One Day at a Time

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Updated: January 24, 2019 

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One Day at a Time

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Posted: 3/18/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

Margaret's son Paul is 48 years old now, but she still remembers the day he was born and how hard it was to give him up for adoption. She was 20 years old and unmarried, and felt that she owed him a stable home environment with a mother and father. The decision has plagued her ever since. "Not a day goes by that I haven't regretted it," Margaret recalls. She has wondered over the years if he was happy and healthy, if he knew he was adopted or ever thought about looking for her.

She contacted the investigators in September of 2008 and her case was solved by October. Susan, SQA's head researcher, recalls the special circumstances of the search.

"This case was a very enlightening. You always hear about adoption attorneys who falsified records, but you rarely ever run across a situation where you can prove it. In Margie's case the adoption was private. The 'less than honest' adoption attorney who filed the paperwork intentionally left out Peggy's maiden name. 'Since I couldn't find the original record of birth under his birth date, I checked a few days forward and backwards and only found one that fit. I had a gut feeling that he was the right person, so I tracked him down and called to verify that it was him."

Paul lives just 20 minutes away from Margie. He was at work when he received the call. "I asked him if he was adopted, and he responded that he was. He even had his original adoption records and he remembered his birth mother's nameMargaret. When we compared notes later it turned out that the attorney left Margaret's name and information on the original adoption papers, so we knew it was him," Susan said.

Paul always knew he was adopted and had often thought about looking for his birth mother. He was planning to start a search for her the following week and was thrilled when Margie contacted him first.

Margie was very nervous--would he be happy to be found, or wish she had never contacted him? The following is an excerpt from a note Margie wrote to Susan just a few weeks after their reunion. She says,

"Hi Susan. I just wanted to give you a little update on how things are going. It seems like forever but it has only been just a little over two weeks since I first talked to Paul. He used to own a bike shop and I am cycling so he came over on Thursday after we met on Tuesday and tuned up my bike for a 65 mile ride that I was doing on Saturday. Then he was over last night to work on my dryer. He has a dryer vent repair and installing company and just wanted to do it right. He took out the old coil style tube and put in a smooth one that is safer and works more efficiently.

"It is so hard to know what to do, we have talked a lot about it and his son, 13 wants to see me, ever since that first day. Pauls mom passed away about 11 years ago, so he was asking me what they should call me. I just decided to let the kids call me whatever they are comfortable with.

"We both say that there are no books out there on this to learn from and although he was going to look for me, with me finding him it did not give him a chance to be prepared. They have plans to be away on Thanksgiving and I was going to visit my friend that lives in San Jose so we are keeping with that schedule. I guess it is just one day at a time. Thanks for everything, and I wish you all a very happy holiday season. Margie."

Margie waited 48 years to find the missing pieces, and she is happy she searched. She is committed to developing her relationship with Paul and her grandson one day at a time.

(Written by Mica Burton on Margie's behalf.)
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