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Dimples & Adoption
Dimples & Adoption

Episode 17 · 2 years ago

Ep 17: "What she tackles she conquers". As an adoptee, Kitt made the impossible possible.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to dimples and adoption. It is not every day you get to hear an open adoption story from the perspective of a birth mother and her biological daughter. Dimples an adoption tells a unique story through the eyes of two strong women who were determined to be in each other's lives. Not only will they have covered their emotional stories, but create a platform to share a variety of adoption stories from guest speakers. This episode is intended for mature audiences and contains content and may be triggering. Hello everyone, welcome back to dimples and adoption. We are on episode seventeen and we have a special guest today, Kit and I'm going to let Rachel introduce her. I'm so excited to have this guest on today one because she's a friend of mine and an will coal worker and to she's an adoptee and together we kind of shared our journey and when we work together. So I'm really excited about this and there's just going to be some fun twist in it because, starting right off, I know kit as share, so you're gonna hear me call her share and in her story she's going to explain why she decided to change her name and I just can't wait to hear your sorry, you're ready to go. You ready to share, I'm ready to go. So, yes, I met Rachel. That had to be wow, like early. It's been over ten years. No, over ten years, yes, and as we got to know each other, Rachel often would share her journey and her story about placing Hannah for adoption. And one thing that you might not even remember, Rachel, is this is so clear in my mind. You came to me right before like your twelve birthday, Hannah, and she because I have a daughter your age, and she said I need some help. I'm sending her birthday gift and I have no idea what tweens even like, and so we painstakingly went over options and what stores twelve year olds like and then she picked out all these things and then she had to bring it to me and say, is this okay? Do you think to like this? And it was really so sweet. So I feel like I've known you, Hannah, for a long time and so it's super cool to like actually meet you. When she would share pictures of you and when she had a visit, she would share about that and I was just always so impressed by her journey and her story and how positive and beautiful it was. So what a cool ending and that's so cool. Yeah, it's crazy, just like I feel like so many people have like been on this journey with us before we even knew it was going to get to this stage. But it's kind of like it was always unfolding right. So I live in Minnesota and I was adopted in California, and this was in the mid s. So it hasn't changed much as far as openness of adoption. You would think that California would be pretty liberal state, but in regards to adoption they are actually about the strictest. So I had what was called an open but confidential adoption. So my birth mom wanted to meet the family...

...that was going to be adopted and so they met, but then there was no names exchange and there was no contact after that. So they didn't know any other information. When I was adopted, I had a kind of a rough start in the hospital. All basically, I guess how fast forward and then come back today I know my biological family on both sides and so that is kind of where I have heard a lot of these stories from. That I'm going to, you know, talk about as far as who my biological parents are and what their story is and why I was adopted, and I know that because I have found them, and so that is part of the journey. But when I was adopted, my birth mother shared with me just how horrible it was for birth mothers, and so part am I healing also, Rachel, was hearing how supported you were and how different it was and what a complete one hundred and eighty and how much trauma you reduced just by the experience you had with your birth and so, yeah, it was really a rough start. I guess I spent about two and a half weeks in a hospital throwing up because they were feeding me too much. I had a really small stomach and I had failure to thrive and basically my birth my adopted mom said, you know, I'm either going to move her to a different hospital we're just going to take her home, and her doctor okayed for them to release me and she started feeding me how of feedings around the clock and that seemed to take care of it. So yeah, it was kind of a a rough medically for myself. So I would all over the country with my adoptive family and I always thought, always thought about my birth family, like it was constantly on my mind and I always had questions that I always stare in the mirror and think, who am I and where are you and are you missing me? I mean it always had such strong feelings about this and when I was growing up at that time it was almost like an a shameful thing to not have had your own children and to be adopted, and so it was a very clear message that I was given at a very early age that you don't talk about this, you don't share about it. Once in a while I would ask a fleeting question or it would be brought up in our family, but we really weren't allowed to really explore or express feelings about it, and I remember friends of mine would their parents would be getting together and sharing birth stories and my mom would just act like she birthed me and it was just like so hard because I just wanted to scream that's not true. And definitely we were we were told, you just don't share this with other people, other people won't understand and and I'm sure that you know in her heart she was protecting me and in some ways I think she was protecting herself to from that shame or embarrassment or difference or questioning. So I was pretty quiet and really didn't share about it. When I grew up, when I did ask too many questions, I kind of got shut down to I would get things like she had her chance, she made her choy.

