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054 – I Just Want To Sit And Be At Peace

After 52 years in adoption, Mary never had a desire to locate her birth family. Her feeling was they had given her up, so she didn’t really want to share how well she turned out. Still, Mary obtained her non-identifying information in 1999, to satisfy medical history curiosity. On Christmas eve 2017 she emailed her birth mother who replied within hours, and the two were connected. The only thing left was to reach out to her birth father, who didn’t know she was alive.


Mary (00:04): I can tell you that the relationship that I’m developing with her is beyond what I ever thought it would be. And it’s almost like I just want to sit and be at peace with this before I open up something else.

Damon (00:28): Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? This is who am I really a podcast about adoptees that have located and connected with their biological family members. I’m Damon Davis. And today Mary shares her story. She called me from sunny, South Florida, North Palm beach. Mary says she had one adopted brother growing up and she was interested in the details of his adoption story because her family had nearly no details about her own. At the time we spoke, she had connected with her birth mother and was engaged in a slow methodical process of introducing herself to the woman. Simultaneously her birth mother was encouraging Mary to reach out to her birth father because she heard he was ill. Mary talks about her disenchantment with her adopted and birth names and her hopeful excitement about getting to know her half siblings. One day, this is Mary’s journey.

Damon (01:33): Mary was born in Cleveland, Ohio adopted into an idyllic childhood days after her birth. She and her brother also adopted were the children of slightly older parents who got married late. Their mother was a social worker who mostly focused on the needs of unwed mothers. Their father was a NASA engineer and they had a great life as children.

Mary (01:55): My parents gave my brother and me the best life that I could’ve ever expected.

Damon (02:00): Really. In what ways?

Mary (02:02): I mean, we did all the things, sports and, um, and dance and both my brother and I play instruments. And I just feel like my parents were so committed to sharing their lives, but also, you know, making, making sure that we were, um, well cared for and loved. And my mom had, um, as a social worker, she had a ton of women, friends that were also in social work and, um, they would have these parties and all of those people, although they were so much older than my brother and me, they always invited us to their parties.

Mary (02:42): And you know, it was, it was so nice because I really felt like my parents’ friends really cared about us just as much as my parents did.

Damon (02:53): That’s awesome. Wow.

Mary (02:54): Yeah. Yes. My childhood was great. I have no problems with my childhood.

Damon (03:00): That’s good. Did you and your brother ever talk about your adoptions at all?

Mary (03:06): My brother and I don’t have a very good relationship and growing up, it just, he, he and I never really clicked when I look at my friends and their brothers and sisters. I always longed for that kind of relationship because I didn’t have it with my brother. So I would say that I never talked about being adopted with my brother,

Damon (03:30): Recognizing her parents had more details about her brother’s story than her own adoption. Mary talked to her mother occasionally about his journey, perhaps hearing details about his adoption served as a surrogate to satisfy her curiosity about her own story. He was the fourth child born to a married couple who knew they couldn’t provide for him. So he was placed in adoption. All she knew was that her birth mother didn’t even live in Cleveland in 1999, Mary obtained her non identifying information, but only in an attempt to learn some medical history. What she got was much more valuable still. She sat on the information she received. So in total, for nearly 50 years of her life, she had no interest in finding her birth parents. And she didn’t look for relatives. Naturally. I asked why she never wanted to search and, and what motivated her change of heart?

Mary (04:24): I think that very few people knew I was adopted. Um, and the people that I did tell sooner or later, they would get to the point where they would say, well, why aren’t you looking for your parents? If it were me, I would be looking for my birth parents. And I would always say, you have no idea. I mean, you know, they did it out of love and they did it out of their own curiosity. But for me, I just never wanted to find my birth parents. I think I’ve thought about that a lot. And I think the answer is because I, I never really want, they, they gave me up and I never really wanted them to know how great I turned out, which seems backwards, but I don’t know. I don’t know. I just, I didn’t want them, I wanted them to be okay with giving me up for adoption, but I didn’t want to actually show them what I turned out to be it’s.

