Full Circle: Hawaiian Reunion

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Full Circle: Hawaiian Reunion

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Posted: 10/25/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

I've always wondered about my birth mother, Jennifer Vue. I want to meet her to let her know I turned out just fine and to say thank you for choosing the adoptive parents you did. I am forever grateful. Here's my story.
My birth mom and adoptive mom both had the same OBGYN doctor. My adoptive mom was desperately trying to get pregnant and my birth mother was only 16 years old, trying to figure out how she would raise her baby. I was born in November of 1982 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

She came from a very strict Vietnamese family who refused to help her. They were Vietnamese immigrants and were working very long hours just to get by. They rented the home they lived in and they felt it was too small to keep an infant. Thinking they were helping her learn independence, they kicked her out of their home with a 9-month old baby---me.

Jennifer struggled along for another month. She was hungry, I was hungry. We literally had nothing. A relative in Hawaii sent for her, so she packed up her few things and left the mainland for good. There, she made the impossible decision to give me up for adoption. She had been holding, feeding, comforting, and playing with me for almost a year, yet she found the strength to put me up for adoption and give me a chance at a normal life.

My mom always told me growing up that my birth mother loved me and wanted me SO much. In fact, she intended to keep in touch with me by sending letters and visiting whenever she could. But after these visits, my adoptive mom says I was would go into a tantrum for days. Refused to eat and I screamed and cried for hours, feeling abandoned all over again. Jennifer knew how difficult it was for me, so one day she simply stopped visiting. I still have the letters she wrote to me as a baby. I've tried sending letters to these addresses, hoping beyond hope that one might get forwarded to her current address. Most of them were returned. I wonder now if she may have gone back to Vietnam.
The one thing I know for sure is that I can't find her on my own. I contacted SQA and it was such a relief when Julie took the case off my hands and went to work like a true professional. She started the case on July 28, 2011 and it was solved by August 25, 2011, not even a month later!

Julie called her first to confirm her identity and ask if she wanted to be in touch with me. Jennifer was very, very happy to be found. She lives in Fountain Valley, California. It was surreal to find out her birth date, April 27th, and know that day used to be normal for me, but it will be special from now on.

Only 2 weeks after talking on the phone for the first time, my birth mother returned to Hawaii for the first time since my adoption. She brought my younger brother Andrew to meet me and the rest of my family. It's been a surreal experience for both of us! She still pictures me as the ten-month old baby she said goodbye too. It was a healing experience to meet me as an adult in the same town she said goodbye to me as an infant. It feels like we've come full circle.

I wanted to thank you again for finding her. It has been a big relief for both of us to know we are loved and thought about often. I think she feels at peace knowing I understand why she chose to put me up for adoption, and I love her as much as she loves me.

Written by Mica Burton on Teresa's behalf.
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