It's Linda from Wisconsin - as a memory jog - you reunited Elizabeth and I on December 29th, 2003...
I told you I'd send pictures of my recent trip to Orange County for our reunion. Her step-mom and adopted father were very nice to me - hugs all around! Karen (step-mom) is a professional photographer and gave us a shoot. She has all the pictures on the web but I didn't want to sent that to you so selected a few of my favorite. Once we select some she'll do her magic and take out wrinkles and bags - ah that she could do that to me in person :) I also of course got 3 rolls of regular film type pictures :) Karen also put together a DVD of Elizabeth's younger years - how totally priceless that was to me, my mom and my family!!!
The reunion was a video-taped - I'm glad since I really didn't remember much. Guess people were coming up to ask what was going on and when told their eyes would fill w/tears. All I remember is running into her out-stretched arms, clinging tightly to her and crying. Until I saw the tape I didn't realize I said to her "you know the LAST time we were together we were both crying too"! :)
It was so utterly wonderful. More than a dream. I feel so blessed to have been given this chance. You aren't only a search angel, you're one of God's angels too.
Enjoy the pictures (last one shows her adopted dad and step-mom with us) - and so many many thanks to you. Please know you'll always be in her prayers, my prayers and my Mom's prayers!!!
What an unbelievable year this has been! I'd signed up the end of August on a website my long term guy-friend had heard about; within 3 or 4 days I had my daughter's adopted name and birth certificate number. December 24th the social worker I'd been in touch with out in LA mentioned she'd heard of this adoption database website where a couple people had good results. She didn't know the URL so I went to ask.com and entered adoption database and - there began my year!
I signed up with Joanne on December 25th. The 27th she called me and said she'd found my daughter!! My heart still skips a beat when I remember her saying those words! She called me again on the 29th saying my daughter would be calling in 10 minutes. All I remember of those 10 minutes is I sat with a death grip on the phone and told myself "breath"!
I've no idea how long we talked. We talked again the next day and both admitted we didn't remember much of the conversation other than hearing the other's voice and giggle. I did however remember her thanking me for having her, assuring me she'd had a wonderful life and telling me she'd always loved me. That began months of phone calls - long calls - our record was 4 = hours! (Thank God for prepay cards!) In January my Mom (now known as grandma) and I sent her a prepay card so she wouldn't have to get a second job to pay her phone bill. Although we both wanted to meet face-to-face we felt these many hours logged talking were important. Questions were asked and answered. We had a chance to learn about each others' lives. We learned about each others' inner-self. We were totally stunned by how many similarities there were between us in personality traits, likes/dislikes etc. Because of all the hours of conversation, when I went to California in April to finally meet her we were already friends.
That visit was utterly fantastic. Her family and friends greeted me with open arms. Not only that - each and every one of them made a point of thanking me for giving her to them. While I'd never had any doubt that I'd made the right decision to place her up for adoption and never regretted that decision, to be thanked so often validated my choice and warmed my heart. I was also able to see her interact with her family and see the love and strong bonds and that was so wonderful.
She came back to meet my family in October. The timing couldn't have been more perfect since she was here so we could celebrate her 36th birthday together. How special is THAT??? She'd never been to the Midwest and was in awe of all the trees and land. Coming from the airport I casually mentioned the river we were driving along was the Mississippi! She was so excited that for awhile I feared she'd jump in. She'd heard about it of course but never thought she'd actually see it!
There were so many special moments during her visit. When we got home from the airport the first thing to happen was she and grandma would meet. That was the most beautiful sight I've ever seen I think. They were practically bonded at the hip for the entire visit; indeed by the end of it they were ganging up on me and teasing me about anything they could think of. My cousin Kay was beside herself with excitement about meeting Elizabeth and that was wonderful to see too. When she met Kay's daughter I was stunned to find myself in tears - I didn't realize that would touch me so deeply. She met her (now deceased) biological father's sister and her daughter Jen. Jen has no cousins and was positively thrilled to now have Elizabeth. They bonded quickly - Jen is younger and I swear I've never seen anyone in such a short time look at someone else with such adoration! I had an open-house for family and friends since they all wanted to meet her and time was limited. It was so neat to see how everyone seemed to 'fit' together so easily.
As I said at the start of this, it's been an unbelievable year - our first b-day together in 36 years, the first time I ever received a mother's day card and flowers, the first time she could finally see someone who she was like in spirit. I still can't believe it and have no clue why God deemed I was fit to have this wonderful chance. I do believe there's a reason for everything. Actually, let me regress to right after she was born. I was in a Catholic hospital and they let me hold her one day. As the nurse took her I said to Elizabeth I'd see her tomorrow. The nurse said no - I could only hold her once. I went back to my room in tears and remained that way for a long time. A nun came in and tried to console me - no way! Finally she said the only way I could hold her again was if I had her baptized. I didn't want to specify a religion but selfishly I wanted to hold her again so agreed. (Elizabeth screamed through the entire ceremony - I was so proud of her). Now, all these years later, I learn from her that her adopted mother had specified she only wanted a baby with Irish Catholic heritage. Had I not agreed to have her baptized, she wouldn't be with her wonderful family today. So - like I said - things happen for a reason and there's a reason for she and I being reunited. I plan to just keep thanking God and waiting to see what He has in mind.
I can't end my rambling without saying how wonderful Joanne has been. With all the people she's helped and continues to help she still somehow manages to 'know' each one personally and wants to be kept informed as to how our lives are going. God does put angels on this earth - and now I know I've met one of the ones with golden wings. Thank you Joanne for giving me my daughter.
I am very happy to be on this list again, as two very special people helped me confirm a match on my daughter (JoAnne and Marlene)..... You two ladies are and always will be angels to me and my daughter Jennifer (Jen). Perhaps you remember us......
On November 13, 2002, I found a post on Adoption.com for a girl searching for her birthmom, and the information was too close to not check it out. By the end of that night, not only did Marlene send me many emails and assistance, but I was also speaking with Joanne, who was kind enough to make the call to my daughter and put us in touch with each other. We were chatting online by midnight that night for the first time in 18 years and have been enjoying a wonderful reunion since then. As a matter, of fact, she just married her sweetheart in July of this year, my younger daughter was the flowergirl, and I was given the honor of walking side-by-side down the isle with her A/Mother. They are all such a special part of my life and I will be forever grateful for the assistance both Marlene and JoAnne provided me.
I am so happy to be a part of this group again as I was lost in the many transitions. I feel like being home again.....
Love to all,
Michelle Johnson (aka Mikki)
BMOM to Jennifer (Jen)
International FIND 1/29/2005
Almost nineteen years ago I gave birth to a baby girl while living in the UK. Unable to take care of her, I put her up for adoption. Ever since she has been on my mind. I always wondered what had become of her and wondering if I had done the right thing.
Living here in the U.S.A. I had little hope of ever finding her. To my surprise, I learned she had registered at your database and was wishing to find me. Although her information was outdated, you went out of your way to track her down. It has been wornderful hearing from her and knowing that she is well.
For the time being, we are only communicating via e-mail, getting to know each other. I hope some day to be able to meet her again in person. Thank you so much for this priceless gift.