Mary (05:24): Yeah. So I think as I’ve gotten older and more people have come into my circle, um, and they keep saying, well, why don’t you, you know, try and locate these people. I think the impetus for it was that in 1999, I had gotten my non-identifying paperwork from the adoption agency. And in that paperwork, they described in quite detail, um, who my parents were, personality wise, um, what interests they had. And it revealed a lot of my story, of course not names or anything like that. And so I sat with that information, I mean, 1999 to now, and I didn’t, I didn’t do anything more with it, but in that non identifying information, it indicated that my grandparents on both sides were German. And I had always been told I was Irish. So yeah. So when DNA came about, I, you know, took a few years or whatever. And I finally said, well, maybe I’d like to determine what my origins, my ethnicity is.

Damon (06:36): I’d love for you to go back for a minute and just talk about a little bit of what you saw in your non-identifying information. What did you learn? Because if you held it for so long, it seems like it’s satiated something within you for a while.

Mary (06:50): Yeah. So when I got my non identifying information, it was because I thought that maybe there would be some medical history in that. And there was a little just about, you know, whether or not my grandparents were still alive. If they had died of a heart attack or some sort of cancer. What I, what I found in that information was a description of myself. Um, because my mother was described to a T what I am really, uh, well, her hair color and her eye color are the same. Um, her height and weight would have been the same at the same age. She, she gave birth to me when she was 20, she was described as like gregarious. And I think that those are what people might describe me as. So when I read that, it just, it comforted me. Um, it didn’t make me curious.

Mary (07:53): It just was like, Oh, of course I would look like my mother or my personality would be like my mother. But what was more interesting to me was the description of my father. They described that my father was into horses. It described his father as being a horseman. And for whatever reason, that really clicked with me. And at the time when I got that paperwork, I was more interested in finding him than her. I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t take any action to do that. But when I read through that paperwork, it was reassuring that I looked like my mother, but the curiosity about who my dad was, was more interesting.

Damon (08:41): Yeah, that’s fascinating.

Mary (08:43): I haven’t found, I haven’t actually contacted my father yet, which, which I think is also interesting because he was, he was the character in my mind that I was more interested in finding

Damon (08:57): Four years. Mary imagined her birth father talking about him more than her birth mother, when friends and family asked about her adoption or her birth family, she admits, she imagined a Sandy blonde blue eyed cowboy. It wasn’t until 2017, nearly 20 years after obtaining her a non identifying information that Mary resorted to ancestry DNA testing her results confirmed that she did have some Irish heritage, but her DNA was mostly German and Eastern European. She dug into the heritage features on Ancestry’s platform and it was satisfying to learn those facts since the main reason for her inquiry, understanding her heritage had been satisfied. Mary didn’t even think to drill down, to see who she was actually related to in Mary’s mind. She had assumed for decades that she would never meet any blood relatives. So it didn’t click for her to actually look a few months later in October, 2017, Mary logged in again, just for grins. And she realized she actually had a small group of people that she had a close relation to. She took a few days to message a man on her list, who was either an uncle or a cousin, Mary didn’t tell him she was adopted.

Mary (10:10): And he came back with an appropriate question, which was well, who are your parents? And who are your grandparents? And I thought, well, of course that’s what people would ask, but I have no idea.

Damon (10:21): Mary decided to look for help from her friends on Facebook, in the DNA detectives group.

Mary (10:26): The same day that I corresponded with this guy is when somebody on that DNA detective page reached out to me and asked me if I needed help. And I said, you know, I asked a bunch of questions and this woman was nice enough to say, well, you’re going to have to share your DNA with me. And I wasn’t so sure I really wanted to do that. But then I thought, okay, you’re on here. You’re trying to find out at this point who you might be related to, she can’t help you unless you do that. So I kind of took a leap of faith and I shared my DNA with this woman. In the meantime, the person that I was corresponding with that shared a lot of DNA. We had figured out from the fact that I said my birth father is into horses and he’s from Milwaukee.

