When I graduated from high school, in 1965, I moved to Chicago, to live with a girl I had met and become friends with in school. She was from Chicago, and had moved back there. I was in a hurry to get away from home and out on my own, so when she asked me to come, I jumped at the chance.
At first, I lived with her and her parents. By then, they were getting a divorce, so it didn't last long. She and I wanted to get an apartment together, but they said she was too young-1 year younger than I was. They bribed her to live at home, by buying her a new car!
So, there I was, with an apartment, on my own. I have to tell you, it was very scary for a small town girl living all alone in the big city! I lived in the Old Town district, which was very lively, at that time!
I was working at Marshall Fields when I met a guy. We started dating. He moved in with me. Six or so months later, I was pregnant. He was not ready to get married; not ready to have a child. So I agreed to give the baby up for adoption. It was a very sad time in my life. I really do not know how I got through it!
I had the baby in October, 1966. We had been living as a married couple, so I told everyone that my baby had died. I never got to hold him, and only got a quick glance at him as I was leaving the hospital.
His bdad and I got married the next July, 1967. When I think back, I know I did the wrong thing by not standing up to him about keeping my baby. It was always between us, on my side, at least. But life went on.
In 1997, I was lucky enough to come by a list of baby boys, born in Chicago, on my sons birthday.
At that time, I had no idea of what to do with the names, except to look them up in the Chicago telephone directory. Besides, I was getting somewhere with finding my brother, and that was taking all of my mental energy!
In January, 1998, when I got my computer, I started posting in all of the registries, joining email lists, and looking those names up in every people directory I could find. For a few of the names, I found so many men with the same name, I was overwhelmed. I didn't know where to start. For one name, I found no one.
Finally, I tracked down one of the men, and called. It was not the right person.
There was another one I found, with even an email address, but he had moved by that time. Eventually I caught up with him. I was almost positive this was the one, but he was not.
I kept posting on registries. I came across a certian registry and posted. Since I had names, the owner got in touch with me. She said she had a contact who could definitely find him, but it would cost me. I asked her to find out how much.
She contacted the person. The next day she emailed me, and said my son was already found, with even his current address and phone number. But to get the information, I would have to send a check. I did so, on a Wednesday, and the person called me with the information on Saturday. My sons name was Frank! So, he was the one. The one who had a few hundred namesakes!
The registry owner and I had talked on the phone several times; she offered to call him for me. I took her up on the offer, because I wasn't sure he would want to see or talk to me. But she was away on a retreat that weekend. I sent her an email with his name and number, which she got on Sunday night, when she got home.
She called him late that night, and then called me. She said that he was so thrilled that I had searched for and found him. I had asked her to tell him that his father and I had gone on to marry, and that he had a sister and a brother. I was afraid of what his reaction to that would be.
He was fine with it. In fact, he was more than happy that he had been found. He asked so many questions, she said, and was just awed by it all.
Then she called me, and told me all about him. It was late, and he had said that he would call me the next day. I was a little disapointed, but one more day was o.k.
He called the registry owner back after she got off the phone with me, and asked if she thought it was too late to call me. She said that it probably was.
He called the next day, and I just couldn't believe that I was finally talking to my son! It was so great!
Frank said that he was married, and had three children. A son, Bryan, 8, a daughter, Megan, 5, (MY FIRST GRAND DAUGHTER!), and another daughter, Caitlin, 4 months old. His wife had also been adopted. She was reunited years ago.
We made plans, and about two weeks later, Frank, his wife, Amy, and baby Caitlin, came to spend 3 or 4 days. In the mean time, we had exchanged pictures, and it is amazing how much he looks like his father, brother, and sister!
The day finally came. We all went to the airport. It was a little bit awkward, but it was like I had known Frank all my life. When I looked at him, I could picture that tiny baby I had left at the hospital, after just a quick look, which was all I was permitted.
Everyone got along so well, and fit together perfectly. It was my daughters birthday that Saturday; mine had been 3 days before. Without either of us having a clue that anything was going on, they suddenly turned the lights off. Frank came in the room carrying a cake, and everyone started singing happy birthday to us! We couldn't have been more surprised! What a wonderful birthday! I will never forget it!!!!!