But as I got older I would come across situations where I was able to express that and I found really creative ways to express that and to at least acknowledge to myself that I'm not crazy. These are real things, these are normal things to hear and feel. And I know what one time, when I lived on the east coast, because we moved around a lot and it was our very I shared this with Rachel. It was our very last day of school and then we were moving to Chicago and I said, what the Hell, why not? I'm in I'm in fourth grade and I'm going to let it fly. And I told somebody on the playground that I was adopted and they were just shocked and they were like did you guys know Sherel's adopted, and and then another person would ask me and I was like rock in my glory and I'm like yeah, yeah, I was adopted and I'm gonna tell you all about it. And by the end of the day everybody in that school and on the school bus knew that my brother. I had an older brother who was a year older than me, and he was the rule follower and quite shy and knew that we were adopted. And the first thing my brother said he told the but we were adopted, and my mom was mortified and and re iterated that this is not something you shared. I like, well, we're moving and I wanted to tell and I just remember feeling so empowered and it was a great moment of my life. Like yeah, I do the same thing. Yeah, because I wasn't a secret, but I was encouraged to not tell people all the time because I was using it to get attention and it was like my parents were like you're going to get stuck in conversations. You don't really know how to navigate if you do that. But I did it all the time. H and you do get a lot of attention. I got a lot of times. I thought you did. You shocked him one and I just was milkin every ounce of it. I just want it so fit's who you are. Share and even in fourth grade. I mean, yeah, I'm surprised it took you to fourth grade because you don't nobody tells share not to tell her story. So I'm very prong that was amazing. That was amazing. And then when I went so then I did selectively. I would selectively tell people here and there. And then when I moved to Chicago, I befriended a neighbor and we had to have been a bike eleven and I found out that she was we started talking about it because she told me she was adopted and her family was pretty open about it. Well, we had this plan, we called it our shoe box plan. In a shoe box we were going to put all the things that we needed, a flashlight, of course, because you need a flashlight to find people, right to run away. We were going to run away and find our birth families and we talked about it every day how we were going to be. We were in the shoe box plan club. Well, that didn't quite work out, but we ended up moving to Minnesota and I went to high school, I graduated, I went to college and when I got to college I was started to be in a social work program my second year into college and you know, they talked about things like this and I was really kind of working through other things from my for my childhood. Trauma and adoption came up and I really really had this burning, burning or urge that there is this hole within me and I need to find out who I am, I need to find out where I came from, what the missing piece of my story is. And so then I did start really asking my...

...mom questions because through internship at a social service I found out that, oh, they're like, you just have to go down to the Court House and you can fill out paperwork and request and as long as you're over eighteen, you can get information about your birth and your and they'd try to match you up and they try to actually contact them and it's it's like open by consent, is what they called it. And I was so excited and I went down to that courthouse and I talked to the people and they're like, Oh, you were born in California, this doesn't apply to you. You would have to contact the people in California, and so I did that. I contacted the people in California and they said, basically, shut me down. We can still hear you, I can't believe California is so strict that I did not know that. Yeah, so I when I called the courthouse in California and got finally to the right person, and you have to understand, this was really before Internet, this was before cell phones, so these are like long distance calls. Is Half my search was and she said it is closed adoption. The only way that you can get access to your information is if you have a superior court judge who will see you and you have a valid reason to unseal your records, and that never happens. You got to be kidding me. No, so I was devastated. She said, you know, she gave me some other contacts of like lawyers that could possibly help me. Now I'm like twenty years old and so of course you know what am I going to do, but she said the more information you have, like about your adoption, the the batter. So I called adoptive mommy and I, you know, started I said, I'm doing a paper on adoption, and I started asking her more about was it closed, was it open? What were the details? And then I started getting upset and she said now, is this really for a paper or do just have questions? I said I actually have a paper, but I'm more so I have questions, and then she got the anger again. That woman doesn't deserve you. She was not up at night with you, she was not there rocking you when you were sick. She is not putting you through college. She does not deserve you and you're just going to set yourself up to be rejected again. Just let this go. But nobody tells you what to do, nobody that bridge, that's a tray and adopt is because same, yeah, yeah, just breaks my heart susickly. What I learned is I need to do this alone and I'm not going to get anything from her and I had to find forgiveness for that and understanding and I proceeded. But it was a long time. So that was when I was like twenty. I found my birth family when I was thirty six. So it took that long. I feel like you found your birth family when I was working with you, isn't it true? It was right before I found my birth father. That's right. Okay, yeah, I found my birth mom when I was thirty six. I found him five years later. Okay. So so the next step I took was I got married my husband and I planned a trip to California like one of my I thought I just want to start with, I want to see where I was born, because I had never been back there. So my my adoptive family always wouldn't even tell me what hospital I was born in.