Mary (11:19): That guy said, that’s my cousin. Wow. And it turned out that the woman who was helping me on DNA detectives also triangulated to the same person all in one day. So, uh, it turned out in the end that I actually had contact information, um, to my birth father first. Um, and this, this first cousin of my birth father, um, wanted me to call him. And at that time, and even still to this day, I just don’t feel comfortable doing that. But he really, yeah, well, no calling, even this cousin of his, um, so we’ve emailed back many times actually. And, um, he’s given me a little bit of information about my birth father. And then of course, I’ve done a lot of digging on the internet and I’ve found out that my birth father was married and his wife died in 2012. But more importantly, I have two half-brothers

Damon (12:33): Wow what do you think is preventing you from starting a conversation with your cousin. Do you feel like you want to talk to your father first?

Mary (12:39): Yeah. Um, yes, because the more information that I found out, I don’t know if he knows I exist. So I feel like the only way that I could really approach my birth father is to write him a letter, which I’ve done. I just need to mail it.

Damon (12:59): I wondered if Mary had the courage to mail the letter. And she said yes, because her birth mother was encouraging her to move forward. Mary had pieced together some information about her paternal side of the family. As a reminder, she was born in Ohio where original birth certificates were made available to adopt these in the spring of 2015.

Mary (13:18): So I sent them 20 bucks and they sent me back, um, not only the adoption decree, which I had never seen before, but also my original birth certificate. And that’s how I found my mother. My mother did not put my birth father’s name on the birth certificate. She left it blank and I found her second, but I would have had to use the internet to find him.

Damon (13:45): Um Found her second but you connected with her first.

Mary (13:46): yeah. And so I started to, once I found out her name, I started to do a little internet digging on her. And a lot of things were coming back that she had recently died.

Damon (14:04): Some of Mary’s girlfriends were pushing her to reach out to her birth father. If she really thought her birth mother had passed away, but she didn’t follow their advice. And she kept digging online. Mary found an email address for her birth mother. So around Christmas time, 2017, she sent an introductory email to her.

Mary (14:24): And so on Christmas Eve, I emailed her and I don’t, I think I did it because Christmas is a time where a lot of people reflect on the people they’ve lost or the people that have been special to them. And I don’t know, I think I was just in one of those kind of melancholy moods that I was like, well, what if she has died? Then I to know that in order, you know, in order to move forward, finding my father, I’d like to know for sure whether or not she’s alive or not. So I sent the email and within six hours, she emailed me back.

Damon (15:05): Wow. That’s awesome.

Mary (15:08): Yeah. I mean, my heart was just in my throat. You know, I had sent her an email that had a lot of information, but not accusing her that she was my mother. I wanted her to, to sit with the information and say, this couldn’t possibly be anybody else at the end of the email, I just basically said, do you know this person?

Mary (15:31): And if you don’t, would you mind just returning this email to me explaining that, you know, there’s, I don’t, I can’t help you or something. So I won’t be waiting. And the tagline on the email said, when it came back, your mother, Whoa. And I just thought, Oh my gosh, this can’t be happening to me. You know, after all these years when I had no drive or intention on finding these people, and you hear about the stories of people searching for their birth parents for years and never getting anywhere. And here I started in October and by the end of October, I had already found out who these, you know, what their names were, where they lived, that they were both living. So it was just, I don’t know. It was just amazing to me.

Damon (16:28): What did you think her name on your original birth certificate and your own original name?

Mary (16:35): You know, after thinking about this a lot. I think that for me having a name is so important, the name that my parents gave me never really seemed to fit. And yeah. So when I was very little, my parents and all of my family, my cousins and everybody, they called me Mamie, which I think is a version of Mary, but that’s who, that’s, who I was known as. And then when I got to high school, I literally hated my name because it was so generic. My name is so generic that my name was in my algebra book in high school. And I just remember thinking, I just, I hate my name.

Damon (17:26): Yeah.

Mary (17:27): I mean, I don’t feel generic, but having such a simple first and last name, it didn’t make me feel special. Um, and it felt like that it wasn’t really me, um, when I got here.

