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I just left Mom and Big Brother. So sad to be leaving after only 10 days. Turned on the radio and the old song "All My Loving" is playing. "All My Loving Mom, I am sending to you!" So many emotions I have been through in the last few months, so many.

April 2004 first contact was made with Mom by a friend. At first Mom thought someone was playing a cruel joke on her. Why after all of these years would someone call her about a stillborn baby born in 1951? Because, my friend told her, your daughter is 52 years old, very much alive and hunting for her mother.

I came home from a dear friends funeral and almost did not sit down at my computer. I did however and the first thing I saw when I opened my email was "I spoke with your mother today!" "Oh God! Oh Dear God!" Tears streaming down my face, trembling hand to my mouth I stood up and read the email again. I sat down and read it again and again and again. I thought I was prepared for anything after so many years of searching but I was not prepared for the overwhelming emotions rolling over me. Am I dreaming? Is it real? She's alive. She wants us to write each other. She is afraid too. She is afraid this is not real. I sit down and write to her. Pouring my heart out and letting her know that the why does not matter. We are found and that is what is important. I make a collage of pictures from 1 month through 52 years old. I send it off and pray. I pray I said nothing to frighten her away. I pray she wants to see me. I pray I am not going to hurt her life she has. I pray and pray. After a few days I start waiting by the mailbox when the mailman comes. After a couple days he ask me what I am waiting on and when I tell him he helps to watch for it. One day I see him driving from my neighbors and he has a manilla envelope he is holding out. When he nears I can hear him saying "It is here! we got it!" In a moment I hold the most precious thing I have ever held. The first thing I have ever gotten from my Mom. In tears I bring it inside and open it. My dear husband stands ready to catch me if I faint. Pictures tumble out and it is pictures of several people but for now I am looking at a picture of my Mom. Slightly fearing reading the letter (why fear I don't know) I look at the pictures. Now, I have to read the letter to find out who all of these people are. My brother, My two sisters. Who is this man with Mom? Read on further........... It's my Fath............ It's my Father!!!!!!! But, Mom, You are together. Read girl, read! Now my world turns upside down as I realize that my parents were married. Anger overwhelms me as I read of how Mom was told I was stillborn. Daddy was in Korea fighting in a war when I was born and had left to go three weeks after I was concieved,before Mom knew. When Daddy came home when it was over, over there, Mom told him how they told her they had cremated the baby. She told him she knew she had heard a baby cry but they told her it was just her wanting to believe that her baby was alive. They went back to where I was born and there was all new management and no records she had ever been there. They never told anyone but their mothers and the last time they tried to find out anything was two years before my Daddy died in 2001. This was a dead end because by now anyone who might know anything had passed away.

After reading Mom's letter I called the number she sent and I hear the words "God Bless America!". "This is Frances." I say and I hear "How are you honey?" Love pours out over the phone lines and it is hard to talk for trying to listen to my mothers voice for the first time. I say a few words and listen to her talk then say a few more just to hear her wonderful voice again. Over the next few weeks we talk every day and it is so hard not to rush to see Mom but I have to take care of my last year as State President of the Ladies Aux. for a Veterans service organization. Mom understands because Daddy was a 30 year Marine and she knows how important our Veterans are. Mom calls the morning I am leaving for the State Convention to tell me "I have Loved you since the moment you were conceived." Precious words to someone who never quite measured up to the family they were raised in. Beloved words!