They said, well, we like to think of you as being born as Disney like and because from the hospital you could see fireworks, and so we just like to think of you as being born at Disneyland. My mom was a big garage sailor. I was convinced she got made to grade. So we went to my birthplace, the happiest place on Earth. We went to Disneyland and it was very happy and I checked out where those fireworks were going and I like googled and looked and searched in the phone book every hospital in the area, like what hospital could I have been born in? And I did contact one of those lawyers when I was out there and he actually was very compassionate and very kind. He gave me some resources, but he said, yeah, this is going to cost money and it might not be the ending you want, but at least he heard me and that felt amazing. So took that all in. Kind of let things go for a while, knowing what a hurdle it really was going to be, ended up having my own first child, which was so healing and so amazing because that was the first blood relative I'd ever gazed at and that was incredible. She's turtles like telling me, yeah, sorry, I'm dring of W and it was just beautiful, like you are my person, you are my little magical being. And so Olivia, I mean all my children were that for me, but Olivia was extra special that way. So yeah, that's beautiful. So, I mean there has been a lot of healing along the ways and that is a huge part of who I am and my philosophy is that I went through a lot of trauma and my doctor family and I could define myself as all of the hurt and all the trauma, and it's there, it's valid, it's real, it's something I have to overcome, it something I have to recognize, gived homage to and respect, but it doesn't define me as a whole. And if I just focus on the pain and the hurt and the trauma and the sadness, I would miss out on all the beautiful nuggets that I have and continue to have in my life, and so I part of my stubbornness is also refusing to be a victim and refusing to define myself as all of my clouds or who I am, because clouds are just weather and behind the clouds there's always blue sky and the weather comes and you let it go by and you always hold onto that blue sky is there, and learn that from one of my yoga teachers. That this is why I always went to share all the time with my problems. So add my child, I had my second child, my son Charlie, and I went back to Grad school to become a counselor. And Wow, you go through a counseling program bat to in and of itself is a soul searching journey and it just kept coming up that this is something I need to do. The Internet came out. That was my ticket, that was my gateway. All of a sudden I could Google adoptees, adoption search, who are you? California searches, and that really was the start of this. So I found this whole under...

...ground network of kind of warriors, these searched warriors that search angels, and their whole purpose was to work with people under closed adoptions to help them find their birth families. So I found a gal and she goes easy peasy. I got this because what they did is they would purchase and buy all of the California birth records for different years and different counties, and so although I didn't know what hospital I was born and I did know what county I was born in, and so they can kind of narrow things down and then they can use your name and they can, they can find like your birth name and the records. I mean it's an illegal process. Yeah, it's legal because you can purchase these things with a license. So they did that legally. They weren't supposed to divulge the information, but that's why they were warrior angels. So the woman says, no problem, I can find hundred bucks, I can find your birth name. I said okay. She found my birth name. It sounds like a stripper name because my name was baby girl Vang and baby girl was my first name and Vang in was my last name, because when they didn't have a name for you, they named you baby girl or baby boy. Then that was my running jokes. My name is baby girl and she goes bang and that's a really not a common name. I'd say another no more than three hundred dollars. I can find your birth mom. Okay, for sure. She goes, okay, give me a hundred dollars down, I'll I'll find your birth mom's name and will I can complete the search from there. I'll stick with you till we find her, because that's what I do. We're not in it for the money. And then really that was very cheap. So I said okay, and I started to just get excited, so excited. Then she called me back and she goes, well, I have some bad news for you. I thought she was going to maybe say that my birth mother was dead, because that was what I was my biggest fear was. She said you're not a Vang and you were named banging because your birth mother was divorced. She that was her first husband's name and you are not her child, his child, so she never changed her name. She's a Smith. I don't do smiths and I don't mean to be negative or crush your dreams, but I don't think you're going to find your birth mom and it's going to cost you thousands of dollars and many years if you do, because then so common crushed. Oh, I was crushed. She said, I can, I can point you to some other people, but I personally don't do smiths, I don't do Johnson's, I don't do Peterson's. Like she said, there's just millions, there's it's it's like finding a needle in a haystack. She goes, I can lead you to some other people that might so she gave me, you know, in the details of all this aren't like super clear, but she gave me to another group of people and I found this woman. I remember her because her name was rocky and I and she was so cool and she was such a warrior and she just said, Oh, I'm not given up and I don't even charge. Let's do this, honey, and she goes to you just gotta know that this is going to take every day and this is going to take time, but I don't this is what I do. And she heard my story. I shared my story about trauma. She was like a golden angel to me, like the like this person in my corner who...

