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107- From A Place Of Love

David from Columbus, Ohio said he was practically at the front door of reunion, but drove away. Years later he finally found some siblings who looked almost exactly like him, and others who’s genetic connection was undeniable. David admitted he’s not an emotional guy, but the rollercoaster of his adopted mother sparking his curiosity, his fear of what he might face on a search, inaction when he had the chance, and the combinations of acceptance and rejection were a lot to bear over the years. This is David’s journey. 


David (00:08): And like I said, by nature, I’m not a very emotional person. I don’t wear my emotions, on my sleeve but man, this was probably the most emotional thing. And I’ve buried three parents. And by far, this is the most emotional thing I’ve ever done in my life.

Damon (00:32): Who am I? 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 on today’s show is David. He called me from Columbus, Ohio in David’s story. You’ll hear a man who was practically at the door of reunion, but drove away years later, he finally found some siblings who looked almost exactly like him and others whose genetic connection was undeniable. It’s a story made for a book or a movie. Thankfully David has filmed it all. This is David’s journey. When I spoke to David, he was in the process of filming a documentary about his adoption journey. He said that from what he’s heard, he had a pretty charmed adoption. It was an arranged adoption. And he went straight from the hospital to his new home where he describes a fantastic life. His mother was a stay at home. Mom, his father ran a local used car lot.

David (01:46): I had a, you know, just total attention and they showered me with love attention that stayed active in everything. Church, small groups played sports and did everything. So any and everything that I could ever want need think about was provided before I could really even think need or want it. So I was very fortunate in my situation to know nothing but love. And, and, uh, so I was very blessed as a child. And that continues to this day.

Damon (02:19): David said he was an only child. His adopted mother was able to get pregnant one time, sadly, she had a bicycle accident and she was never able to get pregnant again. He said he had people in his life who filled the roles of siblings though. One dear cousin was like a big sister to David. He had a close buddy in the neighborhood, Kevin, who was also adopted, who was also adopted and was like a kindred spirit. And they grew up almost like brothers. They were that close. When I asked about adoption as an experience in his home, he said they only spoke of it twice in their house. The first time was when David was a boy, maybe five years old.

David (03:02): You know, when I was old enough to understand my parents sat me down and told me that I was adopted. And then it was never really an issue after that. I mean, I look so much like my mother that, you know, there was never any, any thing, you know, where wow, you look totally different or, you know, if you didn’t know better, you would have thought. My mother gave birth. It was how much we looked alike. And as far as the love or the thing, it was never an issue, you know, within the family cousins, you know, I mean, it was known, it wasn’t a hidden thing, but it’s just not something you sat around and talked about. It never, never really was an issue for me growing up. And they never made me feel any different. Uh, I would assume this is how, you know, most families are

Damon (03:56): In adulthood. David’s mother fell ill. She was taking care of her personal business and tidying her affairs with her loved ones. That was the second time they talked about adoption.

David (04:07): And then the second time was when my mother was taking care of her business at the end, when she was sick and knew she wasn’t going to be here much longer. She sat me down and I was 39, man. So we, uh, and we talked about it again and that conversation was, Hey, if you ever want to look, it’s okay. There’s a picture of your birth mother here. And you will recognize it when you see it because you look just like her. So, um, we talked about it once when I was five. And then once when she was getting her affairs in order before she departed. So those were the only two times that it really ever came up.

Damon (04:53): What do you think when she said that to you at 39, there’s a picture of your birth mother here and you look just like her?

David (05:00): Well, naturally I really, you know, my thing was, why are we even talking about this mom? You know, what, why, why is this coming back up? And you know, it was one of those boys just be quiet and listen, let me say what I got to say type thing, because I had such love and I never felt like I missed out on anything or never really. I mean, it was always in the back of my mind and the not knowing, but I never felt as if I was missing out on anything. So, you know, it was kind of one of those things, why are we even having this discussion? And, uh, but she had the foresight to see that later on, you know, as I got older that I may want to, and she just wanted to let me know it was okay with her, that from me not to feel guilty or not to feel any type of way, if I ever did decide to look and that there was a picture there, if I wanted to find it. And all of that, she was is basically telling me there’s access to it. If you decide to do it, it’s okay with me.