Damon (17:42): Yeah that is interesting

Mary (17:42): So when I got confirmed in the 10th grade, I got confirmed and I took a name that I fit me, which was Stephanie. And I tried even to get people to call me that. But of course you can’t really do that. Um, so people keep people continue to call me my name. Um, then when I went to college, I actually signed up underneath Stephanie and there were people at my college that knew me from high school and they continued to call me Mary. So that never stuck. Um, and then when I finally did get married, my husband said to me now, are you going to take my last name? And I thought, I just started laughing. Of course I am. I can’t wait to get rid of this name. That to me, just doesn’t even fit. It doesn’t fit me. So to answer your question, how did I feel about seeing my name?

Mary (18:39): I don’t, I don’t know as though it fits me any better, but it’s been for me a very interesting perspective to think about how your name is your identifying moniker and, you know, people think of you by that name. And so it’s very, and now that I’m a teacher and I hear my name constantly all day long, I, it still is such a, it’s such a shock to me because of course it’s a married name. Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s been, it’s been kind of an interesting, um, revelation to see what my birth mother would have called me and what I would have been known as, but it still doesn’t, it doesn’t really sit well, it doesn’t fit. I don’t know. I don’t know what my name is.

Damon (19:34): That was the first time I had ever heard someone say they didn’t identify with their adopted name nor their birth name. As Mary was talking. I wondered how many other people feel a similar disconnect from their own names before we went any further, I wanted to go back to Mary’s birth mother’s email response to hear what she said in return.

Mary (19:54): She said she was scared. Um, she said that it was a huge secret. I started the email with hoping that she was happy and healthy and she confirmed that she was happy and healthy and she kept it very short. But you know, just, just that initial connection, I thought, okay, well, this is going to be a journey. This isn’t going to end with one email considering that she responded so quickly. So we’ve emailed each other every week since Christmas. And I’ve spent a lot of time actually, um, thinking about what I wanted her to know in writing and you know, a lot of people, again, who care about me and love me say, why don’t you just pick up the phone and talk to her? And my response, I guess, is that it feels more intimate to learn about her. And for me to, to write about myself, rather than speaking about this, and I know we’ll talk to each other and I’m sure it will happen in the near future because she, she really wants to talk on the phone, but I think it’s been really nice of her to kind of let this unfold the way I want it, or I need it to be.

Mary (21:19): So I think that it’s been a really sort of cathartic way to introduce yourself to your birth mother, by a, by being able to, um, sit down and really think about what you want to say and not just have a phone conversation where you can get easily distracted or, you know, forget about something that was really important that you wanted to say to her.

Damon (21:44): I totally agree with the catharsis you get from the writing process. Cause I remember when I was writing my introductory letter to my birth mother to send it through the intermediary, I sat there literally took a whole afternoon at work. I didn’t do any work and I wordsmith this thing. And when I was finished, I was like, all right, perfect. This is exactly what I want to say. And you’re right in a conversation with somebody on the phone, you know, their thoughts can travel and tangentially move in a direction that you weren’t anticipating. And you might not have thought about what it is that you want to talk about, but you do get a very intentional process of sitting down to email someone that allows you to say exactly what you want to say and respond in exactly the kind of tone that you want to convey to them. So as to build trust and probably make those phone conversations way stronger in the future, but that is great that she’s being patient with you on that. Mary says her first email to her birth mother after her introduction was solely about herself and how her life had turned out since they parted the next email to her birth mother was exclusively about her relationship with her adopted father and the one after that was about her relationship with her adopted mother.

Mary (23:05): I don’t know if that’s the right way to do things, but I feel like it should give her comfort in knowing that, you know, she couldn’t take care of me and that these two people did a great job. And you know, I don’t, I wanted her to know them as much as she could. And one, actually one of my biggest regrets, which of course can’t really, I can’t take ownership of it, but it’s like, I almost wish that my own mother had, had written her a letter because my, my was a very excellent writer and you know, I’ve saved all her letters. And when I was cleaning out my childhood house, I thought maybe I’ll run across a letter that my own mother would have written to my birth mother and I didn’t. But I think that would have like brought the circle completely.

