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WORKING TOGETHER TO UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF ADOPTION

In 1999, shortly after the birth of my second child, I received a computer as a gift from my father.  He told me he wanted me to be online, that I needed to get into the 20th century before it was over.  LOL....he was 65 and more technologically inclined than I was at 32.  So, I signed up for an internet service.

My mother has always said that I've spent my whole life trying to "work out" my feelings about being adopted.  Anytime I had to write a research paper in college (as a psych major) or in graduate school (social work) I always researched some aspect of adoption.  I probably became a social worker because I am adopted.

So anyway, of course the first word I ever typed into a search engine online was "adoption" and BAM!  I was hooked.  Hooked on the internet and hooked on searching.  I quickly found the site called Children of Hope for searching adoptees whose parents had used Helen Tanos Hope as their adoption attorney in Florida.  I was a child of Hope.  Sounds kind of nice at first....until you read the site.  Records thrown away in a dumpster, whisperings of shady dealings, adoptions out of Mexico, all kinds of crazy stuff.  I thought "Whoa.....I've always had my birthmother's name, I figured if I ever wanted to look her up it wouldn't be very hard..........."  Right?

Wrong.  Four and a half years later (we are now in 2004) and I have still not found Ms. Joan McGowan.  What do I know besides her name?  She told Mrs. Hope that she was 21 when she was pregnant with me.  She told Mrs. Hope that she was a high school graduate.  She told Mrs. Hope that her family was of Irish/Greek descent.  Is any of this true?  I don't know.  I can't find her.  No one can find her.  The search angels have been searching for her for four and a half years.  They find other people's birthparents.  They search marriage records, criminal records, school records, hospital records, I don't even know all the stuff they can do but they work miracles and they reunite families.  But somehow Ms. Joan McGowan has eluded them. 

Because I was born in Florida I have no access to my records.  I have to rely on search angels to help me.  Because I was actually adopted in New York makes it even more difficult.  They don't open court records unless you have a really good reason.  Am I dying?  No.  Is one of my children of my children dying?  No.  Do I want to know why I have blue eyes, attached earlobes, an irregular menstrual cycle?  Yes.  Do I want to know if I have to be concerned about cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and other medical maladies regarding my children and me?  YES.  Before I had kids it didn't make much difference to me what the future held.  I only had to worry about myself.  Now it matters.  NOW IT MATTERS!

All stones have been unturned.  4 1/2 years is proof enough.  I need my adoption records to be opened.  And even that is not a guarantee that I will find Ms. Joan McGowan.