Damon (06:06): That’s really amazing that she took that time to do so as she was preparing for her own transition, because there’s so many adoptees who start their search, some of them don’t even tell their adoptive parents that it has begun and then the person passes away and they don’t actually have a concrete feeling as to how their parents would have felt about the search. But she, as you said, had the foresight to say, this might be something that comes up for you. I just want to make sure you know, I’m okay. I think that’s amazing.

David (06:40): Oh, it was, it was, it’s just one of many acts of love. And, and we’ll get into this a little later, I’m sure. But just one of the many acts of love that she’s shown through my life and for her to do that because, you know, I would have never, never thought about looking while she was alive. Like I said, I didn’t miss out. And I had a fierce sense of loyalty to her, but she knew that through circumstances, whether it be through health issues, curiosity, whatever the case may be, there may come a point in time that I wanted to look. And so she just kind of gave me a clue or two that if I did, Hey, it’s okay. And here’s something that may help you. So that was very big on her, but that’s the type of person she was. The type of person my mother was. She always thought of others. So that’s one of the things that I love most about her

Damon (07:39): David’s adoptive. Dad was from a large depression era family out of North Carolina. He was the kind of guy who showed his love by getting up every day and going to work to provide for the family. They did father, son bonding, things like fishing, but they had divergent interests. His adopted father was all about his business in cars. David was totally into sports.

David (08:03): My mother used to say, if there was a ball in the air, I was somewhere chasing it. So as I got a little older, you know, my interests were towards sports and his interests were toward business. And then he died when I was 17.

Damon (08:19): David said he felt love from his father, even though he wasn’t the lovey dovey touchy feely kind of dude David’s adoptive mother passed away in 1999 in the aftermath of handling her affairs and managing his own emotions. He especially paid attention to the pictures. There were two photographs of women that could have been possibilities to be his biological mother. He put those pictures aside, not ready to go down that road in the midst of his own grief. Two years later in 2001, David’s curiosity started to creep in his mother had planted a seed and it started to grow. When he pulled the pictures out, he found some writing on the back of one of them. It was dated 1976. So David quickly eliminated that photo as a possibility for the identity of his biological mother. He says his wife at the time suggested he look into accessing his original birth certificate or OBC. David went to vital statistics, got his OBC, and finally learned his birth mother’s name and birthdate. A buddy of his was a police officer. So David conveyed the woman’s information and the officer returned with a woman’s proper address. David and his wife at the time went to that address. Only two miles from where David grew up. As a boy,

David (09:40): We were sitting in front of the building that she lived in. And when it came that moment of truth, I looked at my wife and said, I can’t do it. Can’t do it. And drove off

Damon (09:54): Your plan was to just show up, knock on the door

David (09:58): Via, despite of all, all the things that you hear, all of the things that they say, well, you know, you don’t want to shock anybody. I’m a straightforward person, always have been and probably will be till the day I die. Whether that’s a good trait or bad trait, but when that moment of truth, because like most adoptees, you kind of wonder, well, what’s it going to be like, what are they like? Whether you have fantasies in your own mind, any of that, then you also deal with that thought of rejection. What if they have not told if they’ve gone on had another life, started another family, and haven’t told anybody about you and here you are showing up at the door and knocking on the door, talking about, I think I’m your son. And they look at you and go, man, you gotta go. I haven’t told anybody about you. You gotta go. You gotta go. So that I think when that moment of truth came, um, that realization hit me right then

Damon (11:00): David, wasn’t only thinking about his birth mother. He was thinking about the stability of his own world. He had a rich, full life behind him. What might be? He had a rich, full life behind him. He questioned what might be facing him in reunion. He had children of his own, a wife, and he wondered why he should disrupt someone else’s life. When he felt plenty of love and wasn’t missing or needing anything for himself. Why possibly up end and disrupt someone else’s life unnecessarily. Anyway, David went years passing by this woman’s building on errands, going to work or even going through his old neighborhood where he grew up. He drove by and looked and wondered, but the same thoughts that prevented him from getting out of the car the day he pulled up that day, he pulled up out in front, held him for 17 years. In 2018, David was 58. He had been facing the classic challenges of confronting physicians who asked about his medical history only to be left with the answer that leaves many adoptees feeling incomplete. I don’t know I’m adopted. He was starting to have some of the issues that a man has to pay attention to. As he aged, he wanted to give more information about his own health history to his daughter. And he was looking right at the milestone age of 60 on the horizon.