June 8th my husband and I prepare to leave to go meet Mom and my brother. It is a 12 hr. trip and we are driving thru. I forget to bring paper but find something to write on anyway. I want to record this trip. The only trip I have ever taken before to compare with the amount of emotions I feel was when both Ad. parents died in a weeks time. This is not so strange as life and death are so close and I feel as if I am being born anew. I am ecstatic, afraid, tearful, unbelieving. I am on my way, will she like me? I can't believe it has come, is it real or a dream? We drive up in the yard and my brother is leaving in the van for the store. he spots me in the car and wonders what my older sister is doing there. He just talked to her a couple of days ago. He realizes it is Frances and turns the Van off. When he rounds the corner of the van our eyes meet and we both are jolted almost to our knees. I know you! I have known you all of my life! Where have you been? I know this hug. I know you! Mom is standing at the window and I keep saying to him "There she is; There's Mama. There she is!" As I head for the front steps she comes to the door to watch. I reach for the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. Her tearful smile grabs my heart, never to let go. We hug and she says "You're home baby. I Love You!" My head to her chest I hear the heartbeat I heard for nine months that has been missing for 52 years and I know this is not a dream. This is real. I am home! I am Loved without reservation! For eight days we talk and cry. Hug, kiss and Love. If Love can conquer all then the world is mine after just eight days. I learn about my father and feel cheated that I never knew this man who was bigger than life. He dated Janet Leigh, and was the South Pacific boxing champion in the 40's. He was shaving under a palm tree when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He fought in the Korean war and knew Chesty Puller. He pitched a no hitter against Ted Williams. His grandmother was full blooded Cherokee. He and my mother help start Toys for Tots. Memories learned from others that were stolen from me. My heritage is richer than I ever dreamed and it is mine.

My future lies in front of me with a family who are just like me. They walk like me and talk like me. They stand like me and look like me. Even our feet are the same. Brother and sisters,neices and nephews. My life is enriched and every day brings new first. The first time mom kissed me while I lay sleeping. Going shopping with Mom for the first time. Messing around in my brothers shop. Hollering "Mom, brother is picking on me.

The lies my adoptive parents and I were told sit like a canker on my soul and I cry for them that they were cheated also. They thought they had a child no one wanted . They were cheated too. How many more, how many more are out there thinking they were unwanted that have been mourned all these years? How many? How long will the laws stand in place that hide people who take others children? How long will the thieves of children have these laws to hide behind? It has been too long already and it is time for change. It is time to stop the stealing of lives and heritage. Time to stop the thieves of a mother and child's LOVE.

Freehobbit2@aol.com

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I want to tell you all, thank you, ever so much for all the help and support that I have gotten from this GROUP, especially.....my friend, JoAnne, who has been there for me all the way through this. I got an email from someone who says, she is Michaels Mother- In-Law, and she wrote to me on behalf of her daughter. Michael found out 2 months ago that he was adopted, and it wasn't from his adoptive parents. I feel sure it was from his Mother-In-Law, who does geneology. I will let you all know everything as soon as I find out more. He is having a hard time dealing with it since his adoptive parents don't know that he knows. They have been good to him and he doesn't want to hurt them. I can understand that, but I feel like they should have been honest with him and he wouldn't be so confused right now. I will get back in touch with you later, when I find out more....hopefully later on today, since it is 2:00 a.m.. Thanks a million to everyone..... especially... MY JoAnne !!!!

Love you all always,
Ruth Groves

P.T.L.! Thank You Jesus !!!!! ______________________________________________________________________

I would like to thank everyone that has helped me in the aid of our search for our birth parents. I would like to tell everyone Thanks to Jo Anne's information we went to the address about 25 miles away and guess what" WE FOUND OUR BIRTH PARENTS and more of the family" We have to go back tomorrow at 5:30 for DINNER with them ALL. Jo Anne THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE HELP AND THANKS EVERYONE FOR EVERYTHING.

Lots and lots of big hugs to everyone,
Bobbie and Jeff

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IT'S SO NICE to be "around you "guys"! I was just thinking how nice it is to read the adoption journal I get every day. I can't say I'm keeping any of you straight yet, but I do enjoy your stories, and the enthusiasm in this group just bursts right through the moniter! I foud myself today (my 2nd week in) looking foward to reading the digest, not just happening to read it along with my mail. I'm not actively searching right now, but I feel comfortable with you around, and I just wanted to say thanks!

LAD1964

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Hi

It's just me Tracy Boeder from Albany Or, writing to let you know that I just found out tonight 3-4-03 at 6:30 pm that I am a perfect bone marrow match for my brother, Ron Hawley, who was adopted to another family. God is good, I pray that he will continue to bless this event in a positive way.

Thank you for all that you have done and may God continue to use you and bless you to do his work.