Damon (24:09): Yeah. To introduce the person who brought you life to the person who cared for you throughout that life. I asked about the circumstances leading up to Mary’s adoption. Mary pointed out that she had lived many years before her reunion. So she had painted an entire canvas of her parents’ scenario that she had to toss out when she learned the truth. Her birth mother never married, never had any other children and has lived in Chicago since Mary’s birth in Milwaukee. Her birth parents were high school sweethearts from different high schools who plan to marry one another one day. Her birth father went to college in Colorado and her birth mother remained in Wisconsin.

Mary (24:50): So I was born when, when my birth father had completed his freshman year and my birth mother had completed her sophomore year. Um, and so she had to drop out of college. She never finished. And I assume that he did, although she has not spoken to him since. Wow. Um, the, the other thing that’s, I think maybe a little different is that, you know, she came to Cleveland to give birth to me and his mother and his father both knew about me, but he did not

Damon (25:31): Really. How do you know that?

Mary (25:33): Yeah. She told me, she said that she had, when she found out she was pregnant, she had tried a couple of times to make contact with him. And, um, I assume back in the sixties, that would have been either a phone call or a letter and he never responded.

Damon (25:52): And you think they intercepted it and withheld the information from him?

Mary (25:57): No. I think that she probably tried to make contact with him at college and for whatever reason, um, she thinks it was because he had a girlfriend at college and, um, he just never responded. And, um, his parents paid for her to come to Cleveland and also got her started in a job after I was born. And through her own words, she says that she stayed in contact with his parents for a few years after I was born.

Damon (26:33): Did you get the impression that she informed him in her letters of her situation? Yeah.

Mary (26:38): I think that she said that, um, there were things that they needed to talk about, but even after all of these years has gone have gone by, she’s still thoroughly convinced. He doesn’t know I exist. Yeah.

Damon (26:52): Mary’s really curious how reaching out to him is going to turn out on one hand. Her birth mother was clear that her birth was a big secret. On the other hand, she wonders if her birth father’s parents could keep such a huge secret for so long, or if they were acting to protect him and his future by concealing Mary’s birth and supporting her birth mother, getting her on her feet. She won’t know the truth until she speaks with her birth father directly. Mary told me her next step was to mail the letter. She had already penned.

Mary (27:24): She’s encouraged me to get up the courage to write to him because as she said, you don’t know how, how long you have, but I almost don’t want to jinx it because I can tell you that the relationship that I’m developing with her is beyond what I ever thought it would be. And it’s almost like I just want to sit and be at peace with this before I open up something else.

Damon (27:55): Yeah. I can hear that.

Mary (27:59): So, cause it’s, you know, you don’t know if it’s going to be good. I have no idea whether this person will respond in a, positive way or respond at all.

Damon (28:10): Yeah, that’s exactly right. You can’t control it. You have no idea how he’s going to respond. If you even are able to make, you know, sort of positive contact with him, but she’s right too, time is short and, and you know, nothing’s guaranteed and it would be a shame for you to miss an opportunity for waiting too long. But I also recognize, and I’m not trying to push you. I also recognize this whole thing is new. Like it just happened, you know, at Christmas 2017, we’re only here in March. It is a lot to take in and you’re right. To sort of want to sit in the peace of having made a connection with your birth mother. Because as I understand it, you haven’t even met her yet. No. Right. So I haven’t met, I haven’t even talked on the phone with her. Yeah. I joked with Mary that she should definitely take her time, but don’t take too much time reaching out to her birth father. She sounds like she’s eagerly, awaiting the chance to finally speak with and meet her birth relatives, including two half brothers.

Mary (29:11): I’m more excited to actually meet them. And I think it’s because, you know, I had such a great father and I don’t have such a great relationship with my brother that have the opportunity to actually be genetically related. Although that doesn’t guarantee a friendship or a relationship. I don’t know. I just, when I see the pictures of these people, I just look at them and I think that’s so amazing that you can, I don’t think I’ll get old at looking at people that are related to me. I have a feeling that when I talked to my mom on the phone, that something like instinctual will happen to me and I will feel very comfortable with her voice. I don’t know. I’m hoping that is like that. I’ll recognize her voice.