David (12:26): That curiosity of not knowing exactly who I was. I mean, I knew David Bynum and how I grown up in the family and all that. But I did not know what my true roots were. And then you see the commercials for ancestry and you see all of these things. So I think all of that played a part to where, okay, David, it’s that moment of truth either. You’re going to do it now or are you going to let it go? Because I said, well, if I’m going to look, what am I going to look when I’m 60, when I’m 62 65. So I made the decision. I’m either going to look now or put this out of my mind and never think about it again. So I prayed about it, asked God to order my steps sat down in front of the computer and just started typing. You know, how do you find, or what’s the best way to find your biological family?

Damon (13:18): The computer returned a link to the adoption network. Cleveland. He sent an email to the point of contact for adult adoption cases. Tracy. She made some recommendations, including getting another copy of his OBC. He lost the one he had obtained years earlier. David went on vacation while Tracy did her work. When he returned, Tracy had left a message for David.

David (13:42): So I gave her a call and she told me, she thinks she’s pretty sure there was no way to be a hundred percent sure, but she was fairly certain. She had located my birth mother and family that I had two siblings. So the funny thing, and when I tell this story, I have to stop and laugh. When she told me I had two siblings, it was like, you see on television, the commercial where everything froze. And I don’t think I heard another word. She said after she told me I had two siblings, I had a brother and a sister.

Damon (14:16): He said he suspected he might have siblings because his birth mother was young enough when she was born, that it was likely she had other children. He said it was unbelievable to go from being an only child to receiving the news that he was actually the oldest of five. Tracy emailed David, a report of her findings and suggestions on how to make contact. He sat and read everything from Tracy’s thorough search of public records, addresses spouses, birth dates, and more naturally, he did what we often do in this modern era.

David (14:49): You know, once I got it, what I laugh and call cyber stock, cyber stock. My sister pulled up her Facebook page. And as the moment that I laid eyes on her, I looked at my wife and said, that’s my sister. That’s how much we look alike.

Damon (15:08): David looked into his brother, but he hadn’t posted any pictures of himself. Only a hyperlink to his LinkedIn profile

David (15:15): His LinkedIn. I pulled it up and looked at him and we looked at like, like if, if I were shorter, he was taller. We’d almost be twins. Oh, it blew my mind, man. It blew my mind. The first thing I did when I looked at my sister’s Facebook page was to look at friends. We had in common. And the very first friend that I saw of hers was a buddy I’ve known for 35 years. I’m a, I’m a blow your mind. Even deeper here in a minute. But uh, I pulled it up and saw a buddy of mine that I’ve known for 35, 35 years or more. So I reached out to him and said his name’s Sonny. I said, Sonny, I’m getting ready to talk to you. And the things that I’ve talked to you about, I need to stay between us until I figure out what I’m going to do with this. So I told him the story and who it was and all of that. He said, man, great people. So he said, man, I’ve known her since she was a teenager you’re great people, man, you need to go tell him today, go up there today and tell him what’s happening.

Damon (16:34): But David was hesitant that kind of direct move could possibly scare his newly discovered family away. He turned to his lifelong friends, Kevin, the adoptee David grew up with and told him everything. When he left his buddy’s house, he decided he wanted to just ride by and see his sister’s house. Just to have a look, to know where it is as David is cruising by his sister’s house, her husband is getting out of his vehicle, returning home from work.

