A FABULOUS day with friends – enjoying the beginning of
Virginia Garden Week! Portsmouth, Virginia is the first stop on the tour!
What GLORIOUS day for a garden tour!!!
Easter morning was different this year. I started the day by texting both of my newly found sisters how thankful I am they have accepted me with open arms! It’s so fun talking/texting/Facebook messaging my sisters. It’s been a LONG TIME!
My sister, Tammy, passed away in November of 1996. I have missed her ever since, and always will. But I’m thankful God brought two new sisters into my life to share moments of laughter, discussions of lessons learned along our journey, and whatever else God has in store. I’m thankful for so many blessings today.
Most of all, HE IS ALIVE!!!!!
As the week progressed, I was given the amazing opportunity to communicate with my birth mother twice on the phone, and my sisters a few times (via telephone, text and Facebook). To say I am confident God orchestrated this meeting would be the understatement of a lifetime. I am confident they feel the same way!
As I explained to my sisters, the news of my existence is about a week old for them. However, my knowing of their existence dates back to my twenty-something’s when I first reviewed my non-identifying papers at social services. Of course, the knowledge of my birth mother dates back to the beginning of my life (51 years ago). It has become very difficult for me to articulate my feelings, as I’m confident I prepared myself (for a very long time) this day would never come. It would be safe to say this week has been unbelievably surreal.
All of my family members are open to meeting (soon), which I will be coordinating in the near future. There are MANY similarities between my birth mother, my sisters and me; I LOVE when we discover each one!
Last, but not least, I was assured my birth mother is completely at peace over my adoption. I shared that my life was AWESOME, my parents adored me, I was provided everything I needed (PLUS a lot more), and I was loved beyond measure.
The journey continues, all in God’s timing….thank you for riding this rollercoaster with me, I am truly encouraged by each of your comments! Stay tuned….
PS. I have seen photos of my birth mother and sisters – personally, I don’t see the resemblance, but everyone I’ve shown them to DOES!
I am happy to report that today was an unbelievable day! I received an email from Mary this morning indicating she made contact with the Richmond office to request permission to provide my birth mother’s information (name, address, and phone number) verbally. She was running out to a meeting, but promised to give me a call when she received a response. I was confident she would (not only because she was dependable and kept her word); remembering GOD WAS and IS in control!
she was ABLE to provide me with the verbal information on my birth mother. I couldn’t believe it! After all these years, I was being given the name of the woman who gave me life! Long story short (after much anxiety on my part; WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU SAY TO YOUR BIRTH MOTHER), I called! She was a HOOT!
My father-in-law teases me ALL THE TIME about how fast I talk – let me tell you, I don’t hold a candle to this lady! I didn’t tell her, but I was doing my best to take notes as quickly as I could! This was my HISTORY!!! After about 30 minutes chatting about both our families, I asked if she and her daughters were “okay” with everything and if she/they would consider meeting one other. She said that would be fine (I was able to quickly provide the exact distance/time it would take to get from my home to her home – yep, already googled and printed – I need to be prepared, just in case!). She asked if I would call one of her daughters (who had been calling every day since last week to see if she’d heard from me!). I decided to make the call on the drive home – and ended up sitting in the Food Lion parking lot talking for about an hour and a half! OH MY GOSH!!!! SHE IS A TRIP!!!! I absolutely ADORE HER and can’t wait to meet her!!!
I have the phone number of my birth mother’s other daughter, but was too pooped and emotionally drained to call tonight. I plan to give her a call tomorrow and catch up on the many years we’ve missed.
The other day, I looked up the definition of the word surreal in the dictionary. I wanted to be sure I knew the EXACT meaning of the word, in the event I needed to use it; this is it: very strange or unusual : having the quality of a dream. I’m here to tell you, today was surreal! Stay tuned for more….
Our Senior Minister, Larry Jones, in his sermon series: Jesus, what you need to know, mentions three ways we can approach our King. First, with membership (example AAA – call when needed, pay a defined fee and receive a service); Second, the State Fair (example Feel Good experience – as soon as life happens, we want to depart); and Third, as a Citizen and Resident (example to LIVE IN HIS KINGDOM – Everything we do is in His Presence for His Glory)!
LORD, please help me EVERY DAY be a CITIZEN and RESIDENT! I’m so thankful to all the faithful members of Northside Christian Church in Yorktown, Virginia!
I thought it was time I provided an update on my birth-family search (mother and two sisters).