In Christ T. Boeder and Family

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Joanne

Sorry i haven't called. I have spoke with Tim and all the info seems to add up. I sent him a pic of me through email and he said i look like his moms side. (Marin). everything seems to add up. I don't know how i can thank you for this. He is going to see his father first and try to get some answers. I believe in my heart that i have found my family. And its because of you. and there is not enough words to say how i am feeling right now. Alaina

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Joanne, I just have to say thanks for the phone call. You have no idea what this last week has been like. I talked to my mom over the phone Saturday and we have been e-mailing each other every day. I am going up to Ohio in May to see her. This is wonderful new chapter in my life!

Andrew

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Joanne, He is coming in two weeks and Kim is so excited I think she is more emotional right now than I am. I got to keep a pic of him she had and my God I look just like him. I also got some background info on the others children but they never knew about me. My birthmother denies ever having other kids beside them, she is remarried and her husband doesn't know about her past so we are going to leave her out of this. My Birthfather has been searching for me since 1993, amazing thing is that is when I also started searching for everyone. He has had so much guilt all these years for letting me go but he was not married to my birthmother so he after two years allowed my a parents to get me. I told him I grew up well and that since my birthmother rejected me that maybe giving me up was the best thing for me and that he needs not feel he did the wrong thing. He has had a bad past but I will not hold that against him and I told him that. We have talked every 5 hours since finding about each other and we are both so excited. I thank God I came to your site for help and cannot tell you how much you have done for my life. I had so many unanswered questions that I have been able to put to rest. Is there a place on your site for me to tell my story and maybe encoursge the others there that are looking? I also will e-mail you pics of me and him once we meet and wish we could come meet you. I have a Big Hug waiting for you and could not have done this without your help and your site. I love you Joanne!!!!

Donna

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Thank you so much for the work you do to help those searching! I found your site by accident, or what i thought was an accident..but i dont think so anymore. I know now this is where i should have been all along, i found my brother, even better a test said so, but who needed a test when i felt it in my heart. Thank you! Christie Carmany

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I just rejoined this group this evening after a long absence. I left because I had found my birthmother, and had way too much mail. I only kept a few subscriptions, since I do work and have a family. I had been searching for my birth family for nearly 30 years. Then I finally caved in to some friends, and bought a computer. That was about three years ago. I played with it for a while, then started looking into genealogy . I did not realize how many genealogy sites there were. I learned about search engines. One day I searched "adoption". SO MANY! Nearly overwhelmed. I used a lot of different terms. Finally stumbled on to "adoptees searching" That's when I began registering. I found Adoption Database. Hmm! They have a support group! And so I registered and joined. I was obsessed (or so my husband said)! I joined several "groups". I got a lot of help. I learned a lot along the way.......things I did not know before. I thought that I knew what I was doing, since I was a member of a local group for many years, Orphan Voyage in Houston, and had already helped a number of other adoptees find their families, some of them within 24 hours. I was really mistaken. Prior to getting on the net, I knew nothing about non ID, or that you could put a waiver in your and sibling files. Any way, to make a very long story short, I found my bmom and a half brother in April of 2001. According to my half bro. , my bmom and he wished no contact. Boom! what a blow. Anyway, I began to notify all the registries to put me on found status. About six months later, I unsubscribed to about half the places I had joined. Fortunately, Joanne leaves your information on the data base, marked "FOUND" I am so grateful When I came home from work this evening, .there was a message from Joanne on my answering machine. Someone had seen my information on the data base. She was looking for another adoptee. My youngest half brother. She saw our bmom's name. (She was in shock. She knew nothing about me. I have known about her and my other six (half) siblings since about a month before I contacted my half brother.) She contacted Joanne, and in turn, Joanne contacted me, verified info. Then Joanne contacted her, gave her my e-mail address, and my home phone number. About 20 minutes later, my half sister called . We spoke for about an hour and a half. Wow! She gave me her phone number! I have sent her some pictures of my family. Now I'm waiting to see who I look like.The door has been opened instead of slammed shut. We are going to take it one step at a time. Thanks, Joanne, for being there!