David (17:04): So I stopped and I said, excuse me, bro, is your name Dennis? And he looks at me kind of crazy. So he walks over to my van and I said, is your, uh, is your wife’s name? Jamie? Yeah And he’s looking at me strange. And I said, Whoa, hold up. Let me back up. I talked to your cousin Sonny earlier today and he suggested I come and talk to you. So that kind of set my brother-in-law at ease. He knows that. I know. And I’m just not so crazy guy rode up on him.

Damon (17:42): Cyberstalking family and naming everybody. Right,

David (17:45): Right, right. Or I’m asking him about his wife. So I have all the paperwork in my hand. And I asked is your mother’s your mother in law’s name? Linda Adams like, yeah. So I hold up the birth certificate and show him. I said, I think your wife has my sister. And he takes a step back and looks and he starts laughing, uncontrollably, laughing, some kind of trip. And he said, I know she is. Cause you look just like Cecil, our brother, you and Cecil look just alike. So I say, well, man, I don’t know what to do with this. Do you think I should tell her if you say no, I’ll ride off. Y’all will never hear from me again. You know, what do you think? He said, man. Yeah. You can tell her. Matter of fact, let me tell her. So we wind up doing the Facebook thing.

David (18:46): You know, he friends sends me a friends request I accepted and all of that. So later that night he tells, he tells my sister, you know, how would you feel about having another relative? Well, she thinks one of two things either. He’s getting ready to tell her that he’s got a child outside the marriage or that her dad wound up having another child. And that she’s not even thinking about our mother. So he winds up after, you know, an hour or so him hauling around the house, he just comes out and tells her, no, it’s your mom. And then shows her my picture. And she immediately, you know, knew called our brother. They met, she had not told them. So they had no clue that I existed. And that was one of my fears that she didn’t tell and that they didn’t know. And here I am showing up out of the blue, 58 years later,

Damon (19:51): Now the siblings are connected, but I was confused. So I asked David to take me back for a minute. I couldn’t understand why he was pursuing his siblings when he knew who his mother was and had driven past our home for so many years. Unfortunately, Tracy’s report revealed that David’s mother passed away about a year after he drove past her home. That day he turned away. David is a man of faith. And he said that he’s felt that God’s hand has been instrumental in how his journey has unfolded.

David (20:22): When I sat there and did not feel getting out of the car in 2001 and my spirit, I think that may have been God protecting me because I was just really starting to come to terms with my mother passing. And so if I ever got out then in reunion with my biological mother and then she turned right around and passed, I don’t know if I could have handled at 39 the way I could at 58. So I, you know, I mean, I think everything happens for a reason. I’m a firm believer that there’s, there’s not fakeness. Everything happens for a reason. So I think that’s part of the reason why, I don’t know if it just wasn’t in my spirit to get out of the car, but you know, I think that it might’ve been sparing me from having to deal with that twice. Just losing my mother and then turn around finding my birth mother and then a year later losing her.

Damon (21:20): Yeah. That’s a, that’s a really fantastic point that you’re making that would have been extremely traumatic, you know, to lose two mother figures who knows how the reunion would have gone. But either way you would have found somebody that you were biologically related to and you would have felt some kind of connection. And to lose her to in rapid succession would have been excessively tough. Jamie, David’s sister has reached out to their brother to say she needs to talk to him and they need to meet up. He’s like, sure, just name your day next week. And we’ll get lunch or dinner or something.

David (21:59): She’s like, no, we need to talk. Now

Damon (22:03): Of course, with a tone like that, their brother began to worry. They agreed to meet later that day. And she broke the news to him. The siblings were assuming that this new brother, David is a paternal brother.

David (22:16): So he’s thinking it’s their father. That’s had another child. She said, no, it’s mommy. And my brother goes you know. That’s impossible. Nope. It’s not possible. Can’t be, we wouldn’t have known. Mommy would have said something. Nope, can’t be not possible. So she shows me my picture. And he said, he thought he was looking at himself.

Damon (22:41): As incredible as the whole episode had been, the group of siblings decided it would be healthy to take a few days to process everything individually. A week later, they all met at Jamie’s house. They all brought pictures of themselves. Growing up throughout the years, David brought his non identifying information and his OBC. He also brought the one picture he had of his mother.