Damon (30:05): And that’s a funny thing to do is you’ve, you’ve built up this anticipation now, but the same way that you’re getting catharsis by taking time to write emails, you’re also now building like a huge runway to this first conversation that has a lot of built into it. It’s a catch 22.

Mary (30:24): I know. I know.

Damon (30:26): Usually part of my curiosity and I’m sure yours too, is about how an adopt these parents are receiving their attempts at reunion. But I couldn’t ask Mary that question because her adoptive parents are no longer with us. However, Mary seems to have a pretty good feel for how her mother might have reacted. Oh, you said your adoptive parents are deceased, so you don’t really have a feeling. Did you get the impression, had you ever had a conversation with them prior to them?

Mary (30:53): My, my parents would have been so supportive. I mean, I know that, you know, when I got to be a teenager and I would ask more questions, you know, my, my mother particularly would have been so supportive, um, because you know, she was in the business and she understood that it wouldn’t have been about her. It would have been about me. So I know that she would have, she would have welcomed my attempt to locate my mother, my birth mother. I just, I didn’t, I’m sure part of me never wanted to upset her, you know, as a, as a child, as a teenager thinking I would never want to see or make my mom sad or betray her or any of those feelings that I think a lot of adoptees have. Um, and so I think maybe in retrospect, the wall that I created and the fact that I didn’t feel a need to find these people was sort of built as a mechanism to kind of protect my mom. Although now, as an adult, I look back at my mom’s personality and who she was as a person. And I know wholeheartedly, she would have been in favor of this. She would have, she would have wanted it for me. She would have been excited to know that I could have a relationship with this person and that the person would be so receptive to me is just a bonus.

Damon (32:28): And it’s nice to be able to feel so comfortable in your relationship with your parents, that even in their passing, you feel strongly about how they would have felt about the situation an unfold.

Mary (32:41): Absolutely. Maybe it, maybe it usually takes two mothers to raise a child. I don’t know. This is my second life, right? My birth mother, instead of, uh, instead of my mother,

Damon (32:53): it really is. It’s funny. You, you, you do, it does almost feel like a second one. It’s like you live in, in the year. There’s a before and after, or I think of it sometimes like, you know, a narrow lane down the middle that is your adoption. And then as you start to explore the, the pathway of the highway, sort of expands to more and more lanes where more and more information, more and more color about yourself and your culture, your heritage, your family can be filled in around. Right. So it just gets to be a little bit wider. It’s it’s really interesting.

Mary (33:25): I mean, I think, I don’t know. I think people, you know, the whole idea that there are still so many States that have closed birth certificates. I, I just, I, I think that adoptees have the right to fill out who they are with information and not, you know, I, I, I battled that, like, who has more of a right? The people who gave you up or, or you and I, and I think in the end that it really is down to the adoptee and you know, it doesn’t necessarily, as we know, always end in a happy ending. Right. But I think for, to walk on this earth and not really know who you are, it’s really like walking in somebody else’s, it’s like being an imposter.

Damon (34:17): Yeah. That’s a good one.

Mary (34:18): Feels like that. Yeah. I mean, you develop your own sense of self because that’s what you do growing up. But the fact that you have no connections with other people, I think, I think that that can result in severe attachments or severe denial of attachments. I think you’re, you know, I’ve talked to other adoptees and many of them have no attachments. And when people get close to them, they push people away because they’re afraid that there’ll be left for me. The people that have walked into my circle, it’s like, I hang onto them. So tightly you’re, you’re not going to get away. You’re not, you’re not going to get away this time. Have you ever heard of the song, um, by Savage garden, it’s called. I knew I loved you.

Damon (35:08): No, I wanted to look that up because you posted on Facebook about it. I wanted to, what do you identify with in that song?

