Stories From Another Era

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Stories From Another Era

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Posted: 9/12/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

At birth I was given up for adoption. At 13 months old I was placed with my adoptive family. A very good life was given to me with lots of love and opportunities. My adoptive mother passed away from cancer when I was 19. My adoptive brother died four years ago from an overdose. My adoptive dad is still living but is 85 years old. I'd like to know who my birth parents are and what they look like. I wonder all the time if I have any siblings. There is a piece missing and there is the question of why. I've lost many of my relatives on Mom's side to hereditary cancers and I can't help but wonder about my genetic background.

When I contacted Search Quest America, I was skeptical of their services, but willing to invest my time and emotions to solve what has been a life-long mystery for me. I know that time is running out since my birth mother was born in April of 1928. I am fortunate to have access to several key pieces of information, including my original adoption papers with my birth mother's full name and birth date. One of SQAs most experienced researchers, Julie Jones, took my case. She found my birth mother still living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Today she is 81 years old and still very much aware. She has never forgotten me over the years, and wept as we spoke for the first time. She remembered the events leading up to my birth with perfect clarity, and described to me her experiences in another era.

After that first conversation, I was thinking late into the night and I back tracked to a 1950 calendar. Eva had her bridal shower on a Wednesday and three days later she was married. That was Saturday, September 30, 1950. I happened to call her for the first time one day after what would have been her 58th anniversary. I did the calculations of the pregnancy and she would have gotten pregnant right around the second week of September. I think the timing of all of this is too ironic and a little scary to boot.

During my conversation with Eva yesterday she spoke at length about the unspeakable atrocities of WWII and that she suspected her husband had been exposed to chemical warfare while he had served and ultimately maybe killed him. She felt that the Jews had gotten all the publicity and the rest of the occupied countries had not been really recognized in their suffering. I responded that some experts feel that the losses in the Baltic countries were totally ignored and that some claim that Baltic countries individually suffered even more losses than the Jews but records were not kept. She also spoke about a recent case in the news of a boy killing his parents because they would not give him money. I responded that there are too many crazy stupid people who populate this earth. Then I changed the subject to something else but I can't remember what. It dawned on me today that she witnessed WWII first hand. I can only assume but she may have been forced into a camp or forced labor. Lithuania was occupied in early 1939 by Hitler.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak with my birth mother for the first time. Learning about her and my family heritage does not diminish the life provided to me by my adoptive parents. It enriches my personal identity and helps me appreciate the trials that led to my birth and adoption. I think I have always loved my birth mother, but each day I am gaining a new respect for her. Thank you Search Quest America! I could not have asked for better service, or expected to have made such good friends!!

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

Client ID# 224827
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