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WORKING TOGETHER TO UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF ADOPTION

My name is Jodi Dominguez, and I am birthmom to a son born 7/21/1983 in Plantation Florida. His name is Shawn and I've contacted him (Jan 12, 2004) but haven't heard back yet. 
 
My story is when I was 15, naive and stupid I had unprotected sex and got pregnant.  I didn't know I was pregnant until I was 5 months as I was still menstruating during the pregnancy. 
 
Anyway, my parents said under no circumstances would I be keeping this child and they found me an attorney.  I didn't know better at the time, I just did what they said. I went into labor one day at school - summer school as I missed a lot of school during the year with morning sickness (had I only known!).  Shawn was born at 32 weeks. He weighed only 3 lbs 15 oz. I never got to see him or hold him. I was always told it was better that way.
 
Now that I'm an adult and a parent, I believe what I did was, in fact, the best thing I could have done for him.  Early last year, something inside was nagging me to start looking for him. I think it was all the fighting going on and the fear deep down that he was over seas fighting and, God forbid, killed and I would never get the chance to lay eyes on him, or know the young man he had become. 
 
I searched for about 8 months on my own and found nothing. I eventually hired a PI and had his name and family information in 2 days. With that, I did a lot of research on my own. I went to his high school and looked at his picture in the yearbook. We have the same smile. He is a handsome young man. 
 
In searching, I also learned he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy at 11 months. I was devastated.  I should have been told so when I have children of my own, we could watch out for it. Nothing. They never told me. Luckily, I went on to have 2 more boys and 2 girls with my wonderful husband of 12 years. 
 
I did have a friend of mine contact the adoptive mom and let her know I was here, and if they needed medical information I would be more than happy to give it to her. I wrote everything down and sent it in a letter.  I never heard back from her. I guess they aren't ready yet and I have to respect those wishes.  I waited 2 months and sent Shawn a letter. Now I wait again.

My Reunion:
 
Feb 17th - Finally talked Adad, will set up first meeting either Thursday or Friday.

Feb 18th - Longest day of my life!!!

Feb 19th - Waited and waited for call from Adad about when we would meet. Drove to Ft. Lauderdale from Tampa. Arrived around noon.  Called adad at 5pm to see what was up. He said we would all meet (adad, me and bson) on Saturday... Sigh.. I've waited this long, what's one more day?  He will call me tomorrow to set up place and time.
 
Feb 20th - Received call from adad around 4p.m. He asked how my day was. Told him I was out shopping to try to distract myself...what a coincidence, he was too. We were at the same mall so we met for coffee!  He hugged me and we talked for over an hour.  He was so nice compared to the amom (they just divorced). He asked a zillion questions and so did I.  We hugged again and agreed to meet for lunch with Shawn at noon the next day.
 
Feb 21 (meeting day) - Noon couldn't come soon enough. I was sweating. I kept saying to myself, just breathe and I thought of my sunny sisters who were behind me with smiles... just breathe they say. We were meeting at the cheesecake factory at the mall. I parked on the opposite side so I could relax as I walked across the mall. I stopped at 3 restrooms on my way to check my hair and to look at myself and say just breathe.  Noon, I'm here. Finally.  I look around for adad... no sign. I sit outside in the veranda... waiting... waiting... waiting. It's 12:30. OMG, ... they aren't going to show... 1 p.m. still no sign.. how long do you wait before you consider it a no show?  I'll call. Better not. I'm sure they are stuck in traffic. Fine, I get up and go call. They are running late. Thank god.  fifteen minutes later, adad arrives. Alone.. I panic. He says Shawn wanted to drive by himself. another hour goes by... GEESH! he's killing me! Finally, the adad looks at me and says... look behind you. There he is. Such a man. He looks just like my other kids. He's tall.  We hug. He brought a friend along who is also adopted. Mostly for support I guess. We all went inside and had lunch... The guys talked about girls and the party they were going to tonight. It was like I had been in his life forever and we were just having lunch.  After an hour or so the adad and friend leave. Shawn and I stay and have dessert and finally get to talk. He didn't have any questions.. said it was "weird". He's been looking for me for a while too he says.  We compare similarities and share stories about our lives.  At 5 p.m. I walk him to his car and we say goodbye. He asks, so, when can I call you??? I about died! I said ANYTIME!!! he is so sweet. He loved Madison, my youngest. He says she looks just like he did as a kid. He asked if he could hug her.. and she let him. I smiled and took pictures.  I got in my car and started my 4 hour drive back to Tampa.  My husband called around 8:30 to say, Shawn just called to see if I made it home safe. How sweet is that?  He gave him my cell number and sure enough, he calls me to say Thank you for today... he really enjoyed it and he hopes we can keep in touch! Are you kidding??? OF COURSE!!!!!  I'm such a happy woman.