Mary (35:15): You know, I often think about when I will say to my birth mother that I love her. It’s kind of like having a new boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s like, at what point do you actually say the words? But I know she loves me. I mean, she wouldn’t have done, she wouldn’t have given me up in hopes of a better life for if she didn’t love me. And so, even though I’ve never met her, I’ve not listened to her voice. It’s like the instinct of loving a person that brought you into the world is just a given. So the whole concept of the song is that you love this person, even though you’ve never met them,

Damon (35:57): wow. I’m gonna have to check it out.

Mary (36:00): And that could be, that could be true of that. And I feel the same way about my two half brothers that I’ve, now that don’t know I exist. And when I look at their pictures, I think, well, of course I’d love them, you know, because they’re genetically related to me. I mean, that’s a given. And I think that that comes from a place of having, you have no genetic relationships with any of the people that you already do love. So why wouldn’t you love these people? Because they actually are your heritage. They’re your, you know, from where you came. So yeah.

Damon (36:40): You share a unique bond nobody else can have if you’re not directly related. It’s crazy. Yeah. Well, Mary, thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you will. One, I’m wishing you luck in that first conversation with your mommy. And when you decide to meet her for the first time, I really want to hear about that. And secondly, obviously, uh, I’m looking forward to hearing about your, your first contact with your father. So will you keep in touch and let me know how that goes?

Mary (37:06): Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve had a great time telling you my story.

Damon (37:10): I’m glad to hear that.

Mary (37:11): No problem.

Damon (37:11): All right. Look forward to hearing an update. Keep me in mind.

Mary (37:14): Okay. thank you!

Damon (37:14): Take care all the best. Bye bye.

Mary (37:17): Bye.

Damon (37:22): Hey, it’s me. Mary seems to be engaged in the reunion process. Very thoughtfully. I really liked how she was appreciating the catharsis she was getting from taking her time, writing back and forth with her birth mother. Sometimes we’re so anxious to open the flood Gates after a long or intense search that we dive into relationships with our relatives. Before we take a step back to analyze what we might need. I had two things I wanted to follow up on. After talking to Mary, the song she referenced and where she was and her relationships with her birth parents, since we chatted first, the song which was called, I knew I loved you by Soundgarden. I looked up the lyrics and I saw a piece that really seemed to reflect Mary’s feelings.

Damon (38:05): When we talked, don’t worry. I’m not going to sing it. I’ll just read this piece. There’s just no rhyme or reason only the sense of completion and in your eyes. I see the missing pieces I’m searching for. I think I’ve found my way home. I know that it might sound more than a little crazy, but I believe for an adoptee and reunion, I could see how those words might ring true regarding her relationships with her birth parents, Mary emailed me with an update. She reminded me that her adopted parents and her birth father suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Here’s an excerpt from her note to me, I had written a letter in late March to my birth father. And unfortunately he has chosen not to contact me so far. I am unsure what to do next. I would like to call him, but am fearful of the rejection.

Damon (39:04): Continuing. She says, my relationship with my birth mother continues to get developed. We have talked on the phone a couple of times and that has been great. She and I text each other every couple of days. I haven’t brought it up, but I am hoping that this summer we will meet for the first time. I’ve told her that if my birth father never responds, I may have to live with that. But that reconnecting with her and how wonderful she has been, has made this process so worthwhile. I know our relationship will continue to grow. I’m Damon Davis, and I hope you’ll find something in Mary’s journey that inspires you, validates your feelings about wanting to search or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn who am I really, if you would like to share your adoption journey and your attempt to connect with your biological family, please visit who am I really

Damon (40:04): You can choose to share your whole story, maintain some privacy about parts of your story, or share completely anonymously. You can find the show at, or follow me on Twitter at Waireally. And please, if you like to show, you can subscribe to who am I really on? Apple podcasts, Google play Stitcher tune in radio or wherever you get your podcasts. And while you’re there, it would mean so much to me. If you would take a moment to share a rating or leave a comment, those ratings can help others to find the podcast too.

Who Am I Really?

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