I didn't have to explain myself to, that was on for my cause. The weird thing this is like a weird little tidbit, because I don't really am not like to into like I believe in Psychics, but I'm not too like heavily involved in that or or put a lot of energy into it, even though I feel like there's a lot of validity to it. But there was this like, I don't know if you ever remember, I'm the radio in our area, was a woman named Rut of the great yes, yeah, she was a psychic. You would call in or type in, like you were, questions and then she would take some of them. And so I I said, I'm on the cusp of a search, a very long search, for my birth family. Should I find my birth mother? And she accepted it and she called me and then it was live on the radio. She says it's not a matter of should you, it's a matter of you have to, and I'm going to say that you have to, and you have to right now, for medical reasons, do this, and that's all she would say. So I'm like, okay, now, what the heck? Okay. So that kind of was like my blessing. So this rocky person said, okay, the first step is you can fill this form out, and no one had told me this either. You have the right to non identifying information and that's going to be key information to your search. So I filled out this form and I turn and I mailed it, because that's all you do, and mailed it and they sent me back like six weeks later this non identifyifying peace and it was the most information I'd ever had about who my birth parents are. And it told me her age, it told me her height. She was one, just like me. She had one blue eye one green eye and she, it said, of Irish, English, French, Canadian French descent. I never knew anything about they didn't have DNA and me back then. HMM. It told me that she was a waitress at a a a bar and grill, and that my birth father was a cook grill at the same place and that he was five three and that there weren't any other children and that's about it. But that was gold and that was like so much I like read and reread and read and re read. It also had a key bit of information. It said at the time of my adoption, my birth mother was engaged to a man who was not my father. That was critical piece of information. So rocky went to town. She found out that my mom's name, full name, she was Barbara Jean Smith. I don't know if that was that's fine, thought it was her name. They gave me her birthdate and they told me what hospital I was born in. So I was able to get that information to so I am the the search angels and one that told me the name, but the non identifying information told me what hospital I was born in. So that was really critical too. So she started searching and searching and we went back to that first name banging, because that's a person who could be easy to find and men don't change their name, and what if he could give us more information? So I found him, we found him, we found this...

...man and I called him and he was like this alcoholic sweet man who had a wife and the wife was so kind and they were so helpful. Hmm, can you still hear me? Yeah, okay, they were. I just can't full. I can't help listening. I can't. I not even questions because I'm just in a tramp. Helpful because they full me. He told me, yeah, we were married like at eighteen. Yeah, kind of screwed that one up, he said. We divorced a year later. Didn't work out. Now I got this wife. She tolerates me a lot better. I've got kids. Yeah, I've got a drinking problem. And he said, I really wish you were mine. I really wish you were I would be here for you, and I'm here for you and if in any way because you're your Barbara's daughter. So then I talked to him a long time. But what they did tell me is they told me my grandparents names, because I said tell me anything like any other relatives, any other information about where high school they she told me that she went to like kind of an alternative high school, that she was an only child. That was big information that we've learned her grandparents names and what state they lived in. He said that he thought that they were in a home in Washington state and that's where he was. So that was huge. So we searched and searched for these grandparents. We found out they had passed. We couldn't find any other relatives. But what we did find out through records, just going off of the divorce records of the Vegan and the piece, that she was engaged to another man. We found the other man, oh or second we found they found the name of the other man because they searched marriage records. Okay. So they found a Barbara vange and with her birthday. Now this is all like unconfirmed. Here say this is what they think, but there were too many things that matched. He they he she married a man named James Pierce. Okay, now we were looking for pierces. She was married to this man named Pierce. Maybe they had other children. This is something to go on. So, and this is like six months, nine months into my search. So this is daily phone calls back and forth, sending for records everything, and back then you couldn't order things online, even though there was an internet. You had to like send forward certificates and for a marriage record. It was really difficult and very slow. So we looked and we looked and it basically she fell off the face of the earth. We couldn't find her. We couldn't find this James Smith, James Pierce. So then rocky called me and she goes, I got them, I got them. He's deceased. He died in a motorcycle accident a couple years after they married. I found his obituary. So she combed the obituary and they had no children. That's what we are kind of hoping for. If they had another child. That'd be another person to search for. So then I'm feeling like, oh my gosh, this woman, she got married at eighteen and got divorce. She had given this child up for adoption. She got married to another man. He dies in a motorcycle accident. What else? What else could have happened? I. Where did she meet my birth father? All these questions. So we couldn't find her. We couldn't find her. It took about, I'd say it was another eight nine months. It my total...