If you read my previous post concerning the timing of my decision to search for my birth-family, you may remember my mention of our home fire; which I brought up for a reason. Our home fire was on September 15, 2012 – I completed the request for search application (step 1 in the process) in January 2013 – mailing after it was notarized (Thank you, BETH) in February 2013. The first-stop was Richmond, Virginia. From what I remember about this process in Virginia (it’s been a while), there is ONE PERSON in the entire state designated as the point of contact for adoptees. Long story short, Mary (my social worker in Newport News – she’s step 2) told me she had NO IDEA how Jackie (my social worker in Richmond – step 1) was able to locate my birth mother. From what I was told, which if you think about it is to be expected, the name of the birth mother at the time of the child’s birth will more often than not be different today. Mary informed me that no one could compare to Jackie when it came to adoption research! I think I received an email from Jackie around April 2013 to say she was confident she located my birth mother and one of my two sisters. She provided details on Step 2; the information would be forwarded to the social services office where my adoption took place (which just so happened to be Newport News, Virginia!). That office would make contact; which could take up to 8 months.
In December 2013, I had not received any information, so I called the social services office in Newport News requesting to speak with Mary (the name Jackie provided me in April). I was totally amazed when Jackie answered her phone when I was transferred! I explained who I was and the reason for my call; Mary apologized for being so busy and not getting around to my application – which I reassured her was not a big deal. I informed her that I had been waiting (in a way, but not really) for 51 years, what’s a few more months (not to mention, my GOD was in control!). She called me back a few weeks later to tell me she left a voice mail message on my birth mother’s phone and she would wait to receive a return call. In mid-January 2014, Mary and I touched base again; when she told me it could take YEARS for my birth mother to call back! She told me a story about a birth-father that returned her call 2 years later! Honestly, at that point, I think I let go. I assumed God closed the door and I would trust that HE knew best.
The last week in March 2014, I received a voice message from Mary asking me to call. Although I tried not to read anything into her message, I must admit, I was a tad bit excited! Long story short, she was preparing to write my birth mother a letter (the next step in her process) and decided, on a whim, to conduct a quick search on some new software social services was testing for a month for free. That is when she located my second sister – along with a telephone number. Mary called the number and someone answered the phone (no message this time). Mary asked if the woman on the phone was the daughter of my birth mother and she was. Mary told her she wasn’t able to provide any information, but asked that she get a message to her mother to please call. The sister immediately called her mother and was unable to reach her. In a panic (which any good daughter would have done – I say that because I would panic – ask any of my children), she called her sister asking her to check on their mother. In their brief conversation, she said to her sister, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we had a brother or a sister.” Little did she know what was in store!!!!! My birth mother returned the call to Mary the same day; stating she received the message in December but had just lost her husband and hadn’t gotten around to returning the call.
It was discovered the only individuals that knew about my birth were her mother and her two sisters (and their spouses). My birth-mother made the decision not to tell her father (even though she was married at the time of my conception); her dad was a Pastor and I’m certain she was afraid of letting him down. Everyone has passed away now (including her father), except one brother-in-law and she doesn’t keep in touch with him after the death of her sister. At this point, she was planning to take her “secret” to the grave. I have no doubt Mary was instrumental in helping my birth mother make the decision to communicate with me; spending hours on the phone with her, listening while my birth mother shared her long kept secret story (and cried). My birth mother agreed to tell one of her daughters right away, to gauge her reaction. Her response was of excitement and complete understanding. That only left daughter number two (which she would see over that weekend); thus the reason for a Monday final decision.
I have NO DOUBT GOD was in complete control of the entire situation – actually, my entire LIFE (you see, Jackie, in Richmond, retired a couple of weeks ago – but stayed around long enough to complete the difficult search for my birth mother!; Mary was assigned to my case and she was a God-send (patient, understanding, kind, etc.)!; Mary also made the decision to utilize the free software social services had for one month-resulting in a perfectly timed call; and two kind, sympathetic daughters who I can’t help but think must have been raised by a wonderful mother).
So, the next step in the process is for Mary to notify Richmond (Jackie’s replacement), who will in-turn notify me (in writing, I believe). I assume I will be provided the name and contact information for my birth-mother – but honestly, I’m not really what happens next.
I know my birth mother lives in Tennessee (I don’t know where), one of her daughters lives about 30 minutes from her mother (also in Tennessee) and the other daughter lives in North Carolina.
I promise to provide another update the minute I have more information to share! I am so grateful you all are traveling this road with me. I am at complete peace and have no expectations or fears. MY GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!!
Thanks to my good friend, Sharon Knowles, I am enjoying this fabulous Bible!