Annette

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JoAnne.......HI! WOW! WOW! WOW! Our first reunion was nothing short of Fantastic! We spent 3+ hr with Melissa, her husband and both of Melissa's parents. Everyone had such a great time talking & talking that we hardly got any photos taken! Not only is Melissa and her husband two of the finest people you would ever want to meet, but her parents, Linda and Ed, are two people that should be nominated for sainthood. How two people (aged 65 and 70) can take care of not only a lively adopted 10 yr old son, but also are foster parents to a four yr old girl and a 2 yr old, especially with Linda battling cancer, is hard to imagine!

The only thing that could have made last night any better would have been having Rosalie there with all of us. Linda asked us to keep her informed on the progress of finding Rosalie, because it would mean so much to her to have the opportunity for Melissa to get to know her blood sister. Melissa said that she felt so at ease with us that she would probably end up contacting Tess sooner rather than later! We all can't wait to get together again, there is still so many things to talk about. JoAnne, I can't thank you enough for the joy that you have brought into my family's life with your efforts. Last night was a very memorable event. I have attached a couple of the very few pictures that we took.

Thank you again, oh so much!

Love & Hugs,
RoseMary

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JoAnne,

Thanks to you and all your research you can now proudly mark us as FOUND.

I have searched my house upside down and inside out trying to find your phone number every since my little sister Sherry and I got off the phone from talking with each other.

I must really be having one of my senior moments!!! (ugh)

It was really Great !!!! FANTASTIC!!! Super!!!

Really no words are adequate enough to explain how it felt for me to finally talk to my baby sister after almost 32 years of no contact with her at all. She was only 5 years old and now she is 37 years old and a fairly recent new mom.

I don't have caller ID so I wasn't able to get your # that way.

I tried calling Lisa to see if she had it, but she wasn't home.

So as a last resort I'm sitting here on cloud nine writing this e-mail when I'd really rather be talking on the phone to you letting you know how things went.

Thanks again for all that you have done for us. Great big TX size hugs from me to you.......... You have certainly made my Mother's Day a Great One even if I am only the big sister.

Linda reunited by phone with b-sis 2/13/1964

P.S. How should I post to the group????

I'm so over joyed it's hard to think straight........

Thomas Haley

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Hi, I just joined this group and have been so fortunate to be able to personally talk to JoAnne herself and she has helped me so much. I am scared and curious and would love to hear from anyone who has any possible information that matches mine. Thanks so much!

Amanda

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Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know that Sean (my son) called again on Sunday. We talked for 2 hours. It was so easy to talk to him. He told me he looks forward to looking out for his younger siblings. And will make sure to screen dates for the little sister. We are planning to meet on Sunday, but we are both so excited that I am not sure if we can wait. We live in the same county, so anything is possible. I know how very blessed I am that things are going so well. There is someone in my corner up there. It appears that the Aparents are supportive and have offered to be with him when we meet if he wants them there. They have truly raised an amazing young man and I have told him to tell them so.

JoAnne, what can I say...words will never do justice to the door that you opened for me. I pray that all of you searching will be blessed as I have been. As always, if anyone needs assistance in S. Florida or a question about Catholic Charities, feel free to write me privately or through the list.

Dana

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Hi JoAnn

Just thought I would send a little note. Sorry everytime you have tried to talk to me I was busy, but so many things are going on in my life right now and now another very important thing. That of course wouldn't be if it hadn't been for you. I really can't thank you enough JoAnn. That void and empty space is not there anymore!!! I can go to sleep at night and not cry anymore. I know the story and I realize I was much better of where I am today. But I am still pursing a relationship with Pam and even more so with Lynda, my sister I never knew I had. I always wanted, but had a best friend in place of that for all those years instead.

I hear you might have found Ann Maries family too maybe?? That is great, I don't know how you can do this, but it is so wonderful. God, I really don't know what to say except the biggest thank you for completing my life for me. I wish I could help you in the same way, but God is helping you and so is your daughter by being able to help other people like us. Thanks again so much!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love.
Lisa

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More Testimonials on Page 3

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