...search took a little over a year and a half. So we couldn't find anything about her. Barbara Pierce, then. So then she turn me over to another search angel, a good friend of hers named Connie, and this woman is one of my dear best friends and she lives in Washington and we talked all the time and she got on it and she is fierce. She's just older lady. She's retired now and she is fierce and just daily, daily, searching, searching. She was on board to take over once we got a like current name and location. So this person, this rocky person, on a whim said, you know, California, people get married all the time in Vegas, let's check Vegas. So she got on it and she found a Barbara Pierce with her birthday. They got married to Kenny Hendrickson. So she goes. I think we found her. She married a Kenny Hendrickson. So then Connie helped me take over and we were in contact like daily with I'd get a list of names of people that potentially could be her and we were looking for a Hendrickson, California, Washington State, Vegas, Oh, you know, all that area, not knowing this person could have moved to Hawaii for all we know, but we started there. There wasn't anybody that we found in Vegas by that name. So I would get a list. I made hundreds of phone calls every day. I would get, you know, home from Grad School and I had babies and I would it was my nightly ritual. My husband would be there and I had a list these are the names I'm going to call today. And I had a list of questions. Where were you born? What was your father's name? Did you marry up man named James Pierce? Did you marry a man named County Hendrickson? Did you have a baby that you gave up for adoption? And well, when I got to like, you know, about the third or fourth question, people would say no, I'm sorry, honey, it's not me, you know, and I basically said I'm searching for a lost relative. I didn't tell them you know who I was. Some people hung up on me and I was always afraid that one of the hang ups are one of the know it's not me. was her not wanting to be her. So that was always a fear. I always knew it was possible, when I got to the right question, that they would say, I'm your mom, do not contact me. I had a whole speel that I was going to say when I got to that point, when I found her, where I'm not when. I'm not wanting to intrude in your life. I was fact that you probably have another family who may not know about me. So I was always ready, but I was never ready for that one phone call that it was going to be her, because I had called three hundred people. There's a lot of freaking Barbie's in this perfect this country with that birthday. So one night, whole day in January, I made my daily phone calls and I got to did you marry a man named James Pierce and she said yes, I want Holy Shit, I'm like to my husband and like give her co over here, go here. She said Yes to number four and I've said, did you have a baby you gave up for adoption in the s? Yes, Oh my God, my Internet just want to unstable.

No word. So I went into my speel. I just got numb and I went in. My heart stopped. I went into my speel. I understand that you have another life. I'm not here to harm you in any way. I just wanted to make contact with you. I've thought about you my whole life. I understand that I may be a secret. I'm not here to harm your family. Oh, they have no about you. It's my daughter, my first one, and I was like, Oh my God, hit's you, and she said, oh no, they all know about you. She goes, you've got a baby sister. She's nineteen years old. She's been crying for you and giving me hell about giving you up for her whole life. You better call or when I get off the phone, because she still so mad at me and went to talk to me the longest time. When I told her, I told her when she was eleven. She said how dare you, how dare you give away my big sister? And I'd always wanted a baby sister, always, and here I am, thirty six years old with a nineteen year old baby sister. And she said, I kind of expected that you would call when you were like in your s and when you did, and I kind of figured that maybe you just let me go and that would be okay if that's what you wanted. I said, I never let you go. I just couldn't find you. And it was so, so beautiful, and my God, my first mom. You think I'm feistyll. She is like tailor and a little body. Yes, full of vinegar and Feisty as hell. And what I learned was she had copd really severely and that was the medical urgency. She was on our stygen and doing okay, but but pretty medically fragile. I talked to Kenny. He's a gruffle man. Yeah, okay, yeah, it's cool. So the phone and my phone rang and it was candice, my little sister, and she was crying and happy and I was just like, Oh my God, I love you. She says, I love you. Here. She knew about me my whole life and I never knew about her. And so then there was a lot of high emotions, high feelings, reeling heads, reeling hearts, back and forth, phone calls, exchanging of pictures. She went through and she sent me a big packet of pictures. I got to see pictures of my little sister as a baby, my my mom, I got to see pictures of grandparents, aunt's, uncle's. My sister looked just like me and that was like. So it was like looking at myself and my mom looked just like me. She's just this little thing. But it was overall, we just couldn't stop talking to each other. There was so many phone calls. So we planned a trick my whole family, we were all going to go out to California in June and we were going to unite in person. So we planned our trip and during one conversation, my mom said, I've got two things I'd like to share with you if you'd like to know. One is, do you want to know what your birth name is? I said Yeah, she goes. Okay, you better sit down for this one. Okay, she goes, your name's Kitten,...

