of my half marathons, and to come to my birthday. He's trying to get back up here soon - but his son is expecting their first child very soon so he's waiting on that.

Dad, me, Sam at the Marine Corp 1/2 Marathon
He doesn't like this picture because he didn't smile - but I don't care. :) I am very happy to have such a good story about where I am from.