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My life is Complete and I'm Finally Whole

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Posted: 11/9/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

I recently came across the email I first wrote to SQA in April of 2009. It says, "Growing up, I was told I was given up for adoption because my birth parents had too many children and could not afford another mouth to feed. My adoption was arranged privately through my adoptive mother's OBGYN before I was born. My birth mother came to Houston to stay with someone until I was born.

My adoptive parents were 40 years old when I was adopted. Needless to say there was quite a generation gap between us. My adoptive mom had Alzheimer's the last 10 years she was alive and my father had cancer for most of that time too. I took care of them and taught school full time as well. They died 5 weeks apart in 1999. I am searching for anything to fill this deep hole inside that has always been in me. I was legally adopted in 2000 by a very dear friend who had no children and was divorced. She basically had no family either and we decided to become each other's family. It has meant a lot to me but that empty space inside is still there.

I know that my birth parents were both from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have a copy of my amended birth certificate. I know the name of the law firm that handled the adoption and the name of the pediatrician who delivered me. When it comes to more important information, however, I draw a blank. I have no other adoptive siblings to share this burden, no medical information from my biological family, no anything. I don't even know my ethnic background. As I begin this search for my birth family, recognize that there are many possible outcomes to my search. I know there's a chance my birth parents might also be deceased, or they may not want to embrace me as part of their family. However, I refuse to let my fear of the unknown rob me of the potential happiness I may find at the end of this rainbow.

Fast forward two years and four months. My researchers Marilyn and Julie worked diligently on my case for nearly a year. Finally, they found the one family in Tulsa, Oklahoma with my birth mother's last name. She was 44 at the time of my birth and already had 3 older children. She died in March of 2003 in Lubbock, Texas. She was a homemaker and dedicated her life to raising her children. Her survivors included a son, two daughters, eight grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren. When Julie first contacted my brother, he was shocked to learn his mother gave a daughter up for adoption. She never told a soul about me. I was born shortly following her divorce from our father, and that the strained emotional and financial situation contributed to her decision to give me up for adoption.

Although I did not have an opportunity to meet my birth mother or birth father before their deaths, I was blessed to be put in contact with my siblings and members of my extended birth family. What a journey have I been on since that day!

My brother and I spoke on the phone several times trying to set a date when we all could get together. Finally, in April, the four siblings got a chance to meet. I drove from Texas, my oldest sister and her husband flew into New Orleans and rented a car, then drove to Mississippi and picked up my brother and his wife. We all converged on the Hampton Inn in Searcy, Arkansas where our other sister and her husband live. My sister was too ill to make the trip to Mississippi so we came to her. Her son in law rented the entire second floor suites including the hospitality suite, the Governor's suite and the Presidential suite for all of us. He paid for everything and wouldn't allow me to pay for anything.

My siblings embraced me as if they had known me my entire life! The sister that was so ill and I met first before the others arrived. When she walked in the room I felt like I was viewing myself in 17 years. We looked just alike. She walked up to me, patted my cheek and echoed my own thoughts when she said "it's me! She looks just like me!" Everyone in the room was in tears except the two of us. All we could do was hug each other and laugh. When the others arrived we all were greeting one another in the hospitality room.
My brother in law asked my oldest sister and my brother if they could tell by looking at me who my father was. Everyone said at the same time that they could. They are pretty sure my father was one of my birth mother's best friends who work on the pipelines. His name was Ray Fickle. I have a picture of him and I do look like a combination of he and my mother. It is unreal. They both were 1/4 Cherokee Indian and all of the kids have the high Native American cheekbones and other features. We all tan quickly and have a bit of a red tinge in our coloring even though we have different fathers.

My sister who was in poor health passed away one month after our meeting. I didn't get to go to the funeral but did talk on the phone a lot before her death. My niece told me she talked about me non-stop the day she died. She kept saying how much it meant to her that we met. She also told my niece that I would be taking her place in my niece's life. I have too. We have become very close. I am flying up to visit them in September. Thank you for your persistence in your search for my family. It could not have turned out any better than this. My life is complete and I'm finally whole.

Sincerest thanks,

Mary
(Search Quest America Client)
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