...and I said Kitten, another stripper name, because I was in the hospital with a really best friend and she was pregnant and she had her baby and she got to go home with her baby, and I had my baby and I didn't go home with my baby. And I named you kitten because you were my missing kitten and I'd always talked about my missing kitten, and so that's why I reclaimed that name. And when I did get divorced throughout a year ago and I was able to change my name for free, and so I took on the name Kit and I took on my birth father's last name. So in that was hugely I mean, besides kind of I mean I had a very good marriage and at the end things happen and it was a very healing thing for me to change my name in and of itself, but what you had change it to. I didn't want my adopted name back, so I claimed that and it was really, really powerful. And so, yeah, my name is kit and then I read named my Middle Name. I changed it to summer because I was born in the state where it's always summer and I love summer so much. So Kit Summer is my name. So that is the first time I got to hear that story. Yeah, Beau, I was wondering where you came up with kids. So and then the other thing she said is, do you want to know who your birth father is? Well, yes, it's like the unspoken elephant in the room that you don't dare ask. We were first starting to get to know somebody and she says, okay, I'll tell you about him and I think you should find him because he would want to know about you. So I'm going to tell you about him. His name, James Eber, was his middle name. And she said we she kind of confirmed the story of the Little Bit I knew. She goes. We work together. So he was married at the time and he had a crazy, crazy wife and he had left her multiple times, but he lefter. He worked at the place that I worked at and we fell in love and we were together and I he's a very good man and he loves children and he had some children with one of his crazy ex wives and we would go to a hotel together sometimes and meet up with his children. He'd have visits with them, and so those were my siblings. She knew my siblings from my birth father's side and I tell my my sister from my Dad's side, my birth mom met you and she goes. I vaguely remember that. I remember going to a hotel with my dad and and they're being a woman there and she was nice. That's wild. So I probably have, I think, one of the craziest birth stories. So, so then she said that they they dated and she found out he said, I need to go back to my wife, like he was feeling guilty. I need to go back to my wife, I need to try to find and make sure my children are okay. And so what does she do? She loves him, she lets him go. She meets another guy, James Pierce. They get into a car accident and they had only been dating like a week or two and in the hospital she finds out she's pregnant. Um, I know she could, couldn't? She didn't want to...

...go back and tell him because he had made his choice to go back to his wife. She said he loved children so much and he had so much hurt about not being with his children. She knew that he would fight for me and she didn't feel like that was best for me. So she chose not to tell him about me. So he came back. Actually, she got engaged to the to James Pierce but she told him she didn't think it was fair to start a marriage with someone else's child. She knew she was not in a place to provide a steady or stable home and she thought the most loving thing she could do was give me up. And I never had any anger or hate for her ever about that. I was really Phil I don't feel at peace. I didn't feel at peace with my story because I didn't have enough information to make peace out of my story. But I never felt anger towards her. I felt hurt that my adoptive mom was angry at her. HMM, that felt bad. But so she was pregnant. She wore a wedding ring, although she didn't want to get married until after the adoption. She wore a wedding ring because you just didn't walk around pregnant in the s without a wedding ring. And my birth father left his crazy wife again and said, damn it, I got to go back and get the good one. I got to go back can get the one that is meant for me. And he walked in. She was eight months pregnant working. He looked at her, he looked at her belly. He did not know that was me and that was his. He waived her wedding ring at her, at him and he turned around and walked away and they never talked again. Well, stop it. You can make a movie out of this, I know. Or this is my plan for you, is to write a book and call it the shoe box plan. Oh yes, always wanted to write a book, but I never had a title. There we go. I asked me that shoe box plan. Okay, I'm right there. Book. So I wouldn't make a fantastic movie too, anyway, document. Yeah Right, I can play my mother. So she said he would want to know about you if you find him. You know, I don't want him in my life. I have my own life now, my own family, but I think you need to find him. So I put that on hold because I just found her. You know, it was enough information. So we flew out to California and it was the most amazing trip ever. It was every day processing crazy amounts of information. My little sister was very shy, but we had some really tender moments with each other. We are now the closest of friends. I am so close to my both of my sisters and my two sisters on each side, but my my little sister, my older sister who I found later, they talked all the time too. We have plans that the three of us will meet up. That's like the next thing. So it was really like amazing. And so we went home. They loved my kids and the plan was that we were going to go back again at Christmas. So back was in June. We went and we planned another trip at Christmas. We would go out and spend. I got to take agree. Okay, so I don't know where I left off. Your turning on Christmas. Okay, thank you. So we yeah, we had planned to go back out at Christmas. So that was all good and we had ongoing conversations with each other and still exchanging, you know, pictures and...

