Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Lovely if Surreal Conversation

Thank you!  Had a lovely if surreal conversation earlier this evening…

This day I was blessed to witness serendipity at it’s finest. A birth mother who gave up a precious daughter over forty years ago had a lovely if surreal conversation with her child. It actually was surreal for both of them. The first conversation though, was between the daughter and me, to set up the phone call between the birth mother and her daughter. Their phone call was a private conversation between the two of them, so they could become acquainted and establish the beginning of a relationship that will enhance each of their lives. I anxiously waited for my friend to call me with the details of how it went.

Six years ago my friend mentioned that she had given up a daughter through adoption and that she would love to know how her life turned out. A list from an online index provided twenty-five possibilities, girls born on the same date in the same place of birth. Oddly enough the daughter’s original birth parents are on this list and she is listed under the name her birth mother gave her, as well as her adoptive parents and the name they gave her. The birth mother was encouraged to place her name on a statewide registry for adoptive parents and children, so that if the daughter did the same they could be reunited.

My friend still wanted to come to a place where she felt comfortable searching, so we waited. Her husband and daughter knew about this child and supported her in the search. Then in February of 2012 she came to my home and we mapped out what the process would entail. After calling and talking with a county worker who focuses on adoptions we found out that the adoption papers were signed in the neighboring county, so we created another list of possibilities from that county and found thirteen more possibilities. We also created a list of the deaths in that state of girls who were born on that birth date, of which there were eleven, but none from the two likely counties.

Another important discovery in February was the obituary for the birth father. He died when the daughter was about 4 years old. There is important information that will help her to contact his family in the future.

After more discussion with someone else at the county office, my friend had to sign a document and have it notarized to authorize the release of non-identifiable information about the adoption. Once that was received in the office, the worker discovered that the daughter had signed a release for contact information almost twenty years ago. On Saturday my friend received a package from the county office that she had to sign for. Within this package of documents was the release of contact information form with the adoptive name of her daughter.

With that one important clue we were able to determine where the daughter is living and her contact information. Another friend of mine assisted me in locating the current telephone number and a few more details. By nine at night I was ready to call her, but there was a three-hour time difference so I waited. In the meantime I did one more google search of her married name and actually found a document that had a picture of the daughter and her husband. All of this information I shared with my friend. She requested that I make the initial phone call, which I reluctantly agreed to.
First call, message machine and I left no message. Second call, message machine and I left a very vague message. Third call, message machine and I left the message of who we were looking for and that she had placed a release of contact information in her adoption file. Within a half hour she returned my call and we had a lovely if surreal conversation. It is a bit odd being the intermediary party, but I was thrilled to make this connection. She was amazed when I shared with her, by email, every detail of the information we collected about her. To ease her mind I suggested she visit my blog “gopher genealogy” and look at my profiles, which she did as we talked. Then I provided her with the birth mother’s phone number so she could call her.
When we hung up I called my friend to alert her that she would get a call a little later that day and to please call me when they finished. It seemed like a forever wait, but when she called it was like having a refreshing spring rain fall down upon me. Goose bumps and tears of joy for both parties and their families are reward enough for sharing in their serendipity moment. There will be further contact and I am sure my friend will share with me the journey that lies ahead for them. Just for the peace and contentment found this day we have all been richly blessed.


  1. You are a kind, loving friend, Susan. :)

  2. What a great story, Susan! You have given your friend and her daughter a very special gift that they will enjoy for the rest of their lives.

  3. Wonderful - amazing - and, as you say, surreal! Thanks so much for sharing this happy story. What a wonderful friend you are ~