Reunion Revisited-We are Friends!

September 26, 2003

It is time for an update to this page. As I sit here with tears on my cheeks, I am remembering all the encouraging, poignant and heartbreaking emails I have received from many women since I created this page and I hope my reunion has helped some of you. My story is still a successful one; my birthdaughter and I are still friends; I miss her terribly but I no longer panic if I don't "talk" to her weekly. We have both had life altering experiences as one does when they are part of a family; children are born and grandparents pass on. In spite of that, I feel she and I still have a special bond. Her mom told her that and I believe it to be true. I would hope someday to be able to go and see her again, perhaps meet her sons but if I never do, my heart is calm. I got what I wanted-she has a great home and family and my one and only birthchild is happy and loved. As her 40th birthday approaches in a few weeks, I will be thinking of nothing but what a great person she is and how I love her and the woman who made her that way, her mom.

The Original Story...
February 13, 1998

This is a pictorial story of my first visit with a daughter I had given up for adoption in 1963. A young woman who had always remained an infant in my mind and heart. A young woman I never expected to see face to face but through God's good graces and International Soundex Reunion Registry, I got a call on May 5, 1997 that has changed my life forever. We spoke for the first time at 7pm on that day and now I feel like I have known her all my life. We have similarities and personalities that have to be genetic and it is amazing to discover that fact after all the time and distance apart.
Me at the door
Imagine....our very first time face to face and she stops to take my picture
as I open the door! (I could have at least made that bed!)

As she arrives the second day, I decide to surprise her by taking HER picture! She brought an armload of picture albums and we spent hours looking through them. I felt like I was meeting everyone around her through those pictures. Her mom and dad, brother, grandparents and in laws. I just couldn't quit looking at her---my chin, his eyes, my freckles. We spent part of this day going to the movies like old friends. We also went shopping one afternoon while I was there. Imagine, 7 hours in a mall and all either of us purchased was some nylons!

Mary, her mom and I
On Monday we all got together and had a wonderful visit. We talked like we all were long time friends. Her mom told cute stories of Mary growing up; it is obvious she is very proud of her daughter (and rightfully so....)

Eileen, Jill and me
I made a very dear friend in Eileen while I was preparing (emotionally) to go to California. Here I am with her and HER reunited birth daughter on the day they joined us for lunch. Imagine, three redheads in one spot!

Mary & me One of the nightmares for a birth mother is the knowledge that her child may not have had a good life. Her mom is so open and loving that any fears I may have had evaporated.
Mary herself reflects a wonderful childhood, good religious background and family values. It is a tribute to this woman that she has instilled that in her daughter and they both made me feel so welcome in their lives!

The three of us
I feel like I am the luckiest woman in the world!!!

Jeep We are all familiar with "all good things must come to an end" and this day did, too. I didn't want her to go and couldn't resist taking this picture of Mary and her mom getting ready to leave at the end of the day. The tears that overcame me were both of joy and immense sadness. Joy that all the dreams I had for her came true and my prayers answered and sadness, well.........
She is beautiful inside and out and I feel privileged to know her!

Shortly after we reunited, Mary wrote a tribute to my mother. (Scroll down to Rhea's name.) Her birth grandmother, Rhea Ebbelaar asked about her until the month before her death. She would have loved this young woman. I maintain that this reunion may very well have been orchestrated by my mom from heaven!

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Once there were two women who never knew each other;
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.

Two different lives shaped to make yours one;
One became your guiding star; the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life; the second one taught you to live it;
The first one gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name;
One gave you a seed of talent, the other gave you aim.

One gave you up; it was all that she could do;
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears,
The age-old questions through the years-

Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling, neitherjust two different kinds of love.



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