My Real Name is Lourdes

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My Real Name is Lourdes

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Posted: 2/24/2010
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

All my life I have gone by Lori, but my real name is Lourdes. I started my search this past November after a lot of soul-searching and frustration. I have never met my birth father. I am told that he was 26 years old when I was born in 1967. My mother won't say much about him, but I do know he was an electrical engineer and worked with Zenith Corporation on Kostner Avenue in Chicago when he met my mother. His name is John William and he was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I know he was of Norwegian and Danish descent and had a sister named Carol.

Over the years I have compiled this picture of the man who I'm told is my father. I know he was once married to a woman named Vicki, and that when I was conceived, my parents worked together. Her name is Lucy and they had a brief love affair that ended in heartbreak for my mother. Perhaps that is why she refuses to speak of him today--or maybe she is ashamed that she doesn't have more information. My greatest fear is that if I do not take the opportunity to search for him now, I may miss the opportunity to meet him while in this life. I contacted Search Quest America on a whim--I was afraid to hope that my dream might come true, but willing to take a chance to see what happened.

That time seems so long ago! So much has happened that has changed my perspective on the whole situation. My case was assigned to Julie Jones, who helped me write down everything I knew about my birth father, and we went from there. It became quickly apparent that I didn't have information, I had dis-information, several pieces that did not appear to fit together. Julie searched through all the databases, but did not find one single man who met the description I have her, or who fit with the mental picture I have formed over all these years. I had planned to keep the search a secret, but Julie and I hit a wall and she ended up approaching my mother for more information.

I had been afraid to broach the subject, but Julie handled it beautifully.
She learned several key pieces of information, like his sister's full name and the fact that she was married and lived only a few blocks away from her in Chicago. She was married with five or six kids. Julie was able to extract information my mother had never shared with me, like the fact that my birth father was a drug user. I never knew that when I was a little girl, he kidnapped me for three days right around Easter. The police found me all alone in an abandoned building--It was on the news and everything. How could I not remember that? At first it was shocking to hear that news, but at the same time hearing both sides of his personality helped me have a more realistic impression of who he was. We learned that he used to hang out at the Home Run Inn Bar in Chicago, that his dad lived in Texas, and that he really was an electronics engineer. I also learned that he really was married to a woman named Vicki, but I didn't know that he was recently married when he met my mother and I was conceived. I expected my mom to resist our efforts to find him, but she seemed relieved to get the whole story off her chest. She even agreed to go to the bank deposit box and get my original birth certificate, which he filled out when I was born.

With this information, Julie was able to track down his ex-wife, Vicki. She confirmed his birth date and said they were high school sweethearts and he enlisted in the army in 1960. I never had any idea he had a military background, but now know that everything he learned about engineering and electronics was learned in the army. One day in 1967, he left Vicki in Chicago with the kids and just never came home from work that day. She eventually divorced him on the grounds of desertion, but she never knew what happened to him.

Then, when their daughter was a young adult, about 20 years old, she went looking for him. He had been a very heavy alcoholic and on drugs at the time of my birth, and he lost track of his friends and family. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1976 by hanging. He lived in a suburb of Chicago and the closest I will ever get to seeing him is visiting his grave.

Of course, this was devastating news. I thought I was prepared for anything, but looking back I can see that I really only prepared myself for other wives, other siblings, being rejected by him, or not being able to form a connection. I had considered that he may have died, but I never imagined it would have happened by suicide the same year as my birth. Nevertheless, I am grateful to have answers to my questions and I am excited to meet my half-siblings and find some peace of mind that way.

I just want to say how much I appreciate all the help and support you all have given me. I am truly grateful to put all of my curiosity to rest and focus on moving forward and living my life. You have all given me perspective and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

(Written by Mica Burton on Loris behalf.)

Client ID# 259747
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