...things. And October I get a phone call from my little sister and she is very upset and she says our mother is very sick. She's in the hospital. This has happened before and she usually goes in and she stays for a couple of days, days and they get her oxygen under control and they release her stop breathing. My Dad wasn't with me. They looked at me and they said make a decision now. We either need to let her go or intobate her. And she says, I know that my mom doesn't want to be intobated, but I couldn't do it and I just said intibate my mommy, and so they did. And she said, but she's very sick and I don't know if she's going to make it and I just want to give you the opportunity if you want to talk to her or come out here. I said ask her if she would like me to come out, and she was conscious but she couldn't talk, but she could hear and nodder had and respond. She said she wants you to come out. I said I will come out, and so I got whirlwind of Friends of mine gave me they're miles and I flew with my then two year old son, Charlie, out there the next day and I spent three days there and she was in I see you, and she was intubated and she was not doing very well and it was very up in the air and they were talking about if they, if she did survived, she would have to go to a nursing home, she would have to stay intibated her whole life. My mother was having a very hard time coming to terms with that. My family had no background like I did in social work or counseling or to know how to do this, and so there was a piece of me that was full of grief and shock and there was a piece of me that had to put on a supportive role and help them with some big like information. Like I went and got hospice involved and they came in and I remember them asking my mother, do you want to go home? We could take you in an ambulance, we could take you home and we could get let you hold the cat and you can die at home. And she just cried, I don't want to die, and so we said, okay, then we'll just we will, we will do what it takes to have you live. You're not ready, it's your choice and we couldn't have conversations back and forth, but there was so many sweet sign language is going back and forth. She would point to canvas and she would make a hearts signal and she would make a belly, like a pregnant belly, and she point to me and she'd say that you're my heart too, and and I just told her many, many, many sweet things that I always loved her and that I don't feel anything bad are negative about her, that she is so beautiful and I'm so blessed to be there with her. And at the end she she started getting pretty upset because they were trying to like they couldn't get lines in her to feed her, and she was upset that I had to go, but I had it to take it back and I said I will still come back at Christmas, no matter what, I'll come back at Christmas, and she said Yeah, just just go. I think it was really getting hard for her to have me there and feeling all of that and she was, you know, basically she was dying. So I left telling her that I would be back, that I...

...promise I would be back, and then I loved her and my sister my Stepdad and got on a plane and by the time I landed in Minneapolis she had gone. I'm so sorry. And that was just, Oh my gosh, the grief had so many levels, so many levels of grief. Fought so many levels of peace for both of you, for both of us. And yes, and I was able to do a similar thing with my adoptive mom. I had not seen her very much the last, you know, years before she passed, but she passed last December and I was able to get there and spend the night with her alone, just her and me and my dog, and I said similar thanks to her and so very much came to terns with peace and said that she pulled my adoptive mom, that she was the best small we ever was a good mom, and then I loved her and then I know she was messed. So Yep, absolutely blest, blest that I was able to be there for both of those times. So I did go out at Christmas with my family and I had a Christmas with candice and Kenny and we have seen each other every sometimes this every couple of years canvas has been out to see me. I was just out there last June. I was out there the January before and we go out regularly and see each other. She's got two kids. I flew out when she had her first child. I flew out and stayed with her and helped her and so definitely I gained a family for sure. So I didn't do anything about my birth dad for a good five years because I just needed to grief my mom and I wasn't ready. But I got Connie on board. I said we're have it up. I'm ready. That took a lot less time because men don't change their name. He didn't really leave the area that he was in and she found him fairly quickly and the first conversation she had with them I think he had maybe have been drinking and he was kind of gruff and she goes, I don't know, I'm not feeling like this is something we should pursue, and she goes, but I don't know. But then he he contacted him again and just gave some more clear, more clear information why she was contacting and when he got finally clicked, because he didn't know about me, finally clicked about my birth mom's name, he says, Oh, Oh yeah, I never should I let that one go. And he said yes, I want, I want to make a connection with her. And so all of a sudden he got on the phone and I had a sister and two brothers and he got on the phone with the sister and he says, you know, I can never give you a good mom but I found your sister. Oh she was on the phone wicked. He Split. Oh my God, Oh my God, your are ours. Your ours like welcoming and she's and I was like, oh my Gosh, you want me, she goes. Anyone want to come into this crazy family? Come on, and never never doubted my story. They never doubted my lineage. I was there's, I was there's. Well, then we exchange pictures and I was...

