Has Your Reunion Changed You?

I’ve been thinking about this project a lot lately – mostly out of guilt because it has been laying nearly dormant for quite a while now – and I know that it’s time to get back to the work at hand.  I won’t bore you with the gory details of my hiatus, just suffice it to say that I’ve made some pretty big changes to my life and lifestyle in the last few years, and those changes have really monopolized my time and attention – in a good way.   However, this morning, one of my daughters jolted me to action:  she had posted a thread on Reddit about my Adoption Reunion and sent me the link so that I could reply to some of the questions.  One of them really hit a chord with me:

Has the reconnection (with her birth family) caused any major changes mentally to your mom or grandma?

Honestly, it changed everything for me, in ways I never could have imagined. Every Thing. Clear down to my core self-image.  I like who I am now. It sounds so silly, but that’s a big deal – to like the person you are, and not need other people to validate you, your abilities or your choices constantly. It made me so much more confident, and clear about who I am and what I want in this life. It’s been 7 years now since my reunion, and in that time, I’ve gained the courage to make some huge, critical changes in my own life. My daughter (who posted this thread) probably doesn’t even know how profoundly my reunion affected me, and consequently her and her sisters. I’m writing a book – working title is Little Circles.

There’s a lot more to my answer than that, but that’s the nutshell version.  I know that it took me a number of years to be able to see the changes my reunion made to me, and likely I will continue to see changes as time goes on.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had this experience either, so I thought it would be good to pose the question here:

How has your reunion with your birth-mother/family changed you?  

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Promises to Keep

Alexis W. ~ 68.100908

My sister, Patricia Jean Perkins gave birth to a son at White Shield of Portland in 1968 or 1969.  I did not know for a few years about her having this child and giving him up for adoption, but when the same man, James Amauba, got her pregnant the second time, she did tell me about the first pregnancy.   At that time she also told me that part of the program was that she was not supposed to see the child when it was born; but she did see the child and it was a beautiful boy.   She told me that a very nice couple supposedly adopted that child and one of them was a doctor and either had connections in Africa or was going to be in Africa for a while (the paternal father of the child, James Amauba, was an African).

When she got pregnant the second time by the same man, she was determined to keep this child.  This time I found out about the pregnancy and supported her in any way I could.  She finally told me about the first child when the second son, Aaron, was born.  After that, I would find her outside many times over the years looking up at the stars and telling me “he was up there.”  She and James had 5 children (including Aaron).  My sweet sister just died at the young age of 62.  James was deported back to Africa many years ago and Patty raised those 5 children all alone and they are all wonderful marvelous people.  All she wanted was to know that her first son was OK and that he knew she loved him deeply.

Can anyone help me reunite this family? I have tried all the on-line avenues and they are a hoax, they all want your money and offer you no information.  I sat with my sister as she died and I have to find this child.  He needs to know he has a chance to meet 4 sisters and a brother and that his mother loved him more than he will ever know.  How in the world do you chase a dream and the unbelievable commitment I have made to my sister?  Any help would be so appreciated.

Thank you so much ~ Alexis Warner

Dishes & Ice Cream

Laura M ~ 68.071113

Back in 1968, at the age of 18, my mother gave birth to a baby boy at White Shield in Portland.  She remembers the routine of her daily duties, a dishwasher was her chore she chose to do.  She was in a room with 5 other girls and she remembers that the girls went by their first name and last initial.  She mentioned that they had Sundays off and she and several other pregnant girls would walk down the hill to the market near by and get ice cream cones.  She has never had or attempted any contact with the little boy, but remembers having about a hour to hold and rock him before he was taken away; she watched out the window as they took him to a car and drove off.

Ten years later she had me, and I always wonder what it would be like to have a sibling because I am her only other child.

I write this asking for a few tips, on who I should contact or what website might be helpful to assist me in maybe locating information about the little boy that is my half brother.

Thank you
Laura M.

Looking for Brother

V.T. ~ 40.070726

I am just beginning the process of trying to locate the son that my mother relinquished for adoption in the early 1940’s.  She stayed at and gave birth at the White Shield home.  I did not learn about this child until after my mother’s death in 1989.  It was, sadly, something she could never have disclosed.  What prompted my search was the book The Girls Who Went Away.  I was so moved by the words of both the mothers and their children that I felt compelled to find the child, even though I could no longer talk to my mother about this event.  There is no doubt in my mind, however, that the birth and relinquishment of this child changed my mother’s life immeasurably, irrevocably, and in ways that none of her other 6 children and her husband (who did not know about the birth) could imagine.