THINK ABOUT ME?
This is the question my adopted
friend Nicole secretly asked herself many times growing up.
For her there was a definite curiosity about her biological
mother whom Nicole would try to visualize. What did she look
like? Does she have my smile? Did she have other children? Is
she out there wondering if I am okay? All these questions that
no one seemed to have an answer for or seemed to want to
I met Nicole when she was 18
years old. We worked together in a salon in NJ. At 19 and
unmarried, Nicole had a baby boy. One day we were talking and
she made the comment to me how strange it was to have someone
around you that was a true blood relative - something
she had never experienced her entire life. I asked
her to explain. She explained she was adopted.
I then proceeded to ask her if she
was curious about her biological family. She said "Yeah,
I guess." To me, at first, it seemed as though she didn't
care all that much but her comment about her son, made me
Nicole said she really didn't even
know where to start looking and was afraid to ask her parents
for fear it would hurt them in some way....I suggested asking
them and I would help her start looking or see what has to be
done. A few weeks later Nicole told me she found out she was
born in Florida and adopted in NY.
She was brought here by the lawyer
of her aparents on a plane. Her parents said they had no
other information about the birth mother or anything they
could remember that would help. We spent the next 5 years
gathering info and picking her parents brains, writing letters
and dealing with two states, Florida and NYC. She/we finally
got a computer and started talking with everyone and anyone
with ideas on what to do next. SO FRUSTRATING!
I personally couldn't understand
an adoptee being denied rights to their birth records! My
biggest shock was seeing how many people were searching, not
only adoptees but birth mothers and birth siblings. Who
made these laws anyway?? These people want to be
found and want to connect. But the road blocks are huge. As a
non-adoptee, I know how important is for medical history
and a feeling of heritage and where you come from and there
are hundreds of thousands of people being denied that
simple right to know.
Through a few lucky breaks and
determination, Nicole did find her Birth mom Dianna. Nicole
called Dianna who we located in Wisconsin..The call went like
this,,,"Hi may I speak with Diana?"
"Yes, this is
"Hi, Dianna, my name is
"Yes?" Dianna replied,,,
"Dianna, may I ask you
if Florida means anything to you??"
Dianna replies, "yesss"
"How about June 72??"
Dianna replies, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSS"
Nicole says, "Heyyyyy,"
then starts crying... lol
Dianna was thrilled to hear from
Nicole saying over and over again, "MY GOD, MY GOD, I
was hoping and dreaming that one day you would came
looking for me!" She informed Nicole she had two
half-brothers who always knew she was out there and the older
one was going to help his mom look for his sister.
One year later, Nicole
decided it was time to meet Dianna...They had logged hours of
phone and email time sending pictures and getting better
acquainted. Dianna had even written a beautiful letter to
Nicole's parents letting them know how much she loved them and
thank them for raising Nicole and she understood they
were her parents in every way shape and form.
We flew to Wisconsin and met
Dianna and the boys at the airport. It was an awesome
experience to see and be involved in.
Nicole presented Dianna with a
picture album of herself growing up and every milestone.. Leaving
the few pages blank, Nicole told Dianna they were for reunion pictures
and Nicole's wedding pictures that she wanted Dianna to
attend here in NJ the next year.
On this trip Nicole learned so
much about her biological family, family stories and history. Even
lots of important medical information. Dianna has numerous
health issues and for such a young woman walking across the
room was exhausting for her.
One year later, Dianna came
to NJ to meet Nicole's parents and her sister. Also, it was
Nicole's wedding day so it was cool Dianna got to be
There was one subject that was
never really discussed though and that was the birth
father..Nicole really wanted to know more but it just always
got pushed aside..Nicole wanted to get to know Dianna better
and maybe ask more when she felt Dianna would offer better
Last year Nicole got a call from
Dianna's husband while she was at work. He sounded very upset
and at a loss for words, He said " Nicole, I
have very bad news..Dianna passed away in Texas while visiting
her niece, I'm sorry.".
Nicole was shocked although she
knew Dianna was not very healthy. She never prepared herself
for her dying so soon, so suddenly ..She felt guilty about how
much time was lost during that search. That if she could have
found her sooner or had a relationship sooner she could have
helped her more.
Then again the greatest gift given
to Dianna was that she died knowing what happened to the baby
she gave up and how she was doing and to be a part of her
wedding and sharing so much information that otherwise would
have never been known.