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Updated: October 15, 2018 

Reunion Stories

Happy From the Inside Out

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Posted: 1/17/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

/images/stories.asp?i=20110523205904.0.jpg"Extremely rare DNA." That was the explanation I was given for having no "matches" to anyone anywhere on the DNA Genetic matching tests I took. Little did I know that those words would be the beginning of a significant move on my part and a radical change in my life. A friend was speaking to me about a TV program and was relaying some of the stories of families who were being connected after years of separation. I thought to myself, "That's great, but my story isn't going to be that easy." Not only does my story turn out to be easy; but something that I never thought would happen, happened.

There was a day this summer that I didn't feel like doing much of anything except taking it easy, so I went online and googled the TV program. Upon reaching the site, I realized that I would need to fill out an information survey regarding who I was searching for before I could get full access to the information contained within it. Within a week after the moment I filled out that form, I received a call from Linda Rasmussen at Search Quest America. As I stared at my husband with wide open eyes, Linda explained who she was, who she worked for, and why my case was chosen. She was so very kind and personable that my shock was soon turned to excitement. After we finished our conversation, I turned to my husband and informed him that I was about to find my biological family.

If you haven't guessed by now, I was adopted over 40 years ago when I was 7 months old. Though I had always wondered who my birth family was and what they were like. I never really went beyond the wondering until Linda and Search Quest America made the possibility of finding the answers to all of my questions a reality. Twenty days later, Susan, my case manager, contacted me and let me know that I would be hearing from my Guided Research Partner, Patricia. I gave her all of the information I had regarding my adoption and emailed her the scanned documents my parents were given at the time of my adoption. Just three days later, I had news about my family that I never thought I would have. My life had just opened wide, and I was in for the ride.

Initially I was so nervous, not knowing what to expect from her findings, but Patricia's warm and professional demeanor was comforting. She told me my birth name and gave me information about my birth mother and siblings, emailed me the same information, and waited to hear back from me as to what steps I wanted to take next. As I sat staring at my computer screen, I felt like I was beside myself. It was as if everything froze in that time and place and all I could hear was the pounding of the heart next to mine. In front of me were the names of mother, my two brothers, and my sister. I had a sister. I had a sister, and she was only 1 year and 4 1/2 months older than me.

Well, I called Patricia back and we decided that it would be best that she make first contact. She was unable to contact my mother, so she asked if I wanted to try to contact my sister. I said yes, and in a complete state of preoccupation and the inability to concentrate on literally anything, I waited. I waited while my incredibly supportive husband and children waited with me.

Finally, I received the call I was waiting for, only to find out my sister was unavailable. Patricia wasn't giving up, and neither was I. She made a second call and actually spoke again to a young lady, who proceeded to make a 3-way call to my sister who was vacationing in New York. I had a niece! After her call to my sister, Patricia got in touch with me. I learned that my sister knew nothing about me, but that everything made sense to her. Patricia said that she would get in touch with me as soon as she returned from her trip. Five days later, we spoke for the first time on the phone.

It was incredible! We were both amazed. My sister began to send pictures of the family to me, and I sent pictures of my family to her. I saw her face, my younger brother, my nieces and nephew, and my mother. I couldn't believe it. I had seen the face of my mother, and for the first time I saw why I look the way that I look. That was exciting, but I couldn't stop thinking about my sister, and I found myself going back to the pictures of her. Looking into her face, I felt like I was smiling from the inside out. I couldn't begin to tell you how many times we spoke and texted each other for the next 4 days. It was constant. We decided we would meet on that 5th day. And then Friday, August 13th came.

I was a wreck! What if she doesn't like me? What if we have nothing in common? Will we get along? Is my hair doing what I want, or what it wants? When her car pulled up, a handsome young man came out. It was my nephew and he was so cute! He greeted me with a "Hi Auntie" and a hug. Then my sister came out of the car and our eyes met. I couldn't believe it. I was looking at someone that I was related to; a person that wasn't someone I had made (I have two children). She was stunning, and she was mine. We hugged and it felt like hot chocolate on a cold winters night; warm and perfect. We spent the next hours sharing, laughing, comparing our hands and toes, and finding things that we had in common. Later I would meet my incredible niece who helped make that first contact, who is incredible, intelligent, sweet in her nature, and beautiful from the inside to the outside. My family came home, and later in the evening even my younger brother came through my door with a "Hi Sis," and a big hug. I fell in love all over again. We laughed, played, and told stories of our lives. We were all there and our lives, together, began.

I remember thinking at one point how ironic it was that here we all were, for what was equivalent to a moment in time, and it felt like we had been doing this for all of our lives. It felt as if everyone was used to being together, knew each other, and loved each other since the invention of time. We laughed, shared, compared, and bonded well into the morning hours. No one wanted it to end. And it hasn't.

My sister and I have talked every day since that first phone conversation, and I can honestly say that I absolutely love and adore her. She is such a blessing in my life, as are her family, my brother and his family. We have had several family excursions to the park and to the beach since, and have celebrated the birth of a nephew recently. I am so happy, and I have Search Quest America, Linda and Patricia to thank for it.

So, in an attitude of gratitude, thank you Search Quest America for making this possible. Thank you Linda for making contact with me and starting me on the search for my family. And thank you Patricia for being persistent and so supportive during this entire process. Thank you for giving me my sister. You all have impacted my life tremendously and I will always be grateful. And to my Sis; "Together, together, together, until the end."

By Theresa Hamilton

(Client ID# 279515)
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