David (23:05): So, you know, we’re all comparing those. But once we, we see each other, it’s like, you know what? There’s never been talk of taking DNA, test anything. We all look so much alike that it’s not funny. And so we were sitting there and we were comparing pictures. So our grandmother had a scrapbook that she kept with our mother. And so he’s showing me the scrap book and then it gets to be a high school, senior picture. And so I look at that picture and I tell him, wait a minute, hold up. Don’t turn the page. I reach in my briefcase and I’ll pull out the single picture that my mother told me. I would recognize when I saw it. I pulled a picture out of my bag and I drop it right next to the album. And it’s the identical picture the only picture anybody ever knew high school picture of our mother is the identical picture I had. So when I dropped that picture right next to the picture that was in the scrapbook, that was our moment. We all looked at each other and that sealed the deal.

Damon (24:19): So you had the physical copy of the same picture that they had from that yearbook.

David (24:25): Yeah. Well from a scrapbook that our grandmother had kept of our mother through the years. And that was the only copy that anybody had ever seen of that picture.

Damon (24:36): Jamie is 14 years younger than David. His brother, Cecil is only three years younger than he is when I asked how things have been in reunion. David said, they’ve been unbelievable. That was the word he used. He coaches high school football. And he said, his brother, Cecil has been to every game since reunion, even sitting through one game in the driving rain, it turns out the brothers have kind of been orbiting one another in similar circles, their whole lives, but no one ever connected their identities.

David (25:09): We we’re all so close, man. We, we celebrated, we just celebrated our one year reunion. Us and our spouses went out to dinner to celebrate the one year reunion anniversary. And it’s like, we haven’t missed a beat. It’s like, we’ve been in each other’s lives all our lives. Now, especially with my brother and I, we have so many friends and comments. He has two brother-in-law or two cats that I mentored. One lived in my neighborhood. And then once a young fella I took in, when he was in high school, kind of took him under my wing and helped raise him. Yeah. So it’s really not even six degrees of separation. It’s more like three degrees separation. We probably know 20, 25 people in common that we’ve known our whole lives, but they had no reason to put the two of us together because I was David Bynum. He was Cecil Jenkins.

Damon (26:12): But nobody ever said, man, you know who you remind me of? There’s this dude that I know nobody ever said anything like that to you?

David (26:19): No, not at all. After it came out, everybody’s gone. afterwards everyone was like you know what yeah man I should’ve recognised that you know and then the first thing my sister said, if you and Cecil ever walked in the elevator together, y’all would have ended up staring at each other.

Damon (26:36): Yeah, for sure.

David (26:37): It’s one of those. And we do quite a bit like that first I was in did not don’t look like, you know, but the more we hang out in, the more we do, we look like, you know, you can tell that’s my little brother,

Damon (26:52): That is really cool. Tracy, the social worker who investigated David’s background and provided him information for his maternal connections made two recommendations. The first was to obtain his OBC. The second was to take an ancestry DNA test to try to make connections. So he did his maternal side reunions happened while the test was off being evaluated and matched with relatives online on the night he met his siblings. He kind of joked with them that he might have to go through this whole reunion thing again. If ancestry DNA returned anything noteworthy, when he checked his results. Soon after he discovered a second cousin match to his cousin, Charles, who just happened to be married to the family. Genealogist, David told Charles his wife, everything he knew about his father, a college football player at Ohio state, he thought, and an employee of the Batey recreational center there in town, when David’s story was over, his cousin decided he had an idea who the father might be. So his cousin reached out to David’s aunt, who said they remember a time, way back when,

David (28:00): And she goes, well, I remember when Chuck brought a girl home to tell mommy that she was pregnant and all of that. So yeah, she said, honey, it is because DNA don’t lie. So what she did, I guess a week or so, she called back and said, well, we’re not sure, but everybody seems to think this could be your dad. So she sends me and he had passed just two years ago. So she sends me his obituary. The write up at East high school, where he played football. And this is the funny thing about my dad. You know, I was telling you about my dad. He was in the cars and doing all of that. Didn’t like sports and didn’t come, but maybe one or two of football games, all of that. But come to find out how strong DNA is. My dad wound up playing it. Wasn’t Ohio state, but he played football at East high school. He got a scholarship to bowling green and then got drafted by the Buffalo bills. He wound, wound up coaching high school football coach in college football and then became a world. Well, at least a famous sports photographer and a lot of things that I do, he did

