39 Nieces and Nephews!

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39 Nieces and Nephews!

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Posted: 11/14/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My name is Cathy and I have been searching for my birth family for well over 30 years. I have done much of the legwork myself, and hired more than one so-called professional company to solve the case for me. Nothing panned out until now. I can hardly believe it myself, but I am now writing my story as a "reunited" adoptee instead of an "at-my-wits-end, if-one-more-person-lies-to-me-I-will-explode" adoptee. This is my story.

I was born in April of 1954 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. My birth mother's name was Dorothy Stuart, and I was always told she was forced to give me up "because of circumstances beyond her control." I was also told Dorothy had at least 3 older children when I was born. I have no ill feelings toward my birth mother. I understand she made the best decision she could at the time, and I imagine she must have wondered about me all these years as I have wondered about her. I long to connect with her, let her know that I turned out all right, and heal whatever wounds she must be carrying. I am 55 years old, so I imagine she is in her late 70s or early 80s. I just desperately hope I'm not too late.

Growing up I fantasized about chance meetings at the grocery store or accidentally dating a brother or cousin. As an adult I yearned to look into my children's faces and be able to say with some authority, "you look just like your grandma." As I got older I felt a more urgent need for medical information. As each year passed I became more aware of the fragility of life and I prayed that I would find my birth mother before she leaves this world. I'm old enough now to know that friends come and go, but family stays forever. I would love to meet my siblings and know what it's like to share that special bond. I just feel lost without them, and without knowing about my ancestors and where I come from.

Despite my need for answers, I was wary to pay for another search. My husband was very supportive every step of the way. I did my research with the Better Business Bureau and read several reviews and testimonials online before I decided to start my search with SQA in June of 2010.

By April of 2011, the case was officially solved. Julie spoke with my sister Linda first, and she confirmed there had been rumors floating around about me in the family for years. The oldest sibling, Linda, remembered moving in with her grandmother for a few months while our mother went away. She also remembered that she was pregnant when she left, but did not have a baby with her when she returned. She always knew the baby would find them someday, and she was ready to embrace me with open arms when I showed up on their doorstep.
Unfortunately, my birth mother Dorothy died two years ago. I am so upset and disappointed that I missed meeting my mother by only 2 years! I wish I had found SQA and been able to put all the pieces together sooner, but I suppose it wasn't meant to be. I am thrilled to learn I have 3 siblings I will have the privilege to meet. Only 2 months after my birth, Dorothy was married to her second husband. For years, the family has speculated that this man was the father of the baby that was given up for adoption---me. So it may turn out that although these 3 children were only Dorothy's step-children, they may be my half-siblings. Of the 6 total, 1 has already died, but the other 5 have been very welcoming. I already feel like a member of the family.

Within the first month after our reunion, my siblings and I constantly speculated about my birth father's identity. We also wanted to confirm that I was indeed the child Dorothy had given up for adoption, so we purchased a DNA test and sent away for the results. Meanwhile, I reached out to each of my siblings by phone and email. Every day I rushed home to find new messages from family members on the answering machine. When the DNA results came back, they confirmed that I AM Dorothy's daughter, but my birth father was NOT her second husband. I may never know the identity of my birth father.

On April 14, 2011, I met my 3 siblings in person and it was absolutely great. It was a very special day for me because it was also my birthday. I can't remember a better birthday in my life!!! At first it was a little awkward as no one really knew what to say to get things started, but within just a few minutes they began to open up, then when Patricia got there it seemed just like it was a group of siblings that had decided to meet for the afternoon. It just felt right, if you know what I mean.

I will admit I had one brother who was more reserved regarding the reunion. I expect it will just take time for everyone to warm up to me. There have also been a few surprises along the way. Sharon, the youngest of the three children from Dorothy's first marriage, married a young man from my home town! My brother played baseball with him for three summers and remembered him. One of my best friends dated him before he met my biological sister! Strange coincidences like these keep coming up and I am so grateful to feel like a part of this big extended family. In addition to my siblings, I have 39 nieces and nephews. I am really dreading Christmas!!!!!

In the last several months, I have been sharing my story with anyone who will listen. I feel so blessed to be reunited with my birth family and I know there are probably others out there who will be inspired by my story. We are so grateful for SQA's honest, conscientious service that would do anything to help you. You'll never know what your hard work has done for us. If you ever need something from here in Oklahoma please let us know. We could never thank you enough.

Written by Mica Burton on Search Quest America Client Cathy's behalf.
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