...there's these people, man, these are my these are my clan, huge clan. All of a sudden I was inundated with an entire tribe, like an entire tribe. I'm like a great great aunt. That's crazy. There's all these children and cousins and right after I made contact with them, unfortunately one of my brothers died of an overdose, so I was not able to meet him. I've not yet met my other brother, although we are facebook friends and that's definitely on the tablet. He's kind of a loner and but I have been very welcomed by him and at some point there that is on the docket to make that trip and it is definitely in the plans for the sisters to reunite to I've been out to my sister's many times, very big family gatherings that are surreal. Sometimes I had to step back and take breaks from that. Like this is like a lot of family, like I'm really not used to this because I got to go to target for a little while. That's the part I remember at work when you would come to work and you're like I when you just said I found my people. That's which you can I think I found my is definitely also been, you know, like blips and blurps and imperfections and mistakes made, and that's part of family life for sure. But I have been very given so much grace and acceptance in that family and through our trips out there, my daughter, my oldest daughter, Olivia, decided to go to school there and so she actually lives with my niece and her family and she is they had just engulfed her and took her in and I never had to worry about her at college because he had all these amazing, wonderful, loving, hearing people to care for her. And now my youngest, who seventeen, is talking about going to school there as well. So yeah, that's became cool circle. That's so cool. So it is really cool and I feel like you Mongus, holes I've been filled and even just finding my birth mom, just these big crators of space of nothingness were filled, just filled and complete and I can't even describe. Even though there was a lot of sadness and some tragedies and some blips and blurps and mistakes that have been made, there has been so much healing and it is such a gift and one I will never take for granted. I'm speechless. I couldn't stop crying. I didn't even know the fullness of your story is so touching and moving. I couldn't stop listening. I feel at this point in time in the interview there was so much to take in that I don't really want to answer a bunch of questions right now. I almost feel like we have you back on to answer questions. I love that idea because, yeah, I was taking notes, just like of make when you took a break, where I was going over some like parallels with like those strong feelings and stuff. But yeah, that was I think we're all going to. Everyone's gonna be on that edge of their seat like what, wait,...

...what? But yeah, and even like just that, the concept of that that missing peace, so like you're who you are in an identity. Rachel and I talk about that a lot and we're just talking about that hovering feeling when you don't have the answers. It's always there. It's always like, but I have someone out there that looks like me. Maybe they talk like me. You know, it's all if you don't have that like connection or the answers or something that there is something like tugging at you. And I don't know if everyone feels out her, but and I think it's if we come back on to I mean, I just think to like the story of when I met my birth father as a whole, nother segment. I mean that in and of itself too. Yeah, I will have you back on and I have I have a handful questions and I just want to embrace the story. It was so beautiful. You were so brave and it just fits your personality. You don't give up ever, and I love it about you and I every part. Every person you met in your story embraced you and wanted to take you under their wing. And it's so and they blood or not blood, it was right. Even the the drug first husband wanted me made me cry like that. Sweet is so sweet. Yea. So is there a would you like anything to say before we say our group eyes, and just to let her audience know that we will have kit back on. I just think that the one last thing I think I want to I feel like should be said about my my birth father, is he also passed about a year after I found him. And Yeah, he he passed of a stroke and I only met him in person one time and that was when my little sister had a baby. I intentionally stopped and Salt Lake to meet them and I just remember this little old sailor looking man holding me and shaking and crying and saying I'm sorry, I didn't know about you, honey, but I love Ya, and just not knowing what to do with that. But I was very blessed to know him as well and had some very, very tender conversations with him, and when he was in the last days of his life, I was able to skype and talk to him and my older sister said he definitely was hearing me and smiling and happy, and so that that is part of the piece as well. I feel like your entire life was planned out beforehand. Oh Yeah, they you were meant to be a social worker, you were meant to be a therapist, you were meant to have all these tools in then, even your personality. I mean, I just your survivor. I can't wait to see what I'm supposed to do next. Yeah, I just feel like you're this little like fire, because like a little fire stick and you will go into life and you just change everyone around you and make something like beautiful and gracious and like. That's like you suffered a lot, but you just have this gift in your heart. It's so beautiful. It is definitely have my sad, Downer days, but I tried not to stay in them long. Yeah, we kind of have that Easter well, thank you so much. Thank you. I was really nervous...

...to do this, so we we did so sound nervous at all. Yeah, that's beautiful. Thank you for she happy, Happy Easter, and we look forward to hearing from you again. Yes, thank you for listening to our podcast. Please reach out to us as dimples and adoption at gmailcom.

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