Damon (29:20): Reading his father’s obituary. David learned that he has two paternal sisters, always one to be straightforward. He made direct contact. The sisters didn’t live in Ohio. One is in Charlotte, North Carolina, the other in Atlanta, Georgia. So he couldn’t just roll up to their homes like he had done with Jamie. He reached out through LinkedIn and Facebook to make connections. Of course they don’t know who he is. So he shared with them online that his ancestry DNA investigation said they were related. The sister in Atlanta didn’t reply immediately. She was traveling for work. The sister in Charlotte responded asking how they were related. He shared his relation to his cousin, Charles and his sister starts to think they must be cousins too, because even she can see a family resemblance between them.

David (30:09): So I said, well, no, you and I share DNA. So you might want to reach out. You know, maybe you want to reach out, let’s talk. Here’s my number, all of that. It doesn’t hit them right away. So she sends something back. I said, no, you are not share 50% DNA. So then I guess it hit her. She said, what are you saying? You’re our brother. And so I hit back. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. So she goes, be at, for awhile, the other sister winds up texting me back. She said, well, who are you? Who’s your mom, blah, blah, blah. The one in Charlotte, a little more rational. The one in Atlanta is like, okay, there’s no way this can happen. You know, they met with skepticism, which you can’t blame them because for 50 years, they’ve never heard anything about me. They don’t know anything about me.

David (31:07): And here I am showing up out of the blue, I’m your brother. So basically they were saying, Hey, we would appreciate if you didn’t contact us anymore. We, for several reasons, we don’t believe this to be true. And we would appreciate if you don’t contact the us and I said, no problem. I just wanted you to know what I found out. No problem. You won’t hear from me again. So this is a Saturday. So Sunday morning, the one, my youngest one that the attorney in Charlotte reaches back. She said, I’ve done some, some praying. And I talked to some people and if this is true, you know, we would hate to have a brother that wasn’t in our lives, all of that. So she said she would be willing to do a DNA test, but they were going through some legal things with the father’s estate. And she was kind of like to wrap all of that up first, before we investigated, I said, that’s fine. Take your time. Do what you want to do. So later that day she comes back and goes, I can’t wait. I gotta find out

Damon (32:12): David figures. His DNA is already on ancestry. So he suggested to his sister, that’s the company they should go with to verify their relation. But he also suggested they use a DNA testing center to do a sibling DNA test. He was glad they went that route because if he mailed his sisters, the ancestry kits, but they decided they didn’t want to be in reunion. They could have just had someone else submit their saliva in the sample tube. And derail the whole thing, they both went to DNA diagnostic centers in their respective cities, Columbus, Ohio, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

David (32:48): Two days later, it came back 99.95 match.

Damon (32:52): Wow. Undeniable

David (32:56): Undeniable come to find out her mom. Our dad had told his wife at the time that back in the day that somebody has said that he had fathered a child, but it never, nothing never really materialized from it. So they had heard. And then through later investigations, we knew that people knew. So it really wasn’t. It wasn’t a well kept secret. But once again, it was one of those things that just wasn’t and talked about,

Damon (33:26): Drove down to Charlotte, picked up his sister from work, took her out to dinner and he spent the night at her home. He told me he went to her mother’s house for the 4th of July on that same trip. He and that sister text a lot speak by phone once or twice a week. And reunion is going well for them. David said, he’s also met two of his paternal aunts at the time of our interview. He had just returned from Atlanta where he met his aunts and interviewed them for a documentary about his own life and reunion journey. Earlier this summer of 2019, David turned 60 years old. His sister from Charlotte, paternal aunts and his maternal connections and adopted family members all gathered around him to celebrate the one guy they all had in common. But didn’t even know it. Sometimes when an adoptee shares the story of their journey, it brings tears and people say, it sounds like a story you’d hear in a book or seeing a movie lucky for David. He has had a production company for nearly 20 years. At first, he thought about trying to find someone else to tell his story.

David (34:33): And then I thought, well, who can tell the story better than me? So I decided to go ahead and do the documentary myself. So I sat down, wrote the script, wrote everybody who’s part, everybody who had a part in the journey. So we’ve already been up to Cleveland, to the adaption network Cleveland, we got all their interviews, went to West Virginia, got the cousin who actually told me who the biological father. And then now we’re doing the ones here in Columbus. I’ve got my siblings here in Columbus. They’re already shot. And then they can. So instead of me telling the story by myself, I’m having the people who actually did that part of the journey, tell what they did in the journey. So it’s not just me telling the story. You know, the people that actively participated are telling them what they did in the store.

Damon (35:26): Ah, that’s really cool. I love that, man. Let me ask you, do you have a title for the documentary already?

David (35:33): Yeah, it was called from a place of love, my adoption journey.

Damon (35:38): Wow. David, this is really amazing. Um, I’m always astonished at the folks who, who find their families so quickly and especially those who are received so well. So lovingly and you know, I know that you have one sister who hasn’t quite come around yet, but I suspect that there could still be a turnaround. And, and even if it’s not by their birthday, it could be, you know, at a different date at a different time after your sister on your paternal side says, you know, I’ve met him and he’s kind of a good guy, you know, I could see how something could change, but in the meantime, and you, you have had an amazing reunion set of reunions and I’m really happy for you for that.

David (36:18): Well, thank you. I appreciate it. And I appreciate you helping me on the promotion side. And you know, I just wanted to, hopefully if anybody’s in my situation, you know, the sitting on the fence stewards, you are shooting you and that’s part of what’s in the documentary. I have everybody give their opinions like, yeah, you should. But I think it’s an individual thing, but if anybody’s on the fence and this gives them the courage to look, because I think part of mine that took me so long was fear. And so if this gives anybody the courage to look, I encourage it, but they just have to remember, once you start to look as opening Pandora’s box, you don’t know what you’re going to find. You know? So that’s my only hesitation. You have to be prepared mentally, emotionally, physically to do this because by nature, I’m not an emotional person, but man, it’s been an emotional roller coaster, especially when I was going through the search process and then entering into reunion because you start second guessing things.

David (37:25): And then I found myself trying to manage relationships, manage my daughter’s relationship. You know, the people that were already in my life to reassure them just because new people are coming in doesn’t mean it’s going to displace what we already have. It’s a very emotional thing, man. And like I said, by nature, I’m not a very emotional person. I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeves, but man, this was probably the most emotional thing. And I’ve buried a child, you know, three parents. And by far, this is the most emotional thing I’ve ever done in my life.

Damon (38:05): Thank you so much for opening up and sharing the emotions that you’ve been through with us. I appreciate it, man. Take care of David all the best to you. Okay.

David (38:13): All right, Damon. Thank you, bro.

Damon (38:14): Bye bye.

Damon (38:19): Hey, it’s me David admitted. He’s not an emotional guy, but the rollercoaster of his adopted mother sparking his curiosity, his fear of what he might face on a search inaction when he had the chance and the combinations of acceptance and rejection

Damon (38:36): Were a lot to bear. Over the years, I asked David how his momentous 60th birthday party was back in July. He emailed me this. It was great. I had all family represented my original family, my inlaws, my maternal side, and my paternal sides were all there. People traveled from South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New York, West Virginia, along with all the paternal cousins and friends here in Columbus. We filmed it for the documentary. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. My heart was as full as it has ever been. I’m Damon Davis and I hope you’ll find something in David’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, you can find the show and who am I really at Or follow me on Twitter at waieally. You can subscribe to who am I really on? Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or wherever you subscribe to podcasts. If the show means something special for you, I’d really appreciate your support. You can reach me at or Venmo at Damon L Davis. And as always, I hope you’ll leave a rating for who am I really? Wherever you get your podcasts so that others can find the show too